The Bobo Rastas are apparently on board too.
The Marley name, look and sound are estimated to generate an estimated $600 million a year in sales of unlicensed wares. Legal sales are much smaller — just $4 million for his descendants in 2007, according to Forbes magazine. The Marleys refuse to give a figure.
Now the family has hired Toronto-based Hilco Consumer Capital to protect their rights to the brand. Hilco CEO Jamie Salter believes Marley products could be a $1 billion business in a few years.
"Bob Marley was and still is a stepping stone for many around the world who seek Rastafari roots and culture," said the Rasta rep who identified himself as the Honorable Prophet Moambeh Acosta in an e-mail. "We can only hope and pray for the (family's) success ... as the task seems insurmountable due to the years of piracy and counterfeiting."Continues the article,
The turn to big business has stirred some grousing from die-hard fans in Internet chat rooms, who say it goes against the grain of a singer who preached nonmaterialism and popularized the Rastafarian credo of oneness with nature and marijuana consumption as a sacrament.Rather than focusing on street vendors, who hawk everything from Bob Marley T-shirts to beach towels, the partnership is creating a new line of products dubbed "House of Marley" and will police the trademark vigilantly.
The family says it cares less about moving merchandise than about preserving the patriarch's legacy in such efforts as the Marley organic coffee farm, whose product is dried, roasted and packaged in bags emblazoned with Marley song titles such as "One Love" and "Mystic Morning."
"People need to know what they're getting is from the Marley movement, a movement of sustainability," said son Rohan as he showed The Associated Press around the farm...