Valensi Rose Managing Partner Michael R. Morris was interviewed for a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article about the ongoing legal battle between the IRS and the estate of the late music superstar Michael Jackson.

The Internal Revenue Service is seeking to collect inheritance taxes and penalties on the estate, which it values at $702 million, including Jackson’s extensive music library. It says $434 million of that is the value of Jackson’s name and likeness, which can be licensed long after the singer’s death.

The executors of the estate say that on the day he died – when an estate’s value is set – the star’s name and likeness was worth only $2,105, because of a number of controversies linked to Jackson’s name.

Michael explained to the BusinessWeek journalist, Devin Leonard, how a celebrity’s estate can generate income from merchandise and intellectual property branded with the star’s name, and that such posthumous celebrity name and likeness rights arise under state law.

He noted that the Elvis Presley estate continues to receive revenues from the Graceland tourist attraction and other sources. Jokingly, Morris noted that in pure business terms, Elvis’ death was a “good career move.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, founded in 1929, has a global circulation of over 980,000 readers in more than 150 countries.

The article is available on the Bloomberg BusinessWeek website.

A former trial lawyer for the IRS and a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, Michael helps clients – many of whom are in the entertainment industry – with tax, estate and business transaction issues, business solutions, and copyright and contractual matters.