Bob Marley Music Legacy Breeds Another Legal Fight In The Courts

There is now a frontal battle over Bob Marley’s song titled War.

The plaintiff, this time, is Marley’s longtime friend, manager, and confidante, former Jamaica football star Allan “Skill” Cole.

Phot credit: B.javhlanbayr/
Photo credit: B.javhlanbayr/

The legal fight surrounds Cole’s claim that he wrote the lyrics and music to Marley’s War and Natty Dread in 1974, but just recently learned he doesn’t own the copyrights.

The lawsuit was filed recently in a Pennsylvania federal court.

In May, Cole hired a lawyer to help him transfer one-half of his interest in War to the family of former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

However, the lawyer found out soon after that Tuff Gong Music is the holder of the copyright, not Cole.

Cole is suing Tuff Gong and the Island Def Jam Group, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG) and successor in interest to the copyright.

UMG and Tuff Gong are yet to respond to the claim.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

Do you want to add feedback to this story? Please add a comment in the box below or send us an email at

Like our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter