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Michael Jackson Copyright Lawsuit

Intellectual Property Insights

Michael Jackson‘s estate filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Howard Mann in 2011 for establishing an unauthorized website  that revealed unreleased Michael Jackson songs and photographs. The lawyers claimed that all the assets are owned by the estate for the benefit of his children and mother.

The Federal Court judge ruled that Howard Mann cannot exploit intellectual property created by the late Michael Jackson. The ruling stated that he violated Michael Jackson’s copyright, trademarks, name, likeness and image. The court also found that Howard Mann and his entities claimed to own these assets with the intention to profit from them using his various websites.

Lawyers for the estate and Howard Mann have settled for $2.5 million dollars right before the trial was scheduled to start. Under terms of the settlement Howard Mann is strictly prohibited from using Michael Jackson’s name and image without the explicit consent of the Estate.


Posted on 5 September 2012
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Copyright does NOT have to be registered in South Africa. Unlike patents, trade marks or registered designs, copyright vests in the author of a work once the work is created in a material form. Examples of copyright include: Literary works (eg. novels, poems, textbooks, letters, reports, lectures, speeches), musical works, artistic creations (eg. paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs), cinematograph films, sound recordings, broadcasts, published editions of books and computer programs.
Read more about Copyright Infringement.

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