February 17, 2005 | By Donna Wentworth

Tattoo Artist Sues NBA Star for Copyright Infringement

rasheed.jpgBack in the day, a tattoo artist quite rationally saw your tattoo as a free advertisement for his art. Not anymore. According to this AP story, the man who put a tattoo on the right arm of Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace is suing to stop Wallace from "displaying" his artwork in ads for Nike basketball shoes. Wallace reportedly paid the artist, Matthew Reed of TigerLilly Tattoo and DesignWorks, $450.00 for the tattoo -- but evidently that wasn't enough. Reed told the Associated Press he "expected to benefit from the exposure."

Over the past year we've unfortunately witnessed some absurd examples of copyright overreaching, from attempts to extort online animators for parodying folk songs to efforts to ban video game players from pretending to be superheroes -- and now the suggestion that athletes should cover their tattooed arms if they wish to avoid lawsuits. Rarely has the need to defend fair use been so vividly illustrated.

For more examples of such overreach, check out the definitive reference tome, David Bollier's Brand Name Bullies.

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Evidence laundering is made possible by AT&T's Hemisphere phone spying tool, @Adam_D_Schwartz tells @democracy now: http://www.democracynow.org/s...

Oct 28 @ 5:35pm

Trick or treat, the EFF way. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Oct 28 @ 1:25pm

The government is set to get new hacking powers on Dec. 1. Thankfully, members of Congress are asking questions. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Oct 28 @ 11:58am
JavaScript license information