Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Stern said there was nothing new in the motion by MJJ Productions Inc. that he had not seen in previous defense papers.
“It really is deja vu all over again,” Stern said.
The MJJ Productions motion asked for dismissal of portions of the breach of contract claims on grounds that there were no triable isues. But the judge said there is a “fundamental difference of opinion” over major issues that can only be resolved by a jury.
The complaint, filed in October 2013, alleges two causes of action for breach of contract against MJJ productions and one cause of action for an accounting of royalties owed against Sony Music Entertainment.
Among the allegations in the suit are that royalties from the film “This is It” were allegedly disguised as profits and diverted to three Jackson estate entities: the Michael Jackson Co., MJJ Ventures and Triumph International.
“This is It” is a 2009 documentary that traces Jackson’s rehearsals and preparation for a series of London concerts that never happened. The singer died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009 — 18 days prior to the tour’s start date – – of a drug overdose at age 50.
Jones, now 83, also alleges that master recordings he worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of bonus profits. The 28- time Grammy winner also maintains he was denied credit for his work on the singer’s works released after his death.
Jones made agreements with Jackson in 1978 and 1985 for work on the singer’s solo albums in which the producer claims he was given the first opportunity to re-edit or remix any of the master recordings. He also maintains that the coupling of master recordings with other recordings required his permission and that was to be given producer credit for each of the master recordings.
Trial is scheduled Feb. 21.
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