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Valuing and taxing Prince’s “image rights”

April 28, 2016 2 Comments »
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Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about the coming challenge of valuing the “image rights” of Prince’s estate.  Here is a link:  Valuing Prince’s Image Rights

There are some interesting points, as well as some common mistakes, threaded into this article which illuminate the complexity of valuing Prince’s image rights.  I must refrain from elaborating, as I would be one of a small handful of qualified candidates to perform such valuation.  There aren’t many candidates who are qualified for the task.

As the article notes, the valuation could become a “battle of the experts” but there certainly is a way to value Prince’s image rights in a supportable way.  Much relies on a truly qualified expert bringing the appropriate perspective to the matter.  It won’t come from books or formulas.  The valuation must be done by someone who is very well-informed about Prince’s career, beliefs and principles.  (As it turns out, that criteria may make me the most qualified potential expert on the matter.)

Reference in the Wall Street Journal article to the Michael Jackson estate’s representatives claiming a valuation of around $2,000 and the IRS countering with $434 Million shows the critical and sensitive nature of the upcoming Prince valuation.

If only Prince was simply still alive.  But fellow artists and musicians, take note:  if your attorney isn’t talking to you about the right of publicity, find one who is.

2 thoughts on “Valuing and taxing Prince’s “image rights”

  1. Giancarlo says:

    How do I obtain a license to use an Andy Warhol pop art Micheal Jackson image for a t-shirt design I would like to sell?

  2. jfaber says:

    Normally, you would need to get a license from both the Michael Jackson estate as well as the Warhol Foundation. When I worked on behalf of Marilyn Monroe LLC, we did quite a few joint licensing programs of Warhol’s rendering of Marilyn. My understanding of both Jackson’s and Warhol’s representatives is that they are not likely to ignore or miss any unauthorized products in the marketplace, so be sure to get permission before any activity takes place. I trust this helps and thanks for the outreach.

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