Michael Jackson Death Causes Rights War Over Unreleased Songs


A bidding war between Universal Music Group and Sony Music may be under way as both labels compete for the rights to 70 unreleased Michael Jackson songs.

Although Michael Jackson was signed to Sony Music at the time of his death, the label controls the music rights to Jackson’s music only recorded before 2004. The Michael Jackson estate assumed the rights to the deceased King of Pop’s music recorded from 2004 until the time of Jackson’s death.

According to the New York Post, an insider claims Michael Jackson’s estate lawyers John Branca and John McClain are pitting the two music international conglomerates against one another to the highest bid. Sources further claim the Jackson estate is looking for, “a large upfront payment and a higher royalty rate in any new deal, and… Sony is offering one or the other but not both.” However, no representatives for Universal, Sony or Jackson Estates made any comment on the possible bidding war.

Sony Pictures, however, does have the rights to release the posthumous, “This Is It” concert rehearsals filmed up until Michael Jackson’s sudden death. This Is It debuts this Wednesday, October 28.