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Bob Marley’s Family Wins Suit After Unauthorized Merchandise of The Reggae Icon Went on Sale

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

A US court has sided with Bob Marley’s family, which sued a company that sold shirts depicting the reggae legend, in a case with potential ramifications for merchandise of other deceased stars.

The estate of the Jamaican icon had filed a suit after low-cost T-shirts—featuring a photo of a speaking Marley next to the yellow, green and red colors associated with his Rastafarian faith—went on sale at Walmart, Target and other major US retailers.

A jury in the western state of Nevada in 2011 awarded more than US$2 million in damages and legal fees to firms owned by Marley’s children that said they had lost an order to sell T-shirts at Walmart as the unauthorized rival was distributing a similar product.

The defendants lodged an appeal that was rejected Friday by a federal court, which agreed that the non-family companies violated the 1946 Lanham Act, a key US law on copyright infringement.

The court, which heard a survey of 509 customers at a shopping mall, agreed that the T-shirts could create an impression that Marley had endorsed them.

“This case presents a question that is familiar in our circuit: when does the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitute false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act?” asked Judge N. Randy Smith of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in San Francisco with jurisdiction across the West Coast.

“We conclude that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for a jury to find defendants violated the Lanham Act by using Marley’s likeness.”

The accused company, A.V.E.L.A., had said that recognizing such an argument for a dead person would essentially create a federal right of publicity—how a person can be used for commercial purposes.

Individual US states have established a right to publicity but, despite longstanding debate, there is no law at a federal level.

Marley, who would have turned 70 this month, died in 1981 but his music and advocacy of social justice still carry wide appeal.

Read More at Jamaica Observer

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One thought on “Bob Marley’s Family Wins Suit After Unauthorized Merchandise of The Reggae Icon Went on Sale

  1. Martin Luther King was a liar!!
    When Martin luther "Sellout" king wanted us to mix races with this cracker we were the ones that got sold because whites got rich and black stores were brought out and our economy fell now we dont even have a means of support very clever on this cracker to figure out a way to destroy us using these no good nigga leaders! Before this uncle tom we had our own we was a FAMILY now these crackers want to mix everybody up like the kingdom of babylon to fight against GOD while he rules us all!

    Everytime they promote mixing with the other races this means that you become weak and he becomes strong because he is ruling over us right? So that is one more nigga thats getting down with his way of life! I will give you examples in the past…. black people had their own baseball teams right? Why did the white man want us to integrate? Because he knew we were the people of God and we were getting more popular and NO ONE wants to see a bunch of crackers play so he integrated and by doing so he became rich and we brought flavor to the game! same with basketball and so on… The was a time in History when black people were separate it was called black wallstreet we had our own doctors,lawyers,banks and so forth and the white man bombed that place…you know why?

    Because the lord told black people this:

    Deu 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth.

    These white people know that the lord told us to separate from all nations on the earth…not come together with them! Holy means to be separate! Now Im gonna show why they are promoting MARTIN LUTHER KING!!

    Jeremiah 23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

    The LORD called Martin Luther King a liar because he told of his dream not what God said…..

    This man told you what he wanted NOT what GOD said and it said it in the prophecy twice just like his famous speech saying I have a dream…..the key word is "I"!

    Jer 23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

    He was a false prophet and you can tell his prophecy was false because we are more destroyed and dying more than ever so his dream was a white mans dream but a black mans nightmare!

    God told us about this man along time ago and called him a lying prophet reason is that he told us to stay separate and all through the bible we preferred the other nations above our own people and god punished us for it by sending us into captivity under these nations like we are now!

    Most black people think we are not slaves but the bible considers when one nation of people takeanother nation and use thenm to build their society that they are slaves!!!!

    Look at anciet egypt the Israelites (blacks,hispanics,native americans) were slaves under the egyptians (africans) and those slaves made egypt great and when God wanted to free them they didn't want to leave because they had good food, clothes and so forth but the LORD considered the in captivity under the egyptians just like black people now we dont own the land if you dont pay taxes you'll find out how much you dont! But we think we are free! Just like our ancestors did when they came out of slavery they were walking around on the land and was looking for their family and the white man didn't want to give them the land so he came up with rental properties and JIM CROW which just extended the borders of the slaves! So what Martin Luther King did was a major catastrophe we are worst off then we ever been! Thats why these crackers are honoring him. They honor the people fighting for them but our heroes are the ones they select for us!
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    You, Devante Peak and 10 others like this.
    Henryck Paolo Hernandez
    Mlk actually means molek meaning king. His statue is an idol.

    As far as white and black, the integration has already started from way back. I believe the most high will have a mixture of people praising him. From ALL nations. He is allowing the gentiles in to stir Israel up.

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