Take Two Makes It Past Round One in Tattoo Copyright Infringement Case
The makers of the hit basketball video game series NBA2k avoid a very costly tattoo copyright infringement lawsuit... for now.
If you currently play, or have played video games in your life, odds are that you have heard about the NBA 2k series. As a matter of fact, there is a 2k series for almost every popular sport. Of course, as time goes on, these games gain many new features and updates that brings the gaming experience closer to reality.
One of these features is the inclusion of real-life tattoos on NBA players.
As we can see from the pictures above, the graphics are on point and the addition of tattoos definitely heightens the game's realism. However, the tattoo designer's at Solid Oak Sketches, who own the copyrights to many of these tattoos, thought otherwise.
They filed a lawsuit against Take Two which attempted to secure statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement for unauthorized use of tattoo designs in NBA 2K16 and prior 2k games. Theoretically, that sum could reach billions of dollars. However, their copyright license was only put into effect as of 2015. This means that the case could only hold up for the NBA 2K16 game.
What's important to know, is that Solid Oak Sketches had called to make arrangements with Take Two which would give them permission to use the tattoos in their game. The license which was offered to Take Two was evaluated at $1.1 million.
Take Two didn't engage, and went forward with the tattoos anyway.
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Now some think this case is ridiculous, but the bottomline is that Solid Oak Sketches do have a case, since their attempt to contact Take Two for a license was pretty much shrugged off.
Last week Tuesday, Take Two had a huge weight taken off their shoulders when U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain dismissed the case and stated that Take Two could not be held liable to the plaintiff for these infringements. However, she also stated that Solid Oak could still pursue damages over Take-Two's alleged unauthorized incorporation of eight tattoo designs that the plaintiff had licensed from different artists.
The tattoos include the words "Hold My Own" on James' left bicep, a child's portrait on his forearm, a butterfly crown design on Bryant's right bicep, and designs on the bodies of Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Kenyon Martin. Most of these tattoos can be seen on the pictures above and the one at the bottom.
The case goes on! (Insert Law & Order sound effect)