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Sunday, August 23, 2009

SOUND OFF: PAYING TO REMEMBER THE KING OF POP

Of the readers who responded to an informal poll on my column's blog, two-thirds thought that Michael Jackson's estate should cover the cost of his multimillion-dollar memorial service, which was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Only 8 percent thought that the City of Los Angeles should foot the bill.

"It appalls me that the city would allow this to go forward," writes William Jacobson of Cypress, Calif., "without a whimper beforehand on who would pick up the tab, in the shadow of the Lakers parade, where the city specifically said that they would not pick up the tab (and that it) needed to be paid for out of private donations _ and was."

"The expenses to the City of Los Angeles connected to the Michael Jackson memorial services should be paid by the Michael Jackson estate," writes Jan Bohren of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., "but the city has an obligation to tell any party what the expenses might be prior to the event."

"What about the media giants who filmed and televised the memorial?," another reader asks. "Shouldn't they step up and help foot the bill through donation of royalties?"

Check out other opinions here, or post your own by clicking on "Comments" or "Post a comment" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business and The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart, is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

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