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Quincy Jones Awarded $9.4 Million in Trial Over Michael Jackson Royalties

Producer had sought $30 million in 2013 lawsuit

Music producer Quincy Jones was awarded $9.4 million by a Los Angeles jury Wednesday in a trial over royalties and production fees from the recordings he made with Michael Jackson, the Associated Press reported.

Jones had sought $30 million in his suit, which he filed in 2013. Michael Jackson’s estate had countered that the producer was owed $392,000.

Last week, Jones took the stand to testify that he to testify on how he “was cheated out of a lot of money — a lot of money,” according to the New York Daily News.

After Jackson’s death, Jones testified, the pop star’s estate remixed songs so they could freeze the producer out of royalties earned on the songs. “One example is ‘This Is It,'” Jones said. “My name is nowhere near that.” He says he made less than $500,000 in royalties from the film, but the estate made $90 million from the 2009 movie.

When Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman asserted that Jones has received $18 million since 2009, when Jackson died, and that licensing revenue paid previously to Jones was a “gift,” Jones contested that idea, saying, “If we made the record, we deserve to get paid. It’s that simple.”

Henry Gradstein, one of Jones’ lawyers, said Weitzman was misunderstanding Jones’ contracts. “The contracts expressly provide for licensing revenue,” he said. “The parties, for 35 years, have interpreted the contracts that way and paid on that basis. To say it was a ‘gift,’ that’s just absurd.”

In a statement provided to TheWrap, Michael Jackson estate attorneys Weitzman and Zia Modabber said that giving Jones “millions of dollars that he has no right to receive under his contracts is wrong.”

“While the jury denied Quincy Jones $21 million – or more than two-thirds of what he demanded — from The Estate of Michael Jackson, we still believe that giving him millions of dollars that he has no right to receive under his contracts is wrong. This would reinterpret the legal language in, and effectively rewrite, contracts that Mr. Jones lived under for more than three decades, admitted he never read, referred to as ‘contract, montract,’ and told the jurors he didn’t ‘give a damn’ about,” Weitzman and Modabber said. “Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contracts is too much and unfair to Michael’s heirs. Although Mr. Jones is portraying this is a victory for artists’ rights, the real artist is Michael Jackson and it is his money Mr. Jones is seeking.”

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