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Michael Jackson Estate Settles Copyright Lawsuit With Disney

Estate accused Disney of using songs without permission in ”The Last Days of Michael Jackson“ special

The Michael Jackson Estate has reached an undisclosed settlement with Disney, putting to bed a 2018 copyright infringement lawsuit over “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” TV special.

Both sides filed a notice in U.S. District Court Wednesday to dismiss the complaint in favor of a settlement.

In the suit, which was brought against Disney in May of 2018, the estate called the special “a mediocre look back at Michael Jackson’s life and entertainment career,” and accused Disney of swiping the estate’s intellectual property.

Among the allegedly infringed-on property were substantial portions of Jackson hits, including “Billy Jean,” Beat It” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” as well as extensive parts of Jackson music videos including “Thriller” and “Black or White.”

Disney claimed that the material fell under “fair use” because the program was a documentary. “The Last Days of Michael Jackson” aired on ABC on May 24, 2018.

“The case has been amicably resolved,” Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Jackson Estate, said in a statement to TheWrap Thursday.

Attorneys for Disney did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Thursday.

This isn’t the only fight that the estate has waged against a television network. In February, it filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO on the grounds that its “Leaving Neverland” documentary, which details accusations by Wade Robson and James Safechuck that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children, violated the terms of a non-disparagement clause of a 1992 agreement that granted HBO the right to air video from his “Dangerous” tour.

The latest with that suit is that a judge ruled for it to go forward in Sept., despite HBO’s motion asking that the estate’s lawsuit be dismissed, citing the First Amendment.

Jackson died in 2009. He consistently denied any wrongdoing, and was acquitted of child molestation in a criminal trial in 2005.