The long-standing lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company and Michael Jackson estate have finally come to an agreement. The lawsuit, which started mid-2018 followed an ABC-TV special called The Last Days of Michael Jackson.
Discovered Wednesday, the two reached a confidential agreement and have ceased pursuit of a settlement.
The 2018 suit claimed Disney didn’t ask for permission to use the figure’s music videos, concert performances or doc footage in a timely manner. Allegedly, they learned of the documentary days prior to its release and refused Disney’s use of Jackson’s material. The special still aired nevertheless.
The Last Days of Michael Jackson promo images were removed in accordance, but the rest was deemed to be fair use by Disney. In May 2018, the Michael Jackson estate filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant. The suit was based on multiple clips from music videos being in the doc including Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, and more. That isn’t to mention clips from performances and using footage from This Is It.
Disney’s own IP protection
Per Variety, Jackson estate’s attorney, Howard Weitzman, called the issue resolved. “The dispute with Disney has been amicably resolved.”
Disney was called overzealous in protecting its own IPs to the point of allegedly threatening to sue a daycare for having pictures of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.
“Disney has threatened to sue independent childcare centers for having pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on their walls, forcing them to remove all pictures of Mickey or Donald — and other anthropomorphized mice or ducks — rather than face ruinous litigation from one of the world’s largest corporation.”
They went a step further by mentioning a couple who went to a children’s parties supposedly dressed too similarly to Tigger and Eeyore.
“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. Apparently, these costumes cut too close to Tigger and Eeyore for Disney’s tastes.”
The jury trial appears to still be happening and is slated to occur in December 2020.