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Michael Jackson Justice: 14 Songs Of Michael Now Belong to ABP?

God: Reconnect to Him

The Conspiracy against God is about "The Word", and the profaning of His Holy Name within us. Adam fell in the garden, breaking the direct connection to God. Jesus, the "last Adam" was a quickening Spirit, the Word made Flesh, and the only one with whom we can re-establish our relationship with God. Michael's story is still unfolding. He is the one who is, is not. But Jesus is the only name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Many are trying to rewrite HIStory. We were given a help to instruct us. Learn more "here".

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

14 Songs Of Michael Now Belong to ABP?

Remember The Time? I Don't!

This was sent in to me by a friend I correspond with and has posted comments here before, so I give her credit for the find. If she is willing I will update this entry with her name but won't do so unless I have her permission. I had no idea Michael's songs were owned by Universal Music Group and have no idea how they even got a hold of them . . . especially those songs! These were done, I assumed, under Epic Records, which Sony bought out back in the late 80's. How did Universal Music Group get these song rights?

In 2008, ABP, the world's third largest pension fund, bought a music catalog from Universal Music Group (UMG) for EUR 120 million that includes 14 songs by the US singer, including "Remember the time", "You are not alone" and "In the closet". Reference


Imagem CV

On New Year’s Day 2008, the face of independent music publishing changed dramatically with the arrival of Imagem Music, a new player in the sector that has since proved to be one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic forces in the market.

A result of Universal Publishing’s acquisition of BMG Publishing, Imagem Music was founded by Dutch independent publisher/media operation CP Masters, in conjunction with ABP, one of Europe’s biggest pension funds.

CP Masters and ABP acquired the music publishing rights of Zomba UK, Rondor UK, 19 Music and 19 Songs, plus the greater part of the BBC Music catalog and European rights to the Zomba US catalog. This included those 14 MJ songs. Article

Dutch pension fund ABP, which bought the rights to some of Jackson’s songs in 2008, is now benefitting from the surge in sales and broadcasts after his death: Article

ABP, the world's third largest pension fund, last year bought a music catalogue from Universal Music Group (UMG) for 120 million euros that includes 14 songs by the US singer, including "Remember the time", "You are not alone" and "In the closet". Article in Breibart

Anyone with further information on this please let me know.


  1. I have done some research on this (not this specific part though) that I have been meaning to share with you, actually. I will look into this, too, though. This is all interesting.

  2. they don't "own" the songs in the traditional sense. It's all about publishing rights.

    When a musician completes a song they own all the rights and gets royalties every time that song is played, used in movies, TV etc. Generally record companies or other music institutions collect this royalties.

    Furthermore you can do publishing rights agreements at foreign locations (for easier royalty collection) or sell some portion of the publishing rights (25-50%) for cash advance.

    As far as I know all of Michael's music is owned by MIJAC. The articles also state that "they acquired the European rights to the Zomba US Catalog (which included MJ's 14 songs)".(note: Zomba is a catalog owned by Sony BTW). In short it looks like they are collecting the royalties for those 14 MJ songs in Europe and most probably getting a cut out of it (industry standard will be generally something starting at 15% and up to 50%).

    (based on my experience in the music industry, business and law)

  3. Seems that Universal Music Group's marketing division, Bravado, became licensed (by the estate?) a couple months after Michael's death, to distribute likeness products, tee-shirts, etc. .... connection there? Interesting post above re Zomba being owned by Sony .....

  4. I have found all the details:

    Here's a press release
    " Pryor Cashman represented ABP Investments ( ABP), the world’s third largest pension fund and the largest such fund in the Netherlands, in connection with ABP’s acquisition from Universal Music Group (UMG) of certain music publishing catalogs for the European Economic Area (EEA). The catalogues acquired include Rondor, Zomba UK, BBC Catalogue, 19 Music, and 19 Songs.

    As part of the acquisition, ABP entered into a sub-publishing agreement with UMG pursuant to which UMG will sub-publish the catalogs outside of the EEA. In addition, ABP and UMG entered into a sub-publishing agreement with Zomba Enterprises, Inc. (Zomba) whereby ABP will sub-publish the Zomba U.S. catalog in the EEA."

    Basically it says that the deal is a sub-publishing deal that covers European Economic Area.

    This is the legal definition of "sub-publishing".

    "Sub-publishing Agreement: These are basically music publishing deals in foreign territories between a US publisher and a publisher in a foreign territory. They are like admin or collection deals (with no ownership of the copyrights being transferred to the subpublisher), but limited to one or more countries outside the US. Under this publishing deal, the publisher allows the subpublisher to act on its behalf in certain foreign territories. Often, they are limited to a group of countries, such as European Union (EU), GAS (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Latin America, etc."

    Which basically says that they don't own the song copyrights , they just work as a representative.

    As I said before they'll get a cut from the royalties (15 to 50%) for their representation /work.

    About Bravado: Actually Bravado started as a UK based family firm. It was later acquired by Universal Music. I have to add all these acquisitions, joint ventures etc are quite common business practice.

    Bravado is the only international full merchandising company - meaning that they sell different types of merchandise all around the world. They also offer legal help to protect trademarks, copyrights and licences ( you have probably heard that bravado filing lawsuit against unauthorized merchandise). They have an impressive clientèle including world's biggest artists.

    It logically makes sense to go with the biggest international full merchandise company if you are going to sell MJ Merchandise. Otherwise you'll need to make deals with several merchandising companies even with local merchandising companies in every country which is needless to say is a lot of busy and time consuming unnecessary work IMO.

    Also I have to ask what is interesting about Zomba and Sony? In music business there are hundreds of catalogs (such as MIJAC for MJ's songs, Northern songs for Beatles songs) and any publishing company or record company would manage several number of those catalogs. Sony/ATV Music Publishing consists of several different catalogs for example.

  5. All details are not on the press release. There is no mention of Michael Jackson songs being a part of this. He's the biggest name amongst them all...why the secrecy? We know 3, what are the other 11 songs? The press release is dated Feb. 21, 2008. What was the date of the actual acquisition? And, how and when did UMG get ahold of those songs?

    I guess it baffles me how these big corporations own and grow from what should belong to the artists.

    UMG & Sony were partners for a few years:
    According to wiki, until 2003.

    Interesting that Pryor Cashman has represented Sony. Small world...

  6. Sorry as I fail to see how knowing the names of the songs or the exact date (other than that it was before MJ's death) would make any difference.

    Once again they don't own the songs, they don't control the songs or they haven't got ahold of those songs. They are just collecting royalties for those songs and getting a cut from the royalties for the job they do.

    I'll also once again say that I'm sorry as I write from my business experience and most probably do not understand conspiracy logic.

    But honestly do you think that for example Michael or any other musician for that matter sat at their houses and keep track of how many times a radio station in a country played their songs and personally collected royalties? Of course not. It's a job done by these music publishing companies for a fee.

    You must also remember that Michael's own Sony/ATV makes money the same way. Michael was/is earning money anytime a Beatles song is played. That's how Sony/ATV grew and that's what it owns (songs belong to other artists) as well.

    So Imagem does that job in Europe for those 14 songs and another company or companies are doing the same job for other songs and/or other parts of the world.

    I'll just say that from a perspective of a person that's in the music industry "that's just normal" and leave the discussion.

  7. My2Cents - your explanation does make sense, but why would Sony need to do that? Aren't they world-wide? Why would they need another company to distribute songs?

    Radio stations, to my knowledge, do not pay royalties every time they play an artists song. If they did that they'd be out of business. Radio stations pay a licensing fee to the record company to play the songs they have in their library of that artist (under that label). That's like saying that even though we bought a record, the record company would make us pay a royalty fee every time we listened to the songs on it.

    Royalties are paid on sales of CD's and licensing agreements not on air play.

    And conspiracy theories, you don't have to look far in the music industry. It's a widely practiced tactic that Michael brought out into the open, which is why Sony had it in for him. He called them out, embarrassed them and ticked them off. Since that fateful speech Michael gave, much has been written by others, of the treatment of artists by their labels.

    It's not conspiracy theory . . . it's business as usual.

  8. You don't need to leave the discussion because of me, My2cents. Different perspectives are valuable in discerning the bigger picture. Omissions are something that bother me and raise my antenna. I'm not a business person. My logic and sense of fairness don't automatically sync with things just because they have become "normal", common and apparently accepted business practices.

    Who says a conspiracy is logical? Did Watergate make sense before the facts were known? I guess I don't understand that statement.

    After awhile, many consipiracies are no longer theory. Too many catch phrases. Repeated over time, they spread, serving to deafen, desensitize and turn people away from truth. Attach one of those phrases and the information gets discounted, filed away in a corner of the mind. Don't get caught in the trap. My2cents said "conspiracy logic". Did your mind see "conspiracy theory"? Just a heads up, Bonnie.

    I found something I had not heard before and wanted to share it. It's from 2004? but hey, even old news can be good!

    "He also owns the rights to the Elvis catalog and found out after his purchase of the Beatles collection that these rights also included ownership of Little Richard’s catalog of which, Michael Jackson promptly called Mr. Richard and returned it to him."

    Who knew? Just another good deed chopped off the story.

    "Dick Gregory spoke about sinister forces at work trying to undermine Michael once he took on these record labels." It's an interesting article on a hip hop artist's blog here:


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