A legal dispute is under way between Rita Marley and nine of Bob Marley’s children and the reggae legend’s half-brother, Richard Booker. The two shared the same mother. The Marley’s are suing Booker to stop use of the Marley name to promote an annual Miami music festival and profit from other business ventures in Jamaica, AP reports.
The suit, which was filed last Thursday, accuses Booker and “several affiliated companies” of violating copyright trademark laws by using Marley’s name image, lyrics, and various intellectual property of his estate without proper authorization. The suit claims that these ventures are misleading, deceiving the public into believing that such enterprises are officially endorsed by Rita Marley and the late musician’s heirs.
One of Richard Booker’s endeavors includes the Bob Marley Movement of Jah People, Inc., the promoter of the Miami based music festival; a restaurant located in Jamaica called Mama Marley’s, as well as several businesses with the name “Nine Mile” which refers to the region of the reggae king’s upbringing, and final place of rest. AP reports that One Nine Mile business offers tours of the area. Nine Mile Music Festival is the title of the well-known music event.
The festival’s website explains that the event was a product of a Bob Marley fan club, founded in 1981, that gradually grew into the music festival and related food drive that has collected more than 2 million canned goods for shelters in Miami and Jamaica.
The lawsuit also claims that Rita Marley & co. have been in opposition with Booker’s attempts to trademark Marley-related business names for many years. Although, the report continues, at one point they reached a licensing deal, Booker allegedly reneged on the deal.