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'Hangover 2'

HUGE Victory In Tattoo Lawsuit

5/24/2011 8:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Mike Tyson's tattoo artist couldn't K.O. the "Hangover 2" ... TMZ has learned a judge will NOT stop the movie from being released after the two sides battled over the use of the face tat in the flick.

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Warner Bros. released a statement saying, "We are very gratified by the Court’s decision which will allow the highly anticipated film, The Hangover 2, to be released on schedule this week around the world."

The rep continued, "[The tattoo artist's] failed attempt to enjoin H2 in order to try and extract a massive settlement payment from Warner Bros. was highly inappropriate and unwarranted."

As we previously reported, the tattoo artist claims he owns the copyright to Tyson's tat because he created it -- and WB never asked him for permission to use an exact replica of the design on Ed Helms' face in "Hangover 2."

UPDATE: The tattoo artists's attorney tells TMZ they're "disappointed" the motion was denied, but are "pleased by Judge Perry's finding that Mr. Whitmill proved a 'strong likelihood of success' on the merits. We look forward to further vindicating our client's rights at trial .... including a permanent injunction preventing further distribution of the movie."

81 COMMENTS

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1.

spearit    

Idiot tattoo artist just wanted $$$ and fame.

1217 days ago
2.

MzReeses    

How someone sue over a tattoo. Its just body art, people copy tats all the time but now since its being used in a movie the artist thinks he's in-titled money. Please!

1217 days ago
3.

dreamon    

~ Fair use
~ Mike Tyson bought the tatoo and may own it, actually.
~ It's not even slightly original and many pre-existing examples are available.

1217 days ago
4.

Monty Gordon    

First AP claims copyrights to the "Obama Hope" poster that the street artist "Obey" created now this big movie company wants to steal a patented design? So this means I can sell counterfeit products with little fear of legal prosecution? Right on... this is SO illegal, sue them again! As little as a design is, it's HIS design, make your own.

1217 days ago
5.

Home Skillet    

Tricks tryin' to make a dollar anywhere they can!

1217 days ago
6.

BananaHammock    

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Maybe if more judges stop giving an audience to stupid people that are trying to get rich quick with frivolous lawsuits we can actually start focusing our time and attention on real crimes??

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1217 days ago
7.

Georgie    

Actually, Hangover 2 producers would win under the "parody" clause. Clearly this is not a "real tattoo" in use, but a PARODY of the original tattoe, therefore, it's fair use.

1217 days ago
8.

Celeb Gossip Addict    

Claims he owns the copyright? Does he or doesn't he?

1217 days ago
9.

Scientific    

Wait, if dude did trademark the design and wasn't asked nor gave permission to use the likeness, the guy has a legit claim. It's just as if he wrote a song and they used the song without his permission....or on a much larger scale, he wrote the movie script and they took it and used it without his permission.

Don't know the particulars, but this guy could and should get PAID!

1217 days ago
10.

croc    

there are so many reproductions of everything out there.
paintings etc; did he copyright his design so no one could use it? and if it isnt EXACT, can he still sue for the design?

1217 days ago
11.

BananaHammock    

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If anybody owns it I would think it would be Mike Tyson since it's PLASTERED ON HIS FREAKIN' FACE and I'm sure he paid the "artist" for doing it!!!

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1217 days ago
12.

Scientific    

Ahhh, stand corrected by Georgie...the good ol Parody clause! Case closed!

1217 days ago
13.

Tom C.    

Just eyeballing it I can tell they aren't identical.

1217 days ago
14.

Me    

So this judge just made the decision that the word copyright no longer exists? Does this null and void every copyright ever owned by anyone?

Or does it mean he lied and never got a copyright on the tat?

1217 days ago
15.

phoenix    

tattoo artist sale there work all the time to other tattoo artist. That flash work you see in tattoo artist showroom usually is bought from other artist or a company that buys it from other artist.

1217 days ago
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