Just had to point to this copyright litigation over Mike Tyson’s face tattoo. I hope this doesn’t settle – I really want to read the judge’s fair use analysis.
Seriously though, what a fascinating context for copyright. Could a court order a tattoo removed or covered if it infringed another’s copyright? Can a tattoo artist really assert exclusive rights when the medium in which their work is fixed is the skin of another human being? What counts as “making money” from a tattoo? Does a tattoo – especially one on the face – become part of the bearer’s persona so as to implicate their exclusive right of publicity?
See? Copyright is awesome.