iPhone Pocket Cemetery Developer Speaks Out On Michael Jackson Memorial Controversy

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According to its developers, a new iPhone application is being unfairly targeted as a ploy to take advantage of Michael Jackson's tragic death. Now the creator of Pocket Cemetery is speaking out about his controversial Michael Jackson memorial on YouTube.

Michael Jackson Memorial

According to its developers, a new iPhone application is being unfairly targeted as a ploy to take advantage of Michael Jackson's tragic death. Now the creator of Pocket Cemetery is speaking out about his controversial Michael Jackson memorial on YouTube.

"I'm shocked by the way some people can be so nasty and misguided, but I suppose that's how they deal with grief and death. Ironically, that's the point of Pocket Cemetery. Everyone deals with death differently. There's no right or wrong answer. I created this phone application as a way to carry the memories of loved ones on my iPhone, but now some people are freaking out. It all started with creating a virtual memorial for my grandmother, and I'm sure she wouldn't be happy to see all this controversy, especially when my intentions have been so good," says Wayne Perry.

Pocket Cemetery is the world's first smart phone application that lets users create virtual grave sites for departed loved ones including family, friends, pets and even celebrities. The application allows users to create customizable memorials with pictures, biographies and favorite memories presented on virtual tombstones. Users can also send virtual flowers and prayers and they can email their memorials to anyone.

Although Pocket Cemetery has been in development since April and was added to Apple's "review cue" on June 23, it wasn't approved for sale until July 5th, just after Michael Jackson's death. The controversy started when Perry created a YouTube Pocket Cemetery memorial to Michael Jackson on the day he died, just before the app went on sale.

"Just like the millions of Michael Jackson fans out there, I felt the need to create a memorial to him, and I just happened to have a tool that nobody else had. Although Pocket Cemetery was still in the Apple review process, as a developer I had my own copy. So I decided to use it, and I created a very nice memorial to Michael. I even used a photo that showed him at the height of his career. The memorial says only good things about Michael Jackson and it was very respectful," says Perry.

Wayne Perry admits he figured the memorial would help promote his new phone application, but he was also not sure if it would cause Apple to reject the app during its review process. Perry took a chance in a moment of passion to help pay tribute to the King Of Pop in a respectful way.

"I didn't set out to monopolize his death. If I wanted to profit from Michael's death, I would have added his memorial to the application itself, but I didn't. I offered this memorial from my personal iPhone to any fan who requested it and thousands came forward. If I was out to profit from his death, I could have done things very differently, but that wasn't my goal. How could you watch his daughter Paris crying about her dad and not feel deep sadness? She made me cry."

Perry goes on to point the finger at people he says are the true vultures profiting from the aftermath of Michael Jackson's tragic death.

"What about all the people selling Michael Jackson memorabilia, and what about the media with 24 hour sponsored coverage? What about Jo Jackson using his son's death to promote his new record company? How about all the celebrities coming out of the woodwork to use his death to promote their own careers? Worst of all, what about his family trying to turn Neverland into the next Graceland goldmine? These people are the ones directly profiting from Michael's death. I'm just selling an iPhone app for personal use," adds Perry.

Since posting his Michael Jackson memorial on YouTube, Perry has received thousands of views. Although he's gotten his share of detractors, there are many more people supporting his position. In reaction to his critics, Perry has committed to give a portion of his proceeds to Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital, a favorite charity of Michael Jackson.

"Michael Jackson did so much for kids with cancer and he really cared about them. Saint Jude's is the premier charity for helping these kids. So I've decided to give a percentage of Pocket Cemetery proceeds to Saint Jude's. Lets see how many Jackson vultures out there pony up and do the same", says Perry.

While many bloggers and online reviewers have unfairly bashed Pocket Cemetery because it's so outside the box, Perry feels it's the kind of app that offers something for everyone. Because it was released at a time of great sorrow in the celebrity world, he feels this iPhone app has touched a nerve that most technology could never touch. In addition, the people using this phone app are quick to defend its heart felt sentimentality. For many downloaders, Pocket Cemetery is a highly personal trip.

"This isn't about putting celebrities on my iPhone and it's not about posting my deepest sad feelings on Facebook. This is my personal cemetery that feeds my head and my heart when I need it. I don't care about other people seeing my memorials even though I've already emailed a couple to my friends. For me this app is about carrying the power of my ancestors so I can remember them the way I want. I can look to them for strength when I need it and remember the good times when things seem bad," says Pocket Cemetery user, Andy Mackenzie of Brooklyn, NY.

Perry's company is already working on updates for Pocket Cemetery including free blog space on PocketCemetery.com, real flower deliveries to grave sites and charitable contributions delivered in the names of departed loved ones. Pocket Cemetery is presently available from the App Store on iTunes with more versions coming for the Blackberry and Palm platforms.


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