Michael Jackson's Estate Sues Walt Disney Company & ABC Over TV Special

May 30 2018, Published 5:45 p.m. ET

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This Wednesday, May 30, Michael Jackson’s estate filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Walt Disney company and Disney’s ABC network.

According to the suit, has learned, ABC used dozens of copyrights owned by MJ’s Estate in their new special, “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” broadcast last week.

“Disney and ABC committed willful and intentional copyright infringement when they used the Estate’s copyrighted materials without the Estate’s permission,” said spokesmen for the Jackson Estate in a statement.

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“Disney’s conduct here was particularly surprising given that it has no tolerance for anyone using its copyrighted material in even the most trivial of manners. Disney and ABC’s conduct is also contrary to law and industry practice, and despite several cautionary letters from the Estate to Disney and ABC attorneys.”

Some of the materials used included various of Jackson’s hit songs, such as “Thriller,” “Bad” and “Billy Jean.”

The network also reportedly used clips from Jackson’s live performances and unique footage from the Estate’s 2009 feature film, Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

“Disney and ABC never sought the Jackson Estate’s permission to use any of the material owned by the Estate in the broadcast. Can you imagine using Disney’s intellectual property – like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Star Wars, The Avengers, Toy Story, and so many other works – without asking Disney’s permission or getting a license? The Estate has no choice but to vigorously protect its intellectual property, which is the lifeblood of its business,” the statement continued.

Disney and ABC have yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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