Sony has been dealt a severe blow. An 2010 attack cost him 50,000 music files, among which was also Michael Jackson's back catalog, including songs that were supposed to be released in the next years.
The attack took place in April last year, but it took Sony several weeks to uncover the breach. It's just now that they're confirming it, Billboard
About 50,000 music files were downloaded simultaneously, at the same time that Sony's PlayStation Network was hacked. An investigation is underway to determine who is responsible for such a breach.
“An exact breakdown of artists and repertoire included among the 50,000 illegally downloaded songs is not known, but it is said to contain Jackson's entire back catalog, including previously unheard duets with Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am and the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury,” Billboard says.
The implications of the attack are huge for Sony Music: not only is Michael one of the most profitable artists of the day, but he was supposed to make them even more money in the years to come.
“In March 2010, Sony paid the Jackson estate a $200 million [€151.3 million] guaranteed contract (potentially rising to $250 million [€189.1 million]) in return for 10 projects over seven years,” Billboard explains.
This also included material that had never before seen the light of day, as was also the case with the tracks on the recently released “Michael” album, the first one to come out since his death.
“Included in the terms of the deal was unreleased material from 'Off the Wall,' 'Thriller' and 'Bad' studio sessions, as well as the right to exploit Jackson's catalog in video games, amusement park rides, television adverts and memorabilia. The deal took place nine months after Jackson died,” the music publication says.
While an investigation aims to determine the culprit(s), controversy on what Sony is doing to Michael's legacy continues to rage on.
Just last week, word got out in the press that the singer's own daughter, Paris Jackson, doesn't believe that the voice on “Michael” is really her father's, saying shortly after the release of the album that Sony had used MJ sound-alike
Jason Malachi for the job.