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Author Topic: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN.... Estate Settles for $2.5 million 4 Sept 2012  (Read 6096 times)

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Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 08:37:36 PM »
Ivy ‏@Ivy_MJJC
Estate's partial summary judgement request against Mann / Vaccaro is GRANTED. Will be posting details &document in a few minutes.
Judge says Mann / Vaccaro has violated MJ's copyrights in “This Is It” key art, “Destiny” song, and “Thriller”
Judge grants Estate's partial summary judgement request as well as for unfair competition and an accounting;
Court agrees that bankruptcy sale did not transfer any rights, title, or interest to Michael Jackson’s intellectual property.
This is a huge win for MJ Estate
Court says Ed Pease's statement that MJ worker "very likely" as work for hire is just a speculation.
Judge says Katherine & Joe's statements given to Mann doesn't have a value as they can't explain how they came to own the assets
Judge says regardless the MJ's IP rights weren't on bankruptcy assets and bankruptcy sale did not include them.
Judge says 2004 lawsuit is different from the current one. As it was about pre 2004 actions and this is about post 2009 actions.
Judge says none of the claims in 2004 lawsuit was litigated or decided and just bc MJ didn't pursue it doesn't mean they got the ownership
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 08:40:19 PM by moonstreet »

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2012, 08:41:56 PM »
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i3oSjqAwPyV6Ommn-YNeZ3Xoenpg?docId=e35f5defa7cf4c1d9af18db78693e7a9

Judge rules website violated Jackson copyrights
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer – 7 minutes ago


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that a businessman working with Michael Jackson's mother has violated copyrights owned by the singer's estate and should be blocked from future uses of the work.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson sided with the singer's estate in a ruling against Howard Mann and the website www.michaeljacksonsecretvault.com , which appeared to be inactive Friday morning.

The estate sued Mann in January 2011, claiming he was violating copyrights and posed unfair competition to Jackson's estate. Pregerson ruled that the website improperly used art from the film "This Is It," a logo featuring Jackson and the song "Destiny," as well as other material.

"In light of defendants' past and present infringement, it is also undisputed that future violations are likely, causing ongoing harm to plaintiffs and misled consumers," Pregerson wrote.

An upcoming trial will address damages, although the judge noted that Mann and the site probably will not be able to pay any amount because of debts.

A phone message for one of Mann's lawyers, Lee Durst, was not immediately returned Friday. Mann has collaborated with Katherine Jackson, who is a beneficiary of the singer's estate, on several projects, including a book of recollections about her son. Several of the Jackson Secret Vault releases occurred at the same time as estate projects were being released, including the anniversary of Jackson's death and the release of the album "Michael" in December 2010.

Mann's attorneys recently wrote in court filings that they hoped to introduce evidence during the upcoming trial that the singer's will was a fraud. The businessman had claimed he obtained rights to the works in a bankruptcy sale years ago, but Pregerson ruled there was no evidence that the items could be used commercially.

"The court's ruling makes clear that Howard Mann had no right to use Michael Jackson's intellectual property for his own benefit," attorney Zia Modabber, who represented the estate in the case, wrote in a statement. Estate attorney Howard Weitzman said executors John Branca and John McClain are "extremely pleased" by the ruling.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 09:51:09 PM »
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/michael-jackson-mother-cant-profit-merchandise-line.html

Judge: Michael Jackson's mother can't profit from merchandise line
August 10, 2012 |  1:44 pm


A federal judge rejected a novel legal argument Friday that would have allowed Michael Jackson's mother and her business partner to profit from a line of merchandise separate from the late star's estate.

In a 15-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson granted summary judgment in a copyright-infringement case brought by the executors of Jackson's estate and issued a permanent injunction barring Canadian entrepreneur Howard Mann from trading on the singer's name.

"There is undisputed evidence that Defendants intended in bad faith to profit from use of Jackson’s name, by registering multiple domain names containing his name or the initials 'MJ' to sell Jackson-related products," the judge wrote.

Mann and Jackson's mother, Katherine, collaborated on a coffee table book and calendar that were sold without the estate's authorization. The 82-year-old Jackson family matriarch received a cut of the profits and other money amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, Mann told The Times in 2010. Katherine Jackson said then that she needed the money and wanted estate executors John Branca and John McClain to "leave Howard alone."

Mann's lawyers had argued in court papers that his company, Vintage Pop, was forever immunized against lawsuits accusing it of exploiting Michael Jackson's intellectual property because of a ruling in a 2004 suit by the singer. Jackson had sued Vintage Pop for copyright infringement and other claims, but then refused to submit to a deposition and stopped paying his lawyers. A judge dismissed the case in 2006 "with prejudice" -- meaning Jackson couldn't bring the same claims against Vintage Pop again.

But in his ruling Pregerson wrote that the executors could sue Vintage Pop if their allegations were completely different than the ones Jackson made in the abandoned lawsuit.

"(A)ll of the misconduct alleged in this suit took place long after the 2004 action, and the claims from the two suits therefore do not arise from the same transactional nucleus of facts," the judge wrote.

A spokesman for the executors said in a statement that they were "extremely pleased with the Court's ruling," and noted that Michael Jackson's intellectual property is "owned by the late singer's Estate for the benefit of his children and mother."

The relationship between the Jackson family and the estate has been contentious, with three of the star's siblings claiming that the executors derive their power from a fraudulent will.

Mann's lawyers said they wanted to raise questions about the validity of the will at the trial, but estate lawyer Howard Weitzman said in a statement that the judge's ruling means that a planned September proceeding will focus on determining the financial damages sustained by the estate.

Mann did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »
http://www.wenn.com/all-news/katherine-jacksons-book-collaborator-backs-suspicions-over-king-of-pops-will/

Katherine Jackson’s Book Collaborator Backs Suspicions Over King Of Pop’s Will
August 9, 2012 | 2:16pm EST


Katherine Jackson’s business partner Howard Mann has fueled suspicions about the authenticity of Michael Jackson’s will after insisting he has the evidence to prove the documents are fake.

The King of Pop’s siblings, Jermaine, Janet, Rebbie, Randy and Tito signed a letter last month accusing estate bosses John Branca and John McClain of faking the icon’s legal papers prior to his death in June, 2009.

Tito and Jermaine subsequently withdrew their names from the letter aimed at overthrowing the administrators, but now Mann has filed papers in federal court claiming to be “in possession of evidence that casts substantial doubt on the validity of the will”, according to the New York Daily News.

Mann submitted the legal documents on Monday as part of his defense in an estate lawsuit which alleges the businessman made millions from Jackson’s music, photos and drawings illegally.

Branca and McClain believe Mann hauled in more than $1.5 million from Katherine Jackson’s coffee table book, Never Can Say Goodbye: The Katherine Jackson Archives, in its first two days on sale in June, 2010 – and they want to recoup all the revenues, as well as damages.
Mann has previously blasted the accusations, insisting the executors have “absolutely no interest in the preservation of Michael Jackson’s legacy and less interest in generating revenues for his beneficiaries”.

Janet, Rebbie and Randy Jackson are continuing with their bid to prove the Thriller hitmaker’s will is fake and their lawyer Blair G. Brown recently stated they stand to gain nothing financially from the legal action.

A statement from Brown reads: “It is important to stress that Janet, Randy and Rebbie have questioned the validity of the will with no financial motive whatsoever… Janet, Randy and Rebbie will continue to press forward in their search for the truth in order to carry out the wishes of their brother Michael.”

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2012, 12:15:10 PM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/trial-to-determine-value-of-some-michael-jackson-copyrights-that-businessman-improperly-used/2012/09/04/e745ab2a-f66e-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_story.html

Trial to determine value of some Michael Jackson copyrights that businessman improperly used
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 11:00 AM


LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate will begin making its case to a jury that a businessman working with the singer’s mother should be forced to pay millions of dollars for infringing on several copyrights.

The amount is the sole issue at stake in a trial set to begin on Tuesday against Howard Mann, who has collaborated with Katherine Jackson on several projects, including a book.

A judge has already ruled that Mann violated Jackson estate copyrights and ordered his website shut down. His attorneys argue the estate doesn’t actually own the proper rights and the ruling should be tossed out, but a judge has refused to reconsider his ruling.

The infringed works include cover art from Jackson’s posthumous film “This Is It,” and a silhouette of the singer dancing to his hit “Smooth Criminal.”

The estate’s case is expected to hinge on one expert witness who has estimated the cost of a license for the works is between $5 million and $12 million.

Mann’s attorneys rejected a settlement offer last week of $2 million. Jackson’s estate, who sued over the works in January 2011, is also asking that Mann be forced to pay its attorneys’ fees.

Mann’s lawyers have sought to introduce evidence that they were given bad legal advice about having to license the works, and have considered calling Katherine Jackson as a witness. The Jackson family matriarch is one of the beneficiaries of the singer’s estate, along with his three children.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson has noted that Mann doesn’t appear to have the resources to pay a large judgment.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 12:24:19 PM by moonstreet »

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2012, 06:19:54 PM »
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/04/showbiz/michael-jackson-copyright-trial/index.html

Michael Jackson copyright trial starts
By Alan Duke, CNN
September 4, 2012 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)


Los Angeles (CNN) -- A trial to decide how much a business partner of Michael Jackson's mother must pay the late entertainer's estate for violating his copyrights in a book about the Jackson family starts in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Although Katherine Jackson's book about her son, published two years ago, is central to the lawsuit, the Jackson family matriarch is not a defendant. Her name and those of husband Joe Jackson and children Janet, Randy, Tito and Jermaine Jackson are on the defense witness list.
Jackson's estate accused Howard Mann and his company of "wholesale misappropriation" of Michael Jackson copyrights, acting with "arrogant disregard" for the estate's rights.

Mann's company published Katherine Jackson's 150-page coffee table book "Never Can Say Goodbye, The Katherine Jackson Story" two years ago and established a website -- MichaelJacksonSecretVault.com -- that the estate argued illegally used Jackson's images and lyrics.
A federal judge already ruled Mann was liable and set this week's trial for a jury to decide how much in damages should be paid to the Jackson estate.

While the estate claimed the book sold about 25,000 copies for $1.5 million in the first two days, Mann's lawyers contended "actual sales are very minimal and the defendant's businesses have suffered a major net loss."

The jury must decide the fair market value of the copyrights, including for screen shots from the "This Is It" documentary about the singer's last days and other "misappropriated" images, including Jackson's "Smooth Criminal Lean," which Mann's company used in its corporate logo.
Mann's website, which the judge already ordered to be taken offline, "does absolutely everything in its power to suggest to its visitors that it is the hub for all things Michael Jackson, and that it is sanctioned and supported by the estate, when in fact it is neither," the estate argued.

The book, published on the first anniversary of the pop icon's death, included a "special thanks" to the estate, which the estate argued was "a calculated and deceitful effort to imply to the reader that the estate cooperated."

The judge ruled the defense could not call into question the legitimacy of Jackson's will or its executors during the trial. They previously argued that the control was Jackson's estate was in question.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2012, 06:53:23 PM »
http://newsok.com/article/feed/428620

Jackson estate, businessman settle copyright case
Published: September 4, 2012


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's estate and a businessman working with the singer's mother have settled a copyright infringement case for $2.5 million.

The settlement was announced Tuesday in a Los Angeles federal courthouse right before a trial on damages was scheduled to begin. The estate had sued Howard Mann and his businesses in January 2011, claiming he had violated Jackson copyrights in a book and other merchandise he sold in collaboration with Katherine Jackson.

Mann is the CEO of Vintage Pop Media, which according to settlement terms announced in court is responsible for paying the judgment.

A judge had already ruled that Mann and Vintage Pop Media violated copyrights by using images from the Jackson film "This Is It" and other works.

A jury trial on how much Mann owes the estate had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, with an expert estimating a license for the works is with between $5 and $12 million.



Offline moonstreet

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Re: THE ESTATE V HOWARD MANN.... Estate Settles for $2.5 million 4 Sept 2012
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2012, 07:21:22 PM »
http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2019064625_apusjacksonestate.html

Jackson estate, businessman settle copyright case
Originally published Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY
AP Entertainment Writer


Michael Jackson's estate and a businessman working with the singer's mother settled a copyright infringement lawsuit for $2.5 million on Tuesday, shortly before a trial in the case was scheduled to begin.

The settlement also restricts Howard Mann and his companies from using Jackson's likeness without permission in the future. It ends a year and a half of legal fighting over Mann's use of Jackson's name and likeness on a website used to promote unreleased songs, photographs and a book written by Katherine Jackson filled with recollections of her superstar son.

Mann is the CEO of Vintage Pop Media, which operated the website http://www.michaeljacksonsecretvault.com until it was ordered shut down last month by a federal judge who ruled the site violated copyrights controlled by the singer's estate.

Under the terms of the settlement, announced in court by estate attorney Zia Modabber, Vintage Pop Media Group is responsible for $2 million of the judgment, while the entity Vintage Associates LLC is responsible for the remainder. Vintage Associates is the custodian of the items that were at issue in the case.

Mann's attorney, Lee Durst, declined comment after the hearing. "The estate is delighted this matter is behind us," estate attorney Howard Weitzman said.

Among the items that had been improperly used were images from Jackson's posthumous film "This Is It" and a silhouette of the singer dancing in "Smooth Criminal." The settlement also blocks the usage of materials from "Thriller" that had appeared on Mann's website.

A jury trial on how much Mann owes the estate had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, with an expert estimating a license for the works is worth between $5 million and $12 million.

Mann's attorneys rejected a settlement offer last week of $2 million. They sought to introduce evidence that they were given bad legal advice about having to license the works and have considered calling Katherine Jackson as a witness. The Jackson family matriarch is one of the beneficiaries of the singer's estate, along with his three children.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson has noted that Mann doesn't appear to have the resources to pay a large judgment. The defendants' ability to pay was not discussed in court on Tuesday.