Holiday Tidbits

Despite my previous blog entry, the MJ Estate just reinstated MJJ Ventures Inc. As well they have changed the address both of MJJ Ventures and MJJ Productions Inc. to the Estate addresses (entity address of John Branca, agent address of Michael Kane).

On the other hand I just realised that MJ's original Heal The World Foundation that has been dissolved back in 2002, now operates under Melissa Johnson's name and is active again. Unbeliavable!

First Commemorative Inc.'s case against the Estate just continued. Both parties stick to their original story, so the case might go to trial soon.


The Fantastic Three: Vaccaro, Mann and Johnson

An unbeliavable story develops in the case of Melissa Johnson. Here comes the details...

Johnson already used two sets of lawyers in his case against the MJ Estate since August, 2009. On November 1st, 2010 she hired a new lawyer, Edgar B. Pease. Does this name sound similar?

Pease was an attorney of Henry Vaccaro, the man who got ahold the biggest Jackson Family memorablia on the world through bankrupcy court. Now Pease is not only the attorney of Vaccaro and his Vintage Pop, but for Howard Mann and his Vintage Pop Media. Another interesting name?

Mann is the Canadian businessman who approached Katherine and Joe Jackson to support the collection Vaccaro still owns. They have release a book, a calendar and several other merchandises. So now Vaccaro, Mann and Johnson plays in the same team.

On the same day as Johnson hired Pease, Johnson and Mann signed a contract related to a business project. According to this contract Johnson will help Mann to promote the Vaccaro memorablias with her vast collection of intellectual properties related to MJ (mainly domains and trademarks). In a nutshell: Mann tries to get validity for making money of the memorablias, and found a good partner in Johnson who is still fighting against the MJ Estate. Mann will pay 33% of the profits to Katherine and 33% to Johnson (another shady move from Mann that he is not paying Johnson directly, but through Katherine), as well Mann pays all of Johnson's debts that already exceeded $130.000.

How come that Johson's case hasn't been thrown out by the Judge so far? She prayed for extensions in the case on many occasions. On the other hand Johnson has quite a lot e-mails backing her story. She claims that Shmuley Boteach approved her activities preserving MJ's Heal The World Foundation back in 2002.

And if it's still not enough, Johnson claims that in 2005 MJ approved for Johnson to act in his name when it comes to keeping HTWF alive. Guess who was the man between MJ and Johnson? Brian Oxman! Oxman even gave a written statement this September saying that MJ really approved Johnson's work.

Johnson in 2008 contacted MJ's than manager, Van Alexander. The manager once said to her that there is a fight in MJ's team and some "bad figures" took over MJ. Alexander advised Johnson to take HTWF on her own name, because MJ can't take care of it. Johnson furthermore contacted Al Malnik and Mark Harrison as well, both of them were well known representatives of MJ in earlier years.

So what Johnson owns? She has appr. 1800 domain names, trademarks registered all around the world. Pease claims that however MJ paid Johnson $25.000 in 2004 for some intellectual property, this amount was used for reviewal of the domain names. Johnson did not gave back the ownership rights to MJ or any of his entities.

And what Mann owns? 19800 photos, 26 hours of videos, 273 tracks related to MJ and his family.

While Mann is preparing for his testimonial hold on January 7, 2011 and Oxman the day before the parties are arguing over documents. Oxmann will be questioned about his interview gave to one of the television networkds this summer. While Mann will have to proove his connections to the Jacksons.

Unbeliavable, isn't it? Have you seen any articles with so many shady names at all?


New Official MJ Website

Ubisoft just launced a new official MJ website for their MJ inspired video game.

The website can be found under: http://theexperience-thegame.ubi.com

2 Seas Records

MJ worked with a Bahrain company named 2 Seas Records in 2006. They planned to release new music and other joint ventures.

Back then MJ's involvement was a frequent question. I just found some documents, according to them MJ never owned the company, he simply had an agreement with it's owner the Bahrain sheikh.

The company has been dismissed on August 19, 2009.


HIStory Logo Updates

Answering a question in my blog: one month before the HIStory logo's trademark rights would expire in Germany, TePax extended the trademark rights with 10 more years until 2020.

Other German MJ trademarks are owned by the MJ Estate.

Opis None And Other Unreleased Songs?

Few weeks ago Katherine Jackson's shady business partner, Howard Mann released a song "Opis None" claiming that this is one of the unreleased materials from the MJ master tapes they own.

I have posted many articles about the background of the so called "MJ master tapes", just search for "Vintage" in my blog. In a nutshell: the master tapes owned by Henry Vaccaro and jointly used by Mann and Katherine are useless. These are already known and released songs, demos, studio sessions, some recordings from the Jackson Family Show in the late 70's, and some rare materials from Jackson siblings and other acts. And on the top of that they can not do anything with the tapes, because they don't have the approval neither from Universal, Sony and the MJ Estate. This is why neither Vaccaro, later Universal Express and now Mann can not do anything with the tapes.

Finally to close down this topic I have uploaded the full list of songs from the so called "MJ master tapes" that you may download here: http://www.scribd.com/full/43405353?access_key=key-aaxn8s51t7n6otjbpnv



MJJ Ventures Inc. has been suspended. This move is most probably in connection with the new video release, and the clearing of MJ video copyrights.

The MJ Estate took over the Fire Mountain Services company that MJ and Marc Schaffel established in 2001. Another smart move in the "house cleaning".

A new official website has been created for the MJ themed Cirque de Soleil shows: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/michael-jackson-tour/default.aspx


15 Months Of The MJ Estate

In the past 15 months I have been reporting mostly about MJ Estate related informations. I insisted on the first anniversary of MJ's death, but I have to highlight it again: In my opinion the MJ Estate did a GREAT job!

They not only managed to keep up MJ's empire, but they sorted out personal, business and legal matters. Racionalised the MJ Estate's spendings, created new ventures, hired well known people, paid off debts, look after intellectual properties, fought in legal matters. And most importantly: maintained MJ's legacy and made the fans happy.

Would you imagine to have a new MJ album full of unreleased tracks (released on December 10, 2010), a new MJ video collection with unreleased footage (released on November 22, 2010), a new MJ video game from one of the biggest manufacturers (released on November 26, 2010) and a new MJ world tour with Cirque De Soleil (tickets on sale November 3, 2010) at the same time?

If anyone from the Estate reads this, some observations from my last 15 months experience:

- The Family is a key issue, as we can see in the case of the new album release...

- The licensing rights are still shaky, another key point for creating a good brand (MJ Licensing, MJ Asia Rights, Vintage Pop Media issues).

- Paying off the debts, and resolving the Neverland issue is an important PR matter.

- More control over the new released, there are plenty of bugging CD's coming out using MJ's name.

- Get ahold on concert footage and release later, fans are dying to get them.

- There is a lot more in the online business. Planet Michael is a good start, but the official websites should be updated, centralised and other ventures can be launched. Online and mobile business is before a big boom.

Thank you for all the MJ Estate people, especially Mr. Branca and Mr. McClain.


MJJ Legacy Inc. Has Been Closed

After registering a new agent for MJJ Legacy Inc. and reinstate the company in late August it has been dissolved now. The company has been created in the "Tohme era", it's profile was unknown.


Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

The MJ Estate's new online team will work under the "MJOnlineTeam" name.
Official website: mjonlineteam.com
Official video page: http://vimeo.com/user5077978
Official Twitter page: twitter.com/MJonlineteam

According to a statement released today the MJ Estate and Cirque de Soleil will announce something important on November 3, 2010 regarding the new MJ show.

What I can tell you about the shows exclusively: The shows' name will be "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour". The MJ Estate and Cirque de Soleil set up a new company for the joint venture in Delaware under the Cirque Jackson LP name.

According to some documents the show will include a heavy marketing promotion and merchandising. The first date is set for January 13, 2010 for the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The pre-sale for this show will start on November 3, 2010 10am.

The official website will be immortalworldtour.com most likely.


Raymone Bain Case Continues

Raymone Bain filed documents on apellate court saying that the Judge's May rule is incorrect.

Bain claims that she received a fax message from MJ on Apriil 24, 2008 saying that MJ wants her back as a General Manager and COO of The Michael Jackson Company. MJ further states that he knew nothing of firing Bain and wants her to continue a negotiation with "Mr. Yakoob" regarding the Brunei Sultan's property in Las Vegas.

Bain says that the document existed back in this May but wasn't in her posession as one of MJ's then employee took it from Bain's office.

Legal Cases Updates

- AllGood Entertainment Inc. vs. Michael Jackson: AGE filed documents on the apellate court on September 17, 2010. No important updates until now.

- AQ Consulting vs. The Estate of Michael Jackson: The Bahrain company sued the MJ Estate because of an alleged unpaid fee of $1 million.

- John Landis and Ola Ray are suing the Estate for unpaid "Thriller" video royalties. Ray's case will go on jury trial next May, while Landis' trial will be decided on October 29th, 2010.

- Jose Freddie Vallejos vs. The Estate of Michael Jackson: The Los Angeles man sued the MJ Estate saying the city shouldn't pay for MJ's funeral. Next hearing on October 28, 2010.

- MJ Publishing Trust has 19 pending legal cases related to copyright infrigments.

- Nederlander Presentations Inc. sued the Estate on June 17th, 2010. They state that the Estate breached a previous agreement with MJ for a broadway musical. Next hearing on October 24th, 2010.

- Richard Lapointe sued the Estate for a never been MJ auction where he bidded over several items. Majority of his claims has been dismissed. Next hearing on March 11th, 2011.

- Seven Echols sued the Estate for unpaid security bills. Next hearing on October 21st, 2010.

- The Estate sued Melissa Johnson for illegal use of MJ's likeness. The second set of lawyers withdrawed from Johnson's side.

- Universal Music-Z Tunes sued the Van Passel brothers in New York, claiming that the court order regarding "You Are Not Alone" is invalid in the USA. Van Passels alleged that YANA was a copyright infrigment of their previous song "If We Can Start All Over". Universal says that the Belgian court did not make an appropiate investigation if the Van Passel song was original. YANA's rights are owned by Universal now.



The second set of lawyers asked for a whitdrawal in Melissa Johnson's case this week. They claimed that Johnson didn't pay them for a while.

I have found a company MJ established on December 24, 2001 for his then proposed "Invincible Tour". The company was managed by John Branca. This is an undoubtful proof of that MJ planned a tour for his Invincible album.

officialmjcoin.com, the website for the proposed official MJ coin set has been deleted recently. No news about the pending legal battle between the Estate and the manufacturer company.


Sony/ATV Debt Has Been Renegoiated!

The MJ Estate deals with two major debts, the first one has been renegoiated late last year and will be paid off late next year.

The other debt that MJ took against his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC has been just renegoiated! According to the documents dated for September 15, 2010 Wells Fargo Bank will handle the debts in a complicated agreement between the two parties and various Sony entities.

These debts will be paid off no later than 2015!

Business Entities Updates

Below you may see a list of the active companies controlled by the MJ Estate:
- The Michael Jackson Company LLC (active in Delaware; owns some intellectual property starting with 2006).
- MJJ Productions Inc. (active both in California and Delaware; owns some intellectual property prior to 2006; MJ's production company between 1979-2006).
- MJJ Kingdom Inc. (active both in California and Delaware; it's profile is unknown, created in the "Tohme era").
- MJJ Legacy Inc. (active in Nevada; it's profile is unknown, created in the "Tohme era").
- Fire Mountain Services LLC (Active in California; owns some intellectual property frtom the "Schaffel era").
- MJJ Records LLC (active both in California and Delaware; owns releases under MJJ Music with Sony).
- MJJ Ventures Inc. (active in California; owns certain MJ musical video rights).
- Optimum Productions Inc. (active in California; owns some MJ musical video rights).
- TTC Touring Inc. (active in California; owns some MJ concert footages).
- Triumph International Inc. (active in California; owns most of the MJ intellectual properties since 1984).
- MJ Licensing LLC (active in Delaware; owns some intellectual property in Europe partly owned by the Estate).
- Nation Comics LLC (active in California; owns some intellectual property).
- SEE Virtual World MJ LLC and SEE Virtual World MJ Operations LLC (Active in California; virtual games partly owned by the Estate).
- Jackson International LLC (active in Californai; owns some old MJ business ventures).
- Sony/ATV Music Publishing (active in Delaware; MJ appointed Joel Katz as his representative in the company; owns publishing rights to other artist),
- MJ Publishing Trust (active in Delaware; owns publishing rights to most of MJ's songs through MiJac Music and other artists).
- New Horizon Trust I. (activce in Delaware; holds publishing rights against debts.)
- New Horizon Trust II. (activce in Delaware; holds publishing rights against debts).
- New Horizon Trust III. (activce in Delaware; holds publishing rights against debts).
- Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC (Active in Califorina. The Estate owns 50% of Neverland through this company).

Some interesting changes:
- MJJ Productions Inc. is active again in California.
- MJJ Legacy Inc. is active again in Nevada.
- Nation Comics LLC has been activated.


MJ Estate Creditor Claims Updates

As the media reported, the Estate of MJ filed information on a Los Angeles court about how they performed in the first year of MJ's death. Below you may see an overview of the creditor claim updates.

The Estate notified the court on December 22, 2009 that creditor claims might be filed no later then February 22, 2010. Some claims has been filed later, but in total they received 65 claims.

30 of the claims has been settled for about $4 million. 4 of the craziest claims has been rejected by the Estate. 5 claims are on court and will be settled very soon.

The rest of the claims, it's status and the amounts can be found under:

No actions taken on the Esate's part:
Adean Wells King - $180.000 - No action taken
Atkins Thomson Solicitors - $209.000 - No action taken
Bradley Buxer - $48.000 - No action taken
Cannon & Company CPA's, LLP - $56.000 - No action taken
Craig A. Johnson - $374.000 - No action taken
Diane Simmons Williams - $60.000 - No action taken
Dr. Arnold Klein - $58.000 - No action taken
Francise Tax Board - $1.647 - No action taken
Genesis Group International - $4.600.000 - No action taken
Intermedia Productions Ltd. - $1.000.000 - No action taken
Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy & Klein LLP - $628.000 - No action taken
LaVelle Smith Jr. - $144.500 - No action taken
Michael Boddicker - $400.000 - No action taken
Sharad Chandra Patel - $1.000.000 - No action taken
Sidney Lanier - $3.000.000 - No action taken
Teresa Cross - $42.000 - No action taken
Tohme Tohme - $2.300.000 - No action taken
Universal Music Publishing Group - $3.000 - No action taken
Van Alexander - $70.000 - No action taken
William Bone - undetermined - No action taken

Rejected by the Estate, the other party must respond in a given time frame:
Claire McMillan - $2.000.000 - Rejected
Erle Bonner - $ - Rejected
Malachi Jackson - undetermined - Rejected
Nona Paris Lola Jackson - undetermined - Rejected

The case is on court:
Iglesias Aner - $234.000 - No action taken, lawsuit filed
John Landis - $300.000 - Allowed in part, settlement negotiations ongoing
Jose Freddie Vallejos - $3.300.000 - Rejected, lawsuit filed
Jurgen Bachus - $5.000.000 - Settlement negotiations ongoing
Levitsky Productions Inc. - $1.000.000 - Settlement negotiations ongoing
Nederlander Presentations Inc. - undetermined - Filed lawsuit
Richard Lapointe - $5.000.000 - Rejected, filed lawsuit
Steven Echols - $260.000 - Filed lawsuit, settlement negotiations ongoing
Stinky Films Inc. - $1.000.000 - No action taken, filed lawsuit
Ola Ray - undetermined - Settlement negotiations ongoing


New Official MJ Items

One of the blog readers sent me information about a licensing agreement between Continental Accessory Corp. and Bravado. Based on this agreement Continental released a series of MJ merchandises this year, that you all can check here:



New MJ Album

I have been asked about if there are any new MJ albums in the near future. At the moment I have no direct connection to Sony, because of this I can rely on the Estate announcement from this Summer.

I did a research on the issue:

- None of the Sony websites (including international ones) say anything about any new MJ material. That doesn't mean anything.

- Neither any of the major retailers website lists any new MJ material. This doesn't mean anything again, new titles can be added easily.

- What's very promising: the Estate is visibly busy with registering and taking care of unrelated MJ materials within different organisations. Below you may find a list of these activities:

Unreleased tracks from 2008-2009 are copyrighted by his Estate. Includes works with Bradley Buxler and Michael Durham: I Was The Loser, Adore You, Boy No, Changes, Days In Gloucestershire, Don't Be Messin', Hollywood, I Am A Loser, Innocent Man, Jungle, Just Remember, Light The Way, Neverland Landing, Pray For Peace, Rocker, Thank Heaven, World Of Candy, 11pm, Bottom Of My Heart, Butter Funk, Children's Hour, Green Hornet Groove, I Love You More, King Tutankhamun, Lovin You, Pajamas, Photographs, Photographs 2 (Instrumental) , Pray For Peace (Instrumental), Shut Up And Dance, That (Instrumental), Think Twice (Instrumental), Walk Away (Instrumental), You Are There (Instrumental), MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #1., MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #3., MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #2., Brad Loop 3700, Brad Loop 3.3.7 MJ, Michael's Affirmation (Instrumental).

Unreleased tracks from 2007 are copyrighted by his Estate. Includes works with Eddie Cascio, the so called "MJ Song Books".

Unreleased tracks registered recently with BMI: Doing Dirty (Victory era), Man In Black (Dangerous era), Verdict (Dangerous era), Remember This Night (Thriller era), She Got It (Dangerous era), Seven Digits (Dangerous era), Who Do You Know (Thriller era), Michaelmania, Pressure (Dangerous era), Just Feel It (Victory era).

Unreleased tracks recently released with ASCAP: The Pain (Invinclible era), The World Is No Church (Invincible era), Seduction (Invincible era).

In my opinion new MJ materials will arrive this Winter.


MJ Mobile Has Been Released In Japan

An unofficial MJ mobile has been recently released in Japan. This release is the part of the "Michael Jackson Asia Rights Story" I published here (http://lesliemjhu.blogspot.com/2010/07/michael-jackson-asia-rights-story.html).

The mobile can be checked here: http://mobile-mj.com

The registration will start early September with the first loads of mobiles arriving later that month. The mobiles will include an MJ biography, the "Ghost" movie, eBooks, photos

And again: this is unofficial, has nothing to do with MJ or his Estate.


My E-mail Address and QA Session

Because of the number of comments and questions I receive, I set up an e-mail address where you may send your enquires: lesliemjhu@gmail.com

Answering some of the questions:

- Sony/ATV and MiJac deal renewal means according to my information: MJ-ATV Publishing Trust (MJ 50% share in Sony/ATV Music Publishing) is under New Horizont Trust II. until December 10, 2012. MJ Publishing Trust (MiJac catalouge mostly) in uder New Horizon Trust III. until the same time. MJ set up these new trusts to get more money against his publishing assets. NHT II's debts are handled by Wells Fargo Bank, NHT III's debts by HSBC Bank and Plainfield Gaming II. Inc. The Estate already refinanced NHT III's debts (MiJac) as it's been reported in the media. These debts might be paid out around late next year, but no later then the end of 2012. What I knew about the refinancing of NHT II's debts (Sony/ATV) was that no later then September 27, 2010 the Estate has to pay off John Branca, because of he sold his share in the company. As I can remember it was like $20 million. This summer Estate sources confirmed in the media, that they are in negoitations about getting better terms for a possible renewal of the deal later this year. This all means that the Estate is paying back money on other dates and other installations.

- MiJac public performance agreement renewal: I read in a court paper that last November the Estate sat down with all the companies responsible for collecting MJ's public performance royalties and inked a better deal for the Estate. That included BMI (as for MJ's solo songs) and Warner (as for the MiJac catalouge) amongst others.

- The Estate paying off debts: As to my best knowledge, neither MJ or his Estate used the publishing assets against any loan we didn't knew about. That's what official papers says as well. The amount used to be said between $270-$320 million. According to an Estate leaked information this Summer, the MiJac loan will be repaid no later than the end of 2011. That means $70 million off. We have no official information on the Sony/ATV loan. What we know is that according to an agreement made in December, 2005 MJ agreed to repay the loans from the catalouge's yearly incomes. Back then it meant like $40 million annually. What we know for sure, that MJ relied on different people in the last 4 years of his life in financial matters. There is no way that he would live off $40 million every year while being the guest of the Bahrain, Oman royal families, living with a family in New Jersey and lately using the money from the AEG deal. According to some information the Sony/ATV incomes were splitted between him and the banks like $10 and $30 millions. If this is true, then since 2005 MJ and his Estate had to pay off like $120 million of the debts, leaving like $80 million unpaid. But. In 2007 Sony/ATV bought the Famous Music catalouge for $400 million. According to sources, the original 1995 Sony-MJ agreement said that MJ has to pay half of the cost of any such purchases. This is why MJ's Sony/ATV debt might be still around $280 million.

As to Mr. Backerman: please send me a message to lesliemjhu@gmail.com, I would be happy to clarify that old post anytime (I don't have your e-mail address).


Joesph Jackson vs. Conrad Murray

I haven't covered Joe Jackson's case against MJ's one time doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray. Below you may read some interesting parts of the case:

- Joe believes that besides Murray there are other persons or business entities who are responsible for MJ's death. And he will file lawsuits against them as soon as he gathers enough information. No more details about this.

- According to his information, Murray met with MJ in Las Vegas in 2006 and first threated MJ's kids who were suffering from colds and flu.

- After that Murray and the entities he was a president or owner offered MJ certain medical services as per his personal needs.

- On May 3, 2009 the organisers of MJ's then planned tour and Murray entered into a written agreement about that Murray will provide these medical services as part of the "This Is It" world tour. What's interesting: the agreement covered states of Texas where the world tour might visit, besides California and Nevada.

- It's interesting that according to Joe's filings, AEG complained to MJ the same day that he is not participating the show preparations. They believed MJ is under the influence of different drugs he might get from Dr. Arnold Klein, another doctor of MJ's. AEG demanded to stop visiting Dr. Klein and instead using Dr. Murray's services. AEG promised 150.000 dollars per a month for Murray to render his services and wean MJ off the medications they believed MJ was in dependence.

- On May 12, 2009 Murray's office bought the first set of Propofol's for MJ.

- It was AEG who promised to Murray to provide him with the needed equipments and a nurse for MJ. Murray sent an e-mail to AEG on May 28, 2009 impatiently demanding for the equipments they agreed on.

- On June 18, 2009 MJ did not appear on the rehearsal as he should have. The very same day AEG's agents traveled to MJ's house and they said they were there for a "drug intervention". They demanded MJ not to attend Dr. Klein's office again, because they thought the drugs MJ got from Dr. Klein made him sleepy and prevented him from rehearsing. They threated MJ: if he misses out any further rehearsals, they will stop the show preparations, stop paying for MJ's house and all expenses. There would be lawsuits and his career will be over.

- According to Joe, MJ appearad the same day in the Forum seemingly furious. He "stormed" into the building visibly upset. Murray was there as well for AEG's direction.

- After another night when Murray gave different medications to MJ to make him sleep, MJ appeared in the Forum on June 19, 2009. According to Joe's information he seemed drugged and disoriented.

- In the following days MJ didn't have to appear for rehearsals. The next time he was with the team was on June 23, 2009 in the Staples Center. MJ was still disoriented and freezing cold according to some sources. His assistants had to give him several shorts to wear under his long heavy coat because he was so cold. As well he had to have a heater at rehearsals.

- When the paramedics arrived to the UCLA hospital, Murray identified MJ under the name "Soule Shaun".

- According to Joe's version of the story, MJ was confused, easily frightened, unable to remember, obsessive, and disoriented in May and June in the year of his death. He is refering to the concert footages, where MJ is always fully clothed in the summer, while others wore scant clothing.

Vintage Pop Media vs. MichaelJacksonCasino.com Case Dismissed

On August 31, 2010 the Judge presiding in the case said the followings: "Plaintiff’s complaint appears to relate to what has been called the mortgage crisis in our country. Many similar complaints have been filed in this Court. Based on what has
occurred in those cases, the Court is concerned that (1) all parties to the case receive a proper review of their claims in court, (2) no party is forced to spend unnecessary time
and expense on this case, and (3) there is compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including Rule 11(b). The Court orders the following to achieve these goals and to avoid an early, unfair dismissal with prejudice."

Three day later Vintage Pop Media asked for a dismissal in the case. Now say if this case was good for anything but getting your 15 minutes of fame.


New Frank DiLeo Case

As the media reported, Frank DiLeo has been sued again over another failed MJ concert. Below you may read some more details about this case.

DiLeo and his associates started to negoiating with Citadel Limited, a California limited liability company about a proposed MJ concert in Trinidad and Tobago. Citadel paid $300.000 in advance in seven installments.

Due to MJ's untimely death the company demanded for a full refund according to their agreement with DiLeo. That didn't happen since then.

Neither MJ or his companies are related to this case.


New Michael Jackson Drawings

The Estate of MJ just registered unpublished drawings of the star.

MJ created the materials back in 1994. The draws are named:
The Boy #1
The Boy #2 (is a modified version of "The Boy #1", with the same profile of a boy with certain changed features, primarily the drawing of the hair)

The artworks might consist other elements as well.


Old Projects V.: MJ HIStory Logo

In one of the comments here I have been asked about the old MJ logo he started to use around the HIStory project.

This is a very short story: the logo has been registered in Germany only for European use on October 27th, 2000. This might be a part of MJ's then deal with Dieter Wiesner about licensing some intellectual property rights for the region.

The logo was owned by MJ Net Entertainment AG (MJNE) that MJ partly owned with Wiesner. On September 22nd, 2006 the logo's rights were transferred to a company named TePax.

MJNE and TePax created some merchandise together, but due to a legal fight between MJ and Wiesner none of them has been sold. Furthermore TePax never been paid. After years of litigation the judge transferred the rights of the logo from MJNE to TePax. We know of no use of the logo since then.

The logo is still owned by TePax and it's trademark protection will expire on October 31st, 2010.

Legal Updates

As the media reported, AllGood Entertainment's (AGE) exorbitant case has been dismissed on Friday.
Some interesting tidbits, that the media didn't report about:
- AGE's president said to his colleagues in April 2009 that Joe Jackson haven't meet with MJ for nearly two years.
- AGE claimed that they didn't pay Frank DiLeo, because they learned that his partner, Mark Lamicka was incvolved in another court case.
- Around late 2008 AGE's president sent an e-mail to a fellow AGE team member about that “the deal dies if MJ catches wind of any dealings with Sony”.
- AGE previously heavily commented any court roulings on their websites, that they just removed after the dismissal.

On this occasion I will give an overview of the remaining legal cases for the Estate of MJ:

- MJ Estate vs. Heal The World Foundation: The Estate claims multiple copyright infrigments. Melissa Johnson just found a new legal counsel.

- John Landis, Ola Ray vs. MJ Estate: The joint case over the Thriller video incomes will continue this October.

- Nederlander Presentations vs. MJ Estate: The case about a proposed MJ musical will continue this September.

- Seven Echols vs. MJ Estate: This case is about an alleged unpaid security bill of MJ. Will continue this September.

- Richard Lapointe vs. MJ Estate: The case about the never sold MJ memorablia will go on trial next March.

- First Commemorative Inc. vs. Triumph International: The MJ Estate company has been sued by a merchandise partner.

- Bravado sued 20+ companies for copyright infrigment based on their exclusive MJ licensing deal.

In my opinion, no later than this December all the related cases can be closed down in the favor of the Estate.


Vintage Pop Projects - Updates

Few weeks ago I wrote about who is behind one of the recent Jackson Family projects. Now I have more information on this business venture.

As I talked about it many times in the past, the biggest Jackson Family memorablia collection is owned by a New Jersey businessman, named Henry Vaccaro. He took over the items after years of litigations with the Jacksons over a failed business venture. It is a very complicated and sad story. MJ's lawyers went through all the items at least two times over the years to remove all the personal items of MJ, as a family member who wasn't involved in the lawsuits. Though the collection still consists some of old stuff.

Despite recent media reports, Vaccaro still claims ownership over all the items. He somehow teamed up with a Canadian businessman, named Howard Mann and set up at least 3 entities in California to present the public with the items through different ways, and of course earn good money on them.

Mann got in touch with Katherine and Joe, and got their approval on using the items. It was an important move for Vaccaro and Mann, because having the Jackson parents on their side protected them from the Estate's public and legal battle. Mann set up a company along with Katherine and Joe in Delaware called "Never Can Say Goodby LLC" for the purpose of releasing a book full of old pictures, a calendar and other merchandises. Recently they attached a DVD interview with Katherine to the book.

It is very clear that Vaccaro and Mann are violating MJ's rights owned only by his Estate. They might own items related to MJ, but they can not sell his image for money. And they know it. The whole structure of the companies owned by them, the fact that they involved the Jackson parents, and that Vaccaro could not do any money out of the collection over the years prooves that. But most importantly a recent legal action against a website, called MichaelJacksonCasino.com. Their lawyer unnecessary refers to a previous legal battle between Vaccaro and MJ in the documents. On other parts they refer to the Estate as a similar entity to theirs. The only reason why they do it is to make clear for the Estate, "you can not do anything with us", and to plaint in the public that they are also owners of any MJ related rights. Come on, who cares about a stupid whitelabel casino website that's been there for years? Once they successfully defend MJ's rights on court, they will be able to pretend like an other legal entity to explore MJ's likeness.


Old Projects IV.: Jackson International LLC

One of the most complex business ventures MJ ever took part was "Jackson International LLC" (JI).

JI has been set up both in Delaware (on August 14th, 1998) and California (on December 12th, 1998). The sole owner of the company was MJ himself, the first known president was Myung Ho Lee, a Korean lawyer with US education. MJ and Lee started to work together in 1997, the later helped out the star with financial advises. The two enganged into other business ventures, that might led to set up JI. The company also hired Lee's relatives, like Soyoung Lee as a lawyer.
MJ fired Lee on the Summer of 2001 and re-hired him right after his 30th Anniversary concerts in New York. The two ended up on court in 2002 with Lee claiming MJ didn't pay him a $21 million fee for his services. The case has been settled in mid 2003, the details are unknown.

on April 5th, 1999 MJ announced an investment into Tickets.com Inc. He partnered with other companies through JI to back the $30 million founds. Right after this investment Ticket.com's losses started to grow. With dozens of aquisitions in the third quarter of 1999 it exceeded $50 million.
It's hard to find any further information on MJ's involvement on the project. Later SEC filings doesn't show any participation on his side. As well the company has been sold to Major League Baseball in 2005. Most likely MJ lost or sold his shares over the years.

I have been asked to cover MJ's involvement with the Sun International Hotels. In short terms, unfortunately MJ never owned any pieces of the hotel.
In 1998 MJ travelled to South-Africa on numerous occasions, even approached president Nelson Mandela for different business deals. In March, 1999 it has been revealed that a consortium led by MJ through JI might buy 27% of Sun International's stakes in South-Africa. Those stakes were hold by North West Development Corporation and had to sell them no later than May 10, 1999.
Altough it was big silent after the above mentioned deadline, North West Development Corporation did not sell it's stakes to anyone until September, 2003 when Kersaf Investments bought them. The other major stake holder at the time was Investec Asset Management who's involvement with MJ was never a question. According to Sun International's own website it's investors does not include MJ neither any of the known investment companies he was ever involved.
So there is a very slight chance for MJ to own anything in Sun International. Considering the fact that his businesses has been under scrunity over the past 10 years for various legal matters and no such revelation came out, I would say so that this is impossible.

On July 1st, 2000 it's been reported that MJ invested $2 million into HollywoodTicket.com through his JI company. Days later a "coming soon" text has been changed to an extensive intro and some other information appeared on the website. The service was designed to give some space for young movie artists, as well to give the fans a chance to get closer to their idols.
No other updates arised around this project. Other than the website got blank in early 2001 and that the managers of the project sued MJ for alleged unpaid bills. Both the website and the company behind has been shut down in January, 2003.

As an interesting fact, MJ owned the domain "mjco.com" for JI back then.

What makes the whole story interesting is that JI is still active both in California and Delaware managed by Estate lawyer Zia Modabber. It means that despite the many unfortunate business ventures one or the other might still work and produce money for the Estate...


Old Projects III.: TTC Touring Inc.

Another old project, with important impacts on recent MJ projects!

MJ established "TTC Touring Inc." (TTC) back on June 6th, 1984, one month before the Jacksons' Victory tour began. TTC was meant to represent MJ in his touring ventures (owner, operator, licensee, and promoter). TTC also represented MJ over his "Bad" and "Dangerous" tours and been suspended in the mid 90's.

Tidbit: here you can see the original contract for leasing an office for TTC signed by MJ: http://global.ebay.com/MICHAEL_JACKSON_SIGNATURE_ON_LEASE_AGREEMENT_AUTHENTIC/290453795417/item

TTC became famous after Marcel Avram sued the company for the cancellation of several concerts in the early 90's. And because of MJ sued the Daily Mirror through this company for a photograph taken at one of the concerts.

TTC also released concert memorablia, photo books and is the sole owner of the only officially released MJ concert video, "Michael Jackson: Live In Bucharest".

Why is TTC so important in recent MJ projects? TTC is most likely the owner of footages recorded on all "Bad" and "Dangerous" concerts. The previously suspended company just got activated in California! That means that the company is taking part in a new business deal or is a part of a legal litigation. I search through all court system, but couldn't find any cases involving TTC.

Furthermore TTC is now managed by Ziffren, Brittenham LLP, that's John Branca's company. Accounting is done by Michael Kane from Crowe Horwath LLP, the company that worked for MJ right before his death.

It's been never confirmed but sounds logical that MJ concert videos has been on hold due to MJ's bad business relationship with Sony. Sony had to approve any such releases. Now that the Estate re-negoitated it's contract with Sony, this might include or help the Estate to release any concert footage.

Anyways activating TTC gives new hope for MJ fans waiting to see the King live again.


Legal Updates

On July 30th, 2010 a Los Angeles Judge held a joint hearing on Ola Ray's and John Landis' case against "Optimum Productions Inc." related to the "Thriller" video's incomes. Ray's jury trial will stat next May, while decesion on Landis's case will be made on October 29th, 2010.

Sony voluntary dismissed it's case against TV Guide Network regarding the illegal use of some MJ videos.

David Gest and Julien's Auctions settled their case out of court in late June.


Old Projects II: MJJ-Poland Inc.

While searching for documents on MJ's licensing issues, I found the original contract for another old project of MJ's. So I jumped on this one looking for more information. Let's see what exactly happened...

MJ released his "HIStory" album in 1995, but his interest was more on other entertainment ventures. On March 19, 1996 he and a Saudi prince announced the form of a joint venture named "Kingdom Entertainment". Their first project was to sponsor MJ's next world tour, and to create a recording label under Sony called "MJJ Records" (dba. "MJJ Music"). They also acquired 55% ownership in "Landmark Entertainment" (5% owned by MJ) famous for Hollywood design projects.

Their next big dream was to build amusement parks all over the world. The prince already owned 24% ownership in Disneyland Paris, so it was a logical move. One of the possible places was in Warsaw, Poland.

MJ first flew to Poland as a part of his then world tour in September, 1996. He has been approached by a local businessman, Jacques Tourel director of the World Trade Center in Warsaw to consider Poland as one of the possible places.

MJ went back to Poland on May 28, 1997 to explore the possible venues for his new project. The local politicans were amazed and supported the $500 million investment. However MJ's people insisted it is one of the places they are thinking in, a June 1, 1999 date has been named for the opening. MJ furthermore signed a letter of interest in which both parties agreed to prepare for the contructions. MJ even set up a company in Deleware under "MJJ Poland Inc".
The original agreement can be found here: http://slimak.onet.pl/_m/TVN/tvn24/intencyjny.pdf

MJ has applied for a lease on a two-story baroque home outside Warsaw and way eyeing with other properties and business ventures.

The plans to build the amusement park on a nearby military airport have won approval from state officials in February, 1998. In the meantime MJ asked Landmark to create some sketches for the proposed theme parks. You may see the design plans here: http://disneyandmore.blogspot.com/2009/11/d-exclusive-michael-jacksons-peter-pans.html

After the approval of the project there was a big silent. The army that owned the airport didn't agree to give it to MJ. The other two grounds the government pointed out to was also denied because of the protests of local people. Finally the Polish government gave up their plans to do anything with the amusement park and the project faded out...

Old Projects I: MJ Licensing LLC

I have decided to pick up old MJ projects from time to time to see what happened with them. If you are curious about any of them, message me here.

The first choise of mine was "MJ Licensing LLC", a complete mistery for many of us. Until now.

This story began in 1997 when a German businessman, Dieter Wiesner approached MJ for creating a soft drink called "Mystery". The project failed as soon as a competing comapany launched legal actions against the entity behind "Mystery" for trademark violation. Neverthless MJ asked Wiesner to rebuild his merchandising business in 2000. Within a few months Wiesner set up a company named "MJ Net Entertainment AG" (MJNE) and signed several strategic partners. MJ orally and in written agreements promised to give some rights to MJNE. MJ's previous licensing agent, "Signatures Network" (Sony) sued both of them for breaching a previous contract for the same rights. After years of litigations on court the parties settled the case.

MJ set up a new company in October 2003 named "MJ Licensing LLC" (MJL) co-owned with Gunter Backer. The directors appointed Wiesner as the CEO of MJL and MJ promised him to be compensated for the loss of MJNE. Finally MJ decided not to give any rights to MJL and terminated any professional relationship with Wiesner at the end of 2003. MJ thought that Backer did not meet with all the obligations they agreed on.

Three years after the setup of MJNE and bills amounting around $8 million Wiesner decided to sue MJ on a Los Angeles court. The two reached an agreement in September 2007 what Wiesner commented for me like "it was a gentleman's settlement". The details were never published, however MJL kept releasing so called official items without either MJ's involvement and legal threats. More likely the two agreed on giving certain rights for MJL. In the meantime MJNE was closed in Germany, Wiesner had to appear on court and certain partners demanded for money. In one case a court ordered MJNE to give the MJ HIStory logo to a company they owned money.

All over the time it was Wiesner behind MJL under different project names and domains, among others:
mj-licensing.com, michaeljacksonlicensing.com - online with tribute text
mjlicensing.com, mj-licensing.de - offline
mjj-merchandising.com, www.mjj-merchandising.de, michaeljacksonshop.de, michaeljacksonshop.com - online with a list of old releases

Wiesner was helped by certain individuals, mostly by Stefan Munstedt. He owned mijac.org and some of the other domains, and was responsible for projects. In early 2006 Wiesner and Munsted added a Bahrain representation to their already existing German and US ones under "ML Publishing LLC" (MLP). I was told back then that MLP had a licensing approval from both MJ and Sony. I guess it was the same old agreement of MJNE's.
ml-publishing.com, ml-publishing.de - online with contacts

How about MJL's present and future? Since MJ's death MJL granted some European companies with MJ licensing rights. In one case MJL's approval crossed lines with the Estate's plans, because both of them appointed entities to license MJ related official costumes. The two manufacturer ended up at court late last year. The fact that the parties agreed out of court and that MJL still exists and operates means that the Estate can not or would not do anything with them. MJL launched several new items like a CelebriDuck last September.

According to the 2003 MJL agreement the company's rights will live until June 20, 2012 and might be limited to some parts of Europe. At least the 50% of the incomes goes to the Estate anyways (I have been told by an insider in 2007 that this might be up to 75%).


Henry Vaccaro Wants Money

As I have reported about it previously, Henry Vaccaro still owns the biggest Jackson Family memorablia collection on the world. Including so called "unreleased Jackson 5" master tapes (most likely these tapes are from a Jackson variety show in the 70's).

Vaccaro now wants to make money out of the collection. Besides trying to release the master tapes, he is creating a new book full of unpublished Jackson photos. He choosed Fotobridge to digitally archive the items.


The "Michael Jackson Asia Rights" Story

Days before the first anniversary of MJ's death a Japanese businessman announced a new official MJ project. Claiming that based on a previous agreement with MJ he is the sole owner of MJ's licensing rights in the Asian region.

Of course this is stupid and untrue. As the media reported, MJ had a business relationship with this guy back in the late 90's, but they never got into a real agreement. This is nothing more then a crazy attempt to get some money. And lawsuits I guess.

MJ owned his licensing rights 100% since 1984, when he established "Triumph International Inc.". Those rights were used by agents through the years for major promotions (like the Sony albums) and special projects (like a Japanese clothing line in 2003). At the moment Triumph is the sole owner worldwide, controlled by MJ's Estate. The only official agent is Univeral's Bravado, who is adding strategic partners almost monthly. The only problem is that MJ had a licensing agreement with certain German people both in 2001 and 2003. This agreement provides a company "MJ Licensing LLC" releasing so called official items until June, 2012 in Europe alone. Majority of the incomes goes to the Estate from MJL as well.

How about Asia? MJ established another company in 2001 for the Asian and Pacific markets called "Michael Jackson Asia/Pacific Co.". This entity was owned by several local partners and MJ himself, but got dismissed years ago. The same happened with another local MJ licensing company in Singapor. The licensing rights were sold to a company, "Ecbizz Japan Co." that used the brand until last year. Most likely the Estate negoitated an agreement with the company, and got all the rights back. All of Ecbizz's websites and products has been erased (like the famous clothing line and a mobile phone). The only strategic partner the Estate kept in is Hot Toys, that will release more figures this year inspired by MJ.

The new people interfering with MJ's businesses established a company called "Michael Jackson Asia Rights Co." (mja-rights.com) for the local licensing rights, and are ready to create a management entity under "Michael Jackson Asia Co.". As well a foundation in MJ's name to spend some of the incomes on charity.
Along with a local mobile developer company, mThink they are planning to release applications and tools (mobile-mj.com) starting from late July. They are already selling merchandises.

According to their website, they are in discussion with the Estate now. They claim that MJ signed two contracts, one over a press conference in Japan, and one in July, 1988 in a Tokyo hotel. The contract covers his likeness for the next 25 years on the Asian and Japan region.

As an interesting fact, according to the website the original agreement has been signed on June 25th, 1998.


Legal Updates

Meliisa Johnson have found a new legal counsel, only 5 days before the deadline. She requests another 30 days extension to go through the documents with the new representatives.

Raymone Bain wants to apellate in her case against the Estate. She blames her previous legal counsel for missing out important dates and misleading her. Bain admits that she offered 40% of the money awarded by the court if the attornerys will win the case. She met with John Branca on October 6th, 2009 in the hope for peacefully settling the case. However her than counsel advised her not to accept any offers from the Estate. The Estate rejected her creditors claim on April 6th, 2010.
Bain claims that she is in good relationship with the Jackson Family, helping them with other issues, and attended the ceremony for MJ's first anniversary.
The Judge granted a 14 days extension for filing her papers.


More About The 273 Jackson Master Tapes

It's been reported in the media that Howard Mann, Katherine Jackson's new business partner bought a warehouse of Jackson memorablia including 273 tapes of unreleased Jackson songs.

According to my information these are the same memorablias as owned by Henry Vaccaro, who is in several litigations over the items. Vaccaro claims in a June 30th, 2010 court paper that his company (Vintage Associates LLC) still owns the property. He most likely owns the above mentioned master tapes as well, as a result of a 2009 settlement with it's previous holder.

This means that Mann couldn't buy the songs, but most likely teamed up with Vaccaro and others to exploit the warehouse's content. For that purpose three new entities has been setup in California (VINTAGE POP MEDIA GROUP, LLC - VINTAGE POP MEDIA MUSIC, LLC - VINTAGE POP MEDIA ONLINE, LLC). No information on the exact ownership of these companies.

More to come on vintagepopmedia.com

More New Michael Jackson Song Titles

I have found some more new Michael Jackson musical song titles, all owned by the Estate.

Bottom Of My Heart
Butter Funk
Children's Hour
Green Hornet Groove
I Love You More
King Tutankhamun
Lovin You
Photographs 2 (Instrumental)
Pray For Peace (Instrumental)
Shut Up And Dance.
That (Instrumental)
Think Twice (Instrumental)
Walk Away (Instrumental)
You Are There (Instrumental)

As well some loops and ideas of MJ from last year:
MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #1.
MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #3.
MJ / BB Orchestral Idea #2.
Brad Loop 3700
Brad Loop 3.3.7 MJ
Michael's Affirmation (Instrumental)


Michael Jackson Estate's First Year

Michael Jackson's Estate celebrated the first anniversary of MJ's death with series of press releases, interviews and leaks about what happened within the estate in the last year. Below you may find an overview of these information, what in my opinion prooves how great work they did.

Debts paid off:
- $70 million in total.
- All Encino property and nearly condo bills and $5 million loan.
- Video and Audio Center paid off.
- Thomas Mesereau's office paid off.
- $35 million advance from AEG Live paid back.
- $1.3 million to Los Angeles to cover MJ's funeral.

Business changes:
- Sony/ATV deal soon to be renewed, MJ's yearly income will be doubeled from ~$10 million to ~$20 million. $270 million loan payment refinanced with better terms for the Estate.
- MiJac deal renewed along with a new public-performance agreement. $70 million loan will be paid back until Summer, 2011.

- Over $250 million in total.
- Sony album deal $125 million in advance, over $200 million in 7 years.
- This Is It movie $252 million in ticket sales.
- This Is It DVD/Blu-Ray sales $70 million.
- This Is It TV licensing $20 million.
- Merchandising and licensing deals $26 million in total.
- MiJac with $35 million yearly income.
- Sony/ATV with $11 million yearly income.

- 31 million albums sold worldwide.
- 800.000 Jackson 5 albums sold worldwide.
- 40 million digital downloads worldwide.
- 4.5 million ringtone downloads worldwide.
- 140.000 radio plays alone in the US.


Michael Durham Prince Worked On New Songs

I was the first who reported about dozens of new songs MJ recorded with Bradley Buxler in 2009.

Now I can tell you that Michael Durham Prince was also present on these recording sessions, and will be credited if these songs will ever be released. He was the audio supervisor of the planned This Is It live shows.


Another Two Legal Cases

As TMZ reported, the Estate has been sued by Nederlander Presentations on Thursday.

What they didn't know of that the Estate has been sued by another company the same day. Seven Echols (dba Security Measurements) filed a claim on June 17, 2010. Echols' company provided security for MJ in Las Vegas years ago.

It seems that the creditors got impatient and launched legal actions instead of waiting for the Estate lawyers.

PS.: I have received some comments here in the blog, that I just answered.


Another Unreleased Song: I Was The Loser

I have found another unreleased song recorded by MJ with Bradley Buxer: I Was The Loser (it's different then I Am The Loser).

The song has been recently transferred to the Estate.


MJ's Estate will announce a new Michael Jackson event called "MichaelFest" very soon most likely. More details to come here...


Properties - Updates

1958 - 1971: MJ spent his childhood in this small family house built in 1949. The property has been sold to Unique Wood Designs Inc. on April 6, 2010 by the Jackson Trust (Katherine and Joe Jackson's trust). UWD is owned by Katherine, Taj Jackson and Trent Jackson. The estimated value of the property is $22.000. There are no mortgage liens or unpaid taxes. No public information on who lives in the house, or what developments are in plans.
Address: 2300 Jackson Street, Gary, Lake, Indiana
Year built: 1949
Living area: 672 sqft
Number of stories: 1
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1

1971 - 1988: MJ's parents bought the family compound for $140.000 in 1971. MJ lived there from 1971 until the middle 80's. In the meantime he resided in rented houses. The property is now owned by MJ's Estate and LaToya Jackson. Last time the ownership changed was back in April 26, 2005. when MJ's status was changed from "a married man" to an "unmarried man". The property is valued for $2.8 million. The property still has a $2.2 million mortgage lien. All taxes are paid. Katherine, MJ's 3 children and relatives are living on the compound.
Address: 4641 Hayvenhurst Avenue, Encino, Los Angeles, California, 91436
Year Built: 1983
Living Area: 10476 sqft
Number of Stories: 2
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms Full: 7
Pool, air conditioning, two fireplaces, attached garage for two cars

1988 - 2005: MJ bought his dream home back in 1988 for reportedly $18 million. And finally left it after his 2005 trial to Bahrain. The property is owned by Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, said to be a joint venture between MJ's Estate and Tom Barrack (since November 10, 2008). The land is used for agricultural purposes, but no further plans are known. The property is valued at $28 million with a $23 million mortgage lien. The taxes are paid.
Address: 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California, 93441

1993 - 2009: MJ bought a barely known property in Encino back in 1993. Later he allowed Deborah Rowe to stay in this condo until 1999, when they official divorced. The property is now owned by MJ's Estate and LaToya Jackson.
Address: -
Year Built: 1973
Living Area: 1890 sqft
Number of Stories: 2
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Pool, air conditioning, garage.

2005 - 2009: In the last 4 years of his life, MJ rented mansions amongst others in Bahrain, France, Ireland, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. According to the publicly available information, he did not buy any new properties.

MJ furthermore owned a Century City hideout that we have no information about.

Katherine sold her Las Vegas condo for $14.000 on June 19, 2008. MJ gifted her with this in the 90's.

Future/ongoing Business - Updates

- On March, 31, 2010 Bravado sealed a deal with University Games for various MJ games (trivias, puzzles) to be released later this year in Europe, US and Canada.

- On May 29, 2010 Bravado signed an agreement with Panini to release a series of MJ memorablia cards this August.

- Danilo has an existing agreement most likely with a previous agent of MJ to release an official calendar for 2011.


Unreleased Songs - Updates

MJ surely left behind some unreleased songs. These songs are owned by his Estate now. According to the Estate's agreement with Sony, songs created until 2003 will be released by Sony. The future of other unreleased materials is unclear. Songs from the Jackson 5 era will be released under Universal.

Some barely known unreleased tracks (not a full list):

- With Bradley Buxler: Adore You, Boy No, Changes, Days In Gloucestershire, Don't Be Messin', Hollywood, I Am A Loser, Innocent Man, Jungle, Just Remember, Light The Way, Neverland Landing, Pray For Peace, Rocker, Thank Heaven, World Of Candy.

- With Bryan Loren: Who Do You Know, Verdict, Seven Digits, Man In Black, Pressure.


Business Updates

- On August 20th, 2009. Bravado entered into an agreement with First Commemorative Mint Inc. about selling commemorative coins and related material about MJ for a 12 months period. In advance Mint paid $750.000 to Bravado (officialmjcoin.com). Due to a litigation between the two parties, the official sale of the coin haven't started yet.

- On December 7th, 2009. Bravado signed an Agreement with Rubie's Costume Company to manufacture costumes based on MJ's character. Since then Smiffy's, a century old company sued Rubie's claiming they are also entitled to creat such merchandising under MJ Licensing Llc. The case has been dismissed earlier this year, both companies are selling MJ related items.

- On January 4th, 2010. Bravado partnered with Playmates Toys to create a line of collectible memorablia featuring MJ. First wave will launch in 2010.

- Sometime in 2009 Triumph and Bravado agreed with Hot Toys to release a MJ figure in 2010. Most likely HT had a valid agreement with a previous agent of Triumph and they want to fulfill this agreement.

- Pyramid owns the rights to sell MJ related posters and calendars. According to them the MJ materials sold over 1 million copies, and this caused a frenzy they haven't seen since forming in 1992. Pyramid markets MJ products since 2006. The 3D Jackson poster sold 40.000 pieces alone from July to December last year.

- Both MJ Publishing Trust and MJ-ATV Publishing are managed by Ziffren, Bitterham. New Horizont Trust was created to merge MJ's publishing rights and securing debts from various banks. Then MJ-ATV was transferred to NHT II. (secure by Wells Fargo Bank) and MJP to NHT III. (secured by HSBC, Plainfield Gaming II.).
On December 30th, 2009. MJP has been sold to NHT III. as a part of refinancing the debts. MJ-ATV must be refinanced as well no later then this September.

- On November 17th, 2009. John Branca and John McClain re-negoiated MJ's agreement with BMI and Warner (BMI Agreement, Warner Agreement, Stewart Agreement).

Legal Updates

- Ayscough and Marar filed for a dismissal in their case against the Estate on April 20th. The reasons are not known yet.

- Bravado sued at least 5 companies for copyright infrigment since MJ's death.

- The First Commemorative Mint Inc. sued both Bravado and Triumph International. They are seeking for compensation because of alleged damages. Mint claims that Bravado delayed the promotion of it's commemorative coin collection licensed from Bravado. At one point Bravado told them that the "Estate does not want any ads related to merchandising".

- Universal Music-Z Tunes sued the Van Passel brothers in New York, claiming that the court order regarding You Are Not Alone is invalid in the USA. Van Passels alleged that YANA was a copyright infrigment of their previous song If We Can Start All Over. Universal says that the Belgian court did not make an appropiate investigation if the Van Passel song was original (FYI: YANA's rights are owned by Universal now).

- Sony Music Entertainment claims TV Guide Network violated copyright by repeatedly broadcasting a one-hour show on the TV Guide Channel using nine music videos of Michael Jackson, just after the entertainer died, in Manhattan Federal Court.

Melissa Johnson Case Tidbits

Some tidbits from the Melissa Johnson case:

- The Estate of Michael Jackson sued Johnson, because she heavily started to register trademarks and other intellectual property related to MJ right after his death. And she used these rights to gain money. Johnson insisted that she only did this to protect MJ's legacy.

- Johnson's attorneys requested for a whitdrawal few weeks ago. Now she must get new attorney, or she will lose the case.

- Johnson claims that she was in close relation with MJ's management in the past decade or so. Documents show that she only e-mailed with Al Malnik, Van Alexander and Stuart Backerman.

- Backerman in one of his e-mails says that MJ is a fool and is under the control of the Nation of Islam. He also expressed that he is happy to be out of that crazy house.

- Johnson back in 2003 sold all of the MJ related domains to MJJ Productions for 25.000 dollars.

- On July 14, 2009 some of MJ's top lawyers held a phone conference, and insisted that they don't want to relauncg the Heal The World Foundation, because they think MJ wouldn't wanna do it as well.

- Evvy Tavasci worked for MJ since March 18, 1991 in various positions, but mostly as his Personal Assistant. She continued to work with MJ's estate lawyers.

- A music producer gave a deposition and said that Johnson misrepresented the HTW and insisted that this is the official foundation by MJ. Based on this false pretention, this producer gave money to Johnson.

Raymone Bain Case Tidbits

Some tidbits from the Raymone Bain case:

- Bain insisted that around 2006 MJ's bank accounts were totally empty, and she must lend some money to him for hotel costs, airplane tickets, etc.

- MJ worked with LaVelle Smith in May 2007, but didn't pay him. That's why LaVelle is on the creditors list now.

- Bain said that on December 27, 2007 Londell McMillan, MJ's then lawyer threatened her through a phone conversation. She said that four of her colleagues witnessed this incident. Finally McMillan abruptly hung up the phone on Bain.

- On December 3, 2007 one of MJ's lawyers shared a list in e-mail with Bain amongst others. The list consisted 25 names whom MJ would pay to erase his past debts, including Thomas Mesereau, Roberto Hernandez (paparazzi), Debbie Rowe, Randy Jackson.

- In late July, 2006 MJ sent out e-mail messages to his past employees and partners. He thanked for everyone's hard work in a "tough part of his life". The list included Susan Yu, Thomas Mesereau, Robert Sanger, Brian Wolf. He also insisted that any unpaid bills will be resolved shortly.

- In August, 2006 MJ fired some of his longtime employees insisting a change in his empire. Some of his people were offered with new positions, like Evvy Tavasci, Muhammed Bashir. These things shows to me that MJ tried to clean up his life from time to time.

- MJ started to work with the late Peter Lopez in August, 2006.

- MJ gave a deposition in the Sydow McDonald case sometime in 2006, saying that he never hired the company.


Domain Updates

Most of the domain names referring to MJ are owned by other parties. I'm not sure if the Estate should go after them, they don't generate that much traffic.

"The Michael Jackson Company" also owns a handful number of domains (52 pieces exactly) all redirecting to michaeljacksonlive.com. Some of them are:

Some official domains are owned by strategic partners, like:
Sony - michaeljackson.com
AEG - michaeljacksonexhibition.co.uk
Bravado - michaeljacksonmerch.com
Cirque Du Soleil - cirquemichaeljackson.com

Raymone Bain Case Dismissed

Raymone Bain's case has been dismissed by the Judge, because she could not proove that MJ owned her any money. Bain claimed that the signed Release Agreement does not include her 10 percent finders fee, however the Agreement's wording clearly says otherwise:

"The Release unambiguously covers “all monies, known or unknown,” owed under “any and all agreements whether written or verbal.” (emphasis added) That release language covers Bain’s claims about the Thriller deal, the Grammy ceremony, the AEG project, and the SONY/ATV refinancing, no matter what stage they were in when the release was signed."


Unreleased Song Titles!

I have found several unreleased song titles MJ worked on prior to his death with Bradley Buxer. Some of them we already knew, but MJ might re-create them last year. Others are completly new. The recordings are in the possession of the Estate now.

Adore You
Boy No
Days In Gloucestershire
Don’t Be Messin’
I Am A Loser
Innocent Man
Just Remember
Light The Way
Neverland Landing
Pray For Peace
Thank Heaven
World Of Candy

Business Updates

Every business decesion is made by the Estate run by John Branca and John McClain. That's the corner stone of MJ's business empire now. They mainly work with Greenber Traurig's lawyers (they serverd MJ til his death, lead by Joel Katz).

Other business entities and their status:

The Michael Jackson Company LLC (new company in Delaware, it's the "business face" of the Estate)
MJJ Productions Inc. (old company, recently suspended in California, replaced with MJJ Productions LLC in Delaware)

MJJ Kingdom LLC (active both in California and Delaware, owns MJ's latest recordings)
MJJ Records LLC (active both in California and Delaware, owns releases under MJJ Music with Sony)

MJJ Ventures Inc. (active in California, owns MJ's musical videos)
Optimum Productions Inc. (active in California, owns some of MJ's musical videos' rights, amongst others "Thriller")

Triumph International Inc. (active in California, owns MJ's trademarks and licensing rights)

Sony/ATV Music Publishing (active in Delaware, MJ appointed Joel Katz as his representative in the company. The company owns amongst others the Beatles catalouge.)
MJ Publishing Trust (active in Delaware, holds publishing rights to MJ's songs and other artists)

New Horizon Trust I. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
New Horizon Trust II. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
New Horizon Trust III. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC (active in Califorina, the Estate 50% owns Neverland through this company)

Properties Updates

We know that MJ did not buy any properties betweeen 2005-2007 residing in Dubai, France and Ireland. As well we know he lived in rented mansions between 2007-2009.

- Gary family home is still owned by a person called Anthony Othis Whitehead. His address is the same as Brian Oxman's, so most likely the family compound is still owned by the Jacksons. The house's estimated value is $22.000, no liens or unpaid taxes.

- The Enchino home is owned by the Estate, who agreed that the Kids, Katherine and her relatives might use the compound. Taxes are paid, the home has a $4 million lien.

- Neverland is still owned jointly by MJ and Tom Barrack's company. Neverland has a $24 million unpaid lien. I could not find any updates regarding the two liens if they are already paid or not.

- Katherine sold her Las Vegas condo for $14.000 on June 19th, 2008.

Future Business Events

- MJ's "Fated" comic novel will be released for sure this year. Written by Michael Jackson and Deepak Chopra; Produced by the Estate of Michael Jackson and Liquid Comics; Released by Random House/Vilard.

- Bravado signed a deal with Rubie's Costumes to create special clothes for this year's Halloween. Bravado owns the rights for distributing official MJ items.

Personal Items Updates

According to the publicly available informations, MJ's personal items can be found on three different locations:

- Items from the last years (like the "Carolwood mansion") are owned by the Estate and located in storages in California.

- Early years and family items are owned by Henry Vaccaro in New Jersey storages. Vaccaro won his cases both against Overtoun and Universal Express, so now he is the only owner of the collection. The Estate reviewed the items on July 21st, 2009 and took some personal things out. The next day Vaccaro moved the whole collection from Las Vegas back to New Jersey. The items can be viewed on www.j5secrets.com or on www.youtube.com/user/HenryVaccaro.

- Neverland items are owned by the Estate and circulated on several auctions/exhibitions worldwide. Some of the items will be sold on June 25th in Las Vegas. The Estate might think that the items will worth more and give good reviews if they are sold.

Legal Updates

Below you may read an overview of the legal cases for the Estate of Michael Jackson:

- No interesting hearings for the following months regarding the Estate on the Los Angeles Superior Court.

- Full list of creditor claims (marked with asterisk are rejected by the Estate; marked with plus are settled by the Estate):
[432 million dollars in total. I reviewed each case and the total payouts will not exceed 20 millions in my opinion.]

Legal Advisers:
+ Ayscough and Marar ($200.000)
Susan Yu ($340.000)
Sidney Lanier ($3 million)
Michael L. Abrams ($1.500)
Arnold & Porter LLP (164.000)
Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy and Klein LLP ($629.000)
Venable LLP ($471.000)
Eric George ($175.000)

Business Advisers:
Don Stabler ($180.000)
Leonard Rowe ($300.000)
Dr. Tohme R. Tohme ($2.3 million)
* Raymone K. Bain ($44 million)
Signal Hill Capital ($328.000)

Accounting Advisers:
Crowe Horwath LLP ($38.000)
Cannon & Company CPAS LLP ($?)

Business Partners:
Segye Times ($7.9 millions)
Jurgen Bachus ($6.7 million)
* All Good Entertainment ($300 million)
Universal Music Publishing ($3.000)
The Machine Management ($285.000)
Nederlander Presentations Inc. ($?)
William Bone ($?)

Creative Partners:
LaVelle Smith Jr. ($150.000)
George Folsey Jr. ($1 million)
John Landis ($1.3 million)
Ola Ray ($?)

Other Employees:
Van Alexander ($70.000)
Arnold Klein ($50.000)
Aner Iglesias ($234.000)
Kai Chase Inc. ($8.000)
Bradley Buxer ($48.000)
Michael Boddicker ($?)
Avinash Bruno Irde ($8.000)
Diane Williams ($60.000)
Craig A. Johnson ($374.000)
Lynda Parrish ($212.000)

* Helen Harris-Scott ($50 million)
A4V Digital, Inc. ($736.000)
Atkins Thomson Solicitors ($200.000)
+ Video & Audio Center ($128.000)
* Jose Freddie Vallejo ($3.3 million)
* Claire McMillan (2.2 million)
* Richard Lapointe ($5 million)
State of California Franchise Tax Board ($?)
Intermedia Productions Ltd. ($?)
Sharad Chandra Patel ($?)

- Ayscough and Marar filed for a dismissal in their case against the Estate on April 20th. The reasons are not known yet.

- Video and Audio Center filed for a dismissal as well.

- Helen Harris-Scott's case has been dismissed on March 1st.

- The John Landis and Ola Ray cases regarding the royalties of the "Thriller" video has been merged. The trial setting conference will be held on May 24th.

- The AllGood Entertainment case is scheduled to go on trial in October. No major updates yet.

- No major updates with Raymone Bain's case as well.

- Richard Lapointe's case about the never sold Jackson memorablia is still ongoing. However majority of the defendants has been dismissed.

- As the media reported, in the Melissa Johnson case the Estate had a big win this week. Will provide you with more details about this later.

- Since MJ's death, MJ Publishing Trust sued 20+ companies, because of unauthorized use of his songs.