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Discussion Copyright and tattoos

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by kheebl, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. kheebl

    kheebl Member

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    This has been a question of mine for awhile. How does a tattoo artist do copyright/ trademark designs and not get in trouble. I see so many Harley, Disney, car manufacturers logos... I know if we were to do the same those companies would be all over us, so how do tattoo artists get around this? I’m not asking this to try to find a loophole into doing such work, just generally curious. Sorry if this has been posted before I tried searching with no luck.
     
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  2. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    I am guessing the company and their lawyers just dont care enough to pursue the parlor.
    It would be hillarious -- a guy with Harley tatto gets approached by a lawyer: "Excuse me sir- we need a monthly royalty for your use of our logo".
     
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  3. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Very Active Member

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    My thought is that scene in wild hogs, when Dudley shows the biker his new tattoo... the apple logo... he says, I know what your thinking about the copyright, but what are they gonna do? It's in my skin, bi@#hs
     
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  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I suspect the reason why most of us haven't heard of anything is that most (if not all) were settled out of court. The last high profile one that I can think of right off the top of my head was the one with Tyson and a movie. And I think that one was settled out of court. While that case, it was the tattooist that was claiming ownership and not some third party, it does bring about the status of "flesh augmentation" and if it's copyrightable. It starts somewhere and then it's tested with other claims later on.

    The fact that it was settled out of court adds, in my mind, some validity to the claim, but some decisions are made out of C/B and not if they believe that they are in the right or not.

    I would suspect with the huge rise in tattoo interest if nothing else, at some point, something that may have been settled out of court, may not anymore. At some point an official precedent will have to be made. But that's just me.
     
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  5. kheebl

    kheebl Member

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    Wasn’t that Tyson one going after the movie the hangover where the guy wakes up and has a face tattoo that resembles the one Tyson has?
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    OP brings up a good point and one I've questioned. My opinion is why would you mark your flesh with a corporate logo? Are there not other things in your life more meaningful?

    BTW Last couple days I've been poring over Reddit Best Tattoos. WOW!!! The level of artwork/skill will make your brain twist.
     
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  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    That's the one. Settled out of court. I do believe that the design actually went through the process of being copyrighted as well. I think it was actually before the issue as well. Also, I'm wanting to say that Tyson actually signed a document over ownership of the design as well.

    Sometimes people don't do things with straightforward thinking. Although I could easily see (depending on the crowd that they hang with) an HD logo or JD logo. I could easily see those. Disney characters as well. Easily. As Jim Morrison once said: "People are strange".
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Because after a few years of some aging and sagging, they no longer look like the actual thing anymore.

    Ever see a butterfly on a girl, that now looks like a vulture ??

    :design:
     
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  9. kheebl

    kheebl Member

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    I agree, I am covered with tattoos but never would put a logo on myself that’s just stupid unless I was getting paid for it like say HD says we will give you 50k to put our logo on your body then maybe I would think about it but still probably not. All of my ink is original drawings that my tattoo artist drew up himself. Hell most of them didn’t even have a stencil I told him what I wanted and he drew it directly on my skin.
     
  10. kheebl

    kheebl Member

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    Hahaha I’ve seen that wayyyy too many times!
     
  11. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    I have a family member that got a quicksilver tattoo - im sure he regrets it.
     
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  12. kheebl

    kheebl Member

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    That’s hilarious I remember quicksilver being popular late 90’s early 2000’s. Haven’t seen much from them since
     
  13. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Years ago talked with an artist (pencil drawing) and they explained it has to do with HOW the rendering is done.
    Something to the effect that the rendering was done by hand instead of using a machine, this allowed them to fall under "artistic interpretation"
    since it is not a "photorealistic copy" from a printer, different rules apply

    They would take an image of the subject and then paint and/or draw a rendering of the photo.
    They had been taken to court several times over infringement and always won

    Derivative work isvery much a grey area and they admitted as much.
    (I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.)
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Wow....... I don't see how it matters what your canvas happens to be, if you ink a cartoon or logo of any kind, the same laws are still in affect..... unless they have written permission. It an artist or tattoo artist designs and creates something, THAT would be copyrighted, but not copying another author's work, regardless of what your friend told you. I believe there is more to that story and especially now, since tattoos have become such a huge success.
     
  15. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    So I don't know about tattoos, I'd assume it has something to do with how rapidly such a thing could be reproduced and the financial impact on the owner of the original work.
    But I did just run across the story about deadmau5 the DJ. He had a ferrari wrapped and rebadged, called it a purrari, and drove it. Then when he announced he was going to sell it, ferrari sent over a cease and desist.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    It's legit Free Permanent marketing. The artists are selling more of their skills rather than the goods.
     
  17. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    It's the same reason if you search Etsy or.ebay for Disney stickers, you'll find hundreds if not thousands that are obviously rip offs.

    Even a Company as big as Disney doesn't have the resources to go after everyone. They pick and choose - Disney doesn't have a tattoo booth, so they don't lose money if someone puts a Sylvester the cat image on his arm.... So it's low/non existent priority.

    Now if someone puts an image of Sylvester on his arm, sliding down a strip pole with a bunch of singles in a gstring, and that person is all over the news..Then Disney would likely step In.


    Ever watch a realty show like impractical jokers that show the audience a lot? Pretty much every copyrighted t shirt is blurred out... Even the ones worn by the actors. But the news doesn't have to do this because they're protected by fair use.


    I guarantee you see copyright infringements every single day you go outside. Most of the time the companies don't care. If it doesn't hurt them financially, or hurt their image... they'd just look like bullies taking everyone to court, and that'd hurt their image more.


    Look at Napster as a classic example of this. Napster was easily ripping every music artist off... When they were getting sued their was so much backlash... And they were losing tons of money everyday.

    It's all about public opinion and whether it's worth it or not.
     
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Here is the thing about trying to guess what Disney would go after.

    Back when Force Awakens hadn't been released yet, I think it was Wal-Mart had jumped the gun on having figurines for sale. Figurine was legally bought and a picture of said legally bought figurine was posted on something (I'm wanting to saw Twitter). They got a cease and desist.

    Just awhile a go, there was a fundraiser out in Cali (I think) for an elementary school. Well, while that was going on, there was a showing of the latest Lion King for those at that fundraiser. Disney wanted their money as that was unlicensed public display of their movie IP (and it's been a long time since I had a VHS, but if I recall correctly that was at the beginning of all movies about public viewing of said movie, although I have to wonder if my elementary school would have gotten in trouble for the Friday afternoon viewings (oh what it was like before the social media craze)).

    I would be willing to bet that out of all the companies, Disney would probably have the biggest sway. And they have gone after the Etsy Mando (or baby yoda) selling crowd (they really missed the boat with baby yoda swag). There were other ways to handle that, especially considering Disney missed the swag boat, but I digress.
     
  19. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Thats kind of the catch 22.

    If you dont enforce your copyright... someone can use that against you. I could sell baby yodas in walmart, and if they bring me to court... I could say they didnt enforce the 1000 etsy users who are selling it, so they must not have a problem with it - If you dont actively protect your IP, it's worthless - It's a shitty system we have.

    If you search etsy...theres 211+ Pages of baby yoda stuff. I don't see why disney doesn't drop a few hundred cease and desist letters... Their lawyers are on retainer, so it doesnt really cost them much. Which is why I think some publicity is good publicity, and if they did do that...they'd likely be seen as bullying the smaller guy. So they pick and choose their battles, go after the bigger fish - the companies producing these things (Print shops who have something to lose) Not the guy printing stickers on a desktop printer and hand cutting them out. It's not so much that theyre not against copyright law, more so that they'd spend an eternity trying to stop it from happening, and again come out looking like a bad guy.

    online movies are another thing to look at - You're the type who'd be around watching the news when the pirate bay just started getting take downs, so you'd remember this! The movie studios sued them in their country and demanded they take down their site...so they did, and put it back up on a different subdomain that had less strict piracy rules. A year of court later...same thing happened. Switched again to another country...a year later....same thing. They were playing wack a mole - Every country has its own rules, surprisingly the USA's rules for domain takedowns are the least strict, and they still have their .org domain... but either way. Companies can fight in court for years and years over a single case - going after every tattoo parlor in every city, in every state... Not even disney has that kind of cash. And even if they did, half of those parlors would be back up and running with a different name in 6 months doing the same thing.
     
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