Bob Marley's Family Loses Copyright Dispute

UMG Recordings declared rightful owner of Marley's songs.

Legendary musician Bob Marley

According to, the family of reggae legend Bob Marley lost a lawsuit seeking ownership of his most famous tracks. Executives at UMG Recordings were declared the rightful owners of copyrights to five albums that Marley recorded between 1973 and 1977 for Island Records. It is a defeat for Rita Marley, widow of the iconic musician, and nine children, who had sought to recover millions of dollars in damages over UMG's effort to "exploit" what they called "the quintessential Bob Marley sound recordings." The Marley family accused UMG of intentionally withholding royalties from them and ignoring a 1995 agreement assigning them rights under the original recording agreements. The dispute arose over use of Marley's music as ring tones on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile phones, court papers show. Marley's royalties for "Catch a Fire," "Natty Dread" and "Exodus" will go to UFM. Now, that's a real tragedy.

Read more at MSN.


The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.