Michael Jackson Estate Claims Rights Violated With Digital Sale Of Jackson 5 Recording
The song is being promoted as is the first time Michael Jackson's voiced was recorded.
The estate of Michael Jackson is calling out the digital sale of a Jackson 5 recording. The estate not only claims that the sale of the Jackson 5’s song “Big Boy” violates its rights, but it has also warned of filing a lawsuit to settle the matter.
A Swedish blockchain company, known as anotherblock, is facilitating the sale under the notion that the 1967 version of the song, deemed the “One-derful” version, is the first time Jackson’s voice was recorded, while the 1968 rendition was the version released to the public at the time. The Swedish platform announced the news on Dec. 6, partnering with Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and the company that owns the intellectual property rights over the song. The delivery of the track comes in an open and limited edition, with prices being $25 and $100, respectively.
However, the estate’s lead attorney, Jonathan Steinsapir, released a letter on Dec. 7 stating that the sale is violating the estate’s rights as anotherblock did not obtain permission to use Jackson’s “name, image, and likeness in marketing, advertising or in the product itself” in its promotion. The letter itself was obtained by Billboard, which also shows the attorney stating the song being marketed as Jackson’s first audio recording was unconfirmed.
“We have no information to confirm that the unreleased recordings you are making available are in fact the first time Michael Jackson’s ‘voice was put on tape’ or even that it was the first time he recorded in a studio at all,” wrote Steinsapir. “Indeed, we have good reason to believe that this is not the first time Michael Jackson ever recorded in a studio. Because of that, you are likely misleading the public.”
The letter continued to condemn the sale from another standpoint of Jackson not wanting the song to be released, as the attorneys state the musician was particular about what recordings were shared with the public. They further implored the company to stop the sale from this perspective of honoring Jackson’s wishes, as the estate’s priority is to “protect his legacy.”
“Because of this, we have serious doubts that Michael would have ever wanted these recordings released and commercialized,” the letter detailed. “As the persons designated by Michael to protect his legacy after his untimely passing, the Estate’s Co-Executors are duty-bound to point this out. What you are doing is the opposite of honoring Michael Jackson.”
While the note did conclude with the estate relaying their willingness to pursue legal action over the issue, the sale is still ongoing on anotherblock’s website. As the sale continues, the estate can file an injunction if enough evidence confirms the rights are violated.