The family of reggae legend Bob Marley is to legally contest a deal offering ringtones featuring his hits to mobile phone users.

Verizon Wireless revealed on Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the singer's music publishers, Universal Music, which will allow its customers to use Marley ringtones.

The Marley family would receive royalties from this deal but Fifty Six Hope Road Music, a company owned by the family, contends the agreement amounts to an endorsement of the singer.

They argue because his image, likeness and music is being used exclusively it was unjust for Verizon to approach Universal rather than them.

"I cannot accept the way Universal is treating the estate," family spokesperson Chris Blackwell commented.

"We don't want this deal done. We want to sustain Bob Marley's reputation and they've done this without any permission from us. We feel they're absolutely not entitled to do so."

A lawsuit will be filed as a result, but Universal rejected the Marley family's claims as "meritless".

31/08/2007 14:06:55