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Quincy Jones‘ suit against the Michael Jackson estate for underpayment of royalties got under way in Los Angeles Tuesday.

According to Variety, the dispute goes back four years, when Jones said he was owned $10 million for the use of his work in several releases following Jackson’s death — among them, the 25th anniversary reissue of Bad, the Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas production and the This Is It concert film and live album.

Jones’ attorney now claims the Jackson estate is $30 million behind in payments. Jackson’s side counters that the legendary producer has been paid $18 million over the same period. Part of the dispute centers on what’s defined as a “videoshow” in Jones’ contract: Jackson’s attorneys say that means payments for music videos, but not concert films or live performances.

John Branca, the co-executor of the Jackson estate and the singer’s longtime attorney, testified that they’d tried to settle with Jones before the trial began, offering between $2- and $3 million.

The trial in Los Angeles Superior Court is expected to run through the end of July. Jones is expected testify next week.

Fasho Thoughts:

  • Q’s lawyer cites the This Is It documentary: Jackson’s share was $90 million, and Jones — who was, it needs to be pointed out, not the star of the picture — was paid $455,000. So what?
  • Isn’t it a bit unseemly to sue a dead performer who was a close personal friend for money you surely don’t need?
  • The lawyers and accountants are the only likely winners in this story.
don juan fasho

Source: Radio One / Don Juan Fasho

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