Judge Approves MJ Collectibles

8 Aug

LOS ANGELES – THE King of Pop is coming to calendars and collectors’ coin cases after a judge approved several deals involving the singer’s estate on Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff signed off on agreements for Jackson-themed items including calendars, school supplies, posters and a commemorative coin. He also granted authority so that reprints of Jackson’s autobiography Moonwalk can be sold in China, Korea and several Eastern European countries.

Judge Beckloff also agreed to allow Jackson’s estate to partner with Apple’s iTunes to sell songs and videos of Jermaine Jackson’s performance of the Charlie Chaplain song ‘Smile’ at the pop singer’s public memorial.

The deals were presented to the judge by the current administrators of Jackson’s estate, attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain. Financial details of the agreements were not disclosed.

They offer a hint at Jackson’s post-death marketability, and a pending deal may bring even more Jackson-themed merchandise to store shelves and electronics.

Judge Beckloff has scheduled a hearing on Monday to decide whether to approve other deals involving Jackson, including a movie project that would feature the singer’s final rehearsals and preparations for a series of comeback concerts in London.

Columbia Pictures has agreed to pay US$60 million for the rights to footage shot for Jackson’s ‘This is It’ concerts, but the deal must be approved by Monday. The extra time was granted to give the singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, time to consider the proposed contracts and voice any opposition to them.

Judge Beckloff is also considering a deal between the estate and merchandiser Bravado for worldwide distribution rights to several Jackson-themed products, including trading cards, apparel, lighters, stuffed animals that play Jackson’s music and digital apparel and even tattoos for online games such as Second Life.

The deals remain an important piece of the Jackson’s financial puzzle and could offset potential losses by concert promoter AEG Live, which spent more than US$30 million organising the singer’s 50-show comeback in London. — AP

Straits Times

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