Tattoo Artist Suing Over Unauthorized Reproduction Of His Ink In UFC Undisputed 3
The game did too good a job of reproducing one of UFC’s fighters it would seem.
THQ went to great lengths to reproduce the UFC's roster in Undisputed 3. To a certain extent, they may have gone too far, at least in the case of welterweight fighter Carlos Condit.
His character model sports the same exact tattoo in game that the actual person sports in the real world. And the artist responsible for Condit's ink is not the least bit happy.
According to a press release that Polygon cites, the tattoo artist in question, Chris Escobedo, is suing the game's publisher for copyright infringement. It's an original creation that was re-created by THQ animators without permission.
The release contains the following:
"'I would not have agreed to the recreation of the tattoo by an animator,' says Escobedo, who explains that if he had been approached by THQ to license the tattoo, at a minimum he would have insisted on approving the artwork and being fairly compensated.
'People often believe that they own the images that are tattooed on them by tattoo artists,' explains Speth. 'In reality, the owner of the tattoo artwork is the creator of the work, unless there is a written assignment of the copyright in the tattoo art.'"
The release also notes that this is not the first instance of litigation over a tattoo. Mike Tyson's facial tattoo was used without permission in the film The Hangover 2. That case was eventually settled out of work, though it was suggested that a win would have been likely.
THQ has yet to issue a reaction. One possible outcome is that Escobedo could be issued a settlement, and a patch could be issued that removes the offending piece of art. Anyhow, the lesson here is obvious: if you get a tattoo, that doesn't mean you necessarily own the rights to it.