FilmOn Boss Sued for $10 Million
LOS ANGELES (CN) - FilmOn principal Alki David claimed credit on CNN for a lifelike animation of Michael Jackson that appeared at this year's Billboard Music Awards, though he had nothing to do with its creation, an animation company claims in court.
Pulse Entertainment sued David in Federal Court on June 19, alleging unfair competition, unfair business practices, trade libel, intentional interference with contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
Describing itself as a "leader in its field," the animation company says it spent eight months creating the lifelike Michael Jackson animation that performed the late King of Pop's previously unreleased track "Slave to the Rhythm" at the awards show.
"Alki David is a charlatan who had no involvement whatsoever in the creation and development of the Michael Jackson Animation. Nevertheless, David falsely claimed credit for creating and developing the visual effects spectacle in a nationally televised interview on CNN, in press releases and on his various websites operated by his company, FilmOn," the lawsuit states.
"The truth is, David has no technical expertise in the field of animation and visual effects and is merely the troublemaking son of a wealthy European family. He is best-known for childishly seeking publicity through fraudulent claims and eccentric antics, and as a notorious infringer of intellectual property rights."
According to Pulse, David made the false claims to "shake down" Pulse for credit before the Billboard Music Awards.
"Plaintiff is informed and believes that, at most, David wrote a check to acquire a license to patents for projection techniques - none of which were used in conjunction with the Michael Jackson Animation - from a defunct company with no assets that had nothing to license in the first place," the lawsuit states.
During the May 19 interview with CNN, David stated that his company Hologram USA was behind the animation, Pulse says in the complaint.
"'What you saw at the Billboard, you saw a digital head connected to an actor. We capture the body and the head in real time. And we have the sync marks and we can attach the two together,'" David told CNN, according to the lawsuit.
Pulse claims that David incorrectly called the Michael Jackson animation a hologram.
"This mischaracterization of the animation as a hologram highlights David's complete lack of technical expertise and involvement in the creation and development of the Michael Jackson Animation, insofar as the virtual Michael Jackson appearing at the Billboard Award Show was not a hologram at all, rather, it was an animation projected onto a screen. This distinction is lost on David, because he is nothing more than a fraud claiming credit for Pulse Entertainment's animation," the complaint states.
Named as defendants are Alkivlades David aka Alki David, Hologram USA, Musion Das Hologram, and FilmOn.
David has been locked in a legal battle with major broadcast television networks over the FilmOn streaming service, which allows subscribers to watch copyrighted shows over the Internet on personal computers and mobile devices.
Pulse seeks an injunction, at least $10 million in damages, disgorgement of profits and costs.
It is represented by Martin Singer of Lavely & Singer.