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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.


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. 


Warner Bros. declined comment.



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That is so stupid no one put the tattoo in the movie because it was your idea they put it in because of the last movie and if you look at the tattoo it isnt exzactly the same so cant say they stoll your idea....dont take it out the movie and dont pay he i was looking forward to seeing this part of the movie.

1278 days ago


For f@#ks sake, does anyone really give a rats a$$. Add an extra line to the tatt and "keep it movin'"

1278 days ago


I hope we never revise the copyright laws in this country.

1278 days ago


Oh for f!@#k sake, yet someone else falls out of the woodwork trying to get a quick buck...wasting time and money. How about this, add a line to the design and keep it moving. Everyone should get the parody just by the placement of the tattoo alone.

1278 days ago


Does it not seem like everybody is suing somebody, lets all get together and instead of a tupperware party, we'll have a sueing party. And if you're nice to me, I will do it pro-bono!!!!It is getting to be a little too much!!

1276 days ago


Give him some award winning pigeons so he just STFU already about some copy righted scribble doodle done on an etch-a-sketch.. FFS really?

1271 days ago


First it's not by any means a replica, he did not take the copy righted stencil. And even further more, it looks nothing like his! It is copyrighted on the stencil not mikes or anyone's face. Case closed --- lawyer Tuesday! Word--

1270 days ago


The crux of this depends on when he registered the copyright. If it was registered before or concurrent with its first public use he is automatically entitled to substantial statutory damages. If it was registered later, he will have to prove damages. Even designs used for tattoos fall under IP laws. The bigger question is: WTF was Iron Malik thinking when he had his face tattooed?

1270 days ago


They totally duplicated and used the artist work without his permission. I've known of an illustrator having to pay fees to a photographer because he copied a portrait photo as an illustration (exactly) for a commercial project without permission. And people think that if this tattoo artist art were to appear as the new logo on the hood of the next Corvette produced he should just feel flattered and be good with it? It's a little deeper than that.

1270 days ago


Are you kidding me?? of course he deserves that money.

Who cares if its not an original tattoo? as soon as you saw it on Ed Helms' face, you knew it was tyson's tattoo. It's one of the most easily recognizable tattoos today, mainly because who else has a tribal tattoo on their face?

It's going to be covered under the 1st amendment, he has a substantial case. check the link i posted

1262 days ago

nathan mineo    

ITS NOT EVEN HIS DESIGN. I am a graphic designer and a tattoo artist. The unoriginal douche stole the design from the band Slipknot and attempted to modify it with tribal art which has been around alot longer than this tool. Its like me taking the ghostbuster 2 sign and putting a cigarette in bewtween his fingers and calling the whole thing my own. Nice try if you are going to attempt to plagiarize someones work try and not make a off of a very well known band. DUHHHH

1256 days ago


Actually yes he can copyright it and its legal and yes he could have won if the symbolism in the movie was the tat but it wasnt it was mike. It is very common david beck.. and rasheed wallace also lost and were prevented to show tats due to copyright reasons! So hey if he legal has owner ship he had the right too even tho it is dumb but he was entitled to some cash but since the movie uses the tat to tie in mike from part one it doesnt count !

1255 days ago


it doesn't matter what it was used for, money is power, get it all. ya!

1254 days ago


As a fellow tattoo artist, and personal friend of Victor, You ALLLLL can shut your mouths, hes not out for money or 10 min of fame, he HAS THAT LOSERS!!!! AND NO, hes never done any mickey mouse tattoo crap, hes a serious artist, and deserves his props, HE DOES HAVE IT COPYRIGHTED..... OH YEAH MIKE TYSONS on his side.... YOU ALL ARE A BUNCH OF IGNORANT TOOLS!!!! STFU!!

1252 days ago


why doesn't this idiot tattoo artist try to sue the producers for the 1st Hangover movie, since his lame art was on Tyson's face in that movie? & why not TMZ too? His lame art is on Tyson's face at the top of the page. Where's my Sharpie marker, I'll draw that lame design om my face so he can sue me too.

1237 days ago
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