Back in 2006, Rock River Communications sued Univeral Music Group for interference with contracts, antitrust violations, and misleading representation of copyright authority over Bob Marley‘s early recordings when UMG prevented Rock River from using 16 Marley recordings.
Initially, the trial judge ruled upon summary judgement that UMG was in the right. This meant that particular materials of evidence were excluded before the trial had even begun, resulting in a ruling without a full trial.
On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that UMG carries a burden of proof of its claim of exclusive rights to the Marley recordings used by Rock River. Which means the conflict is now back to trial court, which will require a full look into what happened — starting with Bob Marley in Jamaica over 50 years ago — to find out if Universal really owns the recording rights to his tracks.
More as it develops.