Bob Marley's Estate Wins Lawsuit Against Shirt Bootleggers
Published Feb 21, 2015Between the bong and the backlight, a Bob Marley poster is the ultimate accessory for a college kid's dorm room. The late reggae great's likeness is so iconic that people love to adorn it all over their homes and clothing, even if they've only heard the song "Jammin.'" It's a highly bankable image, which is why many clothing companies have printed shirts without obtaining the proper permission. One such clothing company will now have to pay damages to Marley's estate.
In 2008, Bob Marley's representatives sued the clothing company A.V.E.L.A for producing and selling a t-shirt with his likeness on it. The clothing was sold in big box stores like Target and Walmart.
A court first ruled that the company would have to pay Marley's estate damages back in 2011, but the case wasn't fully finalized until yesterday (February 20). As Rolling Stone reports, A.V.E.L.A will have to pay $2 million in damages to Marley's estate.
To prove their point, Marley's representatives asked over 500 strangers if they thought the man on the shirt was Marley, or just a random dreadlocked dude. Nearly half of the people polled thought that it was actually an image of Bob Marley.
Naturally, this case could set a precedent for protecting the likeness of other artists who have passed away, so make sure you check the label on that Kurt Cobain t-shirt before you buy it.