Bosses of a company behind Katy Perry's concert merchandise have launched a legal battle against the makers of counterfeit products.
Bravado International licenses exclusive rights for tour goods, such as T-shirts and posters, for artists including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Guns N' Roses. Bosses are furious fraudsters are selling illegal Perry merchandise outside her concerts, and in legal papers obtained by TMZ.com they are asking a judge to stop the trade and confiscate the counterfeit items.
It is not the first time officials at Bravado have sued - in 2009, they demanded millions of dollars from companies selling goods featuring the name and likeness of stars including Jackson, Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Michael Jackson's estate is at the centre of a new lawsuit between the King of Pop's This Is It costume designer and his two business partners. Style guru Nestor Goco, known professionally as Zaldy, was hired to create the pop superstar's stage wardrobe for his ill-fated 2009 This Is It residency in London.
Zaldy, who has also worked with Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez and the Rolling Stones, was subsequently paid to allow his designs to be included in an ongoing world tour of Jackson memorabilia and other shows authorised by his estate executors, including the Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson ONE, a Las Vegas stage production inspired by his hits.
Zaldy's former associates Christopher Demers and Travis Payne claim they agreed to serve as his managers from July, 2009 to secure work with Jackson's estate in exchange for a 20 per cent cut of profits, but they are now suing amid allegations the designer has reneged on the deal.
Legal papers filed in New York County Supreme Court this week (begs30Jun14) suggest they believe the defendant earned as much as $2.4 million (£1.4 million) from Jackson-related projects since his death in June, 2009 and they are seeking at least $280,000 (£164,706) in compensation.
The director of a new Michael Jackson documentary is suing the King of Pop's estate executors amid a dispute over footage rights. Craig Williams' Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot features clips he shot of the late superstar at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City for Ebony magazine in 2007.
His film also includes interviews with Jackson's friends, photographers and stylists as the superstar prepared for the photo session.
However, Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Michael Jackson estate, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the images of the King of Pop are private.
He says, "The makers of the documentary are attempting to exploit footage and photographs of Michael Jackson, which we believe are owned by his Estate. The documentary contains footage of Michael during private moments that he never agreed could be publicly and commercially exploited without his consent and/or involvement. Michael never authorised or approved the use of this material in the film."
Williams and producers at Noval Williams Films insist they have obtained the rights, and in a complaint filed in New York federal court, they claim the Jackson family was offered the opportunity to purchase the rights to the images in 2011, but passed.
Williams is seeking declaratory relief that his film isn't infringing copyrights.
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur
Beyonce and Jay Z marked five years since Michael Jackson's death on Wednesday (25Jun14) by performing one of his hits on the first night of their tour. The couple, which married in 2008, kicked off their co-headlining On The Run trek on Wednesday at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida and they paid tribute to the King of Pop by playing Jackson 5 hit I Want You Back during the show.
Earlier that day, Beyonce marked the five year anniversary by writing in a post on her website, "Michael Jackson changed me, and helped me to become the artist I am thank you Michael. Love always, B." The pair opened the first show of the tour with their 2002 collaboration '03 Bonnie & Clyde, with Beyonce wearing a plunging fishnet leotard and balaclava.
The 42-song set list switched between the stars' own solo hits and duets, and the concert ended with Forever Young, which was accompanied by on-screen footage from their wedding and home videos of their two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy.
The tour's next stop is in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday (28Jun14) and will continue through to September (14).
Michael Jackson's father has marked the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death by revealing his son visits him in his dreams. Joe Jackson posted a tribute to the Thriller hitmaker on his website on Wednesday (25Jun14), revealing Michael is always on his mind - even when he's asleep.
His touching note reads, "Michael, not a day goes by when I don't think of you. I miss you. Everywhere I go, your music follows me. I hear it in the stores, in the car, on TV. You are everywhere. You were a great son and I will always miss you."
And then Joe revealed that his son is alive in his dreams, adding, "Time and again in my sleep, my son visits me. When I was laying in bed sleeping, I dreamt he was in the same room with me, standing there and smiling. He started singing, his voice was echoing in my dreams and woke me up. I realized I was awake in a dream.
"He continued singing and his voice echoed out the door. In my dream, I woke up and walked to the door following the voice as it faded away. I woke up and realized I had been dreaming."
"R I P Micheal (sic). We love you. Today the world and media will grieve your absence, and think deeply of how we could have treated you better." Lady Gaga remembers Michael Jackson on the fifth anniversary of his death (25Jun14).
"I'm gonna dance extra hard tonight during Ain't It Fun for Mr. Michael Jackson... Still hard to believe. Never forgotten!" Hayley Williams plans to honour the King of Pop on the fifth anniversary of his death at Paramore's show on Wednesday (25Jun14).
La Toya Jackson has urged fans to "celebrate" the life of her late brother Michael with kind deeds as they mark the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death. A host of fan gatherings across the world were held on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark the sad anniversary, and a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles is planned for Wednesday night, but La Toya insists her younger brother would not have wanted devotees to dwell on his death, and she is encouraging them to enjoy his music - and do something for someone in need instead.
In a statement, she writes, "(Michael was) the most incredible father, brother, son and the most talented performed this world has ever known. If Michael were here today he would tell us to all celebrate his life and not to mourn his death."
She adds, "Michael was all about love and peace and, in honor of my brother, I ask you to please do something kind for someone today, and, blast and dance to all the beautiful music he left us all.
"I will spend the day celebrating his life by listening to his music, looking through old home photos, watching his videos and concerts. Michael I love you forever and if you were here today I know you would say, 'I love you more!'"
Michael Jackson's estate executors, John Branca and John McClain, also noted the anniversary in a statement which reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need.
"Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
Michael Jackson's pop star nephews 3T were left stranded in Europe on the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death after they were caught up in the chaos of France's air traffic controllers strike.
The singers, Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, travelled to the Italian city of Milan this week (beg23Jun14) to attend a fashion show, and planned to head home to California on Tuesday (24Jun14) ahead of the anniversary of the superstar's passing the following day (25Jun14). However, they faced a travel nightmare after arriving at the airport to discover industrial action in France had affected outgoing flights.
TJ updated fans in posts on Twitter.com, writing, "Just got to the airport to head home and apparently there is a strike from the Italian air traffic control. The wait game begins... So it's a French air control strike... But I still have nothing but love for (the French) so it's all good. A lot of free time to play guitar..."
The brothers managed to board a flight to London later on Tuesday evening, but they were unable to catch a connection to Los Angeles so they had to spend the night in the British capital. Taryll tweets, "Hello (Britain)... Well it looks like I'll be staying the night here in London & heading home first thing in the morning."
The group spent the morning of the emotional anniversary in London before they were finally able to board a flight to L.A., with TJ confirming, "Finally heading home."
The Thriller hitmaker passed away on 25 June, 2009 following a lethal dose of the anaesthetic Propofol.
Michael Jackson's friends, family and fans joined together on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark five years since the King of Pop's death. The Thriller hitmaker passed away on 25 June, 2009 after suffering an overdose of anaesthetic administered by his doctor, Conrad Murray, who served two years in jail on an involuntary manslaughter charge for his role in the tragedy.
The fifth anniversary of Jackson's death prompted a flood of tributes on social networking websites, with fans across the world sharing their memories of the pop superstar and making #MichaelJackson a trending topic on Twitter.com.
A number of stars also took to the website to mourn the loss of the singer five years on. British supermodel Naomi Campbell shared a picture of herself posing with Jackson with her hands on his face, adding, "I miss you #MJ #RIP with #angels #kingofpop #loyalfriend #legend# #Icon #MichealJackson in our hearts... (sic)."
Rapper/actor Ludacris adds, "R.I.P. The King Of POP M.J."
Jackson's pop star nephews, Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, of 3T, were stranded in Europe on the day of the anniversary due to a strike by French air traffic controllers, but they managed to add tributes to their late uncle before boarding a plane back to California to be with their family. Taryll writes, "To my idol, teacher, uncle and best friend... 'I love you more'. #alwaysinmyheart #love #foreverMJJ #bestofalltime (sic)," while his brother TJ, adds, "Not a day goes by where I don't think about him. And today even more so... His smile, his laughter, his walk, everything. Love you, Doo Doo."
The co-executors of Jackson's estate, John Branca and John McClain, also released a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the singer's passing. The message, posted on Jackson's official website, reads, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need. Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
A number of memorial events are planned around the world on Wednesday - American fans are set to come together for a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, while other gatherings are planned in countries including Spain, Holland and the U.K. Fans are also expected to visit Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Indiana.