Video Game Tattoos Copyright Infringement? NBA 2K Attempts to Close-Out Case

In February 2016, Solid Oak Sketches sued 2K Games and Take-Two Interactive Software claiming that it owned the copyrights to tattoos on several NBA stars, including Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Eric Beldsoe. The tattoo designers sought actual damages, statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, but in August 2016, a New York federal judge ruled out the latter two. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain stated “in order to obtain statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, a plaintiff must have registered its copyright prior to the alleged…
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New York Federal Judge Removes Some Damages from Tattoo Company’s Copyright Suit Against NBA 2K Video Games

On August 1, 2016 a New York federal court dismissed all statutory damages and attorney’s fees claims against Solid Oak, a tattoo company, in their copyright infringement suit against Take-Two Interactive. Previously, Solid Oak had sued the makers of the NBA 2K video game over the use of their tattoos on NBA players in the video game. In the video game, Ink on players including LeBron James, Kenyon Martin, and Eric Bledsoe are realistically depicted, even though Solid Oak are technically the copyright holders…
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NBA 2K16 Embroiled in Another Lawsuit, This Time Over its Music

On June 20, 2016, musician John J. Simon filed suit against Visual Concepts Entertainment and 2K Games Inc., makers of NBA 2K16, for one single cause of action for copyright infringement. In his complaint, Simon alleges that the NBA 2K16 game includes, without his permission, portions of a song he wrote in 1978 for which he received no compensation. Visual Concepts and 2K Games, subsidiaries of major video-game maker Take-Two Interactive Inc., released NBA 2K16 in September 2015 with the song “Clean Living
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Video Game Makers Say Tattoo Arguments Not Sketched in Law

On Friday, May 27, 2016, video game companies 2K Games Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the makers of the popular basketball video game series “NBA2K” and its yearly releases, filed a reply memorandum of law in support of its motion to dismiss an ongoing suit in the Southern District of New York against tattoo licensing company Solid Oak Sketches. The filing comes in response to Solid Oak’s brief in opposition filed earlier in May, in which it claimed that it was entitled to statutory…
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Tattoo Licenser Argues IP Claims Against Game Designers Inked in Time

On Friday, May 13, 2016, tattoo licenser Solid Oak Sketches, LLC, responded to video game designers 2K Games Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s motion to dismiss a suit over the alleged improper inclusion of certain tattoos on basketball players in the popular sports game NBA2K16, the latest iteration of the franchise. The suit was filed back in February against 2K and Take-Two by Solid Oak after the tattoo licenser had filed copyrights on tattoos inked on the bodies of NBA players Lebron James, Kenyon…
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NBA2K16 Lawsuit Questions Who Owns Tattoos

A tattoo licensing company, Solid Oak Sketches LLC, is suing NBA2K, the professional basketball video game series, for copyright infringement. Solid Oak argues that the realistic depiction of tattoos on the bodies of multiple NBA players, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, in the NBA2K16 video game violated the copyright that Solid Oak owns. On April 19, 2016, the makers of the video game filed for a motion to dismiss the claim. Solid Oaks  obtained the license to most of the tattoos from the original…
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