Take-Two and World Wrestling Entertainment to stand trial after judge ruled WWE 2K games copied work by artist responsible for some of professional wrestler Randy Orton's tattoos.
Orton's arms are fully inked from shoulder to hand, an intrinsic part of the stage appearance of the four-time World Heavyweight Championship belt holder. Selon The Life Reporter, these designs include tribal tattoos, skulls, a bible verse and a dove and a rose, all are the work of artist Catherine Alexander. She is now suing Take-Two and WWE for reproducing her work in video games without her permission.
« [A]There is an important question of fact as to whether Alexander suffered actual damage based on the value of the infringing use ", Illinois Federal Judge Staci Yandle wrote in a court order over the weekend. This means that the lawsuit will now be judged for a jury to decide whether the appearance of the tattoos in WWE 2K16., 17 and 18 amounts to a violation of copyright and, in the affirmative, how much money the video game publisher will owe Alexander as a result.(ez_write_tag([[468,60],’urban_fusions_fr-medrectangle-3′,'ezslot_4′,109,’0′,’0′]));
While Orton authorized his WWE likeness, who in turn authorized it to Take-Two, the problem is whether Alexander retains certain rights to the tattoos once they start to be reproduced outside Orton's body. An example of this is a ruffle with Orton's tattoos on it. WWE apparently thought of selling in 2009. According to his testimony, Alexander approached the organization at this point and someone in his legal department would have laughed before he finally. offering him 450 $, which she refused at the time, stating that she had not given permission for WWE to reproduce her creations.
Take-Two faced a similar lawsuit in 2016 for LeBron James tattoos in NBA 2K games. He won that case earlier this year with a judge ruling that the game's tattoos were too hard to distinguish to be considered obvious copies of the originals., and also that the tattoos were part of the likeness of James and the other players, giving them the right to fire him with their NBA image and Take-Two.
It seemed to solve the problem, but the fact that a similar dispute is now directed to a jury trial could lead to a different outcome in the WWE 2K case. Or Take-Two could just use a small portion of the profits from its microtransaction-riddled games to settle out of court.
Take-Two Interactive, Randy Orton, WWE 2K, 2K Games, WWE
World news – FR – Randy Orton Tattoo Artist Asks Take-Two to Use His Designs in WWE Games | Gaming