After fans ripped ‘Michael’ for ‘fake’ songs, Sony and King of Pop’s estate won free-speech protection for product answers, judges find

The King of Pop may have died a decade ago but his legacy of litigation lives on, as a California appeals court has just reminded. And while the state appellate judges may have put a curious coda on free speech protections of the works of Michael Jackson from beyond the grave, they didn’t try to answer fans’ questions about a disputed album’s performance or compositional authenticity in their late August ruling. It came even as the death of another popular music icon — the irreplaceable Aretha Franklin — underscored why, for Entertainment Law practitioners, artists’ posthumous legal state may...

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