Bob Marley’s ‘War’ Ignites Copyright Fight

Tuff Gong Music and Island Def Jam are being sued by Alan Cole over copyright ownership regarding Bob Marley’s classic single, "War."

Bob Marley's 'War' Sparks Copyright Fight

Alan Cole, a former manager and confidante of late, great reggae legend, has sued, Tuff Gong Music and Island Def Jam Music Group over copyright ownership regarding Marley’s classic single, “War.”

Allan Cole says he co-wrote “War” and “Natty Dread” but just recently discovered he doesn’t own the copyrights, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Bob Marley’s “War” is now at the center of a legal fight between a songwriter who says he co-authored the piece and the label that owns the copyright, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Pennsylvania federal court.

In May, after Cole hired a lawyer to help him transfer one-half of his interest in “War” to the family of former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, the attorney discovered Tuff Gong Music holds the copyright as the “employer for hire.”

In conclusion, Cole is reportedly suing Tuff Gong and the Island Def Jam Group, a division of Universal Music and successor in interest to the copyright.

He wants the court to enter a declaratory judgment that the labels infringed on his copyrights by “fraudulently substituting others as the authors” and to require that the labels provide an accounting and pay Cole for all income they’ve received as owners of the copyright.

UMG and Tuff Gong have not yet responded to a request for comment.

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