Record producer Quincy Jones finally got his verdict in his royalty lawsuit with Michael Jackson estate. Jones was the producer of Michael Jackson’s albums Thriller, Off the Wall, and Bad. On top of that, he was also behind “We Are the World” charity song. Coming back to present day, a Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of the producer marking the end of his royalty case. Therefore, the estate has to award Jones with $9.42 million.
Both Parties Used the Time to Interpret and Debate the Binding Contracts
Quincy Jones filed the lawsuit four years ago. The main allegations claimed that the producer hadn’t received any royalties for a list of projects. All these events were launched after the death of the King of Pop. Some of them consisted of two Cirque du Soleil gigs as well as the movie production “This Is It.” Jones claimed that he was entitled to a total of $30 million.
During the trial, the two parties debated the interpretation of the binding contracts. The focus was on the papers behind albums Thriller, Off the Wall, and Bad. The attorneys of the plaintiff stated that the producer is entitled to earnings coming from posthumous “This Is It” and from the two shows under the brand of Cirque du Soleil.
The Michael Jackson Estate Views the Verdict as an Affront to the Name of the Artist
On the other hand, the representative of the Michael Jackson estate, Howard Weitzman, disagreed with this view. He claimed that the artist did most of the work for each of the disputed songs. Even after the jury pronounced the verdict, the lawyer stood by his opinion that Jones had no right to receive even a dime from the reinterpretation of his contracts. On top of that, Weitzman perceived the whole lawsuit as an affront to the real artist behind these successful hits, Michael Jackson.
“This would reinterpret the legal language in, and effectively rewrite, contracts.”
On the other hand, Jones acclaimed the ruling in a public statement saying that this is a victory for all creatives who have to fight for their vision and integrity. Therefore, he didn’t linger over the fact that the jury didn’t honor the full compensation he asked. Instead, it took the lawsuit as a success for all artists.
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