Take-Two, the company behind the NBA 2K series, is in the middle of a legal matter that could set a serious precedent for recreating real-life imagery of real-life people in games. Currently, the company is arguing that replicating the NBA players in its games entirely, including accurate tattoos, is a matter of Fair Use and legally disagreeing with that could cause a huge problem for artists and media in the future.
Solid Oak, a company that holds the rights for many tattoo artists, has sued Take-Two over its use of said tattoo art in the NBA 2K series. This is because the games include accurately rendered details of the players. According to Take-Two’s legal team, Solid Oak is arguing that permission needs to be sought for any person with a visible tattoo to appear on television, photographs, and other works of media.
If this position is upheld by the New York judge, in a case that doesn’t appear to have previous precedent, then Take-Two worries that this could cause serious problems not just for them and their products, but for the people themselves who have these tattoos on their skin. Solid Oak has not yet filed a response. But can you imagine someone not having the rights to an image tattooed on their own body?
Source: Hollywood Reporter