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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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46.

Beans    

Copyrights on art is reeeeeeeeally hard to prove. It has to be copied line to line, to be exact it has to look exactly like the one mike tyson has. But you can tell it does not, the widths and heights on it don't match at all. So the tattoo artist might not get anything out of this or maybe free tickets to the movie :P

1171 days ago
47.

Moonbeam    

Such an interesting case, and wondering why it wasn't filed sooner. Also wondering if he can use it one time in a "parody" scenario such as this (if that would constitute "reasonable use"). However, even though in art I'm told that you can't copyright a style, this does seem to be more than that -- looks like an exact copy. Not sure if there is a "parody" exception. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

1171 days ago
48.

Ray    

isn't Tyson the owner as he commissioned the "ART" in the 1st place

1171 days ago
49.

spyke    

Beans 6 minutes ago Copyrights on art is reeeeeeeeally hard to prove. It has to be copied line to line, to be exact it has to look exactly like the one mike tyson has. But you can tell it does not, the widths and heights on it don't match at all. So the tattoo artist might not get anything out of this or maybe free tickets to the movie :P
__________________________________________

But wouldn't that be more like a punishment, rather than an award?

1171 days ago
50.

grin52475    

Wow, you really would have thought the film's lawyers would have thought about this up front. Everyone knows what Mike Tyson's tattoo looks like and it's clear they are playing off it. Just as you would never put a company logo or product in a film without permission, artwork is the same. Someone at the film company screwed up!

1171 days ago
51.

icantbelieveitsnotbutter    

tats are for losers and wife beaters.

1171 days ago
52.

Michelle    

@ sick of it.... I would hate to have your close minded ways of thinking. You must lead a very boring, and stagnant life of doing nothing and going nowhere to experience life. THAT is where something in YOUR head died.

1171 days ago
53.

Justin    

Buddy let me tell you that you should feel lucky that you're still in business after you put that ugly piece of **** on Tyson's face. I hope you have to pay their court costs to fight it.

1171 days ago
54.

JosephG    

A QUE NO JODAN ES SOLO UN PUTO TATUAJE UN DIBUJO POR TODO QUIEREN DEMANDAR POR CUALKIER HUEVADA ESTUPIDOS IMBECILES YO TAMBIENF VOY A DEMANDAR A ALGUIEN CON TAL DE OBTENER DINERO GRATIS QUE BASURA DE LACRAS HPTAS!!!

1171 days ago
55.

Shaun    

people with tattoos think they are tough and cool and they're not...they're low lifes...there i said it

1171 days ago
56.

Justice    

All they have to do is find a similar tattoo in a National Geographic Magazine BEFORE his design patent was awarded and he will lose HIS design and it will become public domain.

Personally, I think it is a derivative design.

1171 days ago
57.

world_ends_soon    

What a tool. You just got your free publicity. You should be embarrassed of that "art". Who is more insane the man with a tattoo on his face or the guy who put it there?

1171 days ago
58.

ManiacalZebra    

I wonder how many other people got that tattoo after seeing on Tyson. Is he going to sue every single one of them over this?

Besides, what others say is correct. Parody is an exception.

1171 days ago
59.

Superman    

Copyright some dumbass tattoo?!?!? Like some other tattoo 'artist' can't just use the same design? BS!! Maybe Disney should be suing you for tattooing Mickey Mouse on somebody's ass! This douchebag just wants to be recognized as the tool that put that crap on the infantile rapist's face!

1171 days ago
60.

srsly    

actually, Shuan, people with tattoos tend not to be very judgmental of others.

1171 days ago
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