Billboard awards can use Michael Jackson hologram, judge rules

(FILE) Sony Announces New Michael Jackson Album Release In May Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour
A flesh-and-blood Michael Jackson performs during his “HIStory” world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium Nov. 10, 1996, in Auckland, New Zealand.
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Michael Jackson will Moonwalk again.

The late King of Pop will perform during the Billboard Music Awards –- as a hologram.

The closely guarded secret was spoiled after a lawsuit from tech companies, hoping to stop the performance, was rejected by a federal judge.

Hologram USA Inc. and Musion Das Hologram Ltd. filed an emergency suit Thursday, alleging one of their products was being used without their permission by a competitor to create an image that will depict Jackson performing “Slave to the Rhythm,” a cut taken from his posthumous new album “Xscape.”


While the companies own the rights to the technology that famously raised Tupac Shakur from the dead at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in 2012, a judge said there wasn’t enough evidence to show the planned 3D image would violate patents. Hologram USA acquired the rights to the patents after Digital Domain, which created the Shakur image, went bankrupt.

Judge Kent Dawson also said the compaines failed to provide sufficient evidence that their patents were being used to create the Jackson hologram, according to the court order obtained by The Times.

Details on the spectacle have been kept tightly under wraps. Show producers have called it a “history-making performance” and a source close to the production promised the “technology is so spectacular and groundbreaking.”

The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will air live (except on the West Coast) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.


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