Family Loses Lawsuit, Marley’s Music Deemed “Works Made for Hire”
It’s a sad day for the Marley family. Lobbying since 1992 to keep the rights to [lastfm]Bob Marley[/lastfm]’s recordings, judge Denise Cote finally ruled last week that the family will no longer have a say on how the late reggae visionary’s music will be distributed.
The albums “Catch a Fire,” “Burnin’,” “Natty Dread,” “Rastaman Vibrations” and “Exodus” were recorded with Marley’s band the Wailers. They include some of Marley’s best-known songs, including “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love.”
Now the fate of these songs are up the Island Records, who see the potential of Marley’s music as nothing more than digital downloads or catchy ringtones the phone companies. Somehow, we doubt Bob Marley wrote “Buffalo Soldier” to alert you when your Momma was calling…
This defeat strikes the family at a hard time, but according to the judge the music never belonged to them in the first place:
“Each of the agreements provided that the sound recordings were the ‘absolute property’ of Island,” Cote wrote. “Whether Marley would have recorded his music even if he had not entered the recording agreements with Island is beside the point.”