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Some of the tattoos seen on LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe are getting Take-Two Interactive and Visual Concepts into some hot water. Based off of articles from ESPN (Darren Rovell) and The HollyWoodReporter (Eriq Gardner), the makers of the NBA 2K series are getting sued for $1.1 million, because Solid Oak Sketches claims the tattoos are their copyrighted work.

Quote:
Worried that they might be party to a lawsuit, the NFL Players Association told players in 2014 that, in order for their tattoos to be represented on merchandise, including video games, they needed to get waivers from the artists.

This is one of the main reasons other companies don't put tattoos in their game. Getting permission from the tattoo artist can take quite a bit of time. The Madden team had to go through that process to get the tattoos for Colin Kaepernick (Madden NFL 15) and Odell Beckham, Jr. (Madden NFL 16) in the game.

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In a demand letter to Take-Two before the lawsuit was filed, an attorney for the plaintiff took the $22,500 award to Escobedo, and using information about NBA 2K16 sales, calculated that the value for the eight tattoos should be $572,000. But there was also the matter that two of LeBron James tattoos were featured on the cover of the videogame. According to the letter, "Given that those two tattoos are 'the face' of the 2014 game, their marketing and promotion value is, conservatively, at least four times the value of the rest of the tattoos."

Thus, the claimed value of using all of the tattoo designs in question allegedly equals $819,500. That tattoo design company offered a perpetual license for a fee of $1,144,000.

You can read the full complaint at The Hollywood Reporter.

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Member Comments
# 1 redsox4evur @ 02/01/16 07:17 PM
8 tattoos could cost them 1.1 million...
 
# 2 Mbunn1993 @ 02/01/16 07:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsox4evur
8 tattoos could cost them 1.1 million...
Pocket change for them
 
# 3 jvalverde88 @ 02/01/16 07:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbunn1993
Pocket change for them
Not when in comes to making the NBA 2K.
 
# 4 Junior Moe @ 02/01/16 07:33 PM
Damn! I love NBA2K but right is right. Should have just paid the 1.1 and got their license and permission.
 
# 5 NINJAK2 @ 02/01/16 07:38 PM
This is sad development imo. This could be the start of tattoos being removed from players entirely for 2k17. Paying for rights to: the NBA, Shoe comepanies, Retired NBA players, Euroleague, and now tats. These games are getting as expensive as hell..2k would have to get authorization or pay for every tattoo featured on these players? Would this be the same for NBA Live?
 
# 6 KingMansaMusa @ 02/01/16 07:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NINJAK2
This is sad development imo. This may be the start of tattoos being removed from players entirely for 2k17. Paying for rights to: the NBA, Shoe comepanies, Retired NBA players, Euroleague, and now tats. These games are getting as expensive as hell..
Aye let them deal with it, I have no sympathy for these companies, you think they don't know everything their doing.
 
# 7 TheDuggler @ 02/01/16 07:48 PM
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Tattoo artist Victor Escobedo was awarded $22,500 for his lion tattoo that was portrayed on UFC fighter Carlos Condit without his permission in THQ's "UFC Undisputed" game. Escobedo had originally asked for $4.1 million.
Don't overreact just yet


This is just a money grab, as if they are suffering any damages from this realistically

Its kind of nuts to say that a tattoo artists owns the likeness of a tattoo placed on someones body. I wonder if the NBA has to get special permission every time an athlete gets a new tat. That would be a nightmare for them, these guys have thousands of tattoos from different artists.
 
# 8 Chargers_Are_The_Bes @ 02/01/16 07:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingMansaMusa
Aye let them deal with it, I have no sympathy for these companies, you think they don't know everything their doing.

Yeah you right lol They'll definitely be alright. They got Mafia III coming out soon so they'll be good


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 9 NINJAK2 @ 02/01/16 07:55 PM
Believe me King I will let them deal with it. It's not like I'm donating my money to the cause..lol. Just think it could be sad if Lebron or whomever is tattoo-less in the game because said artist refused to give permission and/or wanted thousands of bucks..
 
# 10 KingMansaMusa @ 02/01/16 07:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NINJAK2
Believe me King I will let them deal with it. It's not like I'm donating my money to the cause..lol. Just think it could be sad if Lebron or whomever is tattoo-less in the game because said artist refused to give permission and/or wanted thousands of bucks..
Well seeing he's the most popular player in the galaxy I'm sure they'll make sure to get everything right.
 
# 11 bigeastbumrush @ 02/01/16 07:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsox4evur
8 tattoos could cost them 1.1 million...
2K17...Unlock LeBron wrist tattoo = 1.1M VC

SMH if 2K spent that tattoo money on Spike Lee
 
# 12 redsox4evur @ 02/01/16 08:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDuggler
Don't overreact just yet


This is just a money grab, as if they are suffering any damages from this realistically

Its kind of nuts to say that a tattoo artists owns the likeness of a tattoo placed on someones body. I wonder if the NBA has to get special permission every time an athlete gets a new tat. That would be a nightmare for them, these guys have thousands of tattoos from different artists.
Yes they do have to get the permission from every artist when a player gets a new tat. And if you follow Madden you should know this is a given. And 2K is going to lose this case. And it's like any other work of art except it's on someone instead of a canvas or something else.
 
# 13 The 24th Letter @ 02/01/16 08:11 PM
How long until dudes start suing over their patented haircuts/styles?....Paul George's squiggly part going to start costing extra $ too?

talk about letting them deal with it until players start missing ****...we should be rooting for a ruling that doesn't stifle authenticity IMO

Hope this is one of those one off things that is settled and done with....
 
# 14 TheDuggler @ 02/01/16 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsox4evur
Yes they do have to get the permission from every artist when a player gets a new tat. And if you follow Madden you should know this is a given. And 2K is going to lose this case. And it's like any other work of art except it's on someone instead of a canvas or something else.
So every time a player gets a new tat the NBA has to get permission from the artist to broadcast them on TV? What if LeBron gets a new tat and the artist says no? Are they going to make him cover it up/not play?
 
# 15 redsox4evur @ 02/01/16 08:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDuggler
So every time a player gets a new tat the NBA has to get permission from the artist to broadcast them on TV? What if LeBron gets a new tat and the artist says no? Are they going to make him cover it up/not play?
I have no idea about TV. But in videogames that's how it works.
 
# 16 SirGaryColeman @ 02/01/16 08:16 PM
Karma for making all these little kids buy VC?
 
# 17 The 24th Letter @ 02/01/16 08:20 PM
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The eight infringed-on designs include a child's portrait and script scrolls with clouds and doves on LeBron James' forearms and butterflies on Kobe Bryant's arm.
This made me chuckle.

Dibs on the NBA 2K17 "Where's Kobes butterfly's at?" thread
 
# 18 Kully @ 02/01/16 08:28 PM
I would start expecting tattoos to not show up in game. Going to have to get waivers for practically every player in the NBA lol.
 
# 19 Yuss @ 02/01/16 08:36 PM
The NBA players will have to get the waivers from the artists if they want their tattoos in the game.

I doubt every player goes through the trouble to do that, so next year there will be less tattoos in the game.
 
# 20 King_B_Mack @ 02/01/16 08:46 PM
I expect the courts to knock this nonsense off eventually. The can of worms that they'd be opening letting people put copyright claims on tattoos would be insane. Like Two Four mentioned what's next, you gonna let dudes start putting in claims for hair cuts? The NBA going to have to blur out every tattoo on every player in league history to show old games on tv, release their championship DVDs for the Finals winning teams? It's a bad precedent to set allowing tattoo artist to start suing for copyrights knowing damn well that their inking guys who's jobs are to be filmed/visible in the public eye. They're getting free exposure to millions by the guys wearing their ink in the first place and are getting greedy now. Reading the story that thing said this company "acquired" the rights to the tattoos last year. They're suing over a tattoo that Kobe has had on his body and in 2K games for about a decade now. That ain't right.
 


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