Nose, Face — You Know How It Goes

Marley Family’s Vitriol Leads Verizon to Bite Back

The licensing dispute between the estate of the reggae singer Bob Marley and the Universal Music Group took an ugly turn yesterday, with nobody getting together or feeling the least bit all right.

[…] Yesterday, early in the afternoon, it looked as if Verizon Wireless was removing itself from the fray. The Marley family issued a statement that it would not follow through with plans to file a suit against the carrier for trademark infringement because Verizon had “ceded” to its demands and taken most of the 44 ring tones by the singer off the Verizon Wireless Web site. Sixteen ring tones remained on the site, songs from early in Mr. Marley’s career that are owned by companies other than Universal.

But in announcing that Verizon had changed course, the family was less than conciliatory. In a written statement, Chris Blackwell, a longtime spokesman for the family, said that he was “infuriated that Verizon would go around the estate and initiate partnership with Universal” and that it was “disturbing that these companies refuse to give the musicians the respect they deserve.”

James Gerace, a Verizon spokesman, said, “I was a little taken aback by their statement.”

And the company was not just taken aback; it took it all back.

See earlier When Is A Ringtone Not Just A Music Clip?