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Sony/ATV is to administer the catalog of Michael Jackson’s own songs

August 22, 2012

We live as if on top of a volcano and do not have a moment of quiet. Today we’ve heard the news that the Estate signed an agreement under which the Sony/ATV joint venture will take care of administering the MJJac catalog which includes all Michael’s own songs.

Since every move by the Estate comes under double scrutiny and the word “Sony” is still a fright for many Michael’s supporters the news initially put me very much on my guard. However a little thinking made me realize that Michael’s songs still remain in full Michael’s ownership and all we are talking of is the right to promote his songs which was passed over from Warner Chappell to Sony/ATV. Considering that the joint venture is only one half Sony and the second half Michael, it means that the right to promote the songs has been passed to partially Michael Jackson himself.

In my view this might only for the better as a powerful entity like Sony/ATV will probably popularize Michael’s music better than anyone else.

Here is the news of the event from MJ-Upbeat.com:

NEW YORK —August 20, 2012—Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced today that the company has entered into a worldwide administration agreement to represent Michael Jackson’s iconic Mijac Music catalog. Founded by Michael Jackson in 1980 as his personal publishing company, Mijac Music grew to include – in addition to all of his own incredible songs – the classic Sly and the Family Stone catalog, songs by the legendary Philadelphia soul team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as well as songs made famous by other artists such as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.

Of the announcement, Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV said, “We are thrilled that the Estate of Michael Jackson has entrusted us with this incredible catalog of songs, and everyone at Sony/ATV looks forward to finding innovative ways to use these songs, while protecting their legacy.

Commenting on the deal, John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson remarked, “Michael’s songs in the Mijac Music catalog not only showcase his greatness as a performer but also his creative genius as a songwriter. We are excited that the company Michael helped found, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and in which his Estate remains a 50% partner, will represent these amazing songs along with a rich collection of other music recorded by some of our greatest popular artists.”

The agreement comes in advance of the September 18 release of BAD25, a new two-disc-package and DVD that marks the 25th anniversary of Michael’s landmark BAD album.

The Mijac catalog includes all of the songs written by the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, including “Another Part Of Me,” “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “Can You Feel It,” “Dangerous,” “Dirty Diana,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Earth Song,” “Heal the World,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Jam,” “Scream,” “Smooth Criminal,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “We Are The World.”

Also included in the catalog are some of the most iconic songs in rock, pop and soul music history, including “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” “After Midnight,” “Ease on Down the Road,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” “I Got A Woman,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Love Train,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “People Get Ready,” “Runaround Sue,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Wanderer”, “What’d I Say,” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “You Don’t Know Me”. Of special note the catalog includes the songs made famous by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Sly and the Family Stone, including such hits as “Dance To the Music,” “Everybody is a Star,” “Everyday People,” “Family Affair,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “If You Want Me To Stay,” “Sing a Simple Song,” “Stand” and “Thank You.”

About Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, established in 1995 as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson, is the world’s leading music publisher. Together with EMI Music Publishing, Leiber Stoller, Mijac Music, Motown and the Famous Music catalogs, Sony/ATV owns or administers more than 2 million copyrights, including some of the best known songs ever written. Sony/ATV’s catalog includes “New York, New York,” “All You Need Is Love,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Moon River,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “The Mission Impossible Theme,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Stand By Me,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” In addition, Sony/ATV represents the copyrights of such legendary artists as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others. Its ever-growing list of chart-topping artists, writers and producers includes Beyoncé, Fall Out Boy, Jay-Z, Jessie J, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, P!nk, RedOne, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Stargate, Taylor Swift and Kanye West.
http://www.mj-upbeat.com/SONYATVMUSICPUBLISHINGSIGNSEXCLUSIVEWORLDWIDEADMINISTRATIONAGREEMENTTOREPRESENTMIJACMUS.htm

Since even after this news bulletin a lot of questions still remained unanswered John Branca sent the following comment, which in my opinion could have been much more detailed in order to clear the remaining doubts and set our minds fully at ease:

I understand that you are being asked a lot of questions about Mijac.

Yes, there is a matching right that Michael granted to Sony/ATV but they only get to administer the catalog for a limited term AND only if they agree to unprecedented favorable terms. We will not relinquish ultimate control and ownership to anyone. We have favorably refinanced the loans on Mijac which will be paid off and the catalog WILL absolutely be passed to Michael’s children as long as we have anything to say about it.

Sony/ATV is a great company and the Estate owns half of it but no one, not even Sony/ATV, will ever own Mijac while John McClain and I remain in charge.

The current Sony team is the one Michael chose to work with on the Thriller 25 release and they are good partners. As stated in the recent court filings, they worked with us to refinance the burdensome debt that had been placed on Michael’s interest in Sony/ATV to very favorable terms, an important achievement which insures that Mijac and Michael’s masters remain secure for the benefit of Michael’s children for years to come.

I would appreciate your sharing this with the fans that are asking questions.

Thanks – John

John Branca
Co-Executor
The Estate Of Michael Jackson
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.mjjcommunity.com/michael-jackson-news/statement-from-john-branca-co-executor-the-estate-of-michael-jackson-regarding-mijac-announcement

The phrase that the catalog will absolutely be passed to Michael’s children “as long as the Estate lawyers have anything to say about it” sounds rather worrisome as it looks like there is a danger it might change hands if the Estate lawyers have no longer a say on the matter. I hope it is not a hint at some people’s desire to dispute the will, and that even if the Estate lawyers cease to have a say here the songs will still always be owned by Michael’s children only.

If there is indeed a danger that Michael’s catalog may cease to be the ownership of Michael’s children, some foolproof measures should be taken to guarantee that no such thing is ever possible. Frankly, to me this is all that matters in this whole Sony/ATV/MJJac music catalog business, with all other considerations being secondary.

However today I’ve encountered a Facebook opinion that is vehemently against passing over the right to administer Michael’s songs to Sony/ATV venture even if the songs remain fully Michael’s and grow in popularity too:

  • “Thank you for speaking about terms of Michael’s popularity. It’s not my way to evaluate things. That’s why my focus will never be yours. As I said before, to me nothing matters more than Michael’s choices until his last breath.
  • Michael Jackson NEVER involved his MJJAC catalog with Sony/ATV IN HIS LIFETIME. Before Branca and McClain, there was Michael Jackson himself as the owner of MJJAC and Sony/ATV. Until he was ALIVE, he kept them SEPARATELY. The co-executors can be the smartest business people ever born on this earth, I DON’T CARE. To me, what matters are Michael Jackson’s choices and all the things HE did when HE was here before he was killed”.

Everyone has a right to her own opinion, and thinking that it was too late to ask Michael about his views on managing his songs I decided to have a look at how successful the previous administrator of Michael’s catalog, Warner Chappell Music,  was in handling this business and, you will never believe it… the very first article found on the Internet told me that in the year 2003 Michael was planning to pass over the management of his songs… you won’t believe it again … to Sony/ATV!

In an article dated December 2003 Roger Friedman says that Michael’s advisers were working on a deal that could enable Sony/ATV purchase Warner Chappell and thus bring all Michael’s publishing rights under one roof – which is exactly what is happening now.  If we are to believe Roger Friedman Michael was even ready to use his share in Sony/ATV as collateral to purchase Warner Chappell in order to manage his songs himself.

This is what Friedman wrote in December 2003 or a month after the Neverland raid by Tom Sneddon. Please don’t pay attention to the derogatory nickname and an occasionally mocking style – this is the horrible reality Michael Jackson had to put up with throughout his life:

Jacko Almost Bought Warner Music Catalog

December 01, 2003

FoxNews.com

Friday’s New York Times was all atwitter about corporate music grinder Andrew Lloyd Webber seeking the publishing catalog of the now-sold Warner Music Group.

It’s called Warner Chappell Music, and includes, among thousands of titles, all of Michael Jackson’s solo hits like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” from his “Thriller,” “Bad,” “Dangerous,” “HIStory” and “Invincible” albums.

But Lloyd Webber’s interest in Warner Chappell is not the first from a composer. I can tell you now that Jackson himself thought he was buying Warner Chappell just two months ago.

Jackson’s advisors — now in disarray — were unified during the summer. They figured out that Jackson’s half interest in Sony/ATV Music (aka the Beatles catalog, et al) would be enough collateral to launch an inventive deal. They engaged investment bankers at Goldman Sachs, who put together a firm offer for Sony/ATV to buy Warner Chappell. This would have brought all of Jackson’s major publishing holdings together under one roof.

But luck has never been on Jackson’s side concerning such matters. Just as the Goldman Sachs deal looked ready to roll, Warner Music got out of its other merger deals and looked to Edgar Bronfman’s group as a potential buyer. Bronfman wanted the publishing company as well as the record catalog. Almost simultaneously, the Santa Barbara DA began to make his move on Jackson. There was no way at that point for the plans to jell.

Even more perplexing in the Jackson saga: Even though Jackson was making this deal, and even though he’d been on trial in Santa Maria earlier in 2003 for his breach of contract lawsuit with manager Marcel Avram, he never bothered to tell the lawyers and business people handling the Goldman-Warner-Sony proposal that the child-molestation case even existed. All of them — including such longtime Jackson legal advisers as John BrancaSteve Cochran (no relation to Johnnie) and Zia Modabber — found out when the world did, on the morning of Nov. 19 when the Neverland Ranch was raided by the Santa Barbara police department.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,104427,00.html

In the last point Friedman is of course gravely mistaken – Michael Jackson himself had no way of knowing that on November 18, 2003 all his plans and life would be ruined by Sneddon as his long-time Hater, however as regards the rest of the story Friedman looks rather well-informed.

Replying to today’s news about Sony/ATV rights to administer Michael’s songs Roger Friedman wrote the following interesting piece (sent to us by Susanne, thanks!).

The only point that baffles me here is that Friedman is talking of $300 mln. still owed to the Estate to Bank of America on separate loans. Firstly, I thought that those debts had long been resold to another company (as Friedman was writing about it himself),  and secondly, I was under the impression that the major part of the debt had already been paid (unless we are totally in the dark as regards the situation).

But apart from that the article is a good read. Among other things it confirms to us that neither the Beatles nor Michael Jackson’s catalogs are in the danger of ever been sold (I keep my finger crossed).

Please note what a miraculous effect Michael Jackson’s posthumous success has on the style of the same author:

Michael Jackson Estate Deals Blow to Warner Music, Brings Publishing to Sony

08/20/12 6:15pm Roger Friedman

The Michael Jackson music catalog, known as MiJac, has been moved to Sony-ATV from Warner Chappell. In layman’s terms: this is a blow to Warner Music and a major win for Sony.

Even though MiJac was heavily leveraged for years, I’m told the loan from HSBC is down to around $4 million. The Michael Jackson estate still owes just under $300 million to Bank of America on separate loans Michael took against his ownership in Sony-ATV Music Publishing.

What’s happened now is that Jackson’s long contract with Warner Chappell, the publishing division of Warner Music Group, expired last December. Sony-ATV, in which he has a 50% ownership interest, had the right to match or better any offer when MiJac’s deal with WMG was done. The deal was actually completed a couple of months ago, I’m told. But with all the brouhaha concerning Katherine Jackson and the Jackson siblings demand to oust Michael’s executors, an announcement was put off.

Now all of Michael Jackson’s music publishing will be in one place: Sony-ATV. MiJac holds all of his songs like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” plus hundreds of other publishing copyrights including everything by Sly Stone.

It’s a plum win for Sony and a devastating loss for Warner Music. Warner Chappell was the only part of that company still doing well. To lose MiJac, especially since Jackson’s death and the renewed interest in his music, is a heavy setback. It’s unclear whether that was explained to Len Blavatnik and his Access Industries group when they bought WMG from Edgar Bronfman Jr last year.

Meantime: it’s been underlined that now neither MiJac nor Sony-ATV or the Beatles catalog, is for sale. The Jackson estate has done an excellent job of paying down the various loans and renegotiating the interest rates in more favorable terms.

http://www.showbiz411.com/2012/08/20/michael-jackson-estate-deals-blow-to-warner-music

All these pieces of  news came so marvellously together that I decided to immediately write about them. Please add or correct if  in the hurry of it I overlooked something.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. shellywebstere permalink
    August 29, 2012 4:46 pm

    @Jovanna,

    The first who went to court was KJ and she lied about the will. It’s the siblings who called Branca about the Will the day MJ died

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  2. Jovana permalink
    August 29, 2012 3:19 pm

    @Alison
    The reason i think that they are disrespectful to Michael is that they didnt even wait until his memorial to present a will, before Michael was even buried we knew that the This Is It was coming out, and that is very dsirespectful to a deceased person. There was no time given to the family or the fans to grieve, it was about the money right from the start.
    They might be business people but i think clearing Michael’s name is just as important because the lies and media mocking destroyed Michael’s life. It is purely business for them , you are right and it is very unfortunate that we as fans are the the only ones who are keen on taking on that part.

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  3. aldebaranredstar permalink
    August 26, 2012 6:14 am

    Thanks for your reply, Helena. I guess the judge will have to rule on this b/c the Estate has objected to the open-endedness of the request. The judge seems pretty good except for the disappearance, which has not been cleared up and instead glossed over in spite of problems with the statement KJ submitted to the court to get her guardianship back. How can she say she didn’t know there was a problem until the sound came on the TV when police interviewed her earlier to ask if she was ok? (even assuming it was true TV and phone did not work for a week in an upscale spa).

    “Are they thinking about the effect all this squabble has on the public?” This is an excellent question. I think it is very hard on the fans to enjoy the new releases coming up and to remember Michael’s upcoming birthday, and just feel good about the work done to restore Michael’s legacy and promote the truth when all this infighting goes on. I got very stressed out when the kids seemed distraught, worried, alone, confused, under attack, and people went on TV saying they needed punishment. And just when I thought things had calmed down after the KJ disappearance, this audit comes up. As for the general public, they see it as a circus. They could be right.

    The Jacksons are a very large family, as we know. I saw a photo once of a family reunion and there were probably 50 or more people there. So there are a lot of people who want/need $$ and would like to have some if they can.

    “Anything, anything for money–lie for it, die for it, even sell your soul to the devil.”

    Maybe this will blow over. This too will pass. Just sometimes too much drama!

    Like

  4. August 26, 2012 1:17 am

    “It just seems the Jackson family has it in for the Estate and will keep hammering away.”

    Aldebaranredstar, I am more than sure that it is Michael’s siblings who are behind the proposed audit. Even from the nature of the demand it is clear that they suspect the Estate of embezzling money. Considering that they have no right to claim any money themselves or even have a say on this issue they are doing it through their mother. They are simply manipulating this old woman.

    Their going after Michael’s money is disgusting. They say good words about Michael’s legacy but are doing everything to undermine it. Are they thinking about the effect all this squabble has on the public? Does it contribute to Michael’s success and the ability to generate more income in order to pay the debts?

    However these people will not stop until they get this audit. If the Estate refuses it the attacks will only increase and the Jacksons will turn the whole MJ community against them. I am afraid that the Estate has been put in a position when they cannot refuse, unless the audit is a paid procedure and costs a lot of money. Then they can suggest that a full audit should be made after all the debts are paid. I think the most important thing now is leaving the estate debt free and generating a good income for Michael’s children. This is a priority and all the rest is secondary to it.

    If the audit is indeed expensive it should be postponed until a later time. It will come anyway (the Jacksons will never leave the Estate alone) but it should come at a time when it is no longer an added burden on Michael’s finances.

    I wonder – is there anyone who is manipulating the Jacksons or is it them who are so “clever”?

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  5. aldebaranredstar permalink
    August 26, 2012 12:18 am

    There was an objection filed to KJ’s request for all the supporting documents that resulted in the Second Accounting of the Estate. The accounting is 90 pages long and the ‘supporting docs’ are literally 1000s of pages, so the Estate says her request is too broad and would involve revealing contracts that are not public record and confidential. For each contract the estate makes, they have to submit it to the court for approval, so the court is aware of the contracts the Estate makes and they have to review it to make sure it is worthy. Metzger came to see Katherine on the 14th of July, so all this seems to be happening at once–the request for full docs, the letter from the sibs saying the will is fake, the disappearance of KJ, the visit by Janet, Randy, Jermaine wanting to take the kids.

    I got so discouraged from reading about KJ’s request last night. Has anyone read Great Expectations by Dickens? There is a case there called Jarndyce and Jarndyce that goes on and on, only enriching the lawyers, and when they run out of money, the case closes. There was no money left for the heirs. I am starting to wonder about all these challenges to the Estate and the Executors. This is generating huge legal bills that the Estate is apparently paying b/c KJ is a beneficiary and co-guardian. KJ seems to have a legal team that is constantly challenging the Estate. This is just bleeding $$ out of the Estate and apparently (I am not sure about this) there is still a $300 million debt that Michael took out on Sony/ATV catalogue to be paid off. If these challenges keep on, and it seems they will, how will the bills be paid and the Estate cleared? I just don’t see the point and KJ doesn’t care–she just wants more $$. I read she gets $87,000/mo. and the Estate has ‘loaned’ her millions. I would like an accounting from her as to what is happening with the $. It just seems the Jackson family has it in for the Estate and will keep hammering away. I could handle it a little better if the Estate were not paying for the legal fees on both sides!

    I wish Michael had made Diana Ross sole guardian.

    I have another question–KJ says the phone in her room at the spa didn’t work, also the TV didn’t work. Was this a lie? How could a spa like that have nonworking phone and TV for so many days (11)? She says she repeatedly asked for the TV to be fixed and one day only the sound came on and she found out she was missing. But police officers had been to see her before so she must have known there was a reason for the police to seek her out. Does anyone else think her story submitted to the court is full of holes? has any journalist gone to the Miraval Spa and asked them about whether the phone and TV were out of operation? Also, these statements don’t jive with the statement she read at the spa where she said she wanted to rest and didn’t feel like receiving calls. I can’t understand how the court just accepts all this and lets her stay on as co-guardian with full control of the funds.

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  6. August 25, 2012 11:22 pm

    “what is the problem of Katherine asking for audit of the estate?It shouldn’t even questioned .I think she is doing the right thing and they should fulfill her request as they are the employees to the estate.”

    Tina, I think it should not be a problem if all the documents remain confidential and only the result is made known.

    Like

  7. TIna permalink
    August 25, 2012 6:54 pm

    What I don’t understand is ,what is the problem of Katherine asking for audit of the estate?It shouldn’t even questioned .I think she is doing the right thing and they should fulfill her request as they are the employees to the estate.

    Like

  8. Alison permalink
    August 25, 2012 1:17 pm

    @Lynande – and all days after William Wagener announced the affidavit would be presented. July was an eventful month. interesting.

    Like

  9. lynande51 permalink
    August 25, 2012 1:46 am

    Katherine gets $75,000.00 a month for her own expenses. Her rent is paid,the renovations on Havenhurst are paid, Prince, Paris and Blanket’s expenses are all paid separately as are all of the bills that Katherine gets for her life. What is going on with her and her family now because she has had plenty of time since she got back from Arizona to stop this filing why wasn’t it?

    Like

  10. lynande51 permalink
    August 25, 2012 1:42 am

    It just came out in the news today that while all the family drama was going on in July Katherine’s lawyer Perry Sanders filed for a complete audit of the Estate books. As a matter of fact it was filed on the same day that the Siblings letter to the Estate became public. By the time this was filed on July 19th Katherine had been gone for 4 days.

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  11. August 25, 2012 1:03 am

    “… the Estate lawyers have a lot of respect for Michael, all their statements and releases show nothing but respect.
    … They aren’t using Michael as a money making machine, they are doing effective business with the product Michael created as HIS business.
    … what a disservice his executors would be doing to him if they let it all dwindle into nothing after all the hard work and heart Michael Jackson poured into it.
    …I would have thought that this new deal will allow a greater exposure to Michael’s music, and also to the music of all the others owned by Mijjac and in addition bring that money back into his own coffers.
    …The first thing that had to be done was deal with the debt which was substantial and even if its looking promising its not yet all paid off.
    …Its not the Estate’s job to work on clearing his name, they are financial people. However i think that the manner in which they have handled everything demonstrates a foundational knowledge that Michael Jackson was an innocent man and a good man, and there is some dignity in his Estate not getting drawn into that side, it shows they think it was all rubbish.”
    – Alison

    Alison, great points! One couldn’t word it better!

    Like

  12. August 25, 2012 12:56 am

    “I just don’t trust those people, the executors, I pray to God that they are working for Michael but I think time will show.”

    Jovana, I agree. Time will show. In the meantime we should try to remain as cool and level-headed as it is only possible.

    Like

  13. Alison permalink
    August 24, 2012 12:14 am

    @Jovana.

    I have to disagree with you.

    I think the Estate lawyers have a lot of respect for Michael, all their statements and releases show nothing but respect.

    They aren’t using Michael as a money making machine, they are doing effective business with the product Michael created as HIS business. Michael loved music and writing songs and trying to get across a message in them – but he didn’t give them away free, he sold them. He wanted to make money from them or he wouldn’t have been selling them. He also re-packaged many songs to sell again in different combinations – to make money. and he agreed many merchandising deals for lots of other stuff. This is the business Michael Jackson was involved in. Yes, he also gave away a lot of the money in charitable ways – as is the 20% of his estate for.

    He was an astute businessman by all accounts – so what a disservice his executors would be doing to him if they let it all dwindle into nothing after all the hard work and heart Michael Jackson poured into it.and didn’t try to carry on making money from them. and how would charities benefit if they don’t make much money.

    I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the music business, about song rights, publishing rights et.c et.c, but I would have thought that this new deal will allow a greater exposure to Michael’s music, and also to the music of all the others owned by Mijjac and in addition bring that money back into his own coffers.

    The first thing that had to be done was deal with the debt which was substantial and even if its looking promising its not yet all paid off.

    Its not the Estate’s job to work on clearing his name, they are financial people. However i think that the manner in which they have handled everything demonstrates a foundational knowledge that Michael Jackson was an innocent man and a good man, and there is some dignity in his Estate not getting drawn into that side, it shows they think it was all rubbish.

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  14. Jovana permalink
    August 23, 2012 4:36 pm

    Wasn’t there a time when Michael wanted to have the rights to all of his songs and wasn’t these same people that made this not possible? But of course it wasn’t that, it was Michael not beeing able to read the contract properly. There were many, many leches feeding of him during his lifetime and even in death too, I just wish they would respect him more as a person and not look at him as a money making machine only. Wouldn’t it be better if they started to clear his name first of all those false accusations and fabricated stories that are still going around, wouldn’t that be a better victory for Michael. Michael made his legacy already what he needs now is to be shown to the world for who he really was.

    Like

  15. Jovana permalink
    August 23, 2012 4:08 pm

    Yes Michael is in business with Sony but they never got the chance to profit of his own songs his own catalogue until now.
    I just don’t trust those people, the executors, I pray to God that they are working for Michael but I think time will show. Right now I don’t have good feeling about this at all.

    Like

  16. August 22, 2012 11:47 pm

    “they talk about refinancing and restructuring loans and negotiating for “a new loan at a substantially lower interest rate”. I don’t understand it very well and they don’t mention an amount, but perhaps Friedman here refers to the loan that was re-negotiated, but not yet paid back.”

    Susanne, I cannot say anything on the above as I simply do not know for sure and don’t want to make wild guesses. I was planning to have a very close look at Michael’s finances on the basis of some other materials – to see who was who in Michael’s life, who gave him real help and who merely used him, but my plans changed by the surprise of William Wagener’s affidavit.

    So I dropped the finances and got down to Sneddon. Now Sneddon is much more important because MJ’s finances are in capable and efficient hands, and while they are we (or at least I) can be more or less at ease – unless Michael’s siblings grab them of course which will be a disaster. I don’t have anything against them but they are obviously no businessmen and lack the necessary knowledge to do the right thing.

    And Sneddon’s business cannot wait. This is so rare a chance that I regard it as a complete must to tell the public about his deeds.

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  17. August 22, 2012 5:52 pm

    Helena, regarding these loans from the Bank of America Friedman is talking about, perhaps this part of the Second Accounting helps for an explanation (p. 15):
    “36. Debt Restructure. At the time of Michael Jackson’s death, the primary assets of the Estate (i.e., Mijac Music and Michael Jackson’s interest in Sony/ATV), were highly leveraged. As set forth in the First Account Current, during the period covered by the First Account, the Executors successfully negotiated to refinance and restructure the Mijac Loans into a new loan with more favorable terms, including a reduction in the interest rate, which will save the Estate more than $800,000 per month. Since MJJ’s death the Executors have reduced the principal balance on the debt secured by the Mijac assets by more than $65 million and expect the debt will be paid in full by the end of this year. At the time of Michael Jackson’s death, the balance due on the Sony/ATV Loan was approximately $300 million. The loan matured on December 3, 2010. With the assistance of counsel, the Executors refinanced the loan secured by the Estate’s interest in Sony/ATV. The Executor’s task was challenging. The negotiations resulted in an amended agreement with Sony that is more favorable to the Estate and a new loan at a substantially lower interest rate that is locked in for the period of the loan.”
    So they talk about refinancing and restructuring loans and negotiating for “a new loan at a substantially lower interest rate”. I don’t understand it very well and they don’t mention an amount, but perhaps Friedman here refers to the loan that was re-negotiated, but not yet paid back.

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  18. August 22, 2012 3:15 pm

    “This just can’t be happening. I think that now is obvious who they are working for.”

    Jovana, they are working for Michael Jackson who has 50% in the joint venture with Sony in this Sony/ATV business.
    Michael IS in business with Sony whether we like it or not.

    Like

  19. August 22, 2012 3:28 am

    @Jovana Sony and Sony/ATV are two distinctly separate entities.
    @Helena My eyes, too, jumped when they encountered the two bothersome phrases “as long as we have anything to say about it” and “while John McClain and I remain in charge.” Then of course I realized that’s as good as it can get, since obviously they can’t guarantee what happens to the Estate if and/or when they are out of the picture. So, overall, I think this is another great big step in the right direction. May it be very fruitful.

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  20. Jovana permalink
    August 22, 2012 2:29 am

    This just can’t be happening. I think that now is obvious who they are working for. Michael fought against Sony for many years he never thought of giving Sony a chance to proffit of his songs too that’s why he made his own company in the first place. This really is a stab in the back for Michael.

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