Jun201120
Settled: Mike Tyson Tattoo Case
06:30 PM
hangover tattoo_settled.jpg
Call it my obsession, but I've been following the Mike Tyson tattoo copyright (almost as intensely as Beyonce's career) because of its potential impact on the rights of tattooists to defend their art from others who wish to profit from it.

For background, see my first post on it (with some general copyright info) here and the update here.

This post looks like my final update on the case because, yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter published the news that a settlement had been reached between Missouri tattooist, S. Victor Whitmill, and Warner Bros. Whitmill sued Warner Bros. for copyright infringement over its use of his facial tattoo design for Mike Tyson, which was prominent in The Hangover II film. The article stated:


Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. When asked for comment, Whitmill attorney Geoff Gerber provided THR the following statement: "Warner Bros. and Mr. Whitmill have amicably resolved their dispute. No other information will be provided."

Sources say the deal was hammered out during an all-day mediation in St. Louis on Friday that was attended by Whitmill and his lawyers, as well as the Warners legal team.

The settlement was no surprise. As I predicted in my posts, these type of cases do tend to settle, and it was pretty clear that Warner Bros. would throw Whitman some money after the judge hearing the case had said that Whitmill had a "strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement" and that most of the arguments put forward by Warner Bros. were "just silly."

While I'm happy that tattoo artists' rights to their designs were recognized, the tattoo law nerd in me wished that this case had been decided to finally see how the courts would rule on the issue.

Again, I fully believe in a balancing of these rights between client and artist -- or have those rights hammered out in advance between them, especially with celebrities -- but in this case, Tyson himself was not at issue. It was Warner Bros. use of the design in the films, ads, and to-be-released DVD.

Will post a link to this post soon on our Facebook page to get your thoughts.



connect with us
advertisement
archives
advertisement








EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Marisa Kakoulas
CONTRIBUTORS:
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.