Quincy Jones has filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate in regards to projects released after the singer’s death.
The 80-year-old legendary music producer, who co-produced best-selling Jackson albums including Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, alleges in court papers that “clandestine arrangements” were put in place to cheat him out of royalties owed to him for his work on Jackson’s albums, according to E! Online.
Jones alleges that some clever editing and remixing were done to cut him out from royalties earned from posthumous Jackson projects like the This Is It soundtrack and the Jackson music featured in the two current Cirque du Soleil shows.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a Los Angeles court on Friday, alleges that Jackson’s estate “secretly entered into a venture agreement with Sony” to share profits, which violates the terms of the deals Jones says he signed in 1978 and 1985 assuring him a “backend” piece of the profits from the sale of remixed tracks.
Jones alleges in his suit that the 1978 and 1985 deals also guaranteed he would be given first crack at remixing or re-editing any of the master recordings that he had worked on, if he so desired. He claims that third parties were allowed to exploit Jackson’s music “without first providing a reasonable opportunity to Jones to perform such remixes and/or re-edits.”
Jones is asking the court to award him $10 million in damages, and he wants a full accounting of any other royalties he may be owed, as well as other unspecified compensation.
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