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iTunes will sell This Is It

By | Published on Friday 16 October 2009

OK, so it seems iTunes will be selling the new Michael Jackson album, ‘This Is It’, which is basically the soundtrack to the new documentary film of the same name.

As previously reported, there was talk that Amazon MP3 would be the exclusive digital seller of the new long player, which is basically a greatest hits package, but with a couple of new tracks and rarities. We also reported that Digital Music News had speculated that that decision was in part because Sony and the Jackson clan didn’t want individual tracks from the new album to be sold, insisting fans only get access to it as a whole album package. That, of course, contravenes iTunes rules that insist albums be available in a track by track fashion.

But after speculating thus, DMN reportedly got a snotty letter from Sony’s legal department saying it was still in talks with Apple and no decision had been made about which download platforms would, and would not, being selling ‘This Is It’. Adopting that immediately confrontational tone only used by idiot lawyers, Sony US’s Deputy General Counsel Wade Leak apparently told the website: “Sony Music reserves all of its rights and remedies, including but not limited to the right to seek any damages resulting from this erroneous report”.

So there you go. Anyway, it seems that Apple will be selling ‘This Is It’, but only as a complete album, which is a change of heart from the IT firm. That said, as a compromise, there will also be a special ‘This Is It’ EP which only includes the new content from the full album. This means that Jacko fans who don’t want to have to re-buy all the greatest hits they already own will be able to buy just the new stuff, though they won’t be able to pick and choose which of the new stuff they pay for.

In related news, Sony Pictures is reportedly claiming the ‘This Is It’ film is already in profit despite the movie firm’s $60 million investment, such is public demand to pre-order tickets to see the documentary. Which is good news for both Sony and tour promoters AEG, the latter are using the movie as a way of recouping their estimated $30 million investment in the ‘This Is It’ live shows that never happened.

Interestingly, Nikki Finke of the Deadline Hollywood Daily has reported that the only reasons AEG is sitting on so much video footage is because Jackson insisted everything be filmed, mainly for his own personal collection. As costs on the planned O2 residency spiraled out of control in the week’s before Jacko’s death AEG bosses reportedly considered axing the HD film crew recording the backstage footage. As it turns out, it was a damn good job they didn’t.