Friday, 03 June 2011 19:29

Tyson's Tattoo Artist Suing Warner Brothers

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So you go out one night with friends, have a few little drinks and wake up the next morning with a big tattoo like Mike Tyson's curled around your left eye.

It happened to a character in The Hangover Part II and, as a result, the man who designed Mike Tyson's unique-looking tribal face tattoo is suing Warner Brothers Entertainment for copyright infringement.

Tyson has a small role in the movie so he's not balking but tattooist S. Victor Whitmill is suing Warner Bros anyway, for "reckless copyright infringement." He demanded an injunction to stop the movie from opening. His injunction request was dismissed but the suit will be heard.

Whitmill claims in his lawsuit that he was never "asked for permission for, and has never consented to, the use, reproduction or creation of a derivative work based on his original tattoo," and was looking to obtain cash from the studio and delay the opening of the flick.

Entertainment attorney Yemi Adegbonmire told

"These matters have settled in the past. I believe Rasheed Wallace's tattoo artist successfully settled a copyright infringement suit against the NBA when the tattoo appeared in their ads... Here I would imagine that the court will lean in favor of the copyright holder for a few reasons: First, the design is registered. That should give a savvy party like a studio notice as to the artist's intent to protect his work."

Indeed, because Whitmill filed a copyright for the tattoo (in April 2011), with obvious aims to profit (from the release), Warner will probably opt for a settlement with the tattoo artist.

The original 'Hangover' grossed over $466 million globally. In order to keep the tattoo artist from making more accusations, Warner should apologize and throw him a few dollars to make him go away.


Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.


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