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May 6, 2021

Private Michael Jackson Footage triggers Lawsuit

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In the midst of the production of Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot documentary, a lawsuit has been filed against Late Jackson’s Estate.

The disagreement has been instigated by Private footage of the late Singer taken in 2007, two years before his passing. The footage is claimed to be taken from a Magazine Interview, his first interview in a decade.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Noval Williams Films who is the company producing the documentary says the footage was taken at the Museum of Art for Ebony Magazine. In Late Jackson’s attempt to make a comeback, the never-before-seen footage records his first interview in over a decade.

The Documentary will feature interviews with late singer’s friends, photographers and stylists as Jackson prepares himself. Hence it also shows images of Jackson.

The attorney for Michael Jackson’s estate, Howard Weitzman, however tells Hollywood Reporter that the images are private.

“The makers of the documentary are attempting to exploit footage and photographs of Michael Jackson, which we believe are owned by his Estate. The documentary contains footage of Michael during private moments that he never agreed could be publicly and commercially exploited without his consent and/or involvement. Michael never authorized or approved the use of this material in the film.”

The production Company stands they have attained valid rights to that footage.

Their complaint filed New York Federal Court states the Jackson Bunch had refused to purchase the rights in 2011, two years later, their Production Firm stepped up and obtained those rights.

Weitzmen wrote a letter two months later to them asserting Late Jackson only allowed the footage to be taken for his own use; as a “work-for-hire”, meaning only Jackson should authorise the release of that footage.

The production firm stands they legally acquired rights and they have decided to seek the court’s declaratory relief that it didn’t illegally obtain copyright and the defendant has no valid claims arising from the contracts by which those images were first created.

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