NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michael Jackson tributes that aired on the TV Guide channel following the singer’s death last year featured Jackson’s works without authorization, Sony Music Entertainment charged in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.
The cable entertainment channel did not seek authorization from or compensate Sony, which holds the copyright for some of the content featured in the documentaries. The shows aired repeatedly in the aftermath of Jackson’s death, according to the copyright infringement lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
The lawsuit demanded that TV Guide cease its broadcast of the documentaries and pay unspecified damages to Sony Music Entertainment, which is owned by Sony Corp.
“In a crass effort to exploit, and in the immediate aftermath of, Mr Jackson’s tragic death, TV Guide produced and repeatedly broadcast on its TV Guide channel a one-hour television show depicting the entirety of nine valuable music videos,” the lawsuit said.
TV Guide channel’s shows “Michael Jackson: His Musical Legacy” and “Michael Jackson: the Life and Times of the King of Pop” included some of Jackson’s most famous music videos, including “Beat It,” “Billy Jean,” and “Thriller.”
TV Guide could not immediately be reached comment.
Jackson, 50, died in June of cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of prescription medication and the powerful anesthetic propofol. Los Angeles authorities are still investigating and no one has been charged in the case.
Reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Michelle Nichols and Cynthia Osterman