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Judge Rejects Part of Jackson's Lawsuit Against Universal Music

September 20, 2003|From Reuters

A Los Angeles judge Friday tossed out part of pop icon Michael Jackson's lawsuit against Universal Music in which he claimed he was owed royalties for songs recorded before 1979.

In a 1980 settlement with Motown Records, now owned by Universal, Jackson gave up rights to songs released before 1979, giving Motown the exclusive right to the Jackson 5 name.

In the suit, Jackson contends he should be paid for any songs he recorded alone or with his brothers that were re-released after the 1980 agreement.

Jackson, who is seeking cancellation of the 1980 agreement, also claimed Universal, a unit of Vivendi Universal, improperly used the name Jackson 5 and the group's master recordings to sell products.

Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias found that Jackson gave up the rights to the pre-1980 tunes and that Universal had not unlawfully used his recordings.

The decision lets Jackson's suit proceed with eight claims, including breach of contract.

A lawyer for Jackson said an appeal was being considered. A lawyer for Universal declined to comment.

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