MK Eldad draws ire of Bob Marley for video spoof

Universal Music Production Group alleges Eldad used reggae anthem "Iron, Lion, Zion" without obtaining permission to use copyrighted song.

May 6, 2012 18:03
1 minute read.
MK Aryeh Eldad's campaign video

MK Aryeh Eldad's campaign video 370. (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)


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After publishing his campaign video for the upcoming party membership drive, National Union MK Arye Eldad found himself at odds with an unexpected rival: Bob Marley, the King of Reggae himself.

Eldad used the reggae anthem “Iron, Lion, Zion,” as the background for his campaign video, which features children dressed in lion costumes (“Arye” means “lion” in Hebrew) gathering at his home. “If you’re in favor of two states for two nations, when one of the states is Jordan – If you’re against the Arab occupation, say ‘Amen,’” a narrator sings in the video.

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But Universal Music Production Group, which owns the rights to Marley’s songs, says the video was made without obtaining permission to use the copyrighted song.

Universal’s representative in Israel, Media Man Group, sent a warning letter to Eldad on Thursday instructing him to remove the video from the Web immediately, said Ran Geffen, the CEO of Media Man. Amit Karmon, a lawyer who works with Media Man, said the company is considering further legal action if the video is not removed from the Internet.

According to a copy of the warning letter published online, Media Man is seeking NIS 500,000 in compensation.

“Bob Marley’s heirs are disgusted and deeply hurt by the stated violation of rights and the use of political extremism, by the extreme, overt and insulting political use of the late Mr. Marley’s legacy and creation, which, putting it mildly, humiliates him and his efforts,” the letter states.

Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy Marley, is married to Orly Marley, an Israeli who is also his manager. Orly Marley said in a recent interview with Calcalist that they must “sue without exception” anyone who creates unlicensed Bob Marley products in order to protect the artists’ legacy.

“We did not mean to violate a copyright,” Eldad said on Thursday. “The use of covers in funny videos and political messages is endless and floods the Internet.”

According to the National Union MK, the lawsuit is spiteful, but as the issue has not yet been resolved, he has removed the clip from his website. Eldad is the leader of Hatikva, one of the three parties that make up the National Union faction.

The campaign video, however, can still be seen on YouTube.

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