Sony Music Entertainment’s “Michael” Album

December 2020: TINA.org joined other consumer advocates – including UC Berkeley Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice – in filing an amici curiae brief that explained, among other things, the significant consequences of allowing a sophisticated corporation like Sony Music to shield itself from liability for promotional statements made to consumers about one of its music albums. To learn more about TINA.org’s involvement in the case, click here.

April 2020: The Supreme Court of California granted the petition to review the case.

February 2020: The named plaintiff filed a petition for review with California’s Supreme Court. (Case No. S260736, Supreme Court of California)

August 2018: The California appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision to allow claims regarding statements made on the album cover and promotional video to move forward, determining that the statements amounted to Sony’s opinion and not actionable commercial speech. To read the decision, click here. (Case No. B280526, Court of Appeal of the State of California – Second Appellate District)

January 2017: Three of the defendants – including Sony Music Entertainment – filed a Notice of Appeal regarding the December 2016 decision.

December 2016: A state court judge granted Sony Music’s motion to strike claims relating to statements made in an email and an Oprah Winfrey interview, but denied the motion as to claims relating to statements made on the album cover and in a YouTube video.

February 2016: Sony Music filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike what it argued were unmeritorious claims brought against it to chill its freedom of speech.

June 2014: A class-action lawsuit was filed against Sony Music Entertainment for allegedly misleadingly representing that all of the songs on the 2010 posthumous album “Michael” were sung by Michael Jackson when, according to plaintiffs, three of the songs were sung by someone else. (Vera Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment, et al., Case No. BC548468, Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles).

For more information about other class-action lawsuits against Sony, its subsidiaries and TINA.org’s coverage of the issue, click here.

 

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