24 May 2011

Copyright in tattoo?

The Hangover II may be delayed due to a court case over the tattoo on Mike Tyson's face. While you can sympathise with 'creators' of photographs and tattoos there is a question of where to draw the line. If the tattoo is on a person, should that person be effectively covered by copyright where the artist will benefit? Should artists relinquish rights when its on the body or person of another? Or does the 'art' still belong to the creator?

Interesting questions are raised, although with the case being held in America it is still unknown how that will affect the release of Hangover II in the UK. Could an injunction be applicable worldwide? Its doubtful to say the least and while it may delay the release in USA, it will probably not affect the UK. What it does do is raise interesting points to consider regarding ownership of copyright and how far it extends.

My personal view is that personal outcomes such as photographs or tattoos should be owned by the subject, ie Mike Tyson in this case because to rule in favour of the artist creates an unfair hold over the people he has tattooed.

Maybe there will be a rise in self styled tattoos or commission based tattoos originally created on behalf of the person who will be tattooed?

Comments welcome.

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