Bob Marley’s Ghost Arrives In Court
ONE thing you can always rely on, with the music industry, is that someone is going to sue someone else, trying to stake a claim to a song, or music, they had no part in writing.
And people wonder why the music industry is on its arse.
This time, the High Court in London is hearing arguments in a copyright dispute over 13 songs by Bob Marley. You’ll know Bob Marley because, to 90% of the world, he’s the only human on Earth who ever recorded a reggae record.
The publisher Cayman Music is attempting to get back the rights to the songs. And there’s some big-hitters in there too, such as ‘No Woman, No Cry’, which will be earning someone a pretty penny.
Cayman Music claim that they weren’t included when they sold some of its rights in ’92 to Blue Mountain Music, because Bob Marley had written the songs under other people’s names.
Blue Mountain aren’t having that, saying that the songs were covered under the transfer deal.
A lawyer for Cayman Music, the fantastically named Hugo Cuddigan, said the songs, which were written between ’73 and ’76, were not part of the deal because they had been “fraudulently attributed” to other people.
Cayman also claim that Marley did this to avoid the provisions of his publishing agreement with the music company.
However, the less excitingly named Ian Mill, a lawyer for Blue Mountain, said the lawsuit had to be dismissed because the “plain intention” of the ’92 deal was to “transfer all rights”.
There’s no artistic interest in all of this. What’s at stake here is millions of dollars.
“Money can’t buy you life” – Bob Marley
“But it can be very handy” – Everyone Else