Michael Jackson‘s estate has settled a copyright lawsuit with a Canadian memorabilia dealer who worked with Jackson’s mother on a tribute book and who also ran a website using the singer’s image and music.
The website was able to reach a $2.5 million copyright settlement on Tuesday with Jackson’s estate, barring the site’s runner, Howard Mann, from using the “Thriller” singer’s image without the permission of Jackson’s estate, reports Reuters.
Mann, who ran michaeljacksonsecretvault.com, MJgives.com, and other domain names, worked with Michael Jackson’s mother on a tribute book as well as running the website.
Both sides announced the settlement in a Los Angeles federal court just hours before a trial was set to begin, which would have determined how much Mann owed the estate.
Howard Mann was found liable by a court ruling in August for infringing on Jackson’s intellectual property, which also ordered that the websites be shut down.
Michael Jackson’s estate currently holds the copyright to the late singer’s image and music for the benefit of Jackson’s mother, Katherine, as well as his three children.
CNN notes that Jackson estate lawyers Howard Weitzman and Zia Modabber stated on Tuesday that:
“In light of the court’s rulings for the estate on summary judgment, this settlement seems appropriate for all concerned.”
Mann also made a statement after the ruling, saying that:
“This was a long, complex and difficult litigation that in the end will likely be equitable for Mrs. Jackson and the other parties involved. This settlement would not have been possible without Perry Sanders (Katherine Jackson’s lawyer), who worked to bridge quite a distance.”
Michael Jackson’s estate accused Howard Mann of “wholesale misappropriation” of the late singer’s copyrights as well as acting with “arrogant disregard” for the state’s rights by using unauthorized images of Jackson.