‘NBA2K’ Studio Sued Over Copyrighted Tattoos

Is tattoo ink considered a work of art? Solid Oak Sketches thinks so.

The fine line between art and dollars is being drawn in the sand today. The team over at NBA2K is being sued for the improper use of copyrighted tattoos depicted in the NBA 2K16 video game.

Solid Oak Sketches, the tattoo company and copyright owner, says players with ink on their bodies have a personal agreement with them in place. Now, today, Solid Oak is filing a lawsuit against Take-Two and Visual Concepts for their artwork featured in the game, without permission.

Apparently, there are eight different designs (including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant) featured in NBA 2K16 in which they have put needle to skin in order to create. Solid Oak offered the makers at NBA2K a $1.1 million dollar deal, which they refused, in the past for free use of their artwork in the NBA 2K series. Before today, all recent and similar-like lawsuits have been settled in court; other sports video games like Madden and UFC have stumbled down this similar road before.

This is a dicey situation for both companies and one that is hard decipher in a court room.

Is the virtual representation of video game charter a work of art? Is a human body similar to a canvas? Many questions with non-definite answers follow. If 2K is being sued for using a LeBron James tattoo in a video game, does that mean they have the same bone to pick with Universal Studios and James’ appearance in the (2015) movie Trainwreck?

As a sports game fan game fan, the realistic and human-like appearance of these virtual characters are amazing. Hopefully, some kind of deal can be hashed out soon.

h/t Polygon

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