The Michael Jackson Estate criticised television network ABC and its parent company Disney over their upcoming special airing, ‘The Last Days of Michael Jackson’, and said, it was made without approval.
“We want consumers to know that The Last Days of Michael Jackson, a television special airing on ABC TV (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) tomorrow May 24th, is not sponsored or approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson,” the Jackson estate said in a statement, as quoted by Rolling Stone.
Adding, “It is particularly disheartening that Disney, a company known to strongly believe in protecting its own IP rights, would choose to ignore these rights belonging to the Estate.”
The estate further said that the TV network used a “copyrighted photo” of the King of Pop to promote the show, however, it was removed after the former’s attorney filed a notice of copyright infringement.
“We are told ABC intends to use music and other intellectual property owned by the Estate such as photos, logos, artwork, and more in the program itself, without having licensed the rights to any such material,” the estate said.
“Imagine if this was done with any of ABC’s intellectual property. We believe the special to be another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music, and image of Michael Jackson without respect for Michael’s legacy, intellectual property rights or his children,” it added.
Meanwhile, responding to the claims, ABC News said that the network did not secure rights to the late singer’s music and other IP that it used for the special show.
In a statement to Deadline, an ABC News spokesman said, “ABC News’ documentary explores the life, career, and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide. The program does not infringe on his estate’s rights, but as a courtesy, we removed a specific image from the promotional material.”
According to Rolling Stone, ‘The Last Days of Michael Jackson’ boasts “never-before-seen interviews between the King of Pop conducted by Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, as well as a look into Jackson’s life and career.”(Minimal edits applied, story generated from syndicated ANI feed)