The Micheal Jackson estate is protesting the recently announced digital sale of the early works of the pop singer. According to the estate, the digital sale of the early Jackson 5 recording violates the Jackson estate’s rights. It further warned it could lead to a lawsuit.
A Swedish company, known as anotherblock, announced on Wednesday, December 6, the digital release of a 1967 rendition of the track “Big Boy” stating that it marked the initial instance of Jackson’s vocals being recorded. Per Rolling Stone, that version of the song, called the “One-derful Version”, first emerged in 2009 and was released in 2014 on vinyl.
Billboard reported that anotherblock said it would release the track for the first time in digital format, in partnership with Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and Recordpool, which reportedly controls the intellectual property rights to the recording.
Per the platform, the sale includes $25 and $100 packages with various other goodies via the anotherblock site.
However, in a letter to the company, the lawyer for the Jackson estate, Jonathan Steinsapirn, wrote that, “Any use of Michael’s name, image, and likeness in marketing, advertising or in the product itself violates the Jackson Estate’s rights.
“We have no information to confirm that the unreleased recordings you are making available are in fact the first time Michael Jackson’s ‘voice was put on tape’ or even that it was the first time he recorded in a studio at all. Indeed, we have good reason to believe that this is not the first time Michael Jackson ever recorded in a studio. Because of that, you are likely misleading the public.”
The letter continued, “Because of this, we have serious doubts that Michael would have ever wanted these recordings released and commercialized. As the persons designated by Michael to protect his legacy after his untimely passing, the Estate’s Co-Executors are duty-bound to point this out. What you are doing is the opposite of honoring Michael Jackson.”
Meanwhile, a 2009 article published in the Chicago Reader called the “One-derful” track the earliest known work of the pop singer and his brothers. A similar article in 2014 by Rolling Stone also called “One-derful” recording the “earliest commercially available Jackson 5 recording.”