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Final judgment made on Bob Marley copyright claim

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 01 April 2016

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A final line has been drawn under the dispute as to the ownership of the copyright that lies in a number of the most popular reggae songs.

Cayman Music, who was Bob Marley’s original publisher, claimed they still owned the copyright in a number of Marley’s most popular hits after they had sold some of its rights to Blue Mountain in 1992.

As Marley had penned a number of songs in different names to avoid the rights to them being transferred to his publisher Cayman, they argued that this would render them not included in the 1992 transfer agreement. They do however believe that while they were not credited to the songs that Marley made under a different name, they had a right to obtain the copyright after Marley’s death in 1981.

The Supreme Court have recently upheld the decisions made by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal stating that there was an intention by both parties to transfer all rights from Cayman Music to Blue Mountain. The judge has stated that it would not make sense if a contract was made that excluded the rights that were under dispute.

There is now a resolve on a situation that has gone back and forth for a long time. The world famous songs of the reggae legend Bob Marley were included in the 1992 agreement and Blue Mountain does hold the copyright protection. 

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