Bob Marley’s family lose copyright fight with Universal Music Group

Legend's wife and sons lose battle over five classic albums

Bob Marley‘s family have lost a battle with Universal Music Group (UMG) over the ownership of five of the late singer’s albums.

The legend’s wife and sons had accused UMG of intentionally withholding royalties from their Fifty-Six Hope Road Music company, and sought millions in damages over the company’s alleged attempts to “exploit” his recordings.

They also claimed the firm had failed to consult with them on key licensing decisions, among them the use of Marley‘s music on ringtones.

However a New York court has now ruled that copyrights to ‘Catch A Fire’, ‘Burnin”, ‘Natty Dread’, ‘Rastaman Vibrations’ and ‘Exodus’, which were all recorded with his band The Wailers between 1973 and 1977, entitled UMG to be designated the owner of those recordings.

Judge Denise Cote said Marley‘s recordings were “works made for hire” as defined under US copyright law, reports BBC News.

Marley was born in Jamaica in 1945, he died of cancer at the age of 36 in the US in 1981.