Well that’s exactly where things are at this point. Jones has filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit in connection with Michael Jackson projects released after the singer’s death.
“The Q” as Mr. Jones is also known, is taking on Sony Music Entertainment and MJJ Productions. The legendary producer is taking issue with the “This Is It” film and soundtrack album, the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil productions and the 25th anniversary edition of the “Bad” album.
In a complaint filed on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Jones alleges that master recordings he worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of backend profit participation. Jones also asserts that he has been denied credit for his work on the singer’s posthumous releases and that MJJ and Sony have entered into side deals taking profits that should have been included in the calculation of royalties.
“Quincy has been frustrated with these matters for a number of years, felt he was not making any progress and needed to take more formal action,” says Henry Gradstein, his attorney.
Jones made agreements with Jackson in 1978 and 1985 for work on the singer’s solo albums. The contracts are said to have stipulated that Jones be given the first opportunity to re-edit or remix any of the master recordings, that the coupling of master recordings with other recordings required his prior written consent, and that he be given producer credit for each of the master recordings. The deal also entitled the producer to additional compensation — including upfront payment and a “backend” percentage — in the event of remixed masters.
After the producer was hired, Jackson signed a recording agreement with Epic Records, a subsidiary of Sony. The record deal entitled Jones to payments, credit, the approval of biographical material and regular accounting. Jones contends that he is a third-party beneficiary of this recording agreement.
In the lawsuit, Jones says the terms of his deal were breached when MJJ allowed third parties to exploit these works “without first providing a reasonable opportunity to Jones to perform such remixes and/or re-edits.”
Things get interesting as the complaint goes into “clandestine agreements” allegedly made that had the effect of reducing Jones’ royalties.
Find out what that’s all about at the Hollywood Reporter.