NBA 2K16 Devs Sued Over Virtual Tattoos

Tattoo company wants $150,000 per infringing tattoo in NBA 2K16.


Yet another video game lawsuit involving tattoos has come to light, this time involving the NBA 2K series. Tattoo company Solid Oak Sketches has filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive and Visual Concepts, claiming the companies failed to acquire the necessary licenses for tattoos shown in NBA 2K16.

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Solid Oak claims there are eight tattoo designs in NBA 2K16, including a cloud and dove design on LeBron James' forearms and butterflies on Kobe Bryant's arm, that are infringing on its copyrights.

According to ESPN, Solid Oak showed in its filing that it obtained the necessary copyrights for these tattoos (and others) in 2015 and wrote letters to Take-Two and Visual Concepts informing them they could license the tattoos for $1.1 million.

In Solid Oak's lawsuit, which you can see here courtesy of Game Informer, the company points out that increased tattoo customization options was one of the elements used to promote NBA 2K16. The game was released in October 2015, enjoying a record-breaking launch and shipping 4 million copies.

Solid Oak is seeking $150,000 per reported infringement.

A Take-Two representative declined to comment when approached by GameSpot today.

As ESPN points out, Solid Oak's lawsuit is not the first from a tattoo designer involving a video game. Tattoo artist Victor Escobedo sued the now-defunct THQ for $4.1 million over a tattoo he designed for UFC fighter Carlos Condit in UFC Undisputed. He ended up getting $22,500.

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