First Details of the New Case

The first details of the MJ Estate vs. Howard Mann case:

- The Estate claims that MJ sold over 800 million copies of his albums until now.

- The Estate claims the following copyright infrigments: This Is It poster; Thriller25 liner notes; the Destiny song; MJ drawings; the Vintage Pop Media logo that contains the MJ lean; domain names; master recordings.

- The Estate wants the followings: stop Mann from using MJ's likeness, image, videos, etc.; all the domains; stop doing anything with the master tapes.


Cindy said...

One interesting article that arose last month is an LA Times story that talks about Howard Mann's claims. A Loyola Law School professor, Georgene Vairo, said

"...from a civil procedure standpoint, Mann appears to be on solid legal ground.

"It's kind of like the civil equivalent of double jeopardy. You get one bite at the apple and that is it," said Vairo, a civil procedure expert. She said that by abandoning the case, Jackson "essentially forfeited his intellectual property."

"The law is rather unforgiving. [Estate lawyers] can argue that there is some reason why there should be a departure from the normal rule we'd apply, but they are going to have a tough row to hoe," she said.


One other point: The "Estate" of Michael Jackson is essentially Katherine Jackson and Michael's children. And Mann has partnered with Katherine. The estate executors manage the estate to help its beneficiaries, but they themselves are NOT the estate.

Attacking a partner of Katherine Jackson's and reducing the financial benefit (remember: Michael named Katherine and the children as "beneficiaries" because he wanted them to be benefitted) that would subsequently flowed to her if the executors had not done so goes contrary to the spirit of their mandate to help the beneficiaries.

And since Katherine and the children are part of the same household, this affront against Katherine is also an affront against Prince, Paris and Blanket.

Anonymous said...

It is even more interesting...the estate sued against "Doe" that means any partner, affiliates etc. As KJ is named as a partner in contract to Mann, it will be an interesting legal viewpoint to see that KJ actually sues against herself!

Ivy said...


Do you have any more information about the previous court decision that Howard Mann talks about (that he claims would prevent Estate from suing him)?

LeslieMJHu said...


I followed that case, and Howard Mann is right about that the court awarded Henry Vaccaro back then, because MJ failed to pay his lawyers and give his contribution to the case. That case was about to get back all of the memorablia, and because of the court's decesion the MJ Estate can not sue them for the same issue. As to my understanding this recent case isn't about the same issue, but to stop Mann using the items to gain any money. However that old case involved some copyright issues as well, I see it as a different case. On the top of that according to some legal specialists, the Estate's right to MJ's likeness is above the memorablia rights owned by Mann.

The "Doe" thing definiaetly means that other defendants might be added to the list...


Cindy said...

I read a post this morning that I think made some good points.


I think one glaringly valid point is that blaming Katherine and her partner for greed may actually be a distraction to move the focus away from the Estate executors own greed. At first I was a bit doubtful, but finally with each act the executors made to improve their lot (note the bloggers timeline), I was a little annoyed that maybe my world view had been tampered with as the blogger suggests.

And then there's the one thing that keeps on bothering me. If Katherine Jackson was sharing in all the wealth like the Estate says, why pair up with anyone? Would a senior citizen with full pantry, taking loads of money from her son's Estate, be enough in need to reach out and partner with others?

Maybe Katherine's a kept woman and her ability to spend money independent of the wishes of the executors is what's at issue here. If rumors are true about the Estate paying for staff, the house, the cars, even her own lawyer, maybe she is feeling like her independence is threatened?

And maybe all that in-house footage of the Encino mansion during the Oprah interview there was released to TMZ by staff not in Katherine's corner. Then again, perhaps we will never know.

Eiffel said...

For clarification purposes, just because I get tired of the miss information about MJ, the Estate, family members, ex-wives, whathaveyou: one reads the Trust, one would understand that Katherine Jackson and PPB are NOT the Estate, they are simply beneficiaries.
Those educated in Wills and Trust would know that a Trust is a separate entity, i.e. a company arranged by the decease. The decease directs who will be in control of the Trust and who will benefit from the Trust financially, i.e. the beneficiaries. The Trust is an entity and MJ appointed Branca and McClain to run and control all aspects of that entity. Thus, MJ’s likeness and intellectual property IS the Estate. Katherine Jackson, PPB and charities are to only benefit financially from the proceeds the Estate accumulates. Katherine Jackson cannot enter into a business deal on behalf of the Estate because she is not an executor of the Will, nor is she listed as a Trustee for the Michael Jackson Family Trust. All of MJ’s assets will be managed as one cohesive unit, not separate entities under the Trust. Per the 2002 Will:
"I give my entire estate to the Trustee or Trustees then acting under that certain Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust executed on March 22, 2002 by me as Trustee and Trustor which is called the MICHAEL JACKSON FAMILY TRUST, giving effect to my amendments thereto made prior to my death. All such assets shall be held, managed and distributed as a part of said Trust according to its terms and not as a separate testamentary trust."
Neither Katherine Jackson nor PPB hold any type of position as Trustee or Trustor. The law is very clear, as are MJ’s wishes. This has nothing to do with greed from the Estate, moreso from Katherine Jackson who decided to enter into a business deal with a charlatan who wants to exploit MJ’s likeness for his own gain. If you read the contract Mann has with Katherine, she only receives 25% of monies based on their partnership only after Mann is in the black. Therefore, any money he “loans” to Katherine before profit is received, she must pay it back. And if she doesn’t pay it back, who do you think Mann will go to get his money? Just a thought.
The Estate is on legal ground due to the fact that they control all likeness and intellectual property that is Michael Jackson. The problem with Mann is that he used images that clearly belong to the Estate and not the “items” he supposedly owns, in addition to falsifying statements to imply that the Estate has endorsed his company and products – that is the mistake he made.

Keep up the good work Leslie!

Eiffel said...

LOL... nevermind, just post the first one. I need to sleep.

forever said...

i'm more interested in the album sales. i have long been thinking about it..the 750million figure hasn't been updated since like years ago so i feel that it needs to be updated on his official websites and all news outlets..if possible, the estate better release an official statement. it could serve as a promotion for his name.

LeslieMJHu said...


Good idea with the updated album sales list. I'll make a post about that later.