On Wednesday, a jury in the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Michael Jackson’s estate must pay producer Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties and production fees from his work on iconic Michael Jackson songs and albums released during the artist’s career.
Jones filed a lawsuit against MJJ Productions in 2013 claiming that the estate, and Sony Music Entertainment, had shortchanged him for his work in producing albums and songs such as “Off the Wall,” “Thriller,” “Bad,” and the This Is It soundtrack, according to the New York Times.
Jones alleged that the two organizations named in the lawsuit had altered the master recordings intentionally to keep royalties owed to Jones, violating his contractual right for access to any remixes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created,” Jones said in a statement released after the decision. “I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favour in this matter,” he said.
However, Jones said, it wasn’t the full $30 million he was asking for.
The Jackson estate estimated that it only owed Jones $392,000 from insignificant accounting errors. Howard Weitzman, who serves as attorney for the Jackson estate, said they are “still disappointed” about the amount Jones was awarded, adding that the estate was planning on appealing the decision.
“Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contract is too much and unfair to Michael’s heirs,” Weitzman added in a joint statement released with attorney Zia Modabber, who also represented the estate. “Although Mr. Jones is portraying this as a victory for artists’ rights, the real artist is Michael Jackson and it is his money Mr. Jones is seeking,” the statement said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Jones alleged that within the contract, he was guaranteed royalties from “videoshows,” which his lawyers argued included This Is It. However, Jackson’s estate said the term in the contract only referred to music videos.
Jones had earlier declined a $3 million settlement that Jackson’s estate offered. The artist has earned $100 million from his production work with Jackson since his work with the artist beginning in the ’70s, according to the Los Angeles Times.
[Featured Image by Rich Fury/Getty Images]