Disney Settles Michael Jackson Documentary Dispute

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 1, 1993 in Singapore shows US pop megastar Michael Jackson performing during his “Dangerous” tour. STR / AFP


Disney and Michael Jackson’s estate have resolved a copyright dispute over a documentary about the late King of Pop that saw the Hollywood studio accused of breathtaking hypocrisy and aggressive tactics.

“The Last Days of Michael Jackson”, a two-hour program that aired on Disney-owned ABC in 2018, was accused of using the pop star’s songs, music videos, concert footage and clips of his memorial service without permission.

On Thursday, Jackson lawyer Howard Weitzman said in a statement to AFP: “The matter has been amicably resolved.” No details of the settlement were provided.

The Jackson estate’s lawyers alleged in a complaint filed last year that Disney had ignored copyright law while zealously prosecuting anyone who infringed on its own intellectual property.

“Unable to make a compelling presentation about Michael Jackson on its own, Disney decided to exploit the Jackson Estate’s intellectual property,” read the complaint.

Disney has argued that the documentary — a broad overview of Jackson’s life — made fair use of content including parts of hits “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, as allowed under copyright law.

But the complaint noted that “Disney has threatened to sue independent childcare centers for having pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on their walls.”

“Disney once sued a couple on public assistance for $1 million when they appeared at children’s parties dressed as an orange tiger and a blue donkey. Apparently, those costumes cut too close to Tigger and Eeyore for Disney’s tastes,” it added.

Jackson is estimated to have sold 350 million records, including “Thriller”, the best-selling album of all time.

He amassed 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one solo singles in the United States and became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades.

He died in June 2009 at age 50, while he was in the Los Angeles area practicing for a planned series of concerts in London entitled “This Is It”.

The cause was given as an overdose of the anesthetic propofol. His personal doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted in 2011 for administering the fatal dose of medication to Jackson.

The Jackson estate this year filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO for “posthumous character assassination” after its documentary “Leaving Neverland” alleged that Jackson molested young boys at his fairytale-themed ranch.

HBO has launched an appeal in its bid to dismiss the case.

In his lifetime, Jackson denied all child sex allegations.



Documentary Shows Whitney Houston Abused As A Child

Whitney Houston


A new documentary about the life of Whitney Houston claims that the tragic singer was sexually abused as a child by her cousin, soul musician Dee Dee Warwick.

The revelation in “Whitney”, which was made with the co-operation of the singer’s family, comes late in the film by Oscar-winning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, which was premiered Thursday at the Cannes film festival.

Houston’s assistant, Mary Jones, who Whitney called “Aunt Mary”, discovered her face down in a Beverly Hills bath the night she died, told the filmmakers that she was abused as a child and was later unable to come to terms with her sexuality.

It may help to shine a new light on the singer’s descent into drug addiction and early death at 48 in 2012.

Houston’s destructive relationship with the rapper Bobby Brown is also tackled in the documentary, by the maker of “One Day in September” about Black September hostage-taking at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Brown tells the film that drugs had nothing to do with Houston’s death, although the coroner said it was a contributing factor.

Dee Dee Warwick was the younger sister of the soul legend Dionne Warwick. She also struggled with drug addiction and died aged 63 in 2008.

Macdonald told AFP that he always wondered what was at the root of Houston’s unhappiness.

“For a long time, I had looked at her on screen and thought there’s something about this woman that feels so uncomfortable.

“She doesn’t enjoy her own body in some way. She’s very beautiful but not sexual, she feels uncomfortable in her skin. I began to wonder whether it was abuse.

“Then somebody told me that they had spoken to Whitney about it and that’s what she had said had happened to her, and she felt that that was the origins of her unhappiness.”

Whitney Houston’s soaring gospel voice made her one of the biggest pop stars of the 1990s, selling 170 million albums and starring in the smash hit Hollywood love story, “The Bodyguard”.

“Whitney” is the second film about the tragic singer in less than a year. Another British documentary maker, Nick Broomfield, released his “Whitney: Can I Be Me” late last year.


Channels TV’s Boko Haram Documentary Among Top Videos Of 2017

Channels TV’s Boko Haram Documentary Among Top Videos Of 2017

A documentary by Channels Television on the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East region has been rated as one of the top 10 trending YouTube videos of 2017.

The documentary, which was uploaded in February, was viewed by more than one million YouTube subscribers.

It was ranked sixth by Google, ahead of the music video of ‘WO’ by Nigerian hip-hop star Olamide among others.

See Full list below;

Top 10 Trending Videos of 2017 (Nigeria)

  1. Deaf And Dumb Emmanuella Vs Akin And Pawpaw – (Nigerian Nollywood Movies 2017)
  2. Welcome Back President Buhari: See how the President Landed after Medical Trip in UK
  3. Maths Teacher (Mark Angel Comedy) (Episode 118)
  4. Biafra: Kanu I Want Binta To See This
  5. NAIJ.com visits Evans the kidnapper’s house, how should he be punished?
  6. Channels Television: Boko Haram Special Documentary
  7. Wo – Olamide | Ikorodu Street Kids Dance (dream catchers dance)
  8. Longer Throat (Mark Angel Comedy) (Episode 101)
  9. President Is Back – Pete Edochie (African Nollywood Movies)
  10. Akpos And Beaty 1 – (Nollywood Romantic Movies)


Buhari’s Documentary Has Nothing To Do With Fuel Scarcity – Adesina

The Presidency has reacted to criticism on the timing of a documentary titled “Buhari: Beyond the Iron and Steel” put together by the President’s media team.

The documentary is aimed at showing the other side of President Muhammadu Buhari and will be aired today and tomorrow by 8:00 p.m on Channels Television and NTA.

READ ALSO: Efforts To End Fuel Scarcity Ongoing – NNPC Boss

Presidency in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina insisted that the documentary will be aired, describing the criticism about the timing as malicious.

The president’s spokesman, said fault-finding is the stock-in-trade of such people, and if the critics mistakenly find themselves in heaven, they would even complain against God.

”The reactions mainly dwell on the fact that a documentary showing the human side of the President (as against the well-known iron and steel) is coming at a time there is severe fuel scarcity in the country and I say, why not? Is life all about doom and gloom? Must we sit in ashes and wear sackcloth perpetually, and ignore the brighter side of life? God forbid!”

Adesina insists that the current fuel crisis is a deliberate mischief and sabotage by some marketers, who want to force the hands of government to increase the pump price. He assured Nigerians that the government is working to restore normalcy.

“The current fuel crisis is a combination of snafu (situation normal all fouled up) in the distribution process of petrol (which the NNPC admitted at the onset of the problem), and deliberate mischief and sabotage by some marketers, who want to force the hands of government to increase the pump price,” Adesina said.

He said further that the situation is compounded by hoarding of products and panic buying. He said despite the temporal pains, life must continue, and we must look at the cheery side, while the government works hard to bring succour.

Show Producers, Historians Clash Over Whether Photo Shows Earhart

A never-before-seen photograph has reignited the debate as to the fate of famed pilot Amelia Earhart after she vanished while attempting a round-the-world flight 80 years ago.

The photo, found in the U.S. National Archives by retired U.S. Treasury Agent Les Kinney and the subject of a new History Channel documentary titled, “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence,” shows what appears to be a Caucasian woman sitting on a dock in the Marshall Islands.

Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were last seen taking off in her twin-engine Lockheed Electra on July 2, 1937, from Papua New Guinea en route to tiny Howland Island, some 2,500 miles away in the central Pacific. Radio contact with her plane was lost hours later after 39-year-old Earhart reported running low on fuel.

A massive air-and-sea search, the most extensive such U.S. operation at that time, was unsuccessful. Earhart’s plane was presumed to have gone down, but it has never been known whether she survived, and if so, for how long.

In the two-hour documentary, which airs on Sunday (July 9), researchers say body image comparisons between the photographed woman and Earhart make the match “very likely.”

They hypothesize that Earhart veered away from Howland Island, crash-landed on the Marshall Islands and was then taken captive by Japanese forces.

“At first glance, I didn’t see anything special about it,” said Gary Tarpinian, executive producer of the History documentary. He added, however, that after Kinney made the case for why he thought the photograph showed Earhart, he was “instantly intrigued.”

Ric Gillespie, executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), on the other hand, said there is no evidence the person in the photograph is Earhart.

Gillespie said he believes Earhart died on the island of Nikumaroro, Kiribati, where a partial skeleton was discovered in 1940. The bones’ dimensions match Earhart’s build, likely revealing she died there as a castaway.

“I could show you a dozen pictures of Amelia Earhart in the last days of her world flight,” said Gillespie. “Her hair’s shorter than that. It’s not down on her collar. It’s shorter,” he said, “and that doesn’t look like Fred Noonan.”

“We knew there were going to be people questioning its validity, especially other people who have spent their lives or their careers trying to find more information on Amelia Earhart,” Tarpinian said.

“We think we have real evidence and we stand behind it.”