Verizon Re-enables Reggae Ringtones from Bob Marley
In the midst of debates with his estate over charges of trademark infringement, Bob Marley's ringtones are again available from Verizon, enabling a veritable throng of users to finally be able to pick up their phones to the tune of "I Shot the Sheriff."
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of his milestone album "Exodus," Verizon announced on August 28th it would make available Bob Marley and the Wailers ringtones. The list of 28 possible tracks included such hits as "Could You Be Loved," "Buffalo Soldier," as well as recording history's most famous musical confession.
Not long after that announcement, Fifty Six Hope Road Music Ltd. charged that the contract signed by Universal Music Group with Verizon had been struck without the consent of the Marley Family, and was therefore in violation of a long-standing contract between the artist and the record label.
The Marley estate threatened to sue for trademark infringement, and the songs in question were promptly removed. Fifty Six then issued a statement saying that a concession was reached with the telecommunications company.
A few days later, Verizon put the songs back up for download, saying it has already been established that according to the contract, Marley's music was acceptable to be availed for download. His likeness and music were never intended to be an overall endorsement of the carrier.
"Exodus" has gone platinum no less than ten times, and Verizon's Web site presently has 44 Bob Marley tracks available for download.