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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

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31.

YoMama    

hahaha good luck fighting the big dog lawyers at Warner Bros.

1170 days ago
32.

Ozzie X    

Someone is actually taking ownership of that awful tattoo? BWAHAHA!

1170 days ago
33.

Tammy    

I'm in the arts and I support him. It takes a lot of imagination and creativity to come up with something and it belongs to him and no one should be able to use it or profit from it without his permission.

And to those saying the work is a rip-off of earlier works, you might be right, but if those earlier works didn't feel the need to get a copyright, then it's on them. Victor was a good business man and copyrighted his work.

1170 days ago
34.

Stacey    

Seriously? Mike Tyson needs to go over to that guys house and knock him out!!!

1170 days ago
35.

Mel    

Gimme a break, all Americans do is sue eachother!!

1170 days ago
36.

THIN LIZZY    

Smart Guy.

1170 days ago
37.

Lisa    

It's not even the same if you really look at it.

1170 days ago
38.

TRUTH    

Perhaps he should sketch a rendering of a douchebag and copyright that as well...
This is seriously FREE advertising idiot, just ask for a credit in the credits of the movie so everyone will flock to your tattoo parlor instead of being a serious douchebag.
This is a major opportunity and instead you are going to make A LOT less money in your idiotic lawsuit than you would in all the free advertising for your business.
Pffftttt, moron.

1170 days ago
39.

Michelle    

And he stole the design from the Maori people of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

1170 days ago
40.

tj    

Parody and fair use. Case dismissed. Hopefully if the fool pushes it too far he'll have to cover expenses on both sides.

1170 days ago
41.

dreamon    

And to those saying the work is a rip-off of earlier works, you might be right, but if those earlier works didn't feel the need to get a copyright, then it's on them. Victor was a good business man and copyrighted his work.
_______________________________________________
An indiginous culture does not need to copyright their sacred images to prove their ownership of traditional images.

1170 days ago
42.

luv_butterflies01    

You guys are a bunch of haters. The guy put his own art work on a famous person's face that would be seen by the public and had the foresight to copyright it. Now exactly what could have happened has happened and he's going to be laughing all the way to the bank! They guy is not only talented by genius! Go Whitmill!

1170 days ago
43.

spinner25    

They're very similar, but hardly the same.

Also, fair use. Hangover 2 is a parody.

Good luck with your lawsuit, Mr D-bag.

1170 days ago
44.

dreamon    

Image appropration. Parody. Fair use. Free publicity.

1170 days ago
45.

cdwight101    

Why is this just now coming up. The first movie came out so long ago. If he really had an issue he should of brought it up then. Maybe Warner Bros. asked him to do this to get publicity for the second movie.

1170 days ago
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