Copyrights in Tattoos? Can tattoos be copyrighted? That will be the central question in a new lawsuit filed by Solid Oak Sketches, which brought a copyright infringement claim against Take Two Interactive. According to the lawsuit, Solid Oak owns the copyrights to many of the tattoos visible in the NBA 2K14, NBA 2K15, and NBA 2K16 video games, including a crown with butterflies on Kobe Bryant’s right bicep and a 330 area code and a child portrait on Lebron James’s arms. Neither the National Basketball Association nor the players are parties to the suit.
Copyright Act’s Statute of Limitations. A Nebraska court explained that the Copyright Act’s statute of limitations does not excuse a copyright holder’s two-month delay in researching potential infringement. The copyright owner printed out the web-site containing the alleged infringement in February 2010, but did not complete its investigation until April 2010 because it did not “have time.” According to the decision in Design Basics, LLC v. Carhart Lumber Company, the clock starts running for a copyright holder to bring a claim against a purported infringer when he knows of the claim; here that was February 2010, and the decision to bring the action in April 2013 resulted in the Copyright Act’s statute of limitations period running out.
Big Pimpin’ Copyright Infringement Claim Dismissed. A California federal judge entered a final judgment explaining that a suit accusing rapper Jay Z of copyright infringement with his hit song Big Pimpin’ lacked merit.
Rock Legends Deposed. The surviving members of Led Zeppelin – Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul – were each deposed in connection with a copyright suit alleging that their classic Stairway to Heaven infringes the song Taurus by the musical group Spirit, with whom Led Zeppelin toured in 1968 and 1969. An analysis of the case can be found here.