Unreleased Songs - Updates

MJ surely left behind some unreleased songs. These songs are owned by his Estate now. According to the Estate's agreement with Sony, songs created until 2003 will be released by Sony. The future of other unreleased materials is unclear. Songs from the Jackson 5 era will be released under Universal.

Some barely known unreleased tracks (not a full list):

- With Bradley Buxler: Adore You, Boy No, Changes, Days In Gloucestershire, Don't Be Messin', Hollywood, I Am A Loser, Innocent Man, Jungle, Just Remember, Light The Way, Neverland Landing, Pray For Peace, Rocker, Thank Heaven, World Of Candy.

- With Bryan Loren: Who Do You Know, Verdict, Seven Digits, Man In Black, Pressure.


Business Updates

- On August 20th, 2009. Bravado entered into an agreement with First Commemorative Mint Inc. about selling commemorative coins and related material about MJ for a 12 months period. In advance Mint paid $750.000 to Bravado (officialmjcoin.com). Due to a litigation between the two parties, the official sale of the coin haven't started yet.

- On December 7th, 2009. Bravado signed an Agreement with Rubie's Costume Company to manufacture costumes based on MJ's character. Since then Smiffy's, a century old company sued Rubie's claiming they are also entitled to creat such merchandising under MJ Licensing Llc. The case has been dismissed earlier this year, both companies are selling MJ related items.

- On January 4th, 2010. Bravado partnered with Playmates Toys to create a line of collectible memorablia featuring MJ. First wave will launch in 2010.

- Sometime in 2009 Triumph and Bravado agreed with Hot Toys to release a MJ figure in 2010. Most likely HT had a valid agreement with a previous agent of Triumph and they want to fulfill this agreement.

- Pyramid owns the rights to sell MJ related posters and calendars. According to them the MJ materials sold over 1 million copies, and this caused a frenzy they haven't seen since forming in 1992. Pyramid markets MJ products since 2006. The 3D Jackson poster sold 40.000 pieces alone from July to December last year.

- Both MJ Publishing Trust and MJ-ATV Publishing are managed by Ziffren, Bitterham. New Horizont Trust was created to merge MJ's publishing rights and securing debts from various banks. Then MJ-ATV was transferred to NHT II. (secure by Wells Fargo Bank) and MJP to NHT III. (secured by HSBC, Plainfield Gaming II.).
On December 30th, 2009. MJP has been sold to NHT III. as a part of refinancing the debts. MJ-ATV must be refinanced as well no later then this September.

- On November 17th, 2009. John Branca and John McClain re-negoiated MJ's agreement with BMI and Warner (BMI Agreement, Warner Agreement, Stewart Agreement).

Legal Updates

- Ayscough and Marar filed for a dismissal in their case against the Estate on April 20th. The reasons are not known yet.

- Bravado sued at least 5 companies for copyright infrigment since MJ's death.

- The First Commemorative Mint Inc. sued both Bravado and Triumph International. They are seeking for compensation because of alleged damages. Mint claims that Bravado delayed the promotion of it's commemorative coin collection licensed from Bravado. At one point Bravado told them that the "Estate does not want any ads related to merchandising".

- Universal Music-Z Tunes sued the Van Passel brothers in New York, claiming that the court order regarding You Are Not Alone is invalid in the USA. Van Passels alleged that YANA was a copyright infrigment of their previous song If We Can Start All Over. Universal says that the Belgian court did not make an appropiate investigation if the Van Passel song was original (FYI: YANA's rights are owned by Universal now).

- Sony Music Entertainment claims TV Guide Network violated copyright by repeatedly broadcasting a one-hour show on the TV Guide Channel using nine music videos of Michael Jackson, just after the entertainer died, in Manhattan Federal Court.

Melissa Johnson Case Tidbits

Some tidbits from the Melissa Johnson case:

- The Estate of Michael Jackson sued Johnson, because she heavily started to register trademarks and other intellectual property related to MJ right after his death. And she used these rights to gain money. Johnson insisted that she only did this to protect MJ's legacy.

- Johnson's attorneys requested for a whitdrawal few weeks ago. Now she must get new attorney, or she will lose the case.

- Johnson claims that she was in close relation with MJ's management in the past decade or so. Documents show that she only e-mailed with Al Malnik, Van Alexander and Stuart Backerman.

- Backerman in one of his e-mails says that MJ is a fool and is under the control of the Nation of Islam. He also expressed that he is happy to be out of that crazy house.

- Johnson back in 2003 sold all of the MJ related domains to MJJ Productions for 25.000 dollars.

- On July 14, 2009 some of MJ's top lawyers held a phone conference, and insisted that they don't want to relauncg the Heal The World Foundation, because they think MJ wouldn't wanna do it as well.

- Evvy Tavasci worked for MJ since March 18, 1991 in various positions, but mostly as his Personal Assistant. She continued to work with MJ's estate lawyers.

- A music producer gave a deposition and said that Johnson misrepresented the HTW and insisted that this is the official foundation by MJ. Based on this false pretention, this producer gave money to Johnson.

Raymone Bain Case Tidbits

Some tidbits from the Raymone Bain case:

- Bain insisted that around 2006 MJ's bank accounts were totally empty, and she must lend some money to him for hotel costs, airplane tickets, etc.

- MJ worked with LaVelle Smith in May 2007, but didn't pay him. That's why LaVelle is on the creditors list now.

- Bain said that on December 27, 2007 Londell McMillan, MJ's then lawyer threatened her through a phone conversation. She said that four of her colleagues witnessed this incident. Finally McMillan abruptly hung up the phone on Bain.

- On December 3, 2007 one of MJ's lawyers shared a list in e-mail with Bain amongst others. The list consisted 25 names whom MJ would pay to erase his past debts, including Thomas Mesereau, Roberto Hernandez (paparazzi), Debbie Rowe, Randy Jackson.

- In late July, 2006 MJ sent out e-mail messages to his past employees and partners. He thanked for everyone's hard work in a "tough part of his life". The list included Susan Yu, Thomas Mesereau, Robert Sanger, Brian Wolf. He also insisted that any unpaid bills will be resolved shortly.

- In August, 2006 MJ fired some of his longtime employees insisting a change in his empire. Some of his people were offered with new positions, like Evvy Tavasci, Muhammed Bashir. These things shows to me that MJ tried to clean up his life from time to time.

- MJ started to work with the late Peter Lopez in August, 2006.

- MJ gave a deposition in the Sydow McDonald case sometime in 2006, saying that he never hired the company.


Domain Updates

Most of the domain names referring to MJ are owned by other parties. I'm not sure if the Estate should go after them, they don't generate that much traffic.

"The Michael Jackson Company" also owns a handful number of domains (52 pieces exactly) all redirecting to michaeljacksonlive.com. Some of them are:

Some official domains are owned by strategic partners, like:
Sony - michaeljackson.com
AEG - michaeljacksonexhibition.co.uk
Bravado - michaeljacksonmerch.com
Cirque Du Soleil - cirquemichaeljackson.com

Raymone Bain Case Dismissed

Raymone Bain's case has been dismissed by the Judge, because she could not proove that MJ owned her any money. Bain claimed that the signed Release Agreement does not include her 10 percent finders fee, however the Agreement's wording clearly says otherwise:

"The Release unambiguously covers “all monies, known or unknown,” owed under “any and all agreements whether written or verbal.” (emphasis added) That release language covers Bain’s claims about the Thriller deal, the Grammy ceremony, the AEG project, and the SONY/ATV refinancing, no matter what stage they were in when the release was signed."


Unreleased Song Titles!

I have found several unreleased song titles MJ worked on prior to his death with Bradley Buxer. Some of them we already knew, but MJ might re-create them last year. Others are completly new. The recordings are in the possession of the Estate now.

Adore You
Boy No
Days In Gloucestershire
Don’t Be Messin’
I Am A Loser
Innocent Man
Just Remember
Light The Way
Neverland Landing
Pray For Peace
Thank Heaven
World Of Candy

Business Updates

Every business decesion is made by the Estate run by John Branca and John McClain. That's the corner stone of MJ's business empire now. They mainly work with Greenber Traurig's lawyers (they serverd MJ til his death, lead by Joel Katz).

Other business entities and their status:

The Michael Jackson Company LLC (new company in Delaware, it's the "business face" of the Estate)
MJJ Productions Inc. (old company, recently suspended in California, replaced with MJJ Productions LLC in Delaware)

MJJ Kingdom LLC (active both in California and Delaware, owns MJ's latest recordings)
MJJ Records LLC (active both in California and Delaware, owns releases under MJJ Music with Sony)

MJJ Ventures Inc. (active in California, owns MJ's musical videos)
Optimum Productions Inc. (active in California, owns some of MJ's musical videos' rights, amongst others "Thriller")

Triumph International Inc. (active in California, owns MJ's trademarks and licensing rights)

Sony/ATV Music Publishing (active in Delaware, MJ appointed Joel Katz as his representative in the company. The company owns amongst others the Beatles catalouge.)
MJ Publishing Trust (active in Delaware, holds publishing rights to MJ's songs and other artists)

New Horizon Trust I. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
New Horizon Trust II. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
New Horizon Trust III. (activce in Delaware, holds publishing rights against debts)
Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC (active in Califorina, the Estate 50% owns Neverland through this company)

Properties Updates

We know that MJ did not buy any properties betweeen 2005-2007 residing in Dubai, France and Ireland. As well we know he lived in rented mansions between 2007-2009.

- Gary family home is still owned by a person called Anthony Othis Whitehead. His address is the same as Brian Oxman's, so most likely the family compound is still owned by the Jacksons. The house's estimated value is $22.000, no liens or unpaid taxes.

- The Enchino home is owned by the Estate, who agreed that the Kids, Katherine and her relatives might use the compound. Taxes are paid, the home has a $4 million lien.

- Neverland is still owned jointly by MJ and Tom Barrack's company. Neverland has a $24 million unpaid lien. I could not find any updates regarding the two liens if they are already paid or not.

- Katherine sold her Las Vegas condo for $14.000 on June 19th, 2008.

Future Business Events

- MJ's "Fated" comic novel will be released for sure this year. Written by Michael Jackson and Deepak Chopra; Produced by the Estate of Michael Jackson and Liquid Comics; Released by Random House/Vilard.

- Bravado signed a deal with Rubie's Costumes to create special clothes for this year's Halloween. Bravado owns the rights for distributing official MJ items.

Personal Items Updates

According to the publicly available informations, MJ's personal items can be found on three different locations:

- Items from the last years (like the "Carolwood mansion") are owned by the Estate and located in storages in California.

- Early years and family items are owned by Henry Vaccaro in New Jersey storages. Vaccaro won his cases both against Overtoun and Universal Express, so now he is the only owner of the collection. The Estate reviewed the items on July 21st, 2009 and took some personal things out. The next day Vaccaro moved the whole collection from Las Vegas back to New Jersey. The items can be viewed on www.j5secrets.com or on www.youtube.com/user/HenryVaccaro.

- Neverland items are owned by the Estate and circulated on several auctions/exhibitions worldwide. Some of the items will be sold on June 25th in Las Vegas. The Estate might think that the items will worth more and give good reviews if they are sold.

Legal Updates

Below you may read an overview of the legal cases for the Estate of Michael Jackson:

- No interesting hearings for the following months regarding the Estate on the Los Angeles Superior Court.

- Full list of creditor claims (marked with asterisk are rejected by the Estate; marked with plus are settled by the Estate):
[432 million dollars in total. I reviewed each case and the total payouts will not exceed 20 millions in my opinion.]

Legal Advisers:
+ Ayscough and Marar ($200.000)
Susan Yu ($340.000)
Sidney Lanier ($3 million)
Michael L. Abrams ($1.500)
Arnold & Porter LLP (164.000)
Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy and Klein LLP ($629.000)
Venable LLP ($471.000)
Eric George ($175.000)

Business Advisers:
Don Stabler ($180.000)
Leonard Rowe ($300.000)
Dr. Tohme R. Tohme ($2.3 million)
* Raymone K. Bain ($44 million)
Signal Hill Capital ($328.000)

Accounting Advisers:
Crowe Horwath LLP ($38.000)
Cannon & Company CPAS LLP ($?)

Business Partners:
Segye Times ($7.9 millions)
Jurgen Bachus ($6.7 million)
* All Good Entertainment ($300 million)
Universal Music Publishing ($3.000)
The Machine Management ($285.000)
Nederlander Presentations Inc. ($?)
William Bone ($?)

Creative Partners:
LaVelle Smith Jr. ($150.000)
George Folsey Jr. ($1 million)
John Landis ($1.3 million)
Ola Ray ($?)

Other Employees:
Van Alexander ($70.000)
Arnold Klein ($50.000)
Aner Iglesias ($234.000)
Kai Chase Inc. ($8.000)
Bradley Buxer ($48.000)
Michael Boddicker ($?)
Avinash Bruno Irde ($8.000)
Diane Williams ($60.000)
Craig A. Johnson ($374.000)
Lynda Parrish ($212.000)

* Helen Harris-Scott ($50 million)
A4V Digital, Inc. ($736.000)
Atkins Thomson Solicitors ($200.000)
+ Video & Audio Center ($128.000)
* Jose Freddie Vallejo ($3.3 million)
* Claire McMillan (2.2 million)
* Richard Lapointe ($5 million)
State of California Franchise Tax Board ($?)
Intermedia Productions Ltd. ($?)
Sharad Chandra Patel ($?)

- Ayscough and Marar filed for a dismissal in their case against the Estate on April 20th. The reasons are not known yet.

- Video and Audio Center filed for a dismissal as well.

- Helen Harris-Scott's case has been dismissed on March 1st.

- The John Landis and Ola Ray cases regarding the royalties of the "Thriller" video has been merged. The trial setting conference will be held on May 24th.

- The AllGood Entertainment case is scheduled to go on trial in October. No major updates yet.

- No major updates with Raymone Bain's case as well.

- Richard Lapointe's case about the never sold Jackson memorablia is still ongoing. However majority of the defendants has been dismissed.

- As the media reported, in the Melissa Johnson case the Estate had a big win this week. Will provide you with more details about this later.

- Since MJ's death, MJ Publishing Trust sued 20+ companies, because of unauthorized use of his songs.