Plus, news about Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z, Sandra Bullock, Bill Maher, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and others
SPIN CONTROL It took only 24 hours to book all the pop stars on last week’s all-star telethon, ”America: A Tribute to Heroes,” but organizing the release of a benefit CD of the show’s performances — by Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, and many others — is taking much longer. Producers of the broadcast, which raised $150 million for the families of terror victims and fallen emergency workers, obtained from the singers only the television rights to their performances, and now the producers have to go back and get the recording rights as well. Interscope Records, whose chairman, Jimmy Iovine, helped recruit the musicians for the show, will release the CD, with all proceeds going to the relief fund. A DVD of the event is also in the works.
Meanwhile, rumors have circulated as to why Michael Jackson did not participate in the telethon. One story, published in the New York Daily News, said he’d wanted to perform ”Cry,” from his upcoming release ”Invincible,” but balked at giving away the recording rights and possibly eating into the new album’s sales. A spokeswoman for the show insists that he was invited but did not know why he declined. ”No one was turned down because we did not want them there,” she told Reuters. ”There were a lot of logistical reasons why a lot of people… couldn’t be there.”
Jackson, of course, is recording his own all-star benefit single, called ”What More Can I Give.” Unlike all the other relief recordings, Jackson isn’t getting his guests — including Destiny’s Child, Reba McEntire, Boyz II Men, Tom Petty, Brian McKnight, and Seal — together for a single session. Rather, he’s recording them individually and will mix their tracks together later.
LEGAL BRIEFS In other Jackson family news, Randy Jackson may get only probation and a fine for failing to list a one-year-old Chevy Suburban among his assets when he filed for bankruptcy in 1996. That’s what prosecutors are recommending in the case, in which Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement last month. If the judge agrees when handing down sentencing in December, Jackson would be fined $21,100, the value of the sport utility vehicle….
Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to bar, bar, bar a slot machine manufacturer from using his likeness and voice on a ”Terminator”-themed line of casino machines without his permission. He’s suing International Game Technologies, the gambling machine industry’s market leader, for $20 million, a figure he says is in line with his usual endorsement fee. His lawyer says the actor ”is particularly circumspect to avoid using his name, likeness or image for certain industries such as gambling.” IGT argues that it licensed the rights from the Creative Licensing Corp. and Canal Plus, which hold the ”Terminator” film rights. IGT also claims that the machines never made it past the trade-show stage into general circulation, though E! reports that they’re not hard to find, at least on eBay, where a recent bid for one machine was $399. Film rights aside, Schwarzenegger’s lawyers will argue that, under California law, it’s the star who controls rights to his own likeness.