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Jackson Estate, Businessman Settle Copyright Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A jury will consider whether the business partner of Michael Jackson's mother should be forced to pay the singer's estate millions of dollar for infringing on its 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.

A judge has already ruled that Mann violated Jackson estate copyrights and ordered his website shut down. Attorneys for the businessman argue the estate doesn't actually own the proper rights and the ruling should be tossed out.

So far, the court has refused and the trial is expected to feature limited testimony. An expert for the estate has the value of licenses for the infringed works are worth between $5 and $12 million.


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