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Author Topic: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info  (Read 25077 times)

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Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2013, 05:03:44 PM »
John Branca, The Dealmaker
L'Uomo Vogue, February 2013


He is probably the most famous lawyer in the United States. Some might say the most infamous, but most of them are subscribers to improbable conspiracy theories who can’t get over the death of Michael Jackson. Bearing his sixty-two years like a rich Angeleno, John Branca is actually the curator of the estate of the King of Pop, the man who is bringing it back to solvency: rumors are that 310 million dollars have come back in over the past 15 months, much from Bad 25—the reissue (sponsored by Pepsi) celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s famous 1987 album complemented by a documentary directed by Spike Lee.
 
 
Branca says that he worked with Michael Jackson in 1984, laying the groundwork for his relationship with Pepsi, and then again in 1988 for the Bad Tour. He was very happy to bring them back together for the Bad 25 project; the souvenir Pepsi cans are much coveted by fans and collectors. Branca has a particular sensitivity for the commemorative: his collection of baseball cards is one of the world’s largest. He started collecting them as a boy. His family shared his passion for baseball (Uncle Ralph played for the Dodgers in the ‘50s) and he was able to collect a number of rare cards. After the devastating blow of their theft from his mother’s house, Branca stopped collecting. But one day he went to a Sotheby’s auction to buy his uncle’s pitcher uniform and ended up coming home with a large private card collection that got him “back in the game”. He says that a love for baseball is something that is deeply and inescapably American: Babe Ruth is on a par with Abraham Lincoln or Elvis Presley. He has always had the soul of a collector. The things that are dearest to him, apart from his baseball cards, are his collection of rock memorabilia, leather jackets, and Venetian antiques.
 
Branca lives in Beverly Hills in an Italian-style villa furnished with Fortuny fabrics and a slew of 18th-century furniture bought all over the world but especially in Venice itself. He has another house near Los Angeles which looks out over—need I say—the canals of Venice. His mania for these things has made him one of the most sought-after professionals in the entertainment business. His client portfolio in music ranges from the Doors to Justin Timberlake, with Carlos Santana, Fleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Shakira and Alanis Morissette somewhere in the middle. He has made headlines for his work to reclaim and manage the legacy and royalties of Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley, and for helping Michael Jackson acquire the Beatles’ catalogue. He is a firm believer in the value of copyrights and the protection of artists (even from themselves: he is one of the founders of MusiCares, a charity that helps musicians who find themselves in difficulty of one sort or another), and this is where he has channeled his professional energy.
 
 
He has played the guitar since he was a kid and his band got its first contract when he was 16. He started college studying music but luckily realized right away that he was made for something else. One day he was reading an article in Time about Elton John and his lawyer when a light came on in his head, he suddenly knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. They say that if someone manages to unite his passions with his profession, what he does will never be work. And Branca has had the fortune of representing all his idols. But he’s not a lawyer of technicalities and fine print: he always works creatively with his clients, some of whom have become close friends, like Michael Jackson (who, along with his chimpanzee Bubbles, both dressed impeccably in tuxedos, was Best Man at Branca’s wedding). He came up with the idea of financing the Thriller video by selling the Making of Thriller video to a cable television channel for 1.2 million dollars, knowing that producing the video would cost 1 million (at the time, the average price of a music video was 50,000 dollars).
 
 
Branca says that you have to be creative even when establishing a partnership between a celebrity and a brand. He should know. He joined Michael Jackson and Pepsi, Aerosmith and General Motors, and lined up the sponsors for the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour. And he points out that in addition to the financial aspects, a good lawyer has to keep in mind the impact that a given alliance will have on the artist as a brand: the two parties have to have a natural compatibility, and the artist has to have control over the creative process to make sure he or she is presented the right way.
 
 
I ask him what he thinks of the famous episode with George Clooney and Nespresso: a few years ago a journalist at a press conference in Venice asked George how a political, humanitarian and environmental activist like himself could hire himself out to a controversial multinational like Nestlé. Clooney surprised everyone by flying off the handle and saying that he didn’t have to justify himself to anyone. Branca replied like a true lawyer, saying he was not familiar with the incident and could not comment on it.

Photo by Gavin Bond
Fashion editor Rushka Bergman
Fashion assistant Ashley Sean Thomas

http://www.vogue.it/en/uomo-vogue/people/2013/02/john-branca

Offline Dangerousgirl

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2013, 10:54:29 PM »
Some of these I have not seen before and have been reading them.  Michael definitely was looking to the future.  Still find it hard to believe what happened in June 2009

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #62 on: October 23, 2013, 05:59:45 PM »
Michael Jackson Leads Our List Of The Top-Earning Dead Celebrities
FORBES 10/23/2013 @ 9:56AM


Madonna was the top earner on our recent Celebrity 100 list, raking in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Not bad for a living person. Her late buddy Michael Jackson easily topped her though, earning $160 million over the past year by our estimate. It’s the third time in the past five years that the top-earning celebrity in the world has come from the graveyard.

Much of Jackson’s money comes from two Cirque du Soleil shows. Immortal, a touring show, has grossed over $300 million since opening last year. One, which opened at the Mandalay Bay in May, is routinely sold out. Both shows feature the usual Cirque du Soleil acrobatics but One comes with a bonus: a hologram-like illusion of Jackson performs “Man in the Mirror” at the end of the show.

The King of Pop also still earns from his music and his half of the Sony SNE -2.02%/ATV catalog, which includes hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift among others.

Jackson reclaims the No. 1 spot on our list from his friend Elizabeth Taylor. The movie star, who passed away in 2011, earned an estimated $210 million in the 12 months to October 2012 thanks to a series of lucrative auctions at Christie’s of Taylor’s art, jewels and clothes. This year her earnings dropped to an estimated $25 million, landing her in fourth place.

Over the past 12 months, the star’s estate earned big bucks from her White Diamonds perfume, which in 2012 brought in $53 million in retail in the U.S. alone, according to Euromonitor International, her rights in old movies and her smart stock and real estate investments. Taylor’s estate, now represented by Hollywood talent agency UTA, is at work on several licensing deals. Expect to see Taylor’s name on high-end clothing and cosmetics in the near future.

Our list looks at earnings between October 2012 and October 2013. We count money coming into the estate and we don’t deduct for how the estate handles it. To come up with our estimates we talk to estate managers, licensors and lawyers involved in the dead celebrity business.

Ranking second on our list is Elvis Presley with an estimated $55 million in posthumous earnings. The King of Rock n’ Roll may have taken a back seat to the King of Pop, but his estate is still earning steadily thanks to his eternally popular image and his famous home, Graceland. That was enough to convince billionaire Leon Black and his firm, Apollo Global Management, to buy CKX, the parent company of American Idol and the estates of both Elvis and Muhammad Ali, for $509 million in 2011.

Peanuts creator Charles Schulz ranks third for the second year in a row with $37 million. The Peanuts are still big but Iconix, which now runs the Peanuts license, thinks they could be even bigger. A new movie, starring the whole gang, is in the works at Fox.

Rounding out our top five is Bob Marley with $18 million. The iconic reggae singer might find it strange that his name has become part of a capitalist enterprise. There are Bob Marley speakers and messenger bags as well as a line of Bob Marley drinks that come in “mellow mood” and “one drop” (A.K.A. coffee).

New to our list this year is Jenni Rivera. The Mexican-American singer perished in a plane crash last December; since then, she has sold over 880,000 records, nearly as many she did in her life. Her postmortem earnings are boosted by the reality show I Love Jenni, which reached an audience of 5.5 million in its third and final season, and her autobiography Unbreakable: My Story, My Way, which has moved over 400,000 copies since its release in July.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2013/10/23/michael-jackson-leads-our-list-of-the-top-earning-dead-celebrities/

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #63 on: November 11, 2013, 09:05:09 PM »
Michael Jackson Estate's Valuation ($2,105) Vs. IRS' MJ Valuation ($434 Mil.)
By Michael R. Morris | November 11, 2013 1:55 PM EST


With all of the media focus on the recent decision in the Jackson family's wrongful death suit against AEG, in which a jury found AEG not liable over Michael Jackson's death, there is another court battle generating less press but which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This case pits the estate of Michael Jackson against the Internal Revenue Service, and centers on the $7 million taxable value of the estate's assets which were reported to the IRS. There's little doubt that the valuation of Michael Jackson's name and likeness rights at a paltry $2,105 raised a few eyebrows at the IRS offices -- the IRS' valuation was greater than $434 million and, in all, valued Michael Jackson's estate at more than $1.1 billion. The IRS has issued a notice of deficiency -- a bill for debts owed -- of estate taxes totaling more than $505 million. And because the IRS contends the executors significantly undervalued the estate's property, it tacked on additions of $196 million for good measure!

In response to the IRS' notice of deficiency, sent on on July 26, 2013, the Jackson estate filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court, contending the valuations of the assets "were accurate and based upon qualified appraisals by qualified appraisers who had extensive experience valuing entertainment industry assets." On August 20, 2013, the IRS filed its response to that assertion, which detailed all of the proposed IRS valuations of Michael Jackson's assets, including his name and likeness. The disagreement has set the stage for a contentious valuation battle.

There's little doubt that the IRS knows that the exploitation of dead celebrity names and likeness is big business. What makes the estate of Michael Jackson's battle with the IRS of extreme interest is that, while the valuation of an estate's assets for federal estate tax purposes is usually made when a person dies (there is an election of value estate assets as of six months after the date of death), any subsequent dispute with the IRS over the worth of celebrity "name and likeness" rights rarely become public.

The rights of a deceased celebrity's estate to that celebrity's name and likeness rights are governed by state, not federal, law. So unless a deceased celebrity died a resident of a state affording posthumous protection for rights of publicity, such rights literally go to the grave along with that celebrity. This happened in the hotly litigated cases involving Marilyn Monroe, where the ultimate determination of her status as a New York and not a California resident meant Monroe's rights of publicity failed to survive her (since New York has no law protecting posthumous rights of publicity).

Conversely, California has for many years statutorily protected the rights of both living and dead celebrities in their names, voices, signatures, photographs and likenesses. In fact, these rights extend for 70 years after death, and, like most property rights, are licensable, transferable and descendible.
 
The holder of the deceased celebrity's right of publicity must, however, register the claim with the California Secretary of State (a simple procedure), and until that is done, damages cannot be recovered for any use prior to such registration.

To come within this statutory protection, California law requires that a decendent's right of publicity must have had "commercial value at the time of his or her death, or because of his or death."

Determining the value of intellectual property based on projected future earnings and discounted to a present value is not an exact science. In the case of the King of Pop, his estate has generated hundreds of millions of post-mortem licensing dollars, which the IRS no doubt factored into its valuation. So now the IRS and the estate of Michael Jackson are locked in a hotly contested battle over just how valuable the future earnings power of Michael Jackson's posthumous celebrity rights could be. While the Jackson case may settle prior to the Tax Court's adjudicating what these rights are worth, the litigation between the IRS and the Michael Jackson's estate could signal similar IRS scrutiny of other high-profile celebrities' name and likeness rights. Accordingly, the administrators of such estates need to be aware of the necessity to engage both qualified appraisers to value such rights and experienced tax professionals to defend against the inevitable IRS audit.

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/legal-and-management/5785834/michael-jackson-estates-valuation-2105-vs-irs-mj