Bob Marley’s Family Loses Rights to His Most Famous Music

Albums recorded between 1973 and 1977 by reggae legend, Bob Marley are owned by UMG and not his family. In the lawsuit, Marley’s family stated UMG was intentionally withholding royalties from them and undermining the 1995 agreement giving the family rights under the original recording agreements.

The albums include “Catch a Fire,” “Burnin’,” “Natty Dread,” “Rastaman Vibrations,” and “Exodus.” Which means his most famous songs, “One Love,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and others are not owned by his family.

Marley died of cancer in 1981, age 36.

The lawsuit filed by his widow, Rita, and their nine children said that UMG exploited the “quintessential Bob Marley sound recordings.”

They also said that they were not notified of “key decisions.” However U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote, "Each of the agreements provided that the sound recordings were the ‘absolute property’ of Island. Whether Marley would have recorded his music even if he had not entered the recording agreements with Island is beside the point."

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