Virtual celebrity appearances will create a scramble in IP enforcement and changes in estate valuations

The wonder of the recent appearance of Tupac Shakur in holographic form at a rock concert will undoubtedly be followed by extensive legal analysis, especially by those enforcing IP rights. As pointed out in the American University Intellectual Property Brief, a hologram can not only make a deceased artist appear on stage, the image can be made to perform someone else’s song, mouth someone else’s words, or crack someone else’s jokes.

Licensing copyright and publicity rights is about to get even more complicated. As the article states, “It just might be a brave new world for the music industry … [AND] for intellectual property laws."

The phenomenon creates a new benefit stream for valuators of estates to consider. Appearance "fees," once thought to have died with a performer, will still remain. Who would doubt that a Marvin Gay concert in holographic form would sell out Madison Square Garden?