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DisneyDisney Takes Stand Against "Overzealous Copyright Holders". 14-08-'18

The entertainment giant and its broadcast subsidiary ABC submit its response in court to a copyright lawsuit over 'The Last Days Of Michael Jackson'.

Disney won't be shamed out of standing its ground in the face of "overzealous copyright holders" like the Michael Jackson Estate. On Monday (August 13), the entertainment giant and its broadcast subsidiary ABC filed an answer to the copyright lawsuit over the two-hour documentary, 'The Last Days Of Michael Jackson', which used excerpts from 'This Is It' and other works including music videos for 'Thriller' and 'Black Or White'.

The lawsuit came in California federal court last May and pointed to just how seriously Disney takes its own intellectual property. The complaint gave examples: Disney threatened to sue childcare centers for having pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the wall; Disney once sued a couple on public assistance for $1 million when they appeared at children's parties dressed as an orange tiger and a blue donkey; Disney sent takedown notices to social media services upon users posting photographs of their new Star Wars toys; and so forth.

In fact, Disney's response to the Michael Jackson lawsuit comes just days after it suffered a setback in a lawsuit against a business that sends individuals in costumes to kids' birthday parties.

No matter and forget any sense of irony.

Answering claims over illicit use of Michael Jackson rights, Disney states, "This case is about the right of free speech under the First Amendment, the doctrine of fair use under the Copyright Act, and the ability of news organizations to use limited excerpts of copyrighted works — here, in most instances well less than 1% of the works— for the purpose of reporting on, commenting on, teaching about, and criticizing well-known public figures of interest in biographical documentaries without fear of liability from overzealous copyright holders."

Disney is being represented in the case by star litigator Daniel Petrocelli, leading an O'Melveny & Myers team that also includes Drew Breuder and Nicole Cambeiro.

"ABC News used and incorporated short excerpts of some songs, music videos and other material featuring Jackson within a two-hour documentary entitled 'The Last Days Of Michael Jackson' for the purpose of providing historical context and explanation tracing the arc and aspects of Jackson’s life and career—precisely what is contemplated and permitted by the First Amendment," continues the court filing. "Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, in violation of these legal principles, constitutes an attempt to exercise unfettered control over public commentary and opinion on Jackson’s life and career."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter / Billie Jean

Sam SmithMichael Jackson Fans Raving At Sam Smith. 14-08-'18

Michael Jackson fans raving at Sam Smith: "First of all, you learn to finish a tour, a dayfly that you are".

A seemingly innocent remark, made in the presence of friends, has turned out pretty bad for Sam Smith. The singer was filmed while on a boat with Adam Lambert, among others, while the song 'Human Nature' by Michael Jackson was played. "I am not a fan of Michael Jackson, but this is a good song," said Sam.

Adam posted the video later on his Instagram and caused a flood of criticism on Smith. Furious MJ fans responded to the singer's remark. Amongst others Stephanie Mills, a former of The King of Pop and a famous American R & B singer, Smith got mercilessly through the mud.

"Do not get it in your head to criticize Michael Jackson. You wish you had sold as many records and as good as he was. I get tired of people like you who study our music and our artists and then say that you do not like it. You first learn to finish a tour, a dayfly that you are. If you are as big as Michael Jackson, you may want to open your mouth. "

'Arrogant, disrespectful and stupid'
TJ, one of the nephews of the legendary singer, also made himself heard. "Sam Smith has made a career by singing r&b and soul songs. So to call straight in a camera that you do not find one of the founders of this movement; that is arrogant, disrespectful and stupid. Everyone has an opinion, but to dismiss someone who has cleared the way for you and your music ... that is not possible."

TJ added that it is fine that Smith does not like the music of his deceased uncle, but that he can not say that on camera. "He could have known that this video would go viral immediately. And with that you show zero respect for a classic Motown artist.

Smith has not yet responded to the resulting commotion.

Source: ANP - BuzzE / Billie Jean

60th Birthday60TH Birthday Celebrations On Radio 2. 13-08-'18

Across the August Bank Holiday Weekend (25-27 August), BBC Radio 2 will celebrate the 60th birthdays of three of the most influential names in pop music: Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince.

The weekend celebrations begin on Saturday, August 25th where they will cover Madonna and Prince. On Bank Holiday Monday, August 27th, Radio 2 will celebrate Michael with various presenters throughout the day counting down Michael’s best selling songs from 60 right through to Number 1.

Mark Goodier (6.30a.m. – 9.30a.m.), Ken Bruce (9.30a.m. – midday) and Ana Matronic (midday – 3.00p.m.) will each play five tracks an hour during their shows. There is also a chance to hear a personal rendition of ‘Man in The Mirror’ which was recently recorded by Curtis Stigers on Radio 2. Between 3.00p.m. – 5.00p.m. Trevor Nelson will then present a special programme which will reveal the final 20 best selling songs.

Trevor Nelson says: “Michael Jackson is an icon and one of my favourite music artists of all time. It seems only right that we honour what would have been a milestone birthday with a complete run-down of his most well-loved songs. Everyone has a favourite Michael Jackson song, whether it be a dancefloor hit like 'Billie Jean' or 'Thriller', or one of this superstar collaborations with the likes of Stevie Wonder or Diana Ross - and listeners will be sure to hear them all across Bank Holiday Monday.”

Nelson will also be featuring archived audio from Michael along with interviews from some of Michael’s famous friends and fans. Contributors include; Lionel Richie, Samuel L Jackson, Nile Rodgers, Rob Brydon, James Bay, KT Tunstall, Pixie Lott, Martine McCutcheon, Jake Shears, Olly Alexander, Alice Cooper, Leon Bridges, Will Young and Siedah Garratt.

Lewis Carnie, Head of BBC Radio 2, says: “Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna are three of the most important musicians of modern times, and it seems only fitting to honour them in the year they would all turn 60. Collectively, they have sold hundreds of millions of albums and have fans across the globe and I know these special programmes will resonate with the Radio 2 listeners. Hopefully there will be no Controversy about which tracks hit the number one spot!”

Source: BBC / Billie Jean

Auction Of A Glove, Shoes And Other Clothes Worn By Michael Jackson. 13-08-'18

An umpteenth auction of things that once belonged to Michael Jackson will take place on August 25th at the GWS Auctions Legends: Iconic Film & Music Memorabilia Auction, which will take place in Agoura Hills, California.

Among these mythical objects are:
A pair of shoes from the Dangerous Tour signed by the King of Pop as part of a batch consisting of the album 'Dangerous', a photograph of Michael, a pines and a letter from MJJ Productions addressed to Miss Weber. It explains in this letter the reasons for sending such a lot to this person who participated in the Heal The World campaign but could not get to the concert. The mention "I Love U" is also on the shoes.

At the time of writing this info, the current auction is $ 3100.

A black Fedora hat worn by Michael Jackson during the Bad Tour as part of a batch of five vinyl LP's from the 'Bad' album, a 'Bad' vinyl album, a promotional tote bag printed with an album photo and a Polyester hangings, all accompanied by a letter of authenticity from MJJ Production that indicates that Michael Jackson personally signed this hat for a fan to sell in a charity auction.

At the time of writing this info, the current auction is $ 750.

A straight glove worn by Michael Jackson and never auctioned before. Regarding the provenance of this glove, it is explained that it was shipped from Paris, along with other items owned by Michael, and stored in Los Angeles, California. The items were in a warehouse for about 8 years and the bill was not paid, which resulted in a lien sale of the facility to 2003. The storage unit was purchased by two men in 2010 and was been in this private collection since. This iconic white glove is decorated with sewn crystals and is in beautiful condition. The coin will come with a certificate of authenticity, accompanied by a letter of provenance from the buyers of the storage unit.

At the time of writing this info, the current auction is $ 5,000.

MJ Memorabilia
A pair of shoes from the Dangerous Tour, a black Fedora hat worn by Michael Jackson during the Bad Tour and a straight glove worn by Michael Jackson and never auctioned before.

If you are interested in this auction, you can also view other items for sale on GWS Auctions.

Source: Fox Business / MJ France / Billie Jean

The Wiz Blu-ray Cover'The Wiz' Blu-ray Is Released In Japan. 08-08-'18

'The Wiz' is back in Japan on Blu-ray. The re-release will come out just before Michael Jackson’s Birthday!

The magical Land of Oz jumps out of the pan in this spectacularly musical based on the Broadway case success.

In this Motown-production Dorothy 's a shy nursery school teacher out of Harlem. During a heavy snowstorm she goes to look after her lost dog Toto and she's taken along with to a fairy-tale land where she should follow the yellow way.

Director Sidney Lumet wanted more than filming only the theatre production and has conjured New York City into the magical Land of Oz.

Diana Ross plays the beautiful role as Dorothy and is working together with stars such as Michael Jackson the scarecrow), Nipsey Russell (the tin man), Ted Ross (the cowardly lion), Lena Horne (Glinda the good witch) and Richard Pryor (the big magician of Oz).

With such a cast, splendid musical songs and fantastic visual effects 'The Wiz' shall charm movie fans of different generations.

Starring: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross
Director: Sidney Lumet

Publisher: Universal
Series number: 4988102689865
Playing time: 135 Minutes
Sound: English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1ch / Japanese Dolby Digital 2ch Stereo
Picture format: 1080p HD Wildescreen
Printed: Japan
Guide price: 11 €

Order the Blu-ray here at CD Japan.

Source: CD Japan / Billie Jean

Dave DaveDave Dave Has Died At 42. 08-08-'18

Dave Dave, formerly known as David Rothenberg, has died at 41 on July 15th of Heat Exhaustion in Las Vegas.

Known by fans for being Michael’s Friend, Dave was burnt at 90% by his father and become friend with Michael throughout the 80’s.

Dave was also known for being an avant-garde artist with his paintings, drawings and photos.

“I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.”

His death came to a surprise to all his friends and family and he will be deeply missed.

RIP Dave.

Source: MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

Forgotten About For 34 Years, Michael Jackson’s Money Will Fund Jacksonville Music Scholarships.

Victory TourIn 1984, there was no bigger star in the world than Michael Jackson. With the songs from 1982’s Thriller still resonating on the charts, he and his brothers thought the time was right for a family Victory tour.

That tour came to Jacksonville: a three-night Gator Bowl stint in a metropolitan area much less populous than it is today, with $30 tickets a measure of what a hot gig it was.

The concert was out of Jacksonville’s league, but proving that some things never change, the city spent $275,000 to make the gig happen.

That era is long gone now. The King of Pop has passed on. Yet, in a strange twist of fate, a small piece of his legacy will remain, to impact Jacksonville youth with musical aptitude.

Per Jacksonville Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, Jackson “gifted the City $100,000 for music scholarships to deserving Duval County students seriously interested in and actively pursuing the study of music. The funds were placed in a City of Jacksonville Trust Fund; however, only the interest earnings there from may be spent on scholarships.”

“To the best of my knowledge and research,” Mousa asserted in an email last week, “no scholarships have been provided from the trust fund.”

The fund has earned, per Mousa, $73,600 in interest. And while the $173,600 must remain in the fund, the city can use an anticipated $5,500 of projected interest this next fiscal year for scholarships, which will be administered via the Kids Hope Alliance, Mayor Lenny Curry‘s reformed structure for children’s programs that budgets at $41 million this year.

Source: Florida Politics / Billie Jean

'Behind The Mask' Video On Vevo. 04-08-'18

Five years ago we reported on an unreleased music video for Michael’s posthumously released song ‘Behind The Mask'. Now the video has been officially uploaded to the Michael Jackson Vevo account on YouTube. No reason has been given for its surprise release, thought we’re not complaining! The released video for the song back in 2011 was a compilation of many clips showing fans sing along to the song.


The video was filmed back in 2011 and directed by Aggressive, who are the directing duo of Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro. The song itself, though mixed for the 2010 album ‘Michael,’ was originally recorded by Michael in 1982 during the ‘Thriller’ sessions. An agreement to share the royalties equally between the original writers, performers, and Michael broke down and this prevented the song from being released on 'Thriller', which went on to become the best selling album of all time. ‘Behind The Mask’ remained unreleased for 28 years.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

How Michael Jackson Helped This CEO John Campion Build An Energy Empire. 03-08-'18

John CampionAPR Energy Chair John Campion working as backstage crew for Michael Jackson and David Bowie to success in the energy industry.

John Campion was just 20 years old when he emigrated to Los Angeles from Ireland, with only $26 in his pocket, an airline ticket and an interest in rock-and-roll.

It didn’t take Campion, now the CEO of APR Energy, long to establish himself: He talked his way into a job, nabbing a gig working as a backstage crew member for David Bowie.

“I was a lighting guy, which morphed into an opportunity,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Friday. “In all of our lives, there’s a fork in the road. You go left or you go right. It’s a risk to go one way or the other, so I took a risk.”

Campion ended up saving a show in Manchester, England – he earned the respect of Bowie, and parlayed it into another job working for Michael Jackson, who just so happened to front the Irish entrepreneur $100,000 to build a power company.

“I built this power generation company,” he said. “I’m 24 years old. And I’m now powering Michael Jackson.”

Campion eventually went on to found APR Energy, which specializes in providing energy to areas of the world struck by natural disasters, in 2004. He built it up into a business worth more than $500 million in revenue and took the company public in England.

“To go from Michael Jackson, who took a bet on me, and now, we were able to supply power in Puerto Rico after the hurricane,” he said. “From Michael Jackson to Puerto Rico helping people, that’s a very good story. I’m very thankful for the people who saw something in me, quite frankly, at 24, I didn’t see in myself.”

Source: Fox Business / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson Would Have Been Accused Of Sexual Assault #MeToo Movement, Per ‘Radar Online’.

Matt FiddesA new report states that the legendary late singer would have not been able to deal with the pain of any alleged new claims.

Michael Jackson’s former friend has revealed that the King of Pop would have been accused of “multiple” times of sexual abuse in the wake of the #MeToo movement, according to a new report by Radar Online.

The late singer’s friend Matt Fiddes claimed in an interview with the site that hundreds of men and women would have come “out of the woodwork” to accuse him of inappropriate behavior in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal.

Fiddes’ most shocking claim of all was that he stated the “shock” of the allegations would likely have claimed the legendary singer’s life.

“Michael would have been one of the key prime targets had he lived to see the #MeToo movement. Maybe up to hundreds of men and women would have crawled out of the woodwork to accuse him of all sorts of horrible attacks. And I genuinely believe the shock would have killed him,” Fiddes claimed.

Jackson was accused of molestation by choreographer Wade Robson in 2013. Prior to his accusation against the singer, Robson testified in Jackson’s defense at the singer’s 2005 criminal trial, when Jackson was accused of four charges of child molesting, one charge of attempted child molesting, one conspiracy charge, and eight possible counts of providing alcohol to minors, according to a report by The Los Angeles Times. Jackson was acquitted in that trial.

Then in 2013 about four years after the singer’s death, Robson sued the Jackson estate for what his attorneys described as molestation that spanned a seven-year period. A judge later ruled that the Jackson estate could not be held responsible for Robson’s exposure to Jackson, according to USA Today.

Fiddes claimed Jackson never recovered from being accused of molestation in the past, and he would have “killed himself” before going through it again, per the Radar report.

Fiddes also claimed that Jackson was innocent of the multiple charges of sexual abuse and child molestation that marred his life.

In 2016, the singer was posthumously accused in still another complaint by a woman identified as “Jane Doe” who said the singer sexually abused her when she was 12-years-old. Radar reported that “Jane Doe” claimed Jackson paid her $900,000 “hush money” to deter her from speaking with the press at the time of the assault. Her law lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

Source: Inquisitr / Billie Jean

Video: Mark Ryden Talks About Making The Dangerous Frame. 03-08-0'18

Following up Mark Ryden’s sketches shared on July 11, Mark just posted a video showing how the new frame for the 'Dangerous' album cover painting was made.

From the drawing, the wood carving, the gold leaves covering the frame and mounting the painting on the frame.

The full details in this amazing video:


More information about 'Michael Jackson: On the Wall' Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, UK:

Opening Thursday 28 June 2018
Open daily 10:00-18:00. Open late Thursday and Friday until 21:00.

Wolfson and Learner Galleries Wolfson and Lerner Galleries
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Price tickets with donation from £17.50 – £22Tickets without donation from £15.50 – £20

The exhibition runs from June 28th, through October 21st, 2018. The show then travels to:
Paris Grand Palais, Paris, France, Nov 23, 2018 – Feb 14, 2019
Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany, March 22 – July 14, 2019
EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland, August, 2019

Source: Mark Ryden Facebook / MJ Vibe / Billie Jean

Michael Jackson'Mein Freund Michael – Der King Of Pop Wird 60' Documentary. 02-08-'18

A few days before Michael Jackson would have turned 60 years old, VOX shows a XXL documentary at primetime. It's not the only documentary that will feature on the King of Pop on TV.

Michael Jackson would have turned 60 on August 29th. To celebrate his birthday the private broadcaster Vox shows an extra-long documentary about the singer under the title: 'Mein Freund Michael – Der King Of Pop Wird 60' on the 25th of August.

The documentary, which has not yet been shown, runs from 8:15 pm to 0:45pm. But the station lures with fascinating new knowledge about the life of the King of Pop including private footages. Including interviews of German friend Dieter Wiesner and bodyguards, the channel is claiming to go further on understanding Michael Jackson, as a pop star and as a man.

“Exclusive interviews and never-shown shots bring light into the darkness: how was Jackson off the beaten track?” The broadcaster writes in a press release.

On the occasion of Michael Jackson's 60th birthday on August 29th, ProSieben will also be broadcasting a special program about the musician, who passed away on June 25, 2009, 18 days before the start of his much-anticipated comeback shows. 'We Love: Michael Jackson' should also provide a comprehensive review of Jackson.

Source: Rolling Stone / Billie Jean

Spike's (Moonwalker) Costume On Auction. 02-08-'18

In Auction now Lot # 324, Spike’s (Michael Jackson) costume from musical anthology 'Moonwalker'. Directed by Academy Award®-winner Will Vinton, the 'Speed Demon' segment saw Jackson disguise himself as Spike the rabbit in an attempt to hide from a mob of fans and paparazzi.

The costume comprises a rabbit head, a biker jacket, a shirt, a pair of trousers and two belts. The resin head is reinforced with linen mesh, with foam ears, large rabbit teeth and Michael Jackson’s signature black hair. The jacket displays various decorative zips and buckles, which are oversized to appear cartoon-like. The buckles are finished in faux-silver and gold-coloured paint; however, most of the gold paint has been worn away over time, leaving the bright green undercoat visible. The yellow trousers feature matching decorative zips and buckles, with two brown belts worn over the top, also with oversized buckles and studs.

The jacket, shirt and trousers have been decorated with paint to match the bold visual style of the segment’s stop-motion Spike rabbit. The costume shows significant cracking to the jacket and ears of the head as a result of age but remains in good overall condition. Dimensions (rabbit head): 51 cm x 43 cm x 41 cm (20 ¼” x 17” x 16 ¼”).

The price range set is £10,000-15,000. Spike, the famous rabbit from 'Moonwalker & Speed Demon' will be on Auction in September 20th.

Spike's (Moonwalker) CostumeOriginal 'Speed Demon' costume. Direct from Jackson's highly popular 'Moonwalker' movie, presented here is the complete rabbit costume worn prominently by The Gloved One during the 'Speed Demon' segment of the film.

Source: Prop Store / Billie Jean

Netflix Lands Quincy Jones Docu, Sets Sept. 21 Release With Limited Theatrical. 01-08-'18

Quincy JonesNetflix has acquired Quincy, the documentary about legendary composer/producer Quincy Jones that was directed by his daughter Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks. Netflix has set a global release for September 21, and will give the film a limited theatrical release as well. The film is produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and executive produced by Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions and Adam Fell from Quincy Jones Productions.

The docu is an intimate look into the life of an icon who has been a force in music and pop culture for decades, transcending racial and cultural boundaries. He started as a trumpeter, pianist and arranger for bandleader Lionel Hampton, and right out of college was arranging songs for artists including Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, and Ray Charles. He has been a mentor to artists from Michael Jackson to Lesley Gore, Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith and collaborated with the likes of Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Miles Davis and many others.

Jones was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and has Emmy's, Grammy's, Oscars and Tony's on his mantle. Actually he has won 27 Grammy's, second most in history. He was producer and conductor of “We Are The World,” still the best selling single of all time, and Jackson’s solo albums 'Off The Wall', 'Bad' and 'Thriller', latter of which remains the best selling album ever. On the movie side, he co-produced Steven Spielberg’s 'The Color Purple' and won an Emmy for scoring the opening episode of the groundbreaking miniseries 'Roots'.

Jones is an inspiring man to speak with and is an accomplished storyteller, and opened up for the daughter he shares with his ex, the Mod Squad star Peggy Lipton.

“It’s rare that somebody who has lived as much life as my dad is still interested in growing and knowing the next generation,” Rashida Jones said. “He is such a man of action and accomplishments, but we were so lucky to spend real time with him, to let him reflect on life and the larger picture. I feel honored to be able to share that with audiences all over the world.”

Said co-director Hicks: “There is really no one like Quincy, the sheer breadth of his work alone is unparalleled, but the story of him as a man has never been comprehensively told. It was a privilege to have his trust, allowing us to capture intimate moments giving insight into the fabric of the man.”

Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries for Netflix called it “a rare opportunity to be able to present the definitive story of someone who has for over seven decades, not just influenced, but altered the course of culture.”

Source: Deadline / Billie Jean

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