by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 12th 2011 5:45am
btr1701 points us to a story about Michael Jackson's estate trying to stop the sale of a recording of a prank phone call from prankster Ralphige, supposedly to Michael Jackson. In the call, Ralphige pretended to be Akon. Previously, Michael Jackson (and the estate) had always claimed that Ralphige was not talking to the real Michael Jackson, and that the call was really between two people impersonating two other people. But, now that the Ralphige is selling the tape, the estate is suddenly claiming that it really was Michael, so that they can try to stop the sale of the tape. Of course, that confirms what Ralphige said all along about it being real... As for whether or not the Jackson estate has a legal claim here, I'm guessing they're using a publicity rights claim, but it's questionable as to whether or not that really applies. Since the whole thing is a prank call, no one thinks that MJ "endorsed" the call. It seems like yet another abuse of intellectual property law to try to stop something that may be embarrassing , but not illegal.
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