Home / Gossip / Michael Jackson’s Estate Sues Disney For Using Michael’s Music and Videos In “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” Documentary

Michael Jackson’s Estate Sues Disney For Using Michael’s Music and Videos In “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” Documentary

On Wednesday, #MichaelJackson’s estate filed new documents accusing Walt Disney Co., of using the late, great King of Pop’s music and videos in a television special without permission. 

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In the copyright infringement suit obtained by Variety, Jackson’s estate says “The Last Days of Michael Jackson,” which aired on March 24th, used Jackson’s hits “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” the video for “Thriller” and clips of his concert documentary, “This is It.” 

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According to the suit, lawyers for the network never asked for permission to use Jackson’s work before the show aired. The estate also says when it found issue with Disney’s use, they said the material was available under the “fair use” doctrine, which in turn, forced the estate’s attorney to call Disney on its hypocrisy, considering the fact that they are strict about their own copyrights. 

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“If Disney’s position on fair use of the Estate’s copyrights were accepted, a network, studio or producer could make a documentary about Walt Disney, and spend most of the documentary’s time using, without Disney’s permission, extensive clips of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney, and Disney movies,” Howard Weitzman wrote. 

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“Disney is obviously aware of the copyright laws,” he continued. “Disney knows that permission from the copyright owner must be obtained before using copyright works, particularly in commercial projects like the one at issue here. Disney did not do that.” 

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Since then, a spokesperson for ABC denied the claims  but said Disney has not had a chance to even look over Jackson’s estate’s complaint.

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“The ABC News documentary explored the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide, and did not infringe on his estate’s rights.

About MsJennyb

Jen is a Writer and Content Curator for Baller Alert, who writes under the alias “MsJennyb.” In this role, Jen develops and contributes relevant special-themed content to attract readers. Before joining the Entertainment Industry via Baller Alert, Jen spent one year as a Freelance Writer and two years as a Human Resources assistant in a corporate office. Jen has a degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University with a concentration in Africana Studies. To contact Jen please email [email protected]

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