Bob Marley's family have lost a court battle with music giant Universal Music Group in which they were seeking unpaid royalties and damages.

The reggae icon's wife and sons were claiming ownership of the albums 'Catch A Fire', 'Burnin'', 'Natty Dread', 'Rastaman Vibrations' and 'Exodus', and also accused UMG of intentionally withholding royalties from their Fifty-Six Hope Road Music company. In addition, Marley's family claimed that the company failed to consult with them on licensing issues, including the use of Marley's music as mobile phone ringtones.

Claiming that UMG were attempting to "exploit" Marley's recordings, the Marleys sought millions in damages but were left unsatisfied when a New York court rule that all five albums, recorded with The Wailers between 1973 and 1977 were the property of UMG, according to copyright agreements. BBC News reported that Judge Denise Cote described the albums as 'works made for hire'.