Tattoo Artist Successfully Sues Take-Two for Copyright Infringement

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A tattoo artist has successfully sued Take-Two Interactive for copyright infringement, arguing that WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17 Y WWE 2K18 used his tattoo designs without permission.

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as pointed out pc gamerThe case dates back to 2009, when tattoo artist Catherine Alexander approached Take-Two to negotiate a licensing deal for the tattoos she gave professional wrestler Randy Orton between 2002 and 2008. The publisher rejected her proposal, instead offered £395 ($450) for the right to wear the tattoos, which Alexander declined, and Take-Two used the designs for Orton’s appearance in the games anyway.

The case finally went to trial last week, with Take-Two unsuccessfully arguing that the use of the tattoos was considered fair use as they were intended to recreate Orton himself, but the jury disagreed: Alexander received £3,299 ($3,750) in damages, according to court documents.

The jury for the Southern District of the US District Court also noted that Alexander was not entitled to any additional compensation, because none of the game’s earnings came directly from his work on Orton’s tattoos.

While the ultimate damage is somewhat low (particularly for a major company like Take-Two), it does present an interesting precedent regarding the portrayal of athletes’ tattoos in video games, which is sure to be the source of a number of headaches. head for several sports franchises that take pride. themselves in their authentic recreation of the game and its players.

WWE 2K22. Credit: visual concepts.

This is not the first time Take-Two has been sued for recreating tattoos in their games, although it is more successful than the last time. The company faced a similar lawsuit in 2020, when tattoo company Solid Oak Sketches argued that it owned the copyright to the tattoo designs of NBA players LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe and Kenyon Martin, which had appeared in various NBA 2K titles without your permission.

However, this lawsuit ultimately went in Take-Two’s favor when the judge ruled that Take-Two had an implied license to recreate the tattoos because their agreement with the NBA included player image rights.

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