The director of a new documentary on Michael Jackson has filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate to claim rights to video footage of the late singer.
Craig Williams, director of Michael Jackson: The Last Photo Shoot seeks to claim footage of Jackson’s 2007 photo shoot at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for Ebony Magazine, according to Aceshowbiz. The photo shoot footage has heretofore been unseen. The film also intends to show interviews with photographers, friends and stylists of the singer.
Williams claims to have stepped in and bought the rights to the video footage after Jackson’s camp passed on them back in 2011. However The Huffington Post reports that, according to Jackson’s estate, Williams’ documentary falls under the category of work for hire and that Jackson is, therefore, still the legal author and owner of the footage.
Lawyer to the Jackson estate, Howard Weitzman, told The Hollywood Reporter, "The makers of the documentary are attempting to exploit footage and photographs of, Michael Jackson, which we believe are owned by his Estate."
This lawsuit comes in the wake of other legal problems regarding the fallen King of Pop. Last week, a $10 million lawsuit was filed by Pulse Evolution, the animators responsible for the Michael Jackson hologram at the Billboard Awards, against Hologram USA owner Alki David, who attempted to claim copyrights to the technology used to make the hologram. A Los Angeles woman also filed a class action lawsuit against Jackson's estate saying that he did not sing on several of the tracks off of his first posthumous album Michael.