Michael Jackson hologram

Hologram technology has become an huge new driver of  live performances since the organizers of Coachella created one of Tupac Shakur to perform at the 2012 music festival. But the technology’s popularity doesn’t mean its a lawless free-for-all – at least according to a complaint filed Tuesday by Alki David.

As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the FilmOn impresario is the plaintiff in a patent infringement lawsuit against Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts for using hologram technology to produce images of the former King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in a scene from Michael Jackson: One, the acrobatic troupe’s latest production.

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Although the suit acknowledges the existence of a long history of similar optical illusions that have been used to entertain audiences, it claims that David and FilmOn owns the rights to Musion Eyeliner technology, which Cirque du Soleil has appropriated for use in its newest show.

“In 1862, John Pepper and Henry Dircks invented ‘Pepper’s Ghost,’ an illusion technique, which, over the last 150 years, has appeared in movies, concerts, magic shows and amusement park rides,” the lawsuit observes. “Today a new incarnation of Pepper’s Ghost exists — Musion Eyeliner technology. Musion Eyeliner uses a patented system to project three-dimensional images virtually indistinguishable from real life bodies.”

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David has purchased an exclusive license for Musion’s patent, and in advance of staging concerts featuring other performers, both living and dead, created a showroom in Beverly Hills, CA, for his company Hologram USA.

“We already agreed on hologram performances with Flo Rida and the late Amy Winehouse,” David says. “Many other shows are coming.”

The lawsuit further alleges that given the success of the hologram of Shakur in 2012, the defendants either knew or should have known that the technology was patented. David is demanding an injunction and maximum damages for willful infringement.

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