Michael Jackson Estate, Disney reach settlement over copyright lawsuit

Michael Jackson Estate, Disney reach settlement over copyright lawsuit
Photo: YouTube | HBO

The Michael Jackson Estate has settled a copyright lawsuit with Disney over a TV special aired back in 2018 featured clips from the late performer’s songs and music videos.

Back in May 2018, the estate filed a lawsuit against the mass media company claiming that “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” involved an “astounding” amount of copyright infringement. The suit alleged that the TV special — aired on Disney’s ABC network — used fractions of over 30 songs and videos that belong to the estate.

This includes iconic hits “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and clips from the music video of “Thriller.” Portions of the “This Is It” concert documentary was also used in the special.

According to the lawsuit, producers of the special failed to secure a license to use the material and instead decided to use it all for free as per Variety. Disney’s legal team contended that the company was entitled to use the aforementioned clips under the “fair use” doctrine. It also noted Disney’s own overzealous cases over copyright claims.

“Disney has threatened to sue independent childcare centers for having pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on their walls, forcing them to remove all pictures of Mickey or Donald — and other anthropomorphized mice or ducks — rather than face ruinous litigation from one of the world’s largest corporations.”

According to multiple news outlets, the two camps legally filed a notice on Wednesday to dismiss the complaint pursuant to an undisclosed settlement.

Michael Jackson Estate attorney Howard Weitzman addressed the matter in a statement saying:

“The dispute with Disney has been amicably resolved.”

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