A jury on Wednesday found that Michael Jackson’s estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4m in royalties and production fees from Billie Jean, Thriller and more of the superstar’s biggest hits.
The producer had asked for $30m in the lawsuit filed nearly four years ago, while Jackson’s estate claimed he was owed only $392,000 .Reacting to the victory, Jones wrote in a statement.
“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,” “Although this [judgment] is not the full amount that I was seeking, I am very grateful that the jury decided in our favour in this matter. I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists’ rights overall.”
Estate attorney Howard Weitzman said the estate planned an appeal.
Jones claimed in the lawsuit that Jackson’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment owed him for music he had produced in Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad as well as the This Is It soundtrack and two Cirque du Soleil shows.
The lawsuit said the entities had improperly re-edited the songs to deprive Jones of royalties and production fees, and that he had a contractual right to take first crack at any re-edit or remix.
The Jackson camp held that Jones should be paid only licensing fees for songs used in those three productions.