Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Marilyn Monroe Estate Threatens Legal Action Over Potential Hologram Concert"

"Digicon Media holds a copyright on "Virtual Marilyn" and plans to feature the projected blond bombshell singing and interacting alongside live music stars. But months of correspondence obtained by The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the Monroe estate is closely watching Digicon's activities, and if the show goes on, there could be a big lawsuit....  The "Virtual Marilyn" concert is said to use the same technology as the Tupac one (observers debate whether it is technically a hologram)....
In December, Digicon received a cease-and-desist letter from the estate that claimed that "Virtual Marilyn" infringed upon its intellectual property and demanded a stop to the use of any marks, names, logos and designs that were based upon the identity and persona of Marilyn Monroe.

"The digital studio insists that it has done something unprecedented -- copyrighted a human persona -- and that the statute of limitations has passed on any possible legal objection since the estate knew about what has been in development for more than fifteen years. The digital persona is also said to be completely distinguishable from the woman who died in 1962 of an apparent drug overdose.... "

copyrighting a human persona? pass the sick bucket.

THR also reprint a statement from The Marilyn Monroe estate:
"The Estate of Marilyn Monroe is the sole and exclusive holder of Marilyn Monroe's personality and identity rights and rights in the MARILYN MONROE trademark, and the unauthorized use of Ms. Monroe's identity and persona, such as that contemplated by Digicon Media, violates and infringes the Estate's rights in derogation of several Federal and State laws.

New and emerging digital and holographic technologies present the Estate and Authentic Brands Group with a host of intriguing opportunities befitting an icon of Ms. Monroe's caliber.

To that end, the Estate and Authentic Brands Group look forward to teaming with best-in-class partners in these fields to bring Ms. Monroe's fans top-of-the-line, exciting entertainment experiences
... The Estate and Authentic Brands believe that the technological advancements made since that decade allow talented developers to create superior virtual characters, akin to the virtual Marilyn Monroe character portrayed in Dior's popular ad campaign for its J'Adore perfume"

Authentic Brands? top-of-the-line excitnig entertainment experiences? pass an only slightly smaller sick bucket

i wrote about this semi-speculatively back in 1995 off the back of John Oswald's Grayfolded record woven out of Grateful Dead live recordings:

"Jerry Garcia's death does shine a peculiar light on the whole project, in so far as it suggests that a kind of involuntary immortality for artists may soon become widespread. Oswald has shown that a sympathetic ear can 'play' another artist's aesthetic like an instrument. (Of course Luddites like Lenny Kravitz and Oasis have effectively already done the same thing, vis-a-vis Hendrix and Lennon/McCartney, by writing new songs in another's old style).  But what's to stop an unsympathetic, money-motivated ear doing the same thing?  In the future, will artists copyright their 'soul-signature' and then sell it to the highest bidder to be exploited after their demise? Fond of visual and filmic analogies, Oswald mentions that the movie business has been trying to devise ways of taking dead stars and creating simulations of them to play new parts. The mind boggles...."

1 comment:

  1. "Necroretro." Heh, indeed.

    I heard some bit about this on the radio a couple months ago, right after the big Tupac hologram debut -- some industry critic saying, "This sort is thing is very likely to prove a massive nightmare for those entrusted with managing certain artists' estates." The matter of what such does in relation to an artist's posthumous legacy was of course another topic on the table, with the licensing of Kurt Cobain's image to Guitar Hero being the obvious example cited. And lo, it comes to pass.