The Hangover Part II tattoo controversy comes to an end

UPDATE: Read our review of THE HANGOVER PART II here!

A few weeks ago we discussed the possibility of The Hangover Part II being kept from cinemas thanks to an injunction-seeking tattoo artist. You may not be surprised to learn plaintiff S. Victor Whitmill was not successful in stopping the Warner Bros juggernaut from reaching screens across the world.

Whitmill claimed the use of the iconic Mike Tyson facial tattoo in the film’s marketing materials (primarily on Ed Helms‘ face) was done so without his permission. As the man responsible for coming up with the design and drawing it on the boxing legend’s cranium, he believes he holds the copyright.

But that wasn’t enough to placate the court, who today ruled against Whitmill, allowing Warner Bros to release the film as planned.

So! The Hangover Part II arrives in Australian cinemas May 26, 2011.

Discuss: Did Whitmill – as an artist – have at least a partly credible case in your eyes?

7 Responses to “The Hangover Part II tattoo controversy comes to an end”

  1. I believe this could be a case of a breach of intellectual copyright, as long as there is proof the tatoo artist did indeed create the original image on Mike Tyson’s cranium. If such copyright is breached and then a court of law allows the breach to stand, then where is the justice? In my humble opinion, this would leave it wide open to steal other people’s ideas without fear of any just retribution.

  2. yes i think he had every right to some compensation and apology

  3. I’m not a lawyer but I fail to see how a depiction of an artistic work requires permission and compensation. The image isn’t being copied in the piracy sense and I assume it’s not trademarked. What’s next, requiring a release for every shot featuring non-generic clothing, every billboard in the background, every company sign, every shot with a modern statue or landmark? If someone discusses a Warhol in a movie, does the studio need to send a cheque to his trust? Where does it end?

    Besides, it’s not like the little (c) was in the tattoo. Was it?

    • “I fail to see how a depiction of an artistic work requires permission and compensation.”

      How can you possibly fail to see that? It is broadcasting somebody else’s work. Of course its copyright.

  4. Another yes from me. Tattooists are artists and any original work they design is subject to intelectual property. I hope Warner Bros are at least going to pay him for use of his design. But I imagine with their endless wealth and, presumably, the tattoists limited budget, they’ll find a way to squirrel out of this one.

  5. Hmm… isn’t this design really just a rip-off of Maori face tatoos?

    • Yes, which is likely why the courts ruled against him. The tattoo isn’t iconic because of the design, its because it’s on mike Tyson’s face

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