Fox’s Simpson Hologram Stunt Does not Impress Patent Watchdogs
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Broadcasting Company is in legal soup after having used patented technology it does not have rights to in a recent Comic-Con: San Diego event. It is highly ironic that the man who cried ‘copyright’ over television technology all these years is finally being sued for having done what he always accused his competitors of doing.
On the twenty fifth anniversary of the Fox channel’s iconic show – The Simpsons, the channel decided to do something new by using hologram technology to bring Homer Simpson alive on stage. The panel generated quite a buzz as Matt Groening, the Simpson’s creator, and executive producer Al Jean graced the stage. The men behind one of the most loved shows in television history then proceeded to interact with a hologram image of the show’s titular character.
But what they conveniently forgot was that using patented technology requires one to acquire permission and pay license fees. The result of not following the rules is a lawsuit filed by patent lawyers representing billionaire Alki David and his pet project Hologram USA; the company that owns the hologram technology used in the panel.
Jokes Apart, this is Serious Crime
It is often said that one of the main reasons for the sow technological advancement in the television world is Murdoch’s infallible enthusiasm to file lawsuits. And yet, when Murdoch decided to celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary of The Simpsons, he went ahead with the pomp and show without paying the bills. The panel at Comic Con also took digs at Tupac Shakur’s hologram appearance in Coachella 2012, but what the organizers failed to see was that while Shakur’s was a legitimate hologram appearance, since he had paid all the necessary license fees, Fox Television’s blatant use of Hologram USA’s signature technology flouts patent rules left, right, and center.
The Fox Television panel at Comic Con: San Diego is thought to have been seen by over a thousand people, and a million more have used YouTube to view the clips. The YouTube clips, as Hologram USA’s patent lawyers have pointed out in the lawsuit, had Fox advertising embedded in the clips. The recent merchandising onslaught of Simpson products comes after Fox struck a deal with Gracie Films to create an online archive of all Simpson episodes. The $1 billion deal has seen the American consumer being flooded with choices of Simpson’s themed products; from Legos to make-up tools, to jackets, and designer clothing.
A Glazed Donut Anyone?!
What has Homer Simpson done for donut sales in America is another question? But there is not any lawsuit here, the donut industry loves this. There is nothing wrong with free advertising!
Alki David, who has filed the lawsuit against Murdoch and Fox Television along with Hologram USA, has publicly denounced the television channel and its owner as “thieving hypocrites”. David said that Rupert, and others like him, are wont to manipulating the law and hide behind self-made rules that serve only their own interests.
Well, Rupert has creating a spectacular media empire and normally treats people pretty fairly. It is not as if Fox News has a race monger on their channel like Al Sharpton who makes his own news up. This is what MSNBC does and the reason it is failing!
Hologram USA Protects its Rights Fiercely
According to the company’s patent lawyers, Hologram USA’s 3D representation technology is the only quality hologram technology available in the world that allows users to create life-like images. The technology has been used worldwide and even Prince Charles has been reported to have used the hologram tool to make appearances.
Rupert will Make this Right
The company and its products are in high demand and Hologram USA has not shied away from protecting its rights so far. In May this year, Pulse Entertainment used the hologram device to show Michael Jackson holograms at the BillBoard Music Awards in Las Vegas and were promptly served with a lawsuit from Hologram USA’s patent attorneys. The company is set to go places and has recently opened a Washington branch with the aim to help politicians in their election campaigns. Hopefully they are honest campaigns unlike the IRS!