An appeals court overturned the $9.4 million awarded to Quincy Jones in 2017 in his royalties lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s estate. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision handed down by a panel of three judges on Tuesday (May 5), concluded that the previous judge erred in allowing a jury to make the court decision instead of interpreting the contract himself.
Jones argued that he was owed $30 million in royalties from various project including close to $1.6 million from Jackson’s songs being remixed, as well as monies from the This Is It concert film released after the music legend’s death in 2009, and a revenue increase negotiated by the King of Pop’s estate upping royalties that the estate receives from Sony.
Although Jones is allowed keep the remaining $2.6 million from the original judgement, the 2nd Appellate District court concluded that, “The award of $5,315,787 must be reversed because it was based on the jury’s improper conclusion that: (1) the Producer Agreements entitled Jones to a share of net receipts for Master use licenses; and (2) the Producer Agreements entitled Jones to more than 10 percent of record sales if Sony increased Jackson’s basic royalty rate over time in the Recording Agreements.”
Furthermore, the court decided Jones was not entitled to the $1.6 million in remix fees, and that he should have “negotiated” separate agreements for said fees.
In response to the court ruling Jackson’s estate attorney, Howard Weitzman, released the following statement: “Quincy Jones was the last person we thought would try to take advantage of Michael Jackson by filing a lawsuit three years after he died asking for tens of millions of dollars he wasn’t entitled to. We knew the verdict was wrong when we heard it, and the court of appeal has completely vindicated us. From the beginning this was an attempt to take advantage of Michael knowing he wasn’t here to defend himself.”
Jones’ attorney noted that while they “disagree with portions” of the court ruling, they are “evaluating our options going forward,” and were pleased with the $2.6 million awarded to the music producer.