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Updated December 18th, 2023 at 18:47 IST

Michael Jackson's estate stops auction of purportedly 'stolen' music recordings

King of Pop Michael Jackson's estate has blocked the sales of some "extremely rare" unreleased recordings, arguing the recordings were "unquestionably stolen."

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson | Image:X
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King of Pop Michael Jackson's estate has blocked the sales of some "extremely rare" unreleased recordings. Last month, Gotta Have Rock and Roll revealed plans to auction off over two dozen master tapes supposedly recorded by the late Thriller singer, who died in June 2009. It was expected to fetch up to $4,000 for each tape, but lawyers acting on behalf of the estate threatened to sue, arguing the recordings were "unquestionably stolen."

Michael Jackson | Image: X

 

Why is the auction put on halt?

A letter obtained by Billboard written by attorney Jonathan Steinsapir on November 29 demanded the company "cease and desist from any and all efforts to further auction these tape," but also immediately return the recordings, reports aceshowbiz.com.

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Michael Jackson | Image: X

 

The letter continued: "Neither Michael Jackson nor his record company, Sony Music Entertainment, ever sold or gave away master tapes from his recording sessions at The Hit Factory (or anywhere else). These tapes were unquestionably stolen or otherwise taken without authorization. Accordingly, they are the property of the Jackson Estate."

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The letter was apparently unsuccessful and so this week, attorney Alex Spiro, sent an email to the auction house's lawyer, in which they noted the company had already informed the estate that they "will not comply with these demands."

They wrote: "We write to notify you that we intend to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction tomorrow (December 13) in New York Supreme Court. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions."

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Michael Jackson | Image: X

 

When were the tapes removed from sale?

By Wednesday, December 13, the tapes had been removed from sale, though Gotta Have Rock and Roll are still selling a number of other items associated with the 'Bad' singer, including a "Circa 1984 Owned + Worn Red Military Style Jacket" which they estimate will sell for over $10,000.

The tapes had been noted as being "artifact ONLY with no copyright" with reproduction "STRICTLY prohibited" and had titles including Oh Love, New Jelly, and Doing What My Heart.

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(With inputs from IANS)

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Published December 18th, 2023 at 08:49 IST

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