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No copyright, no cry: The court rules on Bob Marley copyright ownership

05 September 2014

In the 1970s, internationally famous reggae singer and songwriter Bob Marley attributed certain songs to other artists, including one of his most famous hits ‘No woman, no cry’, to avoid copyright and royalties going to his record company.

In the recent case of BSI Enterprises Ltd and another v Blue Mountain Music Ltd [2014] EWHC 1690 the High Court had to decide whether a 1992 agreement that assigned copyright in songs included the misattributed ones.

The court found that it did and that the agreement should be construed as including an assignment of those songs to Island Logic, a company controlled by Chris Blackwell, whose label Island Records helped launch Bob Marley’s international career.

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