Company Auctioning Rights to Songs By Aerosmith, Underwood, Starr

September 10, 2008 10:48 AM ET

SongVest, a Wisconsin-based company, has figured out a new way to make money off old songs: Auctioning a portion of the rights of tracks by Aerosmith, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, Carrie Underwood and others to fans of the music. In addition to claiming ownership, the winner will also collect royalties from the track, which SongVest will handle for you. The fall '08 auction features former hit songs like All-4-One's "I Swear" and the Monkees' theme song, as well as Aerosmith's "Gotta Love It" and Carrie Underwood's "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore." SongVest's first auction went down last year, with buyers spending $25,000 for a 25% interest in two songs by Christian metalheads Stryper. "No one is buying records. This to me is just another angle," says songwriter Mark Hudson, whose songs for Ozzy Osbourne ("Denial") and Ringo Starr ("Never Without You") will also feature in the upcoming auction.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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