Thursday, November 26, 2009
JACKSON'S ESTATE HEATS UP
Jackson estate is heating up rights war
By PETER LAURIA Posted: 1:01 AM, October 26, 2009
Representatives of Michael Jackson's estate are talking
to Universal Music Group and others about submitting a
competing bid -- just as Sony Music is close to inking
a deal for the King of Pop's unreleased material, The
Post has learned.
Sony Music and lawyers John Branca and John McClain --
the court-appointed reps for Jackson's estate -- are in
advanced talks to extend Jackson's deal with the label
to cover any recordings made after 2004.
Under current terms, the label controls the rights
to recordings made prior to 2004 until they revert
to the estate in a few years. However,about 70
unreleased songs created after 2004 are up for grabs.
Jackson died June 25.
Sources said the estate is seeking a large upfront
payment and a higher royalty rate in any new deal,
and that Sony is offering one or the other but not both.
"We're trying to figure out the terms," said a source
involved in the talks.
Sources said the estate would like to set a new deal
while interest in Jackson is still high, with the goal
of getting the first album of new material in stores
by early next year.
As Jackson's incumbent record label, one source said of
the deal with Sony, "It's theirs to lose."
A second person involved in the talks with Sony said
there was at least one other bidder for the post-2004
recordings. This person declined to name the company
and characterized its interest as informal. Two other
sources close to the situation pegged Universal as the
"Nobody talks to EMI anymore, and Warner Music is weak
internationally," said one source. "Universal and Sony
have the two best worldwide distribution systems, so
Branca is probably trying to play them against each
other to get the highest bid."
A Universal rep denied the label was interested.
Jackson's estate and Sony each declined to comment.
Absent a competing bid, leverage in the talks could
swing to either the estate or Sony depending on the
performance of this week's release of the concert film
"This Is It" and its accompanying soundtrack.
Click here: Representatives of Michael Jackson's estate discuss submitting a competing bid for rights to unreleased material -
THEY NEVER THOUGHT THIS PERFORMER "MYSELF"
WOULD OUT THINK THEM. WE CAN'T LET THEM GET
AWAY WITH WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO.