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By this time, you’re all probably sick to death of hearing about the whole Hangover II facial tattoo debate. If you’ve been nestled somewhere deep in the core of the earth for the past two months, wearing earplugs and blinders, then I’ll just tell you to go over here for the complete story on the issue. Otherwise, I’ll have to preface all this by telling you that if you think you’re sick of hearing about this, I’ll see your sick of hearing about this and raise you about three billion times more sick of writing about this. So why do I keep doing it then, you ask? Because I just can’t bear to let down you tattoo news hungry folks out there. Please hold your applause. I know, I know…I’m just that awesome.
Well, you’ll all be happy to know that the issue is finally, once and for all, over with. As of this week, Missouri based tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill has come to a settlement with the Warner Brothers Entertainment people. Unfortunately, after all the media hoopla on this issue and all the things that have been said, the details of the settlement have not been released to the public at present time. I’m guessing that it will only be a matter of days before the media finds out exactly what the settlement was, but most likely if both sides are satisfied it’s a decent compromise.
‘But Judge Perry made in clear in her comments to the lawyers that she was very sympathetic to Mr. Whitmill’s argument, noting, that he had a “strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement” and that most of the arguments put forward by Warner Brothers were “just silly.”
On Friday, the two sides met with a mediator in St. Louis as ordered by the judge. By Monday, the studio had issued its terse announcement of a settlement.’
But let’s not get too excited about this whole issue because despite the settlement, the issue of tattoo copyright has yet to be resolved.
‘With the settlement, however, there is still no clear legal guidance on the tricky questions raised by copyright claims to tattoos, which, after all, live on another person’s body. An earlier case, involving a Nike advertisement that used a tattoo on the shoulder of the N.B.A. star Rasheed Wallace, was also settled out of court.’
I’m sure that it’s only going to be a matter of time before an issue like this comes up once again, and again, and again until there is some sort of significant legislation put down regarding the debate over tattoos and copyright. Until then, enjoy your settlement bread, S. Victor Whitmill.