Bob Marley's family have lost a legal battle over copyright of the singer's music.

The wife and children of the iconic reggae star were hoping to obtain copyrights to five of the late singer's best-known albums, and had sought millions of dollars in damages from Universal Music Group's (UMG) alleged attempts to "exploit" his work.

Including hits such as 'No Woman, No Cry' and 'One Love', the five albums in question - 'Burnin', 'Catch a Fire', 'Exodus', 'Natty Dread' and 'Rastaman Vibrations'- were recorded by the musician and his band The Wailers between 1973 and 1977 for Island Records.

Marley's family had claimed UMG -the parent company of Island Records - had intentionally withheld royalties from them and failed to consult with them on key licensing decisions, including the use of the singer's music on mobile phone ringtones.

However New York-based Judge Denise Cote has now ruled the recordings were defined under US copyright law as "works made for hire", and therefore

UMG is the rightful owner of the albums and music contained within.

Bob died in 1981 of skin cancer at the age of 36.