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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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91.

Justine07    

What a ****. Get over yourself, already.

1188 days ago
92.

RawRMonster    

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha XD SAULT ON THIS DUDES LIFE!

1188 days ago
93.

Dominique    

WB should counter sue for every Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian, Elmer Fudd, Speedy Gonzales, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tasmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew, Granny, Tweety, Baby Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, Tiny Toon, Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Hong Kong Phooey, The Jetsons, Magilla Gorilla, Huckleberry Hound, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, Wally Gator, Wacky Races, The Quick Draw McGraw Show, Jonny Quest, The Pirates of Dark Water, Space Ghost, Two Stupid Dogs, SWAT Kats, The Herculoids, Superman, Batman, and basically any cartoon or super hero that this guy has tattooed over the course of his professional career.

1188 days ago
94.

Joshua Maida    

Tyson should sue the tat guy for the advertising space on his face.

1188 days ago
95.

jenny    

How stupid!! he should be happy his tattoo is in a movie... thats someone desperate of some money! what a loser!

1188 days ago
96.

virginia    

yeah if it's a parody this dumbass cannot sue.... like their gonna shoot a whole movie around your bitchassness dude....get real...I hate stupid people...

1188 days ago
97.

Lilwestcoast    

Dude needs to look a little closer at the tattoo the bottom half is not like his so called "copyright"

1188 days ago
98.

Catbones    

A company like Warner bros. should have figured this out before they made the move to use someone's design without their permission.

If they had used a Mickey Mouse tattoo on someone's face, you can bet they would have gone through appropriate channels to be sure that Disney didn't challenge them. They don't care about the little guy though. They just assumed Tyson owned the rights to the design?

To all those people who think this is a Maori design available to anybody, think again. Victor created this design and owns the copyright to it. He had Mike sign a form that acknowledges that he maintains the rights to the art work. If I tattooed a celebrity I'd do the exact same thing.

It's not about getting rich or getting 15 minutes of fame - Victor has enjoyed two decades of fame in the tattoo industry. This is about standing up for what belongs to you when a corporation like WB carelessly helps themselves to your work, to exploit for their own ends.

For the people who run their mouth about how this is just a little lame tribal design, who cares? Victor's portfolio speaks for itself, he's a master tattooist who deserves respect for what he does. http://paradoxstudios.com/paradoxstudios.com/victor/Pages/tattoo_art.html

Hopefully WB will settle this quickly and give Victor what he's due.

1188 days ago
99.

Krist Cummings    

well if you look at the pics side by side as they are posted, in my opinion this is more of a parody. Rather than a copyright infringement, there are noticable differences in the size, length, width of the design. Also reflecting how mike tyson could or may have ended up with the design on his face, this is a comedy! The tattoo artist is looking for fast cash and his 15 minutes of fame. Away from the fact of this media frenzy, creating more notoriety for this artist's name in turn brings him in more business. Just another day in a stupid life...

1188 days ago
100.

GenLee    

WB will have to settle on this one. If they do not settle and somehow win this in court, then they'll open the floodgates on use of protected intellectual property including protections they, themselves use to protect against pirating of their own copyrighted material(s). This guy has never even licensed out to anyone before, so I don't think it was intended to be used by other parties. He is well within his rights and has an easy win.

1188 days ago
101.

ckat    

oh please.. money hungry bastard...

1187 days ago
102.

graeme griffith    

If this idiot can actually prove to anyone that he is the "originator" of Tyson's tatoo DESIGN, not application, then I would award him the settlement. However, his design has its origins in the South Pacific islands, not his brain, as he imagines.

1187 days ago
103.

asdf    

wow, and the design is so original too. it must have taken hours for him to come up with it.

1187 days ago
104.

Mike    

Copyright doesn't apply to satire. That's why SNL can use logos and graphics from Fox News or whatever and not get sued.

1187 days ago
105.

gggggg    

pathetic

1187 days ago
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