This is a weird one. There exist a copyright infringement lawsuit over LeBron James’ tattoos.
Solid Oak Sketches, a single member LLC, is suing Take-Two Interactive over their digital rendering of LeBron James in ‘NBA 2K’ specifically the recreation of LeBron’s tattoos.
Solid Oak owns the rights to LeBron’s tattoos, as well as former player Kenyon Martin and Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe’s tattoos. Apparently this is a thing you can do?
Copyright cases involving tattoos have apparently popped up more and more recently with companies buying the rights to celebrity’s tattoos.
In response to the suit, Take-Two is arguing that this would create an environment in which celebrities would have to ask permission every time they appear publicly or are photographed for magazines. Artsy broke down the lawsuit further,
“Take-Two balked at the idea it must pay to license images that are permanently inked on the bodies of basketball players, celebrities whose tattoos frequently appear in advertisements and the pages of glossy magazines. Solid Oak’s argument would require public figures to “seek its permission every time they appear in public, film, or photographs,” according to Take-Two’s August motion, currently under review, for summary judgment in its favor.”
In turn, Solid Oak is claiming that Take-Two is trying to profit off the use of LeBron’s tattoos with their digital recreation of the Cavs superstar.
I’m completely lost in all of this. How does one buy someone else’s tattoos? Why would you do that? How is 2K trying to profit off LeBron’s tattoos? NO ONE IS COPPING 2K TO EXAMINE THE ACCURACY OF LEBRON’S TATTOOS.
I don’t know, whole thing seems incredibly sketch and pretty weird. LeBron himself isn’t involved in the suit whatsoever despite the fact that these tattoos are on his own body.
Companies buying celebrity and athlete tattoos is truly peak capitalism. Apparently, the ruling in this case will set a necessary legal precedent for the intellectual property of celebrity tattoos.
I guess that’s a ruling we need now.
Anyways, who’s tryna get the paws in ‘2K’?