Marilyn Monroe's Estate Loses Rights To Photos After Fighting To Make Her A New Yorker

from the figure-this-one-out dept

It appears Marilyn Monroe's estate didn't think all the way through its strategy of posthumously moving the famed star to New York. Apparently, her family convinced California tax authorities that Monroe had been a New York resident, in an attempt to avoid paying taxes on the estate in California. Unfortunately for the estate, that would also mean that Marilyn Monroe's publicity rights died with her. As Against Monopoly points out in the latest example of the bizarre effects of intellectual property rules, California allows "rights of publicity" to live on after death -- meaning that images of famous people still need to be licensed. However, New York says your right of publicity dies when you die. So, a court has now ruled that, thanks to Monroe's own estate claiming that she was a New Yorker, there's no longer a right of publicity for Monroe, and photographers who own Monroe photographs shouldn't have to pay her estate (as they've done since her death). This has photographers claiming that the estate has been unfairly demanding licenses for many years. Next time, perhaps Monroe's estate will just pay the taxes it owes. But, in the meantime, we get to see the bizarre impact of rules such as "publicity rights" which have forced photographers to pay to use photographs they took for many years.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    hellslam, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 4:33am

    I think some lawyers are in trouble today.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    FAZ, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    some one messed up baddd

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Nathan Gilliatt, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Sounds like the kind of logic trap you see witnesses stumble into in courtroom dramas. If you're going to play the technicalities, you'd better understand *all* the technicalities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    JB, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 8:03am


    Now go get a job and EARN a living instead of living off the royalties of your long-lost relative Marilyn.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mark Bellinghaus, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Marilyn Monroe Liberation

    There is a famous tale that comes to mind immediately. 'The Fisherman and his wife.' Anna Strasberg is lead character, she wants more more more and is never happy, and in the end--she lost it all. Brilliant!
    What an embarrassment and what a silent payback by an American Legend who has been used as the goose that is laying golden eggs for the past 26 years for Anna Strasberg, the licensing lawyers Roger Richman (who changed the CA law) and Mark Roesler, who was knowingly and happily Marilyn Monroe into a cheap bag lady--reigning for 11 years over what he calls the icon 'his product.'
    Bittersweet symphony and now these greedy abusers of La Monroe will find another victim, but we all know: There was only one Marilyn and she will recover from the tacky salt and pepper shaker image.
    She will have the biggest renaissance, the biggest comeback that any star, living or dead ever had.
    Marilyn Monroe is here to stay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Ma, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Re: Marilyn Monroe Liberation

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Brandon, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Marilyn Monroe

    Since reason would state that you can't become a New Yorker after death, she must have been a New Yorker since before that. So this should be retroactive and the family should have to pay back all the license money it's made on her since her death. On the other hand, what would happen if, for instance, she died in New York but now her relatives moved her to California and said she was always a Californian, thus people still have to pay licensing on her image. Would that work the same way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Ronald Jones, Apr 9th, 2008 @ 9:49pm

    Clear this up for me...

    ...Hello, I own a very candid photo of Ms Monroe as she was out on the town in her natural habitat... according to your article, a license to market her on products is no longer required...

    Thank You...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    quincy martin, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    The Marilyn Monroe estate and her rightful heirs her real family

    I've read about Nancy Maniscalco Miracle and the Marilyn Monroe Foundation. It seems she is the only natural heir to the estate of Marilyn Monroe and those monies and rights were stolen from her by the Strasbergs Lee first now Ana his third wife. They switch jurisdictions for over forty years like we, the regular people switch socks. It seems they are able to do this because of the circumstances of her death, which they and their psychiatrist friends were partly responsible for. Maybe soon justice will prevail and Nancy Miracle will be reinbursed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    nini, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 11:11am


    Marilyns pix should be allowed viewd by the public for free

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    carrie Reilly her daughter, Jul 25th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    how do I get my name entered into what is mine

    My mother didn't leave it to lee. That was a lie. I am her daughter. My mother Marilyn left it to me and they were to only be into the estate until I turned 18. they forged and lied to me

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    charo thomas, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    Re: The Marilyn Monroe estate and her rightful heirs her real family

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    anonomous, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Marilyn Monroe

    her family never received her money, her real daughter and family were disregarded by the strasbergs. even in her will the longest probate in history it states she was a new yorker at abomination of justice see her real daughters web page at www.marilynmonroefoundation

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    roger houny, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 11:59am

    marilyn monroes estate

    The real estate of Marilyn Monroe should have gone to her daughter Nancy Maniscalco Miracle.....the strasbergs, leee and then ana have stolen these monies and continue to do so.
    Nancy Maniscalco has taken them to court in 2 states and has not lost and is still standing. but because they jumped jurisdiction to keep the rights to her image, in california only, they kept one step ahead of justice. Nancy Miracle brought to court the fact that she was born Nancy Cusumano, that has been verified by the vital records in sacramento. her birthday was not correct, nor place of birth etc...that is why the probate took 20 years they the strasbergs didn´t have facts, still don´t just an abyss of pr stuff and lies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    roger houny, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Leeches

    Monroes relatives didn´t get a cent. only the thieves the strasbergs and the band of psychiatrists who they hired to destroy Marilyn and her real family.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Jerold Thomas, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Marilyn Monroe a New Yorker

    Marilyn Monroe was a New Yorker since she was about six years old. Her daughter proved this in court in Hawaii and New York that is why the Strasberg's who misappropriated the estate got in trouble with taxes because they wanted to keep rights to image, lies, about the fake character of Marilyn Monroe, who in reality is Nancy Cusumano mother of Nancy Maniscalco Miracle. Nancy Miracle took the estate to court in hawaii and they jumped jurisdiction by shifting case to California soon after they were caught for taxes and the internal revenue but they had already sold off the licensing rights and spent the money. Then in New York heer daughter took them again to court to prove her mother, Nancy Cusumano, was a New Yorker, and they were screwed so this a few years later happened...and the truth was revealed by her daughter but justice has still not prevailed for her natural heir. We hope oneday it will

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Leeches

    You are right!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Beverly Ann Roach, May 27th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: The Marilyn Monroe estate and her rightful heirs her real family

    nancy miracle is a lyer and wants my Mom's money!!!! I Am The Daughter Of Marilyn Monroe and DNA Test Will show it.
    I Even Remember My Mom when I was a Child before She Died.
    I Was 6 Years Old when My Mom Marilyn Died!!!
    Tell Every one and Pass This On I'm NOT Lying !!!
    Stop Believing Women that Want to Be ME !!!
    This is The Truth !!! Facts Only DNA !!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Beverly Ann Baker (adopted name Roach), Jul 29th, 2015 @ 1:28pm

    Re: The Marilyn Monroe estate and her rightful heirs her real family

    I Am the Daughter Of Marilyn Monroe**!!
    I was adopted after her death by the roach family
    DNA Test Will Prove that I'm the one to receive all the Money**!! I have children and Grandkids to look out For**!!
    My number is 604 602-7629*and my e-mail is Please contact Me it's Beverly Ann**xx

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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