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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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106.

Ho4Mo    

It isnt SATIRE u idiots-

1167 days ago
107.

Ho4Mo    

Artists have the right to protect their work- if he was doing bugs bunny tattoos Warner Bros would have HIS ass- DISNEY set the precedent when they filed legal action against a guy who was getting Disney tats and showing them off- look that up- good for you Tat guy- companies are supposed to have legal check this stuff and they were napping on the job- I hope he gets a nice pay day-

1167 days ago
108.

Mr. LawMan    

If he really had the symbol copyrighted it would be considered a form of intellectual property and he will be entitled to money.

1166 days ago
109.

elise    

well im hoping the entire country of New Zealand sue the pants off the dip**** tatooist cause we all know where he stole the design from.....moron

1166 days ago
110.

vanheusen    

ow cmon, let him get some cash and his 15mins of fame....twas his wo
rk anyway

1166 days ago
111.

Karen    

Look closely enough to the photo - there are subtle differences to the tattoo versus attempted replica. Therefore, he may get a little "go-away" money, but he will not reap the rewards he is seeking. The differences are of that of Vanilla Ice's alleged copy or sample of David Bowie's "Under Pressure". Same principle here.

1166 days ago
112.

Kevin    

This will fall under Parody and Fair Use, but who knows maybe Warner Brothers will settle out of court? I ****ing doubt it.

1166 days ago
113.

JimFate    

Ill Give $5,000.00 to anybody who can prove this A hole did a tattoo on them that was copyrighted by another artist... I guarantee this guy has done a bunch because obviously he will do anything for money! Plus no way he will win this guy never actually tattoo his face its just marker moron even if he did steal your stolen copyrighted 4th grade level art work. Which only would look good on my man Iron Mike, why do you think there making a joke of it you joke. I hope you spend all you got to lose and your company falls off like Donald Trumps wedding rings...

1166 days ago
114.

Liss    

That's funny b/c I don't think the tattoo artist asked the Maori if he could use their designs when he tattooed Tyson. Just sayin'.

1166 days ago
115.

Deeznutz    

this is the reason the economy sucks cuz you got ****s like this who make a big deal out of something stupid.

1166 days ago
116.

Deeznutz    

people in this world are ****in stupid. who cares that they put your tattoo that you created in a movie. quit being a *****. your the kind of person that is the reason for the economy being so ****ed up. grow a pair and get over the fact that they used the tattoo you made

1166 days ago
117.

critical_hit     

ummmmmmm... WOW i beat u take a word a copyright it or am i wrong comeee oonnn sonnnnnn

1166 days ago
118.

Jo    

It isn't an exact replica, so even if he DID copyright his design, I'm sure there's a loophole that will get Warner Bros out of paying him a cent...AND it will stay in the movie. He needs to get over himself.

1165 days ago
119.

teetee    

wow that so called "HANGOVER" was an excuse to get Tyson tattoo tatted on his face .. just another Tyson wanna be .. smh ..

1165 days ago
120.

John Galt    

<<"You shouldn't be allowed to copyright a tattoo to begin with. That tattoo is nothing unique or special on an equally unoriginal subhuman. Is the smiley face copyrighted as well? Please.">>

Yes, the smiley face was copyrighted and trademarked. Unfortunately it's creator was not the one that profited from it. I think he only made about $45 on it. The brothers that bought it however, turned it into a business that was sold for more than $500 million. Google it!

Also, we are talking about Hollywood, an industry that takes it's copyrights and trademarks most seriously. Try selling movie poster knockoffs of the Hangover movie and see how long it is before an attorney sends you a cease and desist letter.

1165 days ago
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