Companies Sue Over Possible MJ Hologram

The owners of technology used to digitally resurrect Tupac Shakur have asked a federal judge to block the use of their techniques in any effort to project a Michael Jackson hologram at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards.

Photo: Nick Barbato for the 9:30 Club
9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.

Hologram USA Inc. and Musion Das Hologram Ltd. sued Jackson’s estate and producers of the awards show Thursday in a Nevada federal court in an attempt to block any appearance of a Jackson hologram at Sunday’s ceremony.

A hearing on their emergency restraining order request has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in a Las Vegas court.

Show producers have not confirmed that a Jackson hologram will appear at the show, but they have promised a history-making performance by Jackson. The segment at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena will be used to promote the singer’s latest posthumous album, “Xscape.”

Representatives of Jackson’s estate and show producers Dick Clark Productions did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Hologram USA and Musion own patents to technology that creates three-dimensional images and projects them on stage to appear as if they’re alongside live performers.

The digital Shakur hologram was a sensation when it was shown at 2012 Coachella music festival and according to the lawsuit it was created using a product called Musion Eyeliner that generates the lifelike images.

The companies claim Musion Eyeliner has been used without authorization by a competitor to create a segment that depicts Jackson performing a new song, “Slave to the Rhythm” at Sunday’s awards show.