December 26, 2019

Disney and Michael Jackson estate settle copyright infringement lawsuit

[ By Kavita Krishnan ]


ABC Group had broadcast a documentary which contained the late singer Michael Jackson’s songs, music videos and live footage without receiving approval from Jackson’s estate to use the singer’s songs and imagery.

In 2018, Jackson’s estate sued Disney in the Western Division of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California because of a film called ‘The Last Days of Michael Jackson’.

The estate, in its filed complaint, stated that Disney infringed upon the copyrights of others when the company itself “depends on its intellectual property”. The estate further pointed out that Disney’s “zeal to protect its own intellectual property from infringements, real or imagined, often knows no bounds.” It was further alleged that Disney never even discussed with them obtaining proper licensing for the material used in the film.

Disney countered that they believed the use of the material was covered under the “fair use” doctrine. Disney also removed certain imagery from the film just a few days prior to its broadcast.

A trial was scheduled to begin this month. However, the parties have reached a settlement on the issue. Jackson’s estate formally issued a request to dismiss the case. The court has granted the same.

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