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Mike Tyson's Tattoo Artist Suing "The Hangover" Sequel

Posted: April 29th, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Mike TysonSubmit Comment
The tattoo artist who gave Mike Tyson his distinctive facial tattoo is suing Warner Bros over the similar-looking facial art on Ed Helms' character in "The Hangover Part II," asking for an injunction to stop the release of the sequel.

"When [S. Victor] Whitmill created the Original Tattoo, Mr. Tyson agreed that Mr. Whitmill would own the artwork and thus, the copyright in the Original Tattoo," argues the complaint. "Warner Bros without attempting to contact Mr. Whitmill, obtain his permission, or credit his creation has copied Mr. Whitmill's Original Tattoo and placed it on the face of another actor... This unauthorized exploitation of the Original Tattoo constitutes copyright infringement."

Warner Bros did not comment, but will likely argue that the copyright isn't valid or that the design was changed enough to avoid infringement. Then there's always the "parody" argument as well.

This can be a serious issue for the studio, which could end up paying a hefty settlement to make sure the film is released on May 26th.

Click here to read more about "The Hangover Part II."

Source: THR


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Displaying 30 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
yeLLowfLaSh writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 8:44:43 PM

People who sue for this kind of thing should be thrown in jail. They are what is wrong with this country.
minkowski writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:03:02 PM

No kidding? And since when copyright become so easily obtained that all you have to do is say 'that's copyrighted'?

f*cking tort law and greed. Oh, wait, same thing.
triggax writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:17:22 PM

I actually laughed out loud when I read the articles title.

hahaha only in america man.. Boy oh boy.
bandolero999 writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:19:30 PM

He ain't gonna get nowhere with this
triggax writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:21:44 PM

So by this guys logic he'd be up to his eyeballs in lawsuits from pygmy people and tribes in borneo. Cause tribal tattooing is so f*cking specific and original to western culture.
Aingx writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:22:51 PM

Tyson should sue the tattoo artist for putting it on his face in the first place....


Retarded and it's just an f-ing tribal. What the hell tribe is he from???
minkowski writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:26:27 PM

Here's the fool's myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/193695491

He has a lot of rather nice artwork (notice the Star Wars art, which he didn't damn likely pay royalties to use), and yet he's stooping to sue over this, as Trig said, crappy Borneo tribal sh*t.
triggax writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:39:46 PM

I hope this puts him in the public eye and the jew elders sue the sh*t out of him for copyright infringement over the star wars tattoo.
MoneyHayabusa writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 9:45:34 PM

I'm all for giving credit where credit is due but suing is just bullsh*t, and really, its a f*cking tribal tattoo that just happens to be on his face (the only thing that makes it in the least unique). Throw his name in the credits and be done with it.
OneTime writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 10:41:42 PM

only in the U.S
pugi27 writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 10:46:33 PM

talk about a ploy for a quick sack of money...

as far copyright goes, in the states it's twisted because the moment you create something you have copyright and it's just heavily recommended you register it the library of congress...
minkowski writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 11:19:06 PM

"it's twisted because the moment you create something you have copyright"

Yeah, but that wasn't always the case.

And to prove the point that copyright in the US has grown totally out of control, take note of the recent court case involving Apple vs Amazon over the use of the generic phrase 'app store'.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&biw=1345&bih=618&q=app+store+lawsuit&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=d2830aec572bff8b

Also note the trademark case of Mike Rowe versus Microsoft. Mr. Rowe was a very young web designer who started a website named www.mikerowesoft.com, his name plus the generic abbreviation for software. Microsoft sued, won and took his domain away.

(Mike Rowe later exhibited all the hallmark characteristics of a scam artist, but even Microsoft later admitted that they ran roughshod over the kid because 'they had to'...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_vs._MikeRoweSoft

Here's an interesting video on the 'new' copyright:

http://motherboard.tv/2011/4/25/lessig-copyright-isn-t-just-hurting-creativity-it-s-killing-science-video--2

And again, this guy will hopefully end up sh*tting blood, because he's ripping off Star Wars intellectual property, very specific material, and then suing over some gerneric look solid black face swirl. Absurd.
minkowski writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 11:24:03 PM

Damn it alex, one little bit of code dude and you can auto-wrap all long urls...or I could have used Tinyurl. In Jack Bauer voice: Damn it, Chloe!

And I mischaracterized Mike Rowe. He wasn't a scammer per se but he did try to sell off copies of the legal papers MS sent to him, and I think that's rather dubious behavior; on the other hand he donated much of the money MS gave him for legal expenses to a children's hospice, so I can't really fault him too much.
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on April 29th, 2011 at 11:34:24 PM

This just publicity for the movie...if this wasn't going on no-one would care, talk or even watch the movie.
rabid writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 12:16:43 AM

Copyrights don't apply in tattooing, and satire is constitutionally protected anyway.
DeVries writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 12:38:13 AM

Wow... This is what's wrong in this country. There is more f*cking lawyers than people hardworking and earning their lives with a real job.
Trip Maverick writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 2:52:18 AM

Last time I checked no one has copyright on Tribal tattoos. Sounds like horse sh*t to me. Considering Mike Tyson is in the film I thought that was the whole point of it looking the same. Iron mike should go round there and bust the f*ckers jaw open.
trailertrash writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 3:57:27 AM

Sounds like Iron Mike is short of a few dollars and what do celbs do when that happens Sue or Porn.

I'm glad he's suing...
The_Zizzler writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 5:41:25 AM

Valid lawsuit. I am not an American but if I was the sole owner of a product or design (and could prove it), I would not hesitate in trying to sue and make top dollar from a corporation like Warner Bros.

That or....I continue to live on my tattoo making wage and let people shaft me.

Worth a try.
Akbar writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 6:21:13 AM

Anything to stop this movie from coming out...
rabid writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 10:41:56 AM

I make an excellent living on tattoo wages. But if i had to spend my career doing bullsh*t tribal designs, I might consider a lawsuit to retire.
But two things: 1) American courts are loathe to apply copyright laws in the realm of tattooing.
2) this *sshole will be permanently ostracized from the tattoo community the moment this story is featured in a tattoo magazine.

Still-- the producers should have talked to the artist. He would likely have given them the go-ahead in exchange for a cheeseburger.
mustardayonnaise writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 3:45:48 PM

NEWS FLASH, RETARDS: this is a completely valid suit. Check your case history, a few weeks before Twelve Monkeys was released, architect Lebbeus Woods hit Universal with an injunction for a similar reason- one of the sets was a direct ripoff from a sketch of his. Terry Gilliam even admitted as much, not that he was ripping off and trying to get away with it, just that Uni's lawyers didn't do due diligence and contact Woods in the first place. Woods won a 6 figure payout, and deservedly so. The f*ckin idiot suits at Uni thought they could pull a fast one over him. That case set precedent, which I expect will be followed here. In any case, the studio for the Hangover2 CAN'T stop the release at this point and will have to pay the tatto artist.

The ONLY way they might get out of this is throuh claiming parody, but there is a 4-step process in discerning that, and they'd have their work cut out for them. Odds are they will pay the man and move on.
Man in Black writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 4:23:51 PM

If thats the case then the Estate of Sailor Jerry Tattoos is owed billions of dollars for all the ink people have slung in ripping off his art . This assclown has no case .
minkowski writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 4:25:23 PM

"Copyrights don't apply in tattooing, and satire is constitutionally protected anyway."

They apply to any work of art that's original, or any work so stipulated a priori by the creator of said work(s()of art.

This guy got Tyson to basically sign de facto legal doc*ments saying his work was not only original and intended only for the ex-boxer, but also immediately copyrighted.

The question isn't whether the guy has a case, it's whether he SHOULD have a case to begin with. Which is why I posted Lessig's vid on copyright reform.

"NEWS FLASH, RETARDS: this is a completely valid suit."

Before you start calling us retards, you should check all of your other posts. They're generally idiotic of the first order.

"Check your case history, a few weeks before Twelve Monkeys was released, architect Lebbeus Woods hit Universal with an injunction for a similar reason- one of the sets was a direct ripoff from a sketch of his."

Yeah, big difference. They took a set design sketch into production without reimbursing him. This guy made a tattoo parodied by the studio in question, and under fair use, they have a defense. A good one.

"Terry Gilliam even admitted as much, not that he was ripping off and trying to get away with it, just that Uni's lawyers didn't do due diligence and contact Woods in the first place."

So they admitted they were guilty up front. That hasn't happened in this particular case. End of comparison.

"The f*ckin idiot suits at Uni thought they could pull a fast one over him."

Maybe or maybe the 'f*ckin idiots' made a mistake. It happens. I'm sure you've made some, like your post above. Your mother made one by allowing you to be born. sh*t happens. And here you are.

"That case set precedent, which I expect will be followed here."

You're an idiot. Precedent? Precedent comes into play when a contentious case comes before a judge and a newfound judgement is rendered.

Issues like this have happened quite often, and the first case to get set before a judge, long, long ago, set the actual 'precedence' upon which all future judgements reside.

You're so busy trying to tell us where the bear sh*ts in the buckwheat you can't find your f*cking rifle.

"In any case, the studio for the Hangover2 CAN'T stop the release at this point and will have to pay the tatto artist."

The studio can't, but a judge CAN, but in most cases, because irreparable harm can come to the defendant, and because these kinds of cases are quite often handled out of court, it won't happen.

If the suit continues, the judge may issue a summary judgement to the plaintiff, the studio will pay this tattoo artist some cash and the the issue will die. As it should.

Though if I was WB, I might fight the suit under the use/parody clause with the understanding the film would appear in theaters as planned, in order to have this guy for lunch, but, given that he'll go away for far less than legal expenses, unless he's bringing the suit for principles (LOL), then
they should just pay up.

Then again, best case: immediate fast track dismissal under the fair use/parody clause.

Now, retard, shut the f*ck up.
minkowski writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 4:26:40 PM

"If thats the case then the Estate of Sailor Jerry Tattoos is owed billions of dollars for all the ink people have slung in ripping off his art . This assclown has no case."

He has a case because he made Tyson sign legal doc*mentation up front. Period.
minkowski writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 4:31:56 PM

It's also easier to sue a studio with deep pockets, a studio put their intellectual property violation up in the public purview, than sue a thousand mom and pop tatoos shops across the nation.
Man in Black writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 5:21:24 PM

touche'
minkowski writes:
on April 30th, 2011 at 6:01:58 PM

Sorry, I was *really* talking to the d*ckhead, that guy named mustard, not you dude.
rabid writes:
on May 1st, 2011 at 2:08:46 AM

No American court has ever upheld a copyright judgement on a worn tattoo in favor of the artist. There have been a few cases of infringement in England, but the US views tattoo art differently under some sort of "homage" rule. I see the issue addressed in tattoo magazines every time some idiot artist tries to sue.
The only case that ever got close was a basketball player whose artist sued over some Nike ads. Nike settled out of court. That's all this greedy asshat wants, a payoff.
LastActionHero writes:
on May 2nd, 2011 at 7:10:58 AM

So is the d-bage that did the first barbwire tattoo going to sue all the tools that copyied it?

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