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Mike Tyson's Face Tattoo Artist

Sues 'Hangover'

4/29/2011 10:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you've seen the previews for "Hangover 2" -- you already know Ed Helms wakes up with a Mike Tyson face tattoo ... but now, the guy who did Tyson's ink is PISSED at producers, claiming they ripped off his work without permission.

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The guy who applied Tyson's face tattoo back in 2003 is S. Victor Whitmill -- who claims he not only created the design, but copyrighted it as well. 

In fact, Whitmill says he's never allowed ANYONE to use the image since he put it on Tyson.

Now, Whitmill has filed a lawsuit in federal court in St. Louis, claiming Warner Bros. -- the studio behind the movie -- violated his copyright ... and he wants to block the studio from showing the tattoo in the film.

Whitmill is also demanding an unspecified amount of cash. 

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Warner Bros. declined comment.



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140 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Nick    

It's not a parody, the tattoo looks EXACTLY like the original. And 'Fair Use' is an often overused and misunderstand term that only is only applied in certain situations and certainly not when someone else is profiting from your creation. He does have a claim and will most likely get a decent payday from this since I know the producers will need to keep it in the movie.

1238 days ago
17.

sick of it    

No one and I mean NO ONE in there right mind SCARS their body with INK..It's as STUPID as it gets..Something in their head has died..I see people everyday that are over 50 years old and they don't look good with WRINKLES.They look so funny at that age.They need to see some pics of old people with these STUPID images scared on their bodies.

1238 days ago
18.

Fred    

Just bought that tatoo! http://www.tvstoreonline.com/tysontattoo.html

1238 days ago
19.

Laurita    

It's similar but not exactly the same.

1238 days ago
20.

TMZgossip    

sue
sue
sue
protect your copyright!!!!
*g*

1238 days ago
21.

mus    

Its a moko, and tyson should even have it in the first place. Its Polynesian. Don't be a **** and threaten to sue, when you stole the design in the first place.

1238 days ago
22.

TMZgossip    

jquil 5 minutes ago

I don't see the copyright mark on Tysons face...how would anyone know?!
...

i love that response
you got me laughing

1238 days ago
23.

brianmd    

And I'm sure S. Victor Whitmill has never tattooed a Disney character or logo on one of his clients. Right. Good luck with that.

1238 days ago
24.

rabbit on the moon    

Good. It's his artwork. If he did have the tattoo copyrighted and Warner Bros. didn't have permission to use it for their movie, then they should be held accountable. Being an artist, I know what it's like to have someone take your hard work and use it for their own financial gain. And that's why I don't blame him for taking action. I don't believe he should sue for a ridiculous amount of money. But he should have a say in whether or not his art is used in a film.

1238 days ago
25.

ocgirl    

I know you can copyright tattoo art, but this piece is hardly original. WTF.. and they are using it for comedy, can he sue for that?

1238 days ago
26.

electriczipper    

sick of it 14 minutes ago
No one and I mean NO ONE in there right mind SCARS their body with INK..It's as STUPID as it gets..Something in their head has died..I see people everyday that are over 50 years old and they don't look good with WRINKLES.They look so funny at that age.They need to see some pics of old people with these STUPID images scared on their bodies.
--------------------------
hey moron
why do you people without tattoos feel the need to put people with tattoos down when people with tattoos have no problem with people who do not have tattoos..
think about it

1238 days ago
27.

Mr.McNasty    

he got a copyright on a lame ass american tribal??? wtf!

1238 days ago
28.

sunshinerad    

Well damn.

1238 days ago
29.

vicky    

**Yawn** Here we go again...........

1238 days ago
30.

MyOpinionOnly    

Well, to be honest, the movie producers should have spoken with him and gotten the permission if that's what they wnted to do. That's pretty obvious really. Tatooing is a business just like any other and their art should be respected as such. Honestly, I think its pretty shady of the producers to just ASSUME they would be able to use it without problems. You know what they say about assuming....seems they look like a$$es now to me!

1238 days ago
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