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Bob Marley's Family Loses Copyright Battle

9/14/2010 10:00am EDT

Bob MarleyThe family of reggae legend Bob Marley has 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. The decision came down in Manhattan on Friday.

The albums in the haul include Catch a Fire, Natty Dread and Exodus and were all recorded with Marley's band the Wailers.  Marley died of cancer in 1981, aged 36.

The Marley family accused UMG bosses of intentionally withholding royalties from them, and ignoring a 1995 agreement assigning them rights under the original recording agreements.

Bob Marley

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Photo Credits: Sacks & Co.