Monthly Archives: April 2012

What Does Tupac’s Hologram Mean For Other Celebrity Estates?

INDIO, CA - APRIL 15:  A hologram of deceased ...The music world has been buzzing ever since the surprise appearance of Tupac Shakur — well, that is, a digitally-created 3-D image of Tupac — on stage to rap at the Coachella music festival in California.  Some have described this as creepy, like seeing a ghost.  Is this going to be a new trend for celebrity estates?  Should it be?

First, there is the issue of legality.  Was it legal for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to bring Tupac’s image on stage?  Because this was a use of Tupac’s image and likeness for commercial purposes, only the holder of the “right of publicity” for Tupac could authorize it.  That right is owned by Tupac’s estate, under the control of the executor — his mother, Afeni Shakur.

Reportedly, she not only authorized it, but was thrilled with the outcome.  Dr. Dre repaid the estate for this permission with a contribution to the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which is Tupac’s charity.

Dr. Dre has already said he’d love to bring out other Read more...

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The Power Struggle Over Archie Comics Teaches Lesson About Succession Planning

The New York Times recently featured a fascinating article called The Battle for a Comic-Book Empire That Archie Built.  It detailed the ongoing legal battle over the two dueling CEO’s of Archie Comic Publications.

Archie Andrews (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On one side is Jonathan Goldwater, the son of John L. Goldwater who was one of three founders of the company and the visionary behind the Archie character, created in 1941.  Goldwater became a co-CEO and controller of one-half interest in the company after his half-brother, Richard Goldwater, died in 2007.

Nancy Silberkleit is the widow of the son of another founder, Louis Silberkleit.  She was a schoolteacher who became co-CEO when her husband, Michael Silberkleit, died in 2008.  By that time, a long-time employee and editor-in-chief, Victor Gorelick, was running the company as a temporary, stop-gap measure.

Goldwater and Silberkleit tried to work together to manage the company, agreeing in 2009 to run Archie Comics by sharing CEO duties.  Silberkleit was to oversee scholastic and theatrical ventures, placing Read more...

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Brooke Astor Estate Settlement: Marshall Gets His Just Desserts

News broke last week about the Brooke Astor estate settlement.  The renowned New York society queen and philanthropist, who died at age 105, left behind an estate of nearly $200 million dollars.  brooke astor estate settlement
Brooke Astor’s assets — along with the $50 million charitable trust of her late husband — have been tied up since she passed in 2007.  The fighting was so extensive that it dragged in a “who’s who” of top New York City institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Library, Rockefeller University, and even the United Nations, among many others.
Under Astor’s 2002 will, her only son, Anthony Marshall, stood to inherit tens of millions of dollars, with most of it slated to pass to charity after he died.  But Marshall wanted much more.  He and a lawyer,  Francis X. Morrissey, Jr., convinced the elderly Astor — when she was suffering from dementia — to sign a series of codicils to Astor’s 2002 will.  These codicils would have allowed Marshall to leave Read more...

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