Michael's fans would never knowingly hurt his interests. I believe majority of fans are uninformed and acting out of misguided good intentions. Will you please take the time to consider some things before making your purchase?
It is NOT just "1 album" or "1 fan". Each album purchased by worldwide fans will add up and the compounding effect will adversary affect Michael's legacy.
Since Michael’s unfortunate passing, fans didn’t have much to exhale about. Amidst our confusion, helplessness and grief for what feels like an eternity, fans greet the release of the upcoming album as a way to connect with Michael.
“I have been a vulnerable target for people who want money” Michael said. It holds more true than ever after his death. With so much injustice he endured in life and continues to be subjected in death, we owe it to Michael to consider the wellbeing of him & his children in heart…since not too many in his circle does so.
“Until I burry my friend, we are not even thinking of this stuff” Randy Phillips of AEG said about producing a “tribute” consisting of This Is It rehearsal footage.
"A lot of decisions were made between Tim Leiweke & I while I was standing outside the emergency room. The first thing we did was have our security close off the Staples Center, shut down the production and put all of OUR intellectual property into a vault so nobody could get near it or leave with it"
With what authority Mr Phillips confiscated "Michael's personal footage"? The idea of making a movie out of rehearsal footage came to Mr Phillips quick!
Opportunitists have turned Michael's death into a business venture. Whilst fans condemn this dispicable exploitation, they are the very ones enabling it.
Elizabeth Taylor's words about tabloids can also be applied to MJ exploiters (6:51)
Enough of exploiting Michael! Enough of exploiting Michael's children!
Only you, the public can accomplish this simply by not buying their garbage!
Only you can put them out of business. Only you and wouldn't that be great?
Since Michael’s death, Sony has released a Greatest Hits CD, a worldwide movie, a DVD Hits boxset, a PlayStation3 game. It is releasing a new album and another DVD boxset next month. In the meantime, the criminal trial for the man’s death didn’t even start yet. In January 2011, a judge will decide IF there is enough evidence to charge Conrad Murray with involuntary manslaughter.
Jermaine tweeted that Sony didn't want to name the album “The King”. They
named it “Michael”. Michael Jackson’s This Is It. Michael Jackson's new album. How could that be? Michael died on June 25, 2009. They are NOT Michael’s.
An artist CHOOSES what he shares with his fans. Michael chose NOT to release these demos. He was very particular about materials with his name attached. His unreleased demos are unreleased for reasons that were valid to MICHAEL. We should respect the artist! The demos aren't the property of his fans. Moreover, it isn't Sony's or the executors' place to collaborate to complete these demos and exploit them as Michael's. Final product is NOT Michael's vision. Michael didn't give his blessing for this album.
Van Gogh left behind unfinished paintings which remains unfinished to date. No painter was delusional to think that they are par to finish what Van Gogh started.
If a painter did finish painting them, are they still Van Gogh?
Michael Jackson is an exceptional artist, he is dubbed the Greatest Entertainer of All Time. For Sony to retain a producer and impersonators to complete Michael Jackson’s unfinished demos and serve the mutilation that is the upcoming album is plain disrespectful. Michael Jackson fans are fans of HIS vision, HIS output, NOT a pseudo interpretation by Michael-Jackson wannabes.
Fans are so blinded that they don't even realise that Sony implied that Michael's work is so ordinary that any wanna-be can finish it. Aren't you least bit offended?
In 2002, Michael did NOT even wait to finish his contract term. He immediately extricated himself from his contract and he never went back to doing business with Sony. It is due to John Branca, a former attorney who was terminated in Feb 2003 due to his “tight business relationship" to Mottola that Sony is back to distributing Michael's songs -something Michael wasn't willing to do in life.
It took Michael’s death and a forged Will to take by force from Michael what he wouldn’t give up in life. In July 2002, Michael announced that he was leaving Sony. He made it very clear that he wasn’t willing to release via Sony. He referred to leaving Sony as “GOOD BUSINESS” (6:58). Surely, Branca knew first hand and better than fans that Michael despised Sony. Yet, as soon as he was appointed an executor thanks to a Will he himself forged, who does Branca deal Michael’s unreleased songs to? $ONY!
“I go through Hell touring” Michael had said. Yet when he was at the precipice of bankruptcy in 2009, it is precisely what he chose to do, to go thru HELL and tour than to release an album with Sony.
Even when his back was against the corner, it wasn't Michael's choice to make his unreleased work public and doing so via Sony so what right does anyone have to make such decision over his dead body?
Michael is an artist with an extraordinary relationship with his fans. We don’t revere him just because he can sing and dance, we genuinely love the man. He interrupted his speeches to say “I Love You More”. He cherished notes & gifts by fans and he passed us notes with loving messages. He sent pizza for fans who camped outside of his hotel. He brought food to his followers. He always stopped his convoy to greet fans. He paid for limo and airfare for his fans who were stuck in New York on 9/11. In his good times or bad, we could always count on Michael to communicate with us, rather than hearing lies from media.
After his death, his estate and his family changed this dynamic and they act like we don't exist until it is time to promote something with Michael's name on it. We owe it to Michael to stand in solidarity and NOT enable mutilation of his art, stealing from his children and exploitation of his brand.
Some misconceptions or excuses by fans:
1- Michael didn’t have problem with Sony, his problem was with Tommy Mottola
Michael had a problem with SONY, Mottola was just the head of Sony back then. The world thought the protests in 2002 was about Sony sabotaging the Invincible. In reality, the discord between Michael Jackson and Sony started way BEFORE the Invincible album and it is about the Catalog that the parties co-own.
Michael shouted from a megaphone “SONY sucks”. The signs he held “SONY sucks” “SONY is phony” “SONY is baloney”, SONY Kills Music” speak volumes.
"Record Companies really do conspire against artists, they lie, they steal, they do everything they can. People from James Brown to Sammy Davis Jr., some of the real pioneers that inspired me to be an entertainer, are always on tour, because if they stop touring, they would go hungry. Record companies have to start treating their artists with respect, honor and financial justice.'' ~MICHAEL JACKSON
"We're definitely considering a lawsuit. We've asserted claims against Sony. These are claims for breach of an agreement and fiduciary duties. We have Enron-like accounting claims concerning the under-reporting of revenues to Michael Jackson as well as other alleged improper accounting practices"
~MARTY SINGER, former MJ attorney
"We believe that the amount of record sales attributed to Michael is underestimated. We believe that the financial records are inflated and not accurate. There are numerous artists who are deceived by record companies who overwhelm them with lawyers, accountants, publicists, double-talk, false practices and shady business dealings.
We want to assure all that together we can fight racism in the music business without limitation. The
Michael Jackson is the foundation for Sony Music. He is the cornerstone upon which others were able to build a career. We believe that Sony has escaped responsibility for its own history by seeking to undermine our brother Michael to fulfill their own self prophesy."~JERMAINE JACKSON
"Michael has his reasons for speaking out like this. He never speaks out, so obviously there is a good reason for it, and he knows what he's doing."
"When I get back home, the phone was ringing. It was a big-shot Washington DC lawyer considering suing the major labels for defrauding artists. He wants to signs me up as a consigliere for his case.
- What overall philosophy drives the companies?
- Pay the artist as little as you can. Tie up the artist as long as you can.
Recoup as often as you can.
- What are the most egregious ways that the companies cheat?
- Royalties are never paid %100. You paid on %85 and called the other %15 percent breakage, even though breakage only applies to shellac records from the forties and fifties. You pay the artists half royalties on their overseas sales. You say that is due to cost of setting up your subsidiaries. On foreign sales, the company benefits from a tax credit on the artists' royalties. The royalties has nothing to do with the company but the company pays less taxes. Meanwhile the artist doesn't even know what's happening. You charge at least the half of video costs to the artists. You charge the artist the cost of packaging. That would be
%10 percent -or $1 on the wholesale $10 price of a CD -when actual packaging costs might be ¢25. It goes on an on. There are ways to pump up those costs on paper so that the royalties are delayed or permanently denied.
- And the artists' lawyers never objected?
- The artists' lawyers are as greedy as the artists and the labels. The artists' lawyers are going for huge advances for their clients and themselves. They didn't give a shit about the small print. it was all about making the big bucks.
- So it was corrupt?
- Morally maybe but legally it was in the documents no one bothered to read."
~WALTER YETNIKOFF, former Sony Chairman
The above except from Mr Yetnikoff's book "Howling At The Book" shines a bright light at the time when Michael was clueless and shocked to find out that his contract with Sony stipulated that he had to deliver certain number of albums to Sony each year. For every album he didn't deliver, Sony added more years to when the mechanical copyrights would revert back to him. Michael had his adviors look into the matter and found out that the firm that represented him (Branca's firm) also represented Sony.
"There's a lot of conspiracy going on. A lot of it. All around me" ~MICHAEL JACKSON
In 2003, Interfor (an investigation firm) was hired to look into suspicious people around Michael. Upon this investigation, Branca was immediately terminated via fax. Michael didn't even so much offer an explanation! Branca was the one who brokered the Beatles Catalog for Michael, merged it with Sony. Being so easily disposed of had to hurt. Come on, who fires Branca, "#1 music publishing lawyer in the country" according to Marty Bandier, chairman of Sony.
Branca's termination letter instructed that he return the ORIGINALS of ALL MJ documents. Branca was to receive only COPIES! Branca should NOT have in his possession in 2009 MJ Will or Barry Siegel resignation letter. He was supposed to return them in 2003! Alleghed Will should have been declared NULL & VOID. We owe it to corruption in CA judicial system and Sony Power that Branca still remains an executive. Sony has the power to declare snow is black, Jason Malachi vocals are Michael's, the forged Will is valid, murder is involuntary manslaughter!
Whether or not Branca was "rehired" 8 days before Michael's death (how convenient!) is a motto point. Even If he was rehired (which is as likely as Michael hiring Frank Dileo, Joel Katz or Conrad Murray), that would NOT legally reinstate him as the executor to 2002 Will. If Michael wanted Branca to remain an executor of his Last Will, they would have had to draw a NEW Will.
David LeGrand's court testimony about Interfor investigation below:
Starting 2002, we heard Michael expressed concern for his life. He often talked of “conspiracy”. These concerns started AFTER his relationship with Sony went south. He was referring to SONY, conspiring against him to acquire his Catalog.
“They want my Catalog and they will kill me for it” –MICHAEL JACKSON
Where was Sony in 2005 Trial? Sony didn't even show up at Michael's public memorial. Now that there is money to be made exploiting an artist that wanted NOTHING to do with Sony, they are right there with their hands out.
"It is quite incredible and a testament that through both the Chandler scandal of 1993 and Jackson's trial of 2005, Sony was merely mentioned in the same breath as the star. Sony had made huge amounts of cash from Michael Jackson and the company connived in promoting the singer's bizarre image. Surely, they had a duty of care to their artist, didn't they?
When Martin Bashir was forced into the Santa Maria Court to testify in 2005, he was accompanied by a bevy of lawyers, provided and paid for by ABC. My investigation have failed to turn up one example of a similar show of support from Sony for Michael Jackson, either in 1993, when no criminal offence was prosecuted or in the Arvizo case ten years later. As for Sony, Jackson came to resemble one of those Soviet politburo members, who, when removed from power, was also erased from all photographs as if he never existed." ~LYNTON GUEST
2- Michael must have made up with Sony because he released albums via Sony after he said he was leaving Sony
Michael never made up with Sony and doing business with Sony wasn’t an option even during his financially taxing times in 2009. When Michael extricated himself early from his Sony Contract, it was agreed by parties that Sony would release Michael’s back Catalog of songs. The albums were part of the agreement, freeing Michael from the Sony Contract.
3- But if we don’t buy the album, Michael’s legacy will be adversely affected, the album will sink in charts and people will think we abandoned Michael
Akon said of releasing Hold My Hand "It HELPS keep his legacy going". It seems to be the theme among people exploiting Michael. As if Michael's legacy needs "help" from Akon or 50 Cent, otherwise, it would fall flat on its face!!!!
Will I Am had the same opportunity to monetize his collaborations with Michael but he refuses. I commend Will I Am for choosing integrity over money. And fans send him our gratitude for his loyalty and respect for Michael.
Michael built his legacy with hard work and diligence. He was meticulous. He left behind an unshakable legacy which is forever embedded in World Culture. His legacy will outlive us all. Future generations will be just as captivated and inspired by him as we are. His legacy is NOT determined by charts or album sales.
Just because Sony attached “Michael” doesn’t mean this album is Michael’s.
So what If the album sinks on charts, let it! The world media is well aware that some fans won’t do business with Sony while others are disheartened that Sony retained an impersonator to mutilate Michael’s unfinished demos and attempted to deceive fans. Who do we owe explanation to? Michael’s own children and family is against the album. We have been very vocal. The executors, Sony and world media heard our sentiments, they will understand if the album isn't a success. It is NOT Michael’s album!
Making this album a success will show executors, Sony and artists who collaborated with Michael that they can always count on fans to pony up megabucks for anything with Michael's name on it. By witholding our bucks, we can discourage Branca from favoring Sony in future deals. We would also send the executors a loud message that we will NOT tolerate the mutilation or cheapening of Michael's art!
4- But if we don’t buy, won't his children will get affected financially?
Michael's children are the very ones opposing this album. That is akin to Michael himself opposing. Will you cross Michael's children to get this album?
Katherine and Michael’s children receive a monthly allowance each month. The alleged Will that monitors pay-out to Michael’s own mother and children has NO LIMIT to how often and how much executors pay to themselves. When Katherine wanted to be briefed in Estate dealings, executors acted like she wanted the Sun and the Moon. She didn't want a decision making power, she just wanted to know what's going on in the Estate, it is fair, right? When Katherine asked Branca to provide her a copy of AEG contract, they called her request "burdensome, voluminous and INVASIVE"! Executors are now asking that the Estate dealings are sealed so their court filings aren't made public by media the way it has been.
Just last year, Michael’s Estate made over 1 Billion dollars. At the time of his death, his debt was $500 million. Estate generated, just last year alone, DOUBLE the outstanding debt. So why did Branca choose to restructure the $300 million loan instead of paying it off? Why is the Estate still in probate when it generated enough to settle ALL outstanding debt? Where did the money go? It surely didn't go to Katherine and the children!
You will be rewarding the executors and Sony by buying this album, NOT Michael’s children and NOT Katherine. The rightful owners of these songs are Paris, Prince and Blanket. Let them grow up and decide what to do with the unfinished demos. It is THEIR call, NOT Branca’s, NOT Sony’s.
If we are so quick to shake hands with Michael’s known adversaries, how are we any different? What does such move tell Michael's children about our loyalty? Yes extremely intelligent but Paris, Prince and Blanket are still kids. When they grow up, we want them to look back and see that we had their wellbeing in our hearts and that out loyalty to Michael extends beyond his death.
We all feel that our voices are muted. 2 things are for sure: Conrad Murray will get away scotch free, not even getting probation and BOTH of Michael's Catalogs will be sold to Sony. The hands of fans and Jackson Family are tied. But this is the ONE TIME that we hold the trump card. We can bang our heads in the name of “fighting for justice” but if we are NOT willing to play our cards right, we don’t have a winning chance. However powerful Sony may be, in THIS, fans have the power. Recognise your power, it is called buying power, don't give it away. Our buying power is our ONLY bargaining chip.
You will abandon Michael NOT when you don’t buy the album but when you buy it.
I don’t condone piracy but under current circumstances, all is fair. Taryll Jackson tweeted that only 7 out of 10 songs are Michael's. 2 duets have been online for years. "The Way You Love Me" was already released by Sony in 2004. 2 songs have been leaked. If you have a burning desire, download the songs.
Jan 2009, Sony profits plummeted %95.
May 2009, Sony reported a $1 Billion annual loss.
Sep 2010, Sony closed its second fiscal term with %11 loss.
Notice the difference between Sony in Jan 2009 and Sony in Sep 2010? That is compliments of MJ fans. The money you pay to Sony contributes to its financial stability to buy Michael’s Catalogs. Sony is the backer for Michael's $300 loan until Sep 2011, until then the Catalog is safe. Lets hope that by then Branca will be booted. Meanwhile, lets not contribute to Sony Empire.
Sony is Michael's BUSINESS PARTNER. Entertainment Industry is cut-throat, you saw in 2002 how Sony operates. It drove Michael Jackson, a gentle man who rarely complained, to publically protesting Sony. The worldwide fan-clubs and fans stood by Michael in his fight against Sony, now you are prepared to do business with it? Did your loyalty expire on June 25, 2009?
Sony deliberately sabotaged Invincible and Michael couldn't reap its rewards when he was alive. Michael pawned his own diamond watch to produce "What More Can I Give" because Sony refused to fund it . It was a charity song to fundraise for 9/11 victims. Sony used this charity song to corner Michael, if he wanted to release it bad enough, he would give up his Sony/ATV Catalog. Michael counter-offered to participate in Sony game and movie projects FREE OF CHARGE in exchange for the release of the charity song. SONY DECLINED.
"I hate how Sony have no problem promoting this album now that he is dead
but refused to promote Invincible while he was alive" ~KAREN FAYE
Sony's mantra when it comes to Michael is "What More Can We Get".
It would be sad if it was also the mantra of loyal fans.
His GREATEST legacy are his children. "Keeping Michael's legacy going" means protecting the wellbeing of his children and cherishing what he WILLINGLY shared with his fans. Michael's art, released or unreleased belongs to his children.
Until MJ3 grow up to take charge of the Estate and stand to receive %100 of the profits, we should NOT buy.
"It's just 1 album". Imagine every worldwide fan thinking the same. Sony has more than album sales in mind. If we aren't conscious, we will be aiding Sony
1 album at a time in snatching what Michael guarded with his dear life...
I thank you for your time of consideration.
"You are my family, my children are YOUR children" -MICHAEL JACKSON
"Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they’re finished. He was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used, he was that hands-on. How you gonna release Michael Jackson when Michael Jackson ain't here to bless it? Now that he is not part of the process, why would you put a record out like that? I just think that's disrespectful. What's wrong with what he already contributed to the world? You don't disrespect someone after they are gone! How much can you suck from his energy? Freaking parasites!" -WILL.I.AM
Branca WILL sell Michael's share of Sony/ATV to Sony
Michael Jackson & Sony Relationship for Dummies
Michael Jackson's Trust Document is Forged
Michael Jackson Uncovers Conspiracy
"In what could be one of the biggest conspiracies in entertainment history, documents have been sent to Michael Jackson and his representatives which reveal a deliberate plan by some former attorneys as well as associates and advisers to force Mr Jackson into involuntary bankruptcy. Michael Jackson was neither shocked nor surprised. He's always been suspicious that some of those whom he entrusted to act on his behalf may not have acted in his best interests" -RAYMONE BAIN STATEMENT, 2006
Michael Jackson private Investigator Speaks Out
"On July the 11th 1993, I got the call to come over to The Bosses house to have a drink, and that is when I was told about working a case to discredit Michael Jackson. And be around for the first calls. It was then clear to see this was in the planning stages for some time. My boss said the case was to prove MJ was a ‘chicken hawk’, and was contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Devils are in the details of what happened"
Why did Sony deliberately sabotage Invincible album?
Michael was beset with trials and tribulations which, on face of it, were unconnected to each other. There was the prosecution on child abuse charges, the downturn in record sales, the financial catastrophes and the struggles to retain ownership of assets such as Sony/ATV, his back catalog and Neverland. Yet far from being coincidental, everywhere we detected the hidden hand of Sony, attempting to orchastrate events."
-LYNTON GUEST, author of “The Trials of Michael Jackson"
Tweeted by Karen Faye