Michael Jackson Hologram Conjures Billionaire Alki David's Patent Lawsuit (Exclusive)


Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
A link of general rather than specific interest to the case; Textor has announced more funding for his company:

Digital Life Pioneer Pulse Evolution Gets $10 Million Investment by China’s Original Force Animation and Shanghai U9 Game

Business Wire February 8, 2016 5:32 AM

Pulse Evolution Corporation (OTC: PLFX), a recognized pioneer and leading developer of hyper-realistic digital humans for entertainment, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence, today announced that Original Force Computer Animation Co. Ltd (“Original Force”) and Shanghai U9 Game Co. Ltd (600652:SHH) (“U9 Game”) have combined to invest $10 million in Pulse common stock, at a valuation of $1.00 per share. Both Original Force and U9 Game are backed by Chinese digital-entertainment giant, Tencent Holding Limited (0700:HK), a $200-billion global conglomerate whose subsidiaries include Internet, mobile, instant-messaging and music-distribution companies.

Commenting on the new venture, John Textor, executive chairman of Pulse Evolution, said: “We are certainly pleased to have the support of Original Force, and its Chairman Harley Zhao. We have great respect for their commitment to story-based content and we share a belief that the greatest of stories deserve the very best in visual imagery.”

Mr. Textor continued, “We are also excited to have further validation of our technology from Shanghai U9 Game and its CEO Liang Liu. Digital humans are pervasive across the game space and we will enjoy the opportunity to upgrade the standards of digital life with such an impressive and fast growing video game company.”

The investment is part of a larger strategic relationship through which Original Force and U9 Game have become the first licensees of Pulse Evolution’s market-leading human animation software. Original Force will now benefit from Pulse Evolution technology in its principal business of feature animation filmmaking, while U9 Game will deploy the technology in the character based applications of its high-growth video game business. Both Original Force and U9 Game have also become partners of Pulse’s affiliated entertainment production companies, bringing global distribution support and complimentary video game expertise to Pulse’s primary live concert productions which are currently in development.



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
Alki David mentioning MJ projects again....but the MJ Estate has issued a statement about this article today:

Statement from the Estate today:

For any of you who saw the article in the LA Times today which was printed with the image of the virtual Michael Jackson from the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, this is the statement issued to the LA Times by the Estate:

The Los Angeles Times story about Alki David this morning, which was accompanied by a large photo of the Michael Jackson hologram which aired on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, is misleading.

David’s companies had ZERO to do with the Billboard Music Award’s hologram.
The Estate of Michael Jackson, which has the sole right to license Michael’s name,music and image, has not granted any rights whatsoever to Alki David’s companies.
John Branca, John McClain, Co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Copyright © 2017 The Estate of Michael Jackson, All rights reserved.
MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™

The article in question is here:

Meet the man determined to make celebrity holograms a major Hollywood draw

Alki David was unfazed by the chaos surrounding him on a recent afternoon in Hollywood.

The Greek billionaire was days away from previewing a theater featuring hyper-realistic “hologram concerts” with entertainers both living and dead — but the space was far from complete.

The grinding sounds of a drill echoed through the dusty venue as construction continued more than a year after the venue’s original opening date.

Yet David wasn’t worried. “This is the future of live entertainment,” he said confidently, looking toward the flickering LED marquee promoting the theater’s opening show, a Billie Holiday revue.

“It really, truly will blow everyone’s … mind.”

Nestled in the thick of Hollywood Boulevard’s tourist traps, David’s Hologram USA Theater is finally closer to reality and its Nov.1 opening date.

For $20 a ticket, guests will see entertainers like Holiday, Jackie Wilson and Bernie Mac resurrected by the same technology that brought Tupac Shakur to Coachella in 2012 and saw Michael Jackson moonwalk at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

There are plans for an animated Jackson 5 musical, stand-up comedy sets, kids programming, MMA matches and a sexy “freak show” hosted by Ray J.

There are a handful of digital companies that believe the future lies in the holographic celebrity space — L.A.-based Eyellusion is probably David’s closest competitor — but Hologram USA will open the first theater in the country dedicated to holographic entertainment.

An heir of the Leventis-David Group, which made its fortune bottling Coca-Cola, David got into the hologram business in 2014 when he founded Hologram USA and purchased the patent for the technology used for Shakur’s Coachella “performance.”

Since then, he’s invested tens of millions of dollars — and fought several lawsuits — on his quest to dominate the business of resurrecting dead entertainers.

David’s company went viral two summers ago when it turned controversial rapper Chief Keef into a digital avatar and beamed him from a Beverly Hills soundstage to a music festival in Indiana to sidestep Keef’s arrest warrants.

Cops pulled the plug, but the stunt got a lot of press for Hologram USA, which was exactly what David desired. The businessman thrives on media attention of any sort: He paid $1 million for someone to streak nude in front of President Obama; live-streamed a much-hyped assisted suicide (which turned out to be staged); and his TV streaming company FilmOn was sued by multiple networks for infringement (he paid over $1.6 million).

Just last year David announced a world tour based around a hologram of Whitney Houston. Plans crumbled after leaked video of the likeness was met with derision. (He says the avatar was unfinished and he’s taking the singer’s estate to court.)

And the chaos that exists as he preps the theater’s opening is not limited to construction issues. Earlier this year two former employees sued him for sexual harassment, alleging he forced them to watch fetishist videos, wear electric shock collars and view racy photos of him. David claims he’s being extorted.

“He doesn’t really understand what extortion is,” said attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing both accusers. “He has to face the facts that he’s accused of some very serious acts of sexual harassment.”

“Nobody has ever been compelled to do anything,” countered his attorney Barry K. Rothman, “and nobody was harmed except Alki, who has had to endure the betrayal and greed of people he trusted.”

David, however, isn’t concerned. For him, all press is good press: “I'm used to lawsuits. It's irritating … [but] its gotten me on the front page of TMZ,” he said. “I’ve engineered the villainous image of myself, because it helps. It's a noisy brand.”

Though his style may be his own, David is not the only digital entrepreneur investing in holograms. This fall Eyellusion will launch a tour featuring a digital likeness of rocker Ronnie James Dio performing alongside his living bandmates from Dio. The tour opens in Finland this November and will hit over 80 cities — a first for a show of its kind.

Eyellusion is also readying a high-concept concert experience built around Frank Zappa that will tour next year.

“Our focus is authenticity,” said Jeff Pezzuti, Eyellusion’s founder and chief executive. “When you go to see a live show, you’re seeing a live show. It’s not like seeing a movie. That’s where we differentiate ourselves.”

“A bunch of projects have been announced but there’s really been nothing substantial,” said Pezzuti, throwing a subtle jab at David’s company. “We are actually putting together a tour — rehearsals, staging, lighting. That’s a huge statement in this industry. We can all make press releases, but the fact is you still have to execute.”

Pulse Evolution Corp. is another player in the outlier art form. For years, Hologram USA was embroiled in a legal battle with Pulse over which company owned the right to the technology after it was auctioned off in 2013. David eventually bought it but not before Pulse obtained a license of the patent, using the technology for Jackson’s Billboard appearance. The suit between the companies turned into a public feud between owners, with David being accused of cyberstalking former Pulse chairman John Textor. The men settled out of court last year.

Ironically, none of the companies produce true holograms — that would be far too expensive. Hologram USA employs a derivation of a 19th century technique called Pepper’s Ghost, which projects a reflection of an image through angled glass (or in the company’s case, a flexible translucent foil) resulting in a two-dimensional image appearing 3-D. Universal Studios employs the same technology for its “Fast & Furious” attraction.

Eyellusion is tight-lipped about its technology but says it doesn’t require the use of bulky equipment, instead building a mobile stage that easily installs in preexisting venues, while David has spent the last year retrofitting venues across the country to support the required equipment.

A year ago, David proudly showed off Hologram USA’s technology at the company’s Beverly Hills showroom, and true hologram or not, the results were impressive.

With the touch of a button, Jackie Wilson emerged onstage. The soul crooner spun and dipped in a sleek suit — the likeness so lifelike, even the wrinkles in his socks popped. David hit another button and out came the Black Eyed Peas. And then Dita Von Teese arrived, dancing seductively.

Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mick Jagger and Jimmy Kimmel were all beamed in — as was a vicious shark, stampeding elephants, bumbling Minions and two nude women.

But will it sustain an industry, or even a museum?

“It’s all a gimmick,” said V. Michael Bove, a scientist at the MIT Media Lab and an expert in holography. “Sure, it’s fun to see once, but are you going to see it again?”

Ahmet Zappa would, and is hoping he can finally “resurrect” his father Frank.

“It wasn’t until I saw the technology of Eyellusion that I believed it could be done,” Zappa said. “The goal is to utilize the holographic technology to its maximum.”

Zappa said he’s most excited about being able to reimagine his father to take on tour.

“It reduces me to tears knowing what’s possible,” he continued. “But I don’t want this be like Frankenstein, trying to reanimate something.”

Bove says all of the creators have an uphill battle ahead of them.

“I’m not going to say it has no future … what it really boils down to is people will pay to see this once because it’s a novelty,” he said. “For it to be an ongoing, sustainable thing, it needs to be about more than the technology.”

Despite the skepticism, David’s ambitions for the museum and beyond remain lofty.

In the next year he hopes to have his “holograms” in 150 locations around the country and has content deals with the Laugh Factory, Black House MMA and Universal Music Group.

David believes that it’s only a matter of time before his company disrupts the market, and A-list living talents come knocking.

“Imagine being Beyoncé and being able to play in front of 200,000 seats from one location. This is really a major paradigm shift in entertainment,” he said. “Live performers will see a huge opportunity.”

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Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
Alki David at it again. I don't think he really 'owns the Jackson 5'????? (Surely not the young MJ, at least). He mentioned plans for an 'animated J5 musical' (see post above ^) ...I don't know if he means the 'J5 animation series, rather than the 'real' holographic J5. The term 'animated musical' seems rather strange, as all humans in musicals necessarily move.

Billionaire Hollywood bad boy Alki David is resurrecting the dead with holograms

There’s a rather bonkers Russian chap named Dmitry Itskov who claims that by the year 2045 his team of scientists will have achieved human immortality by uploading brains onto a computer.

That’s a little way off, though. In the meantime, if Frankenstein’s monster meeting Blade Runner doesn’t tickle your fancy, one can achieve a rather less sentient immortality through hologram technology.

Tupac Shakur appeared alongside Snoop Dogg at Coachella a few years ago, followed by a not-long-dead Michael Jackson thrilling fans from beyond the grave.

Julian Assange, who is not dead, but shares the pallid complexion and gravitas of a corpse, appeared from the Ecuadorian Embassy to speak at the Nantucket Project, via hologram.

One man digitally resurrecting the dead is Alki David, the Greek billionaire heir to the Leventis Coca Cola bottling fortune.

Once number 47 on The Times Rich List, David has made a name for himself as a “Hollywood Bad Boy” and prankster. From offering $1m to anyone who dared streak in front of Barack Obama, to broadcasting a spoof assisted suicide as a publicity stunt, he has certainly ruffled a few feathers.

Few can claim to have sued and been sued quite as many times as he, but his hologram firm is, he says, no laughing matter.

It might all seem a bit Star Trek, but this time, he’s serious.

Seeing is believing
“Seeing is really believing it right?” says David, on the phone to London from Hollywood. “It is a truly mind-blowing experience to see a life-sized 3D image walking and talking, performing on the stage with a light show – it is revolutionary.”

The firm presently owns the rights to more than a handful of deceased celebrities. David has invested $12m of his estimated $2bn fortune into securing rights, and more still in refining the technology.

His digital graveyard contains some 27 celebrities, ready to be reanimated at any point.

But, clearly, sensitivities around raising the dead bring ethical implications – has it brought him any trouble?

“Look, the controversy is great, it generates conversation. Very often dealing with an estate of a deceased celebrity... usually you’ll get one member of the family that brings in an issue for the sake of bringing in an issue.”

David’s view on the celebrities he is reviving reflects that of the eternal showman – that these are the sorts of people who want to live forever through their work, and posthumous performances enable that.

“Usually the card that people play is that it’s far too spooky, or it’s emotionally distressing,” he says. “But the reality of it is that these are entertainers, who lived to be in the limelight, and that desire to continue to be in the limelight after death is their dream.”

Going Hollywood
David recently opened the first Hologram USA Theatre on the Hollywood Boulevard, one of seven, with 150 in total planned to roll out across the States. The conditions couldn’t be better for a new entrant to the market, he says, citing a 16 per cent drop in theatre attendances from last year. There are, apparently, “enormous amounts of empty real estate around Western Europe and the United States”.

To achieve his vision, David is going to raise capital for the firm through what is known as a “Reg A+” listing – or a “mini IPO”. Born from the Obama era JOBS Act, it lowers regulatory hurdles for companies trying to go public and allows firms to have more private shareholders.

“This mini IPO makes a float available to the everyman,” he tells me, “whereas normally an IPO is only really available to institutional investors, who buy up the stock before it’s available. In selling these securities of the hologram company, we’re using targeted advertising techniques. We’re able to market individual shows as securities, or market to localised theatre installations on a regional basis.”

David’s plans don’t stop in the cinema though. While “owning” Whitney Houston and the Jackson Five is all very well, David says the technology has seemingly endless applications, from retail to corporate communications, military training to education.

He adds that he’s been “chatting with [his] mate Paul McIntyre about bringing the technology to the West End,” reportedly for a holographic revitalisation of We Will Rock You.

But will it ever be better than the real thing?

“Listen. It’s better than the real thing. First of all you don’t have to feed them, and you don’t have the headache of the talent,” chuckles David, sardonically. “But really, the experience is better – not only because it’s lifelike, but now you can incorporate extraordinary effects with flames and dragons and exploding peacocks – all kinds of crazy stuff.”

Paradigm shift
David compares his technology with Hatsune Miku, one of the biggest pop stars in Japan, who happens to be a hologram. He says by comparison, the Japanese tech is “hokey”.

His tech is the most-widely used, and while imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, having invested so much time and money into it, David is relentlessly combative over protecting what is his. “I have sued everybody who has infringed on my patents. From Fox to Cirque de Soleil – I’ve been 100 per cent successful in my lawsuits. I’m very, very litigious over protecting this patent.”

To declare holograms as representing the future of entertainment may seem brazen. It certainly has its critics, who see it is a passing fad, with ephemeral appeal. Naturally, David disagrees.

“They don’t know what they’re talking about. They haven’t lived and experienced the repeat performance of this technology over and over to venues and customers as we have.

“Who is to say there is no paradigm shift in entertainment? This is what this is. This truly is a tried and tested paradigm shift in the way entertainment is done.”

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Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
And still the hologram debate goes on....



Today, both parties see the result of their court battle (Pulse reached a confidential settlement in March 2016) as a form of vindication. “We won the initial ruling [where] he tried to stop the show [without] any evidence,” says Textor, evenly. “But where [Hologram USA] ultimately won was that it looked like a case that might go for a century, so we decided to settle.”

“We caught them red-handed, they settled, we won,” says David with relish. “Pulse doesn’t do what we do. Apart from Michael Jackson, which was a fiasco, they haven’t produced a single ****ing thing.” Equally, David dismisses the notion that the court battle may have had an adverse effect on Hologram USA’s planned rollout of shows.

Now, when David is not reeling off potential subjects for resurrection – “We’ve got Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, the Jackson 5, Bernie Mac. Hendrix I had to walk away from because the estate is a mess…” – he’s also talking up Hologram USA’s potential for expansion. “We’re rolling this technology and the shows we’re creating into 150 North American theatres right now,” he says. “We’ve got a couple of things in the works to open up with some large theatre chains as well. So it may go from 150 to 2,000 or 3,000 in a very short time.”

David appears unfazed by Pulse’s own agreements with high-profile acts – it is working on an Elvis Presley show and, as part of a deal with Simon Fuller, an ABBA hologram show set to tour in 2019. The reason soon becomes apparent. “John Textor got kicked out of his own company,” he tells me, with a smile. “He’s gone, he’s out.”

Six weeks after David’s revelation, in summer 2017, I pin down Textor for another conversation. “I’m still a shareholder but I resigned,” he admits. It transpires that, in July 2017, Textor quietly stepped aside from his role as Pulse’s chairman, in part so Jordan Fiksenbaum, a former VP of marketing for Cirque du Soleil, could become Pulse’s CEO. “Since I’m a technology guy, it’s the right thing to bring in somebody who knows how to put butts on seats.” There may well be more to Textor’s departure than he’s willing to admit. But he still advises Pulse and is openly disparaging about Hologram USA’s Pepper’s Ghost-focused vision for the future of digital humans.

“Yeah, there’s that moment when you get that holographic feel of, OK, he’s floating in space, somebody is dancing in front and behind,” he says. “But after a couple of those gags? You can’t make a show out of that.”

Undeterred, there are plenty of other resurrectionists hoping that live performances by holograms can attract large audiences. Roy Orbison: In Dreams is touring the UK this month. Eyellusion, a rival Pepper’s Ghost startup headquartered a 20-minute drive from Hologram USA’s office, is planning a tour that will bring back Frank Zappa.

And, of course, there’s David, exploring new uses for his hard-won patent. And he is ready for a fight with anyone who encroaches on what he feels is his turf. “I’ve got seven years left on my patent and Pepper’s Ghost is not public ****ing domain,” he says. “[They’re] going to get sued the moment [their] feet hit the ground.”

It’s September 2017, two months after our first meeting, and David steps from the interior of his company’s Hollywood theatre into the California sunshine. Striding quickly down the Walk of Fame, he barrels past an employee’s attempts to placate him and catches up with his target: a stage rigger called Kyle who he has just fired. Fingers are jabbed and words are traded but, ultimately, an agreement is reached. David rehires Kyle and the pair troop back underneath the throbbing screens of the video marquee, back into the darkness.

The venue is a 200-seater former adult cinema on Hollywood Boulevard that’s envisioned as the flagship for Hologram USA’s global chain. In just over 24 hours, David is due to host a gala opening. But they are behind schedule: huge boxed UHD screens clog the lobby, wires dangle from the ceiling and inside the seatless auditorium the buzz of power tools can still be heard.

When David re-emerges, he smiles and invites me to hop in his car so we can talk further. “Everything in my life is dust at the moment,” he jokes, brushing remnants of terracotta powder from the interior of his convertible Rolls-Royce.

“We don’t have an army of bodies, so I need to lead by example,” he adds. Plugging in his iPhone, he makes a series of calls relating to tomorrow’s planned premiere. “‘Try’ doesn’t mean anything to me,” he says to one worker. “What will it take to have this ready?”

The whole affair finally peaks as David threatens an underling with both a termination and a lawsuit, then stumbles upon a solution to the production conundrum they had been discussing, and eventually signs off the call with a cheery, “OK, brother.”

“There’s definitely a creep factor to Pepper’s Ghost,” says Jeff Jampol from behind the desk in his West Hollywood office, his 2011 Grammy Award for Best Music Film glinting on a nearby shelf. “Whenever you screw with nature and create something – whether it’s GMO food or talking sex dolls – you’re going to get a reaction.” He rocks his chair from side to side. “But we want a reaction.”

Two metres tall with tightly bundled curly hair, Jampol, 59, looked after punk bands in the late 70s, survived heroin addiction in the 80s, and went on to set up Jam Inc, his “legacy management” company, in the 90s. With a client list that includes The Doors, Janis Joplin, the Ramones and Otis Redding, Jampol is one of a number of handlers who have carved out a thriving sub-industry that uses licensing, social media, documentaries, exhibitions and more to boost the earning potential of dead celebrities. (Michael Jackson’s estate – the exemplar in this world – has made nearly $1 billion since his death in 2009.)

But, while Jampol looked after Tupac’s estate at the time of the Coachella performance and has met David, he has misgivings about holograms as an alternative to live performance.

“The potential that a digital human holds is fascinating,” he says. “But Pepper’s Ghost is what I consider to be the lowest iteration of the technology. You can’t move around it, it can’t interact with you other than from a distance. It’s the equivalent of a used VHS tape.”

Not all estate handlers share Jampol’s reservations. But, as long as deceased stars continue to be the focus of virtual shows, brand managers and their estates hold all the cards.

“We’re a hyper-realistic human animation company, which is why we have these relationships with Elvis, with Marilyn, with Michael Jackson,” says Textor. “There has only been one company that has demonstrated the ability to make major estates comfortable that they can protect the likeness of the celebrity. And Pulse is a company that does not talk about these shows until they happen.”

One example of how things can go wrong is Hologram USA’s widely publicised Whitney Houston global tour. Announced in 2015, the resurrection was scuppered after preview footage – a duet between Christina Aguilera and a revived Houston set to feature in the 2016 finale of The Voice – leaked.

“We hadn’t digitally composited the face yet and NBC freaked out,” says David, acknowledging the widely disseminated clip of Aguilera gamely performing alongside a projection of a somewhat fuzzy Houston lookalike. The clip faced widespread derision and prompted the late singer’s estate to pull the deal. Continuing the holography industry’s theme of near-constant litigation, Hologram USA issued the Houston estate with a breach of contract lawsuit in July 2017.

The ethics of posthumous recreations are, like a flickering hologram, fuzzy. In 2013, a Johnnie Walker advert starring a digitally recreated version of Bruce Lee – a lifelong teetotaller – showed how resurrections can distort the sense of who someone was. And the CGI-wary stipulations in a deed filed by Robin Williams before his 2015 death (his image cannot be inserted into a new film, used commercially or as a hologram, until 2039) perhaps show that more celebrities are considering the implications of this new immortality.

“It’s very complex,” says Tim Webber, Oscar-winning chief creative officer of Framestore, the British VFX house that created a CGI Audrey Hepburn for a 2013 commercial. “I certainly think that if I was an actor like Peter Cushing I’d like the chance to reappear in a global franchise after my death [a virtual Cushing appeared in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]. But having said that, it all depends on the circumstances, how it’s executed and for what reason.”

“I have to be careful,” admits Jampol. “Janis [Joplin] and Jim [Morrison] aren’t here to speak for themselves, so I stand in their stead, with their families, and speak for them.” Textor says Pulse takes a case-by-case approach. “Jackson already had a 3D scan of his body so he was exploring his likeness in ways other celebrities weren’t,” he says. “We, and his estate, were comfortable that it was something he was trending towards. It’s always a delicate thing, done with the family. We’re not going to have, like, Elvis hawking marshmallows or something.”

Back in Los Angeles, it’s the night of Hologram USA’s ribbon-cutting. Everything is running at least an hour late and reality star Janice Dickinson is shivering by the hastily gaffer-taped red carpet, but the show is finally about to start. Invited guests, who will hopefully soon be replaced by customers paying $29.95 a ticket, spill out on to the street. Inside, the air is thick with the skunky scent of hemp-oil-topped vegan popcorn. Billy Zane, a friend of David’s, mills around the foyer, resplendent in flat cap, sailor stripes and a shoulder-draped sweater. The lights go down.

The short preview flits from the magical (a revived Jackie Wilson dancing; comedian Jon Lovitz shooting lasers from his fingers; eerily realistic puffs of smoke from a chain-smoking magician) and the baffling (a prolonged MMA fight broadcast from within an oval frame that kills the illusion).

There are unfortunate technical problems too, and it also appears that the revived performers – who lack the visible animation of Tupac or Michael Jackson – are VFX-free lookalikes. (When asked later to clarify this, David replied: “Our experts use all the tools at their disposal, including CGI, in our celebrity resurrection holograms.”) More than anything, it begs the question: why, beyond the initial novelty, people would stump up to see a projected image of a working stand-up comedian when a living, breathing comedian telling jokes is no more than a taxi ride away?

After the show, David lingers near the exit. Four hours earlier, he had seemed a man possessed as he barked orders into a walkie-talkie and even commandeered a scissor lift to install speakers himself. Now, he appears muted and wrung out by the adrenalin rush of the evening. There are curses aimed at malfunctioning equipment (“The satellite link-up didn’t work, we only had one projector so we couldn’t do Billie Holiday”) but there’s also optimism about the future.

And the mix of entertainment planned for Hologram USA’s first screenings, a 40-minute Billie Holiday performance augmented by live comedy and the burlesque-heavy Sexy Hollywood Freakshow, perhaps indicates that, through accident or design, David’s plan for the future has shifted. Many of the shows he has discussed – Bernie Mac, the Jackson 5, Liberace – are either billed as “coming soon” on Hologram USA’s website or completely absent.

“The lowest hanging fruit is resurrections,” he explained to me in London. “The controversy of bringing somebody back from the dead sparks conversation, but the future is Wimbledon live in Times Square, the latest greatest boxing match live at your local cinema.”

Textor, David’s old nemesis, also sees an application for holograms that isn’t tethered to the IP of a celebrity estate. “We used Michael Jackson to teach the world more about the utility of digital humans than I could do at a thousand trade shows,” he says. “Digital humans delivering information, a maths teacher that travels on a flash drive and never gets an answer wrong. Some really big things came out of that night.”

However, it’s the Jackson show that people talk about. Jackson, leaping from the frame of a shimmering picture. In the 19th century, Dircks and Pepper’s invention was applied to many things, but it was ghosts people wanted and ghosts they got. Their 15-month Pepper’s Ghost installation at the London Polytechnic made the modern-day equivalent of more than £1 million.

Whether it’s Pulse, Hologram USA or some other hologram startup that eventually prospers, the urge to bring people back has always predated the technology to do it.

Nostalgia is big business. But immortality? As Jeff Jampol said back in his office, where the late Rick James’s guitar sits propped up by his open door: “I don’t think this technology meets the test yet, but there’s an old Jim Morrison quote that I’ll leave you with,” he smiles and permits himself a showman’s pause, “‘Money beats soul, every time.’”


Proud Member
Aug 1, 2016
First the use of the word "hologram" has always been ludicrous - MJ was not holographic during STTR in 2014. Tupac was not holographic at Coachella a couple of years before that. They were projections. Nobody has the ability to generate a true hologram for concert performances yet.

ABBA's next tour will be avatars of their younger selves performing on stage. I don't think it's the next big thing but it'll be interesting to see how the tickets sell and what the feedback is once the tour starts. I think it would be hard to generate a great atmosphere if the artists is not on stage live, but I could be wrong. If there was ever a similar MJ tour I wouldn't go if it was done in the same way as the STTR. I don't want to see a projection of an MJ impersonator on stage with MJ's face superimposed on theirs - that is not an MJ performance of any kind. BUT if they found a way to use footage of MJ to generate a "hologram" then I would seriously consider buying tickets.


Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
This story is unfortunately going to generate more headlines about MJ, sexual harassment and 'Elizabeth Taylor'. But all to do with Alki David.


Billionaire behind famed Tupac and Michael Jackson holograms storms out of an LA courtroom during a sexual harassment hearing after calling his accuser 'disgusting' and 'a liar'

Alki David, 50, shouted ‘you are a…liar, you are disgusting’ from his seat in the gallery before hastily exiting the courtroom on Tuesday
The outburst came immediately after his accuser's attorney revealed that Chastity Jones would be suing the billionaire for $10 million in damages

A source told DailyMail that David was angry that the first day of the hearing was biased and all based on the accuser’s claims
David’s companies are responsible for the holograms of Tupac, which appeared at Coachella in 2012, and Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards
Jones' attorney said she was fired from David's companies Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV for 'refusing to have sex' with her boss

Additional sexual harassment lawsuit has also been filed against David by Jones’ co-worker, Elizabeth Taylor, which will be tried at a later date.

A billionaire entrepreneur accused of sexually harassing several of his female employees stormed out of a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday, following an angry outburst at one of his accuser’s attorney.

Alki David, 50, shouted ‘You are a…liar, you are disgusting’ from his seat in the gallery before hastily exiting the courtroom during prosecuting attorney Lisa Bloom’s presentation of evidence.

The outburst came immediately after Bloom announced that her client, 42-year-old Chastity Jones, would be seeking $10million in damages.

A source told DailyMail.com the mogul was angry that the first day of the hearing was biased and all based on the accuser’s claims.

In David’s wake, Bloom warned the jury they had just captured a glimpse of the Greek’s unpredictable temperament.

Presiding Judge Rafael Ongkeko remained unmoved by the exchange and offered no comment about the defendant’s actions.

Ellyn Garofalo, David’s attorney, said that Jones only made allegations against the business mogul after she was fired positions at two of his companies, Hologram USA and FilmOn.TV.

Before that, Garofalo claimed that Jones always spoke very highly of her employer, regularly telling associates that she loved her job working in a ‘wild and outrageous place’, where sexual innuendo wasn’t uncommon.

David’s companies are responsible for the famed holographic projections of Tupac Shakur, which appeared at Coachella in 2012, and Michael Jackson, who moonwalked across the stage during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

Along with another former sales accountant, Jones first filed a lawsuit against David in February 2017, claiming she was ousted from the companies for ‘refusing to have sex’ with him.

During the hearing, Bloom detailed a series of alleged instances in which David was deemed to have acted inappropriately towards Jones, making her feel uncomfortable.

Shortly after assuming her sales position in January 2015, Jones claimed that David came up behind her, placed his hands on her shoulders and told her to follow him on Instagram.

The single-mother says she pulled away and said no, but apparently David repeated the interaction several days later.

Bloom showed the jury one of David's alleged Instagram postings containing a photo depicting Caitlyn Jenner with a stunned look on her face with a caption that read, ‘When you play with your vagina for the first time.’

As Bloom went on to describe another instance in which her client voiced discomfort, regarding a male stripper dressed as a policeman hired to come to the office, David was heard laughing as Bloom referred to Jones as a ‘Christian woman’.

Also among the slew of allegations, was one encounter shortly after Jones’ mother died, in October 2015. She said David pretended to be sympathetic at first, but during a meeting regarding her mother’s passing, the CEO allegedly ran his hands up her legs.

He is said to have later ordered her to watch the adult video ‘Two Girls, One Cup’ on her computer, which left Jones feeling ‘demeaned’, Bloom claimed.

Jones was then fired in November 2016.

‘This is a case about a sexual predator running loose in a company he controlled,’ Bloom told the courtroom. ‘She [Jones] was fired because she refused to have sex with him.’

Jones was the first witness called in the trial. The additional sexual harassment lawsuit, filed by Jones’ co-worker, Elizabeth Taylor, will be tried at a later date.



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
It seems that Gloria Allred has her teeth in Alki David now... (so to speak). More Karma!

Self-appointed ambassador for ‘wronged men’ of #MeToo Alki David faces criminal complaint

Mahim Khan, who won a $58-million civil verdict against billionaire Alki David for sexual battery, plans to file a criminal complaint against the controversial hologram entrepreneur, her attorney said.

Khan met with two officials at the Beverly Hills Police Department on Monday and will have a follow-up meeting Tuesday, when she plans to lodge a sexual battery complaint against David, said her attorney Gloria Allred.

“People think of sexual harassment as a civil matter, which it is but in some cases it may also constitute a crime,” Allred said. “We think an investigation should be opened into Mr. David.”

A spokesperson for the Beverly Hills department confirmed the meeting with Khan; she said a police report filing was in progress.

Earlier this month a jury awarded Khan, a former production assistant who worked at David’s media companies, including FilmOn TV and Alki David Productions Inc., $50 million in punitive damages and $8.25 million in compensatory damages.

The award is among the highest ever for an individual employment case.

Among the allegations in Khan’s lawsuit, she said that in 2014 David, heir to a Greek Coca-Cola bottling fortune, thrust his pelvic area into her face, simulated oral sex, moaned, zipped up his pants and walked away saying, “Thanks, M.K.”

The ruling was the third verdict this year against David, who has been accused of numerous acts of inappropriate behavior by former employees.

Calling the legal system “broke and biased,” David responded to Allred’s announcement in a statement saying, “Gloria Allred and Mahim Khan don’t realize they just made a huge mistake with this stunt.” He also added, “Let’s settle this now: I challenge their client to a public polygraph test. Let’s do it live on TV. I have nothing to hide — do you, MK?”

Khan’s recent award has brought the amount of verdicts against David to nearly $74 million.

A California jury in April ordered David to pay another employee, Chasity Jones, $11.1 million. She said he fired her after she refused to have sex with him. Jones later agreed to a reduction in compensatory damages by $437,120. Punitive damages remained at $8 million.

In October, a jury found in favor of Lauren Reeves, a former comedy writer at Hologram USA, awarding her $650,000 in compensatory damages and $4.35 million in punitive damages. In 2016, Reeves alleged David put his hands on her throat and pushed her chair into a wall, banging her head, among other claims. According to her suit, David told Reeves that he needed to buy supplies for his “rape room.”

In September, a jury deadlocked in former FilmOn account executive Elizabeth Taylor’s case and the judge declared a mistrial. A suit filed in 2016 was settled out of court.

David has disputed the allegations of sexual misconduct, saying, “I never touched any of these women.”

David represented himself in the Taylor trial. His disruptive and defiant behavior earned him nearly $10,000 in sanctions; he was ejected from the courtroom on several occasions.

The judge in the Khan trial revoked David’s right to represent himself, prompting him to bolt from the courtroom.

David who has been highly critical of his accusers, their attorneys and the legal system, issued a statement following the Khan verdict, protesting his innocence, saying, “How is it justice if I’m not allowed to present any defense at all?” he said.



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
The court cases continue:

Jury Orders Hologram Producer, Companie to Pay $1.3 Million in Attorneys’ Fees

A comedy writer who was awarded $5 million by a jury in 2019 in a sexual harassment case against her former boss was granted another $1.3 million in attorneys’ fees by a judge, court papers obtained Thursday show.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green issued his order July 22 in favor of 36-year-old Lauren Reeves. Last October, Reeves was awarded $650,000 in compensatory damages against billionaire Alki David and his companies, Hologram USA Inc. and Alki David Productions Inc., and $4.35 million in punitive damages against David only.

Reeves was one of several plaintiffs who took sexual harassment cases against David to trial last year. In April 2019, 43-year-old Chasity Jones was awarded $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages. She later agreed to a reduction of about $445,000 after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rafael Ongkeko found the amount of out-of-pocket damages awarded her was excessive.

On Sept. 3 last year, Judge Christopher Lui declared a mistrial in the case of Jones’ co-plaintiff, 32-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, after jurors deadlocked 8-4 in favor of David.

Reeves told jurors she had two stints working as an independent contractor for David, one in 2015 at FilmOn TV and another in 2016 at Hologram USA. She said she came back the second time to pitch an idea to him because she was interested in working with holograms.

David twice put his hands around Reeves’ throat in the workplace in April 2016, the second time occurring in front of a comedian with whom she was having a conversation, the plaintiff said. She said David demanded during the alleged assault that she look into his eyes, and said he was bullied as a child.

On another occasion as the two walked to a nearby grocery store, David told Reeves he was stopping to get supplies for his “rape room,” she alleged. In still another incident, David placed one of his fingers in his mouth, made moaning sounds and uttered a comment that referred to the private parts of her celebrity boyfriend at the time, Reeves testified.

Reeves’ lawyer, Nathan Goldberg, said the final straw for Reeves came in September 2016, when David returned from an absence and summoned her to his office for an update on a new show.

David allegedly closed the window blinds and the door, dropped his pants and forced her head toward his private parts. He then opened the door and called a sales executive into the office, hoping to convince the other man that she was giving David oral sex, according to the plaintiff, who said she left and never went back.

But David’s lawyer, Ellyn Garofalo, argued that Reeves knew what she was getting into when she went to work for David, whose companies did not just make holograms, but also did television streaming with content meant to shock and make people think. Reeves created her own sexually oriented material, according to Garofalo, who showed written examples on a screen to jurors during trial.

About 99% of those who worked for David enjoyed doing so, Garofalo said.

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Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
But it seems he's still had time to include MJ in a Hologram show:

Ray J Set to Perform via Hologram on Icons of American Music Live From SwissX Island

The biggest stars in Hollywood, both past and present, are showing their support of some of modern society’s most important activism campaigns during one of the most devastating pandemics in history. A multitude of celebrities, from Ray J to Michael Jackson, will be performing on ‘Icons of American Music,’ a live event that’s set to air on SwissX, and will be hosted by eight-time Grammy Award-winning producer-songwriter, Scott Storch.

Ray J will be performing live on ‘Icons of American Music,’ via Hologram from the Swissx Island in the Caribbean. The singer-songwriter-rapper is set to sing songs from throughout his musical career, which dates back to the mid-1990s. In addition to Ray J, the live Pay Per View event will feature live music and commentary by such artists as Sean Puffy Combs, Chief Keef, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Ice T, Cypress Hill, Mike Tyson and Swissx CEO, Alki David. The group will also be joined by such late legendary singers as Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Tupac, Biggie Smalls and Prince.

‘Icons of American Music’ will be presented on Friday, September 18 at 7pm EST by SwissX and Hologram USA. This one-of-a-kind 4K 360 VR broadcast can be be viewed with Oculus and other popular VR headsets on SwissX.com.





Holograms, Hip Hop and Ayahuasca: A Celebration of American Music and Hemp Health

Malibu, CA, Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Scott Storch’s Icons of American Music will be broadcast on pay-per-view on Friday September 18, 2020. The super producer will perform and host special guests at the new Antiguan Embassy in Malibu where Alki David and Hologram USA will pull out all the stops with the ultimate hologram music show. The show celebrates the passing of the Hemp Bill of 2020 in Antigua and Barbuda where Swissx is planting 1000s of acres in a cooperative project that will make local Rastafarian farmers rich and bring prosperity to the region. The show is available on cable carriers nationwide such as DISH, DirecTV, and Verizon FIOS, and at FilmOn.com.

The show will feature Hologram USA’s groundbreaking holograms of Billie Holiday, Jackie Wilson and Chief Keef, performing their most loved songs and talking about their lives. There will also be comedy & burlesque acts, and cameos from the all-time biggest names in R&B and Hip Hop such as Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls and Michael Jackson. Civil Rights warrior Maxine Waters even makes an appearance. Trinidadian Reggae giant Marlon Asher will reveal a new interpretation of his hit, “Ganja Farmer” at the embassy in honor of Antigua’s new Hemp Bill passing on Sept 18.

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Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
Interesting snippett in a report about a witness apparently lying in a legal case agianst Alki David. The details of the case are not important, just the comment about the prosecution lawyers. (The Elizabeth Taylor referred to is not MJ's E Taylor, obviously!)

A newly revealed tape of Lauren Reeves doing her own crude comedy shows she lied under oath in the Reeves v. (Alki) David trial.

....Represented in her suit against FilmOn and its CEO Alki David by Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg, Reeves admitted to drinking a bottle of gin a day, and the shrink hired by her lawyers told jurors that her problems were likely caused by her abusive 7-foot tall lumberjack father in Alaska. Reeves and her witnesses were caught in lies repeatedly by David’s attorney Ellyn Garofolo of Venable LLP.

....The defense originally subpoenaed another former employee of FilmOn, Elizabeth Taylor, intending to put her on the stand to show how Taylor, Reeves, Chastity Jones and others colluded with the Bloom Firm and Allred Maroko & Goldberg to work together on their allegations against David. (Texts among them offer payment and jobs in exchange for testimony, and in one case say, “You will get money and you won’t have to go to trial.”)


The same lawyer has 'history' in the Chandler case:

Attorney Gloria Allred, who announced amid great fanfare last week that she was representing a 13-year-old boy allegedly molested by Michael Jackson, said Friday that she is no longer on the case.

“That is correct,” Allred said. She declined to answer any questions about why she was leaving the case, saying only: “I can’t make any further comment, unfortunately.”

Allred’s abrupt departure from the case makes her the latest in a revolving series of representatives for the boy and members of his family. The boy’s father originally was represented by Barry K. Rothman. Jackson’s private investigator says Rothman was part of an attempt to extort $20 million from the entertainer.

Rothman is no longer connected to the case, and the father now is represented by Richard G. Hirsch. Neither Rothman nor Hirsch was available for comment Friday.



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
The MJ Estate didn't pick up on the recent 'Scott Stortch/ Alki David' Hologram concert, but it seems Whitney's Estate has:

WOULD-BE 'VOICE' HOLOGRAM SURFACES - No Approval from (Whitney) Estate

The Whitney Houston hologram that was supposed to make its debut on "The Voice" years ago has emerged from the shadows new and improved -- the problem is, her estate had NO idea it was happening.

Record producer Scott Storch recently teamed up with Hologram USA -- the same company that created the famous Tupac and Michael Jackson holograms a while back -- to put on a variety show that featured live performances, as well as cameos from icons past.

It was hosted by Scott Storch but producers also beamed in some late stars like Jackie Wilson, Billie Holiday, Pac, Biggie, MJ ... as well as some still-living folks, like Ray J and Chief Keef. Storch and co. released it through a network called FilmOn TV about a week and change ago.

Anyway, one of the holograms to zap onto the screen at one point is Whitney's ... which took people aback, since plans to use her hologram were infamously scrapped in 2016.

You'll recall ... the hologram was supposed to duet with Christina Aguilera on the finale of "The Voice" that year -- a performance from which photos leaked online just days prior -- but Whitney's estate pulled the plug last-minute because they didn't like the hologram's look.

Turns out ... the guy who worked on that hologram -- Alki David -- wasn't done with his Whitney masterpiece. Sources close to Alki tell us he went back and retooled the hologram's image to make sure it was just right and decided to use it for this new Scott Storch show.

We're also told he didn't get the OK from her estate to release it, nor does he feel he needed to -- as it's his work and he feels he had the right to pick up the baton again.

Unfortunately, sources with direct knowledge tell us Whitney's estate sees things differently ... and they're currently weighing their legal options since this was done without permission.



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
Alki David Sued for Sexual Battery by Ex-Employee

The billionaire is being sued by an anonymous woman who says he raped her while she was working for his CBD venture Swissx. He denies the allegations and says the lawsuit is "a tool for extortion."

....On Wednesday, a Jane Doe sued David along with his companies Hologram USA, FilmOn.TV and Swissx Labs after filling a complaint in October 2019 for discrimination and harassment with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

.....During an April 21, 2019, meeting at his theater on Hollywood Boulevard, which started with a discussion of business matters as they walked through the building with his Doberman Pinscher, Doe says David led her into a small, dark room that held the computer servers. She says he shut the door, pinned her up against it and raped her while she was "frozen with fear and believed that resistance might provoke an escalation of violence, or cause AD’s dog to attack."

...She's suing for sexual assault and battery, false imprisonment, sexual harassment and retaliation, among other claims.

...Through a rep, David sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement in response to the complaint. "This Jane Doe routine is bullshit," he said. "This so-called complaint is a leak in order to use the media as a tool for extortion. This [woman] stalked me for years. I deny these allegations vehemently. Publishing them amounts to defamation and very soon I will show this is part of the entire web of fraudulent cases led by [Lisa] Bloom and [Gloria] Allred."



Proud Member
Aug 27, 2009
Not difficult to see where this is likely to go, post-20th Jan 20:

What to Watch Now That Fox News Has Betrayed You

So Fox has gone soft. From the moment it called Arizona, before any other news outlet, we knew it was all over. Clearly Rupert Murdoch is just blowing with the wind and thinks siding with Biden and Harris, just because they won the popular vote, is going to be a better investment. If you have true patriotic values, you’re disgusted, and won’t watch Fox anymore.

But where to turn? Newsmax is the best choice. The Florida-based Network launched early in the decade and FilmOn TV was the first streaming service to make it available nationwide to people even if they didn’t have a cable subscription. It was FilmOn Founder Alki David’s vision, even then, that the mainstream news and network broadcasters could not be trusted and alternative avenues for finding information needed to be made easily available.

That’s why you’ll find the news in over 30 languages on FilmOn, and hundreds of other channels too. But for now, during this election results crisis, Newsmax is the one. Affectionately known as Trump TV, when anchors like Tom Basile can be trusted and have been praised worldwide for not taking the easy path just because every major news network has called the election for Biden.

Newsmax columnist Michael Dorstewitz has even explained why A.O.C. should be seen as the real facsist (sic) .....