Who owns your ink?
July 28, 2008 6:26 PM Subscribe
Can you copyright a tattoo?
posted by iamkimiam (32 comments total)
3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can. But there's more to it. The idea raises a lot of questions and concerns—for the artists, the inked-skin owners, and certain parties seeking to represent or showcase the work. Shortly after Marisa Kakoulas wrote The Tattoo Copyright Controversy
guest article, featured at BMEZINE.com, she encountered a small legal battle of her own.
She wrote about it here
, and sums up with, "But his story is a good example of how the modified community can fight back against those that violate our rights. I can almost guarantee he won’t mess with us again."
Christopher A. Harkins also weighs in, with his paper, "Tattoos and Copyright Infringement: Celebrities, Marketers, and Businesses Beware of the Ink" (PDF).
In it, he describes how Matthew Reed (tattoo artist) sued Rasheed Wallace (of the Detroit Pistons), Nike, and Weiden & Kennedy (Nike's ad agency), for violating copyright law, when Rasheed's tattooed arm was repeatedly highlighted in a Nike campaign.
"The Reed case—and its nascent theory of a tattoo artist asserting copyrights in tattoos—has a potentially far-reaching impact on any would-be celebrity with a reasonable expectation of fame and on any present-day athlete, actor or actress, as well as advertising agencies and product purveyors and service providers. But the Reed case may also cause alarm for other media industries such as magazines, newspapers, Internet websites, motion pictures, television broadcasting, and the entertainment industry."