Michael Jackson’s Nephews File Suit Against Radar Online

Michael Jackson’s nephews, Taj, TJ, and Taryll Jackson, are suing Radar Online for $100 million over published stories alleging they were sexually abused and bribed by their King of Pop uncle.

The three men filed the $100 million libel lawsuit on Wednesday after the celebrity gossip website published multiple stories during June about Michael Jackson. The stories stated that the King of Pop stockpiled “images of pornography, animal torture, S&M and gore in a bid to seduce innocent young boys,” and that this stockpile was discovered in a police search of his Neverland ranch home back in 2003.

In one of the articles, the celebrity rumor website said, “The detectives’ report cites Michael even used sexy photos of his own nephews, who were in the band 3T, in their underwear to excite young boys,” referring to Taj, TJ, and Taryll.

Entertainment lawyer Bert Fields is representing the Jacksons and wrote in the libel suit, “Radar has tried to profit by launching a vicious and unrelenting attack on [Jackson] based on claims that, years ago, he was guilty of sexual abuse, even though, at the time, he was found ‘not guilty’ of that very charge.”

Fields continued by stating that Radar Online represents its “reports” as being “new” and based on official “detective reports.” However, he says that not only have the detective reports been available to the public for many years, Radar Online has misrepresented what the reports actually say.


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Timbaland Wins Lawsuit Over Michael Jackson’s Song ‘Chicago’

Timbaland won a legal battle against a songwriter who claims he stole his song and used it for a Michael Jackson posthumous project.

According to Jasmine BRAND, a musician named Sidney Swanson filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against MJJ Productions, which oversees all of the late King of Pop’s music, as well as Timbaland and Sony Music.

In his suit, Swanson claims that he released a song titled “On the Move” back in 2002 and accused Timbaland of stealing it for the song “Chicago,” which appears on Michael Jackson’s posthumous 2014 album, Xscape.

Swanson was seeking damages for the copyright infringement along with an injunction against MJJ Productions, Timbaland and Sony from distributing the song.

The veteran hitmaker countersued and denied all the allegations that he stole Swanson’s tune. Timbo insists that he created the “Chicago” track by himself and since the musician doesn’t own a valid copyright to his 2002 song, he can’t sue for infringement.

On March 24, Swanson filed documents to dismiss his lawsuit and agreed to not seek monies from Timbaland and the other parties involved for his court fees. Furthermore, Swanson was not paid by anyone to drop the case.

Attorneys for Timbaland had no comment on the matter.


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Sony Buys Michael Jackson’s Stake In Lucrative Music Catalog

The Sony Corporation has announced it will pay Michael Jackson’s estate $750 million for Jackson’s 50 percent share of the Sony/ATV music publishing company.

The backstory here has more twists and shouts than a long and winding road (Couldn’t resist, but note that the rights to both “Twist and Shout” and “The Long and Winding Road” belong to Sony/ATV). Sony’s purchase marks the culmination of one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the music business.

It all started when Paul McCartney advised his young friend Michael Jackson that, to really make money in the music industry, you needed to own the publishing of hit songs. McCartney told CBS-TV in a 1989 interview that Jackson joked to him “One day I’ll own your songs.” To McCartney’s shock, Jackson was true to his word.

A music publisher owns the rights to a song’s lyrics and composition. Anytime a song is performed, played on TV or radio, used in a commercial, etc., the publisher collects royalties. Contracts vary but, traditionally, that money is split 50/50 with the songwriter.

In 1985, music publisher ATV owned the rights to some 4,000 songs, including more than 200 by The Beatles. It also owned Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti. Michael Jackson’s lawyer, John Branca, knew Jackson was looking for songs to buy. When Branca learned that the Australian tycoon who owned ATV was putting the company up for sale, Branca and Jackson put in a bid. After long, tense negotiations, Jackson was able to purchase ATV for a reported $47.5 million.

In the mid-1990s, when Jackson was in debt, he sold half of ATV to Sony, forming the joint venture Sony/ATV. To get full ownership, Sony offered Jackson’s estate $750 million.

The Sony/ATV catalog has swelled over the years and now owns or administers the copyrights to more than three million songs, including hits by Sting, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keyes. The company controls some of the best known songs in the world, including “Over The Rainbow” and “New York, New York.” One analyst tells Bloomberg, with the increase in streaming, the trove’s worth is more than what Sony’s paying for it.

As for Michael Jackson’s estate, it still owns Jackson’s master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs he wrote. In a statement by co-executors John Branca and John McClain, the sale to Sony will allow them to maximize the “the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children.”



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Michael Jackson’s Estate To Handle Quincy Jones’ Lawsuit In Court This Summer

A pending $10 million lawsuit concerning Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson’s estate will head to trial this summer (June 15), The Hollywood Reporter states.

READ: Showtime Releases Trailer For Michael Jackson Documentary

The suit was filed by Jones against Sony Entertainment and MJJ Productions in October 2013 after the famed producer/executive claimed the entities remixed a few master recordings done by Jones, but without his permission.

The action reportedly prohibited the industry veteran from making a “backend profit” on melodies from 2009’s This Is It movie/soundtrack and the 25th anniversary revamp of Bad, the site reports.

Jones’ defense team also states that MJJ Productions, which partly controls Michael Jackson’s estate, violated their contract when they permitted outer parties to rework a few of the King of Pop’s melodies, and “without first providing a reasonable opportunity to Jones to perform such remixes and/or re-edits.”

The suit was initially made public in October 2013.



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Michael Jackson Estate Sued for Shutting Down Tribute Film ‘Messages to Michael’
The father of a deceased producer and friend of Michael Jackson’s has sued the entertainer’s estate, claiming he’s been denied the opportunity to make a tribute film to Jackson under a contract his son had with the late singer.

Sharad Chandra Patel, whose son Raju Patel produced Bachelor Party, a 1994 version of The Jungle Book and The New Adventures of Pinocchio and was a Jackson friend, filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court to enforce a creditor’s claim that was rejected by the Jackson estate. Patel alleges that his son, who died of cancer in 2005, had a film company with Jackson called Neverland Entertainment and that a 2002 contract provides that all proceeds from their films will be split 50-50.

When Jackson was arrested and charged with child molestation in 2003, Raju is said to have stayed loyal to his friend and business partner. After the scandal subsided, Jackson is said to have wanted to make a film dedicated to the millions of fans who also stood by him during the controversy, and a 2005 contract signed three months before Raju died provided that Raju and Jackson would make Messages to Michael, “a tribute to Michael and his loyal fans.” That contract, which includes language saying Raju “or his nominee” could make the film with Jackson “or his nominee,” then allegedly was assigned from Raju to his father Sharad (who also is a producer) before the son died.

In the six years since Jackson died, Sharad has been trying to get access to Jackson’s music and personal effects in order to make the film but has been shut out by estate executors John Branca and John McClain.

“Michael wanted to create a film tribute to the dedicated fans who stood by him during difficult times when many others turned their backs on Michael,” the lawsuit reads. “Michael trusted his good friend and filmmaker, Raju, to make the film a reality.” But Branca and McClain “have disregarded the terms of the agreement, as well as Michael’s wishes for his fans, because [they] are simply motivated by the biggest payday.”

Patel alleges his son’s contract with Jackson entitles him to make the film with the Jackson estate’s cooperation. Instead, the estate chose to partner with Sony on the 2010 documentary film This Is It, which included never-before-seen footage of Jackson. The estate is alleged to have collected “a 90 percent share of film profits” from This Is It, much more than the 50-50 split it would have obtained if it had cooperated with Patel’s film under the contract with Jackson.

To read more visit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/michael-jackson-estate-sued-shutting-845655

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Sony, Michael Jackson Estate in Talks for Transfer of Massive Catalog

Sony ATV, the famous music-publishing catalog that Michael Jackson bought in 1985 and used for decades as a financial lifeline, will soon be sold in full to the late singer’s estate — or the estate may sell its own half back to Sony Corp. The technology giant will “either become 100 percent owner or divest,” a source close to the deal tells Rolling Stone, adding that Sony reps will soon meet with Jackson’s estate reps to work out the terms. The company has begun what is known as a “buy-sell process,” with one source saying that “this is just the first step” for the company.

The catalog, which owns publishing rights for 750,000 songs, including tracks by the Beatles, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye and many others, is worth an estimated $2 billion. It has been a 50-50 venture between Sony and Jackson since 1995, when the King of Pop agreed to merge his share with Sony’s music-publishing catalog. In 2007, an auditor said Jackson’s half of the catalog was worth $390 million — providing crucial assets for the big-spending superstar during a period when he was releasing almost no new music or making money off concert tours.

Reps for Jackson’s estate declined to comment.

Jackson had been deeply in debt in 2006 when he agreed to give Sony an option to buy his half of the catalog at some later date. Sony exercised that option sometime last month. “The structure of a joint venture is sometimes difficult to manage,” the source says.

Company reps would not comment, but leaked Sony documents last year suggest execs were dubious of its potential in a time of low digital-music revenues. Kenichro Yoshida, Sony’s chief financial officer, said in a statement last year that Sony ATV “has a rather complex capital and governance structure and is impacted by the market shift to streaming.”

The Beatles lost control of much of their publishing in the Sixties after a series of complicated business deals. When Jackson bought the catalog, for $47.5 million, Paul McCartney unsuccessfully bid against him. “The key thing to remember today is don’t sell your catalogue,” Marshall Gelfand, Jackson’s accountant, told the Los Angeles Times at the time. “The whole explosion of music videos and the trend toward using more music in movies is going to make copyrights even more valuable. If you are an established artist today, you should only consider selling your catalogue as a last resort to raise cash.”

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Musicians Union Sues Sony Over Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’

The American Federation of Musicians is suing Sony Music Entertainment for allegedly violating its contract in the Michael Jackson documentary “This Is It.”

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, alleges that the artists were misled to record work for “This Is It” with the understanding that they were working on a phonographic record instead of a film score.

Sony had no immediate response to a request for comment.

“The Sound Recording Labor Agreement, which Sony has signed, covers only recording sessions for records—and prohibits recording film scores,” the union said.

AFM International President Ray Hair said Sony allegedly refused to sign a letter allowing them to use the AFM Motion Picture Agreement for this recording session. As a result, the union asserted, musicians have been unable to collect residuals on the film.

The film, directed by Kenny Ortega, grossed over $260 million worldwide.

“A fan may wonder what difference it makes if musicians record music under one contract versus another, but it makes a huge difference to musicians trying to earn a living,” Hair said. “Musicians have joined together to create industry standards and it is simply unacceptable for greedy corporations to knowingly violate those standards by denying residuals.”

The suit also charges Sony with refusing to make new payments on Pitbull’s 2012 version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and sampling of Jackson songs like “Billie Jean” and “Man in the Mirror” in “This Is It.”

“We did not want to go to court, but Sony repeatedly refused to do the right thing and pay the musicians fairly,” Hair said.

The AFM is seeking breach of contract damages, including the payment of wages and benefits that should have been given to musicians.

The suit is AFM’s third filed in recent months. The union sued Paramount Pictures last month for allegedly breaching its master contract by recording the score to Renee Zellweger’s upcoming film “Same Kind of Different as Me” in Slovakia. The union also filed suit against Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount on April 27. AFM claims that the studios violated its master contract for recording film scores outside the U.S. and Canada for “Interstellar” (Warner Bros. and Paramount), “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (Warner Bros.) and MGM’s reboots of “RoboCop” and “Carrie.”


Credit Source: http://variety.com/2015/film/news/musicians-union-sues-sony-over-michael-jacksons-this-is-it-1201536016/

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Fans Attempting To Halt Sale Of Neverland With Online Petition

Nearly six years after Michael Jackson’s death, his fans are reluctant to lose yet another bit of his legacy: RadarOnline.com has learned that a group of Jackson supporters has started an online petition in an attempt to halt the sale of Neverland ranch. But do they have any chance of success?

“Neverland, Michael Jackson’s house, is one of the most important places for Michael Jackson’s fans,” the petition states. “It’s one of the reminders that we have of Michael …”

Supporters of the petition, which has almost 8,000 signatures, claim they would like to see the property transformed into a memorial and/or museum, and threaten that they will boycott future Jackson products if the estate does not find a way to make that happen.

However, lawyers for the Estate released a statement, clarifying they had no role in preventing the sale, because Colony Capital owns a majority stake in the property. The ranch property itself was co-owned by Jackson and Colony Capital, which bought out Jackson’s $23 million mortgage just as the property was about to go into foreclosure. The 2,500-acre ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley area of Santa Barbara County has an assessed value of $27 million.

“Over the past week, the Estate has received inquiries from members of the fan community about the sale of Neverland,” lawyers for the estate said. “It has also been brought to the Estate’s attention that there are members of the fan community who intend to boycott future products until Neverland is in the possession of Michael’s children with the hope that this action will persuade the Executors to do something that they are powerless to do.”

“As has been said in previous statements from the Estate, both to the media and to the fan community, the Estate is very disappointed over the decision by Colony Capital to sell Neverland,” they noted. “Unfortunately, that does not change the reality that it the Estate is not in a position to stop the sale of the property. As was also stated in a previous statement that we shared with you last July, under the terms of the agreement that Michael himself signed with Colony Capital, Colony has the right to sell.”

“No matter how many requests or notices of boycott the Estate receives, it cannot prevent the sale of Neverland, nor would it be fiscally responsible for the Estate to spend Michael’s children’s money on purchasing the property again,” the statement said.

In closing, the Estate expressed their disappointment by the decision to sell Neverland.

“The Estate is very saddened by the thought of the sale and hope that the fan community can understand and appreciate that the Executors worked with Colony to try to find an alternative to the sale of the property but were unsuccessful in doing so and Colony ultimately determined that it needed to proceed with the sale – something that they have the legal right to do.”

Source: http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/michael-jackson-estate-boycott-future-projects-neverland/

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