Tattoo artist threatens to sue a famous guy for copyright infringement over photos!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by casioculture, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    If you take a picture of someone who's got a tattoo you may have a
    copyright issue! If you have a tattoo on your body or head and take
    pictures of your own body or head you may get sued for copyright
    infringement! Such is the claim made by a tattoo artist, but would I
    get sued by Levi's for copyright infringement of their designs if I
    take pictures wearing their latest jeans?!

    27 June 2005
    Body artist needled at bid to 'sell' his designs
    By Fiona Cummins and Sharon Feinstein

    DAVID Beckham faces a bitter legal battle - over who owns the rights to
    his tattoos.

    Body artist Louis Molloy threatens to sue Becks, 30, and wife Victoria
    if they go ahead with plans to use the images in an ad campaign.

    Louis, 42, who created nine of the England skipper's tattoos, claims he
    owns the copyright."

    Read more
    casioculture, Jul 3, 2005
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  2. casioculture

    Sheldon Guest

    This is going to be a tough one for the courts to sort out. What if you buy
    a painting and take it home? Does the artist still have a copyright on it?

    It seems to me that when you pay a tattoo artist to put an image on your
    body it's yours. Unless a contract was signed between the artist and the
    person who got the tattoo I don't think the artist has any more right to the
    copyright on that image than the person who pierced my ear has to the new
    hole in my head.
    Sheldon, Jul 3, 2005
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  3. casioculture

    eatmorepies Guest

    There is some discussion about that one. Some artists are trying to claim a
    percentage every time one of their works is sold on.

    Seems to me a bit like a builder trying to claim a percentage every time a
    house is sold.

    eatmorepies, Jul 3, 2005
  4. casioculture

    Paul Heslop Guest

    The Beckhams think they own EVERYTHING. Mrs Beckham wanted a football
    team to stop using the nickname 'The Posh' as she is known as Posh

    Sounds like our tattooist is just getting revenge over a pair of
    pompous prats.
    Paul Heslop, Jul 3, 2005
  5. Greed, greed and more greed. The really greedy ones end up
    with nothing. Odd's on: 1)they won't use the tattoo in
    the ad; or 2) Beckham will spend more on lawyers than tattoo
    artist can afford; or 3) Another design will be Photoshopped
    into the ad. If the tattoo artist wasn't so greedy he could
    have signed the release for a few thousand quid and maybe
    had his name in small print on all the ads.

    How much does it cost to hire a commercial artist to draw
    a dragon, maybe a better dragon? Well, that's what the
    copyright to the tattoo is worth: why pay more?

    Beckham should just tell the guy to take it back - he doesn't
    want the bleedin' image.
    Didn't Levi already sue someone for that?

    I think if the image is somewhat central to the work, such that
    change the jeans and the ad changes it's nature, Levi has a

    If any-ole jeans would work then Levi should be paying for 'product
    placement'. Maybe the tattoo artist will end up with a bill for
    having his 'brand' get prominent display.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jul 3, 2005
  6. casioculture

    johnboy Guest

    johnboy, Jul 3, 2005
  7. casioculture

    RSD99 Guest

    "Sheldon" asked:
    What if you buy a painting and take it home? Does the artist still have a
    copyright on it?

    In a word ... yes.
    RSD99, Jul 3, 2005
  8. So, if a writer sells you a copy of his book, you can't start selling your
    own copies of that book, but if a tattoo artist creates a work of art,
    he somehow deserves less protection than other artists?

    My guess is that copyright law is clear in this case: if you buy a work of
    art you can't start selling reproductions of that piece of art without
    the permission of the artist. (subject to various excepts listed in the

    Disclaimer: IANAL.
    Philip Homburg, Jul 3, 2005
  9. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    Yes to the above, though a better example would be - what if you buy a
    painting and take it home, and put it on your wall somewhere behind a
    couch, sit on the couch with your friends and take pictures of yourself
    in which the painting shows as a piece of furniture as the couch is,
    would you get sued for copyright infringement?

    What if you stand in the park and take pictures of yourself on a bench
    in which some monument in the background can be seen, can the sculptor
    sue you for copyright infringement?

    What if a girl wears a pair of earrings and go to a portrait
    photoshoot, can be sued for copyright infringement of the earrings'

    My opinion is *NO*.
    casioculture, Jul 3, 2005
  10. casioculture

    casioculture Guest

    Yes you're right on this. What I had in mind though weren't shots in
    which a jeans would be central to the work but just a casual piece of

    I'm starting to be more sympathetic to the tattoo artist if the shots
    do actually feature his tattoos as being central to the shot, rather
    than being just something Beckham wears. This may though be a point of
    debate unless the shot is that clear cut.
    casioculture, Jul 3, 2005
  11. Be careful. Once you admit to having a hole in your head on this forum, you
    will have very little chance of ever winning an argument in the
    William Graham, Jul 3, 2005
  12. Your opinion, while reasonable, does not come with a sackful of
    BenJaM1Nz!11!. How very unfortunate.

    The above examples seem harmless to all parties, but if someone's
    potential revenue stream is in play, watch out.

    You can count on only one thing: The copyright law will always come down
    on the side allied to the greatest corporate and political power.

    Unclaimed Mysteries, Jul 3, 2005
  13. My guess is yes, because the artist might have made several hundred or
    thousand prints of the original, and be involved in selling those. But if
    you try to do the same thing, he can sue you for infringement of his
    copyright. IOW, if I was very wealthy, I could purchase the Mona Lisa, but I
    still couldn't make prints of it and sell them, just because I owned the
    William Graham, Jul 3, 2005
  14. casioculture

    RustY© Guest

    No problem. Just photograph the area of skin with the tattoo on - not the
    art work itself. Then have the tattoo artist visited by the Madrid mafia.
    RustY©, Jul 3, 2005
  15. casioculture

    Art Guest

    there is a somthing called "fair use". Where the painting is incidental to
    the picture, it would be a fair use.

    "Unclaimed Mysteries"
    Art, Jul 4, 2005
  16. Fair use is on its way to becoming, uh, "quaint and antiquated."
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Jul 4, 2005
  17. casioculture

    Skip M Guest

    Yes, he does, unless he's specifically signe the rights over to the
    IMO, the tattoo artist has a case here, it should be interesting to see it
    Skip M, Jul 4, 2005
  18. Wrong example. :)
    There was NO copyright law when the Mona Lisa was painted and anyone can
    print and sell copies. Just like anyone can print and sell Shakespeare's

    It seems to me that if Becks wants to use the tattoos to make more money
    then the artist should benefit as well, unless he signed an agreement that
    he reliquishes his rights.

    BTW I hate tattoos!!

    Gerrit 't Hart, Jul 4, 2005
  19. What if you buy a painting (or sculpture) for your house then take a
    photograph of it for insurance purposes in the event of theft? Most
    insurance companies advise that you do exactly that. It sounds like a
    reasonable thing to do, but given the way some people like launching
    lawsuits, one can never be sure.
    Paul Fedorenko, Jul 4, 2005
  20. Check your attributions please. I didn't write that. Thanky.

    It Came From C. L. Smith's Unclaimed Mysteries.

    "Bill Funk" <> said in "Is this
    actually part of your plan? To use tag lines to show your contempt,
    while showing that you really have so little understanding?"
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Jul 4, 2005
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