The MJ Estate is suing Disney over 'The Last Days of Michael Jackson' television special

The lawsuit has listed 30 violations and has not stated clearly the nature of damages that it seeks.  The suit was filed against both the network ABC as well as Disney.


                            The MJ Estate is suing Disney over 'The Last Days of Michael Jackson' television special

Disney is in a legal tiff with the Michael Jackson Estate. The company is taking legal action against the multimedia giant Disney. The MJ Estate claims that an ABC television special on Jackson's last days violated on its intellectual property.

The lawsuit was acquired by The Associated Press after it was filed on Wednesday in a US court in Los Angeles. The suit was filed against both the network ABC as well as against its parent company Disney. "We believe the special to be another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image of Michael Jackson without respect for Michael’s legacy, intellectual property rights or his children," the statement noted.

MJ Estate is suing Disney (Getty Images)
MJ Estate is suing Disney (Getty Images)

The legal disgruntlement started after MJ Estate alleged that 'The Last Days of Michael Jackson,' unlawfully made use of a large number of important parts of his most valuable songs. The list included iconic tracks like 'Billie  Jean' and 'Bad' while the music videos included 'Thriller' and 'Black or White.' On top of these accusations, the MJ Estate has also made claims that the network and its show have also used sections of videos from a documentary as well as a feature that is owned by the estate. These were the Spike Lee documentary called 'Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall', and 'This is It' that was released in 2009.

At first, ABC didn't bat an eye and there was no immediate response from the network. But when the Estate took up the issues with them, they said that the special didn't infringe on any of the Jackson camp's rights. The lawsuit has listed 30 violations and has not stated clearly the nature of damages that it seeks.  There is also an order asking the network to stop using their intellectual property. 

The claim says, "Like Disney, the lifeblood of the estate's business is its intellectual property. Yet for some reason, Disney decided it could just use the estate's most valuable intellectual property for free." 

A description of the special on ABC reads: "An exploration of the "King of Pop's" life and legacy; never-before-seen interviews with Jackson reveal his thoughts about work and relationships; interviews with colleagues and those close to Jackson."