You may be familiar with the late legend Bob Marley. You may have even seen a shirt or two that display his familiar face. Fortunately for the Marley family, you will not be seeing him on any apparel sold by the company Avela.
Avela, a Nevada company, is owned by Leo Valencia, who created toys and shirts that displayed the reggae singer’s likeness. Unfortunately, it was without the authorization of Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Zion Rootswear, the companies that Mr. Marley’s heirs run his empire under. This, as I hope we are all beginning to understand, is not permissible, in most cases, under U.S. Copyright Code.
Avela and Mr. Valencia were stuck with a $300,000 bill for their unauthorized use of the likeness from a U.S. Federal Court and hopefully an injunction will follow that keeps Bob Marley’s off of bobble heads seeing that his children do not want to see their father portrayed in this manner.
Kudos to the Marley family on this victory. I wouldn’t mind seeing a growing trend of victories for the family since the punch to the stomach they received in a previous copyright case. You can read about it in an article I wrote here.
If Avela is looking for a substitute face, mine is available for printing on anything.