Breaking Down The Way NBA 2K Producer Defended Its Rim Against Tattoo Copyright Claims

On Thursday, the video game industry won a major battle in a longstanding controversy over the breeding of tattoos in sports video games. The case involved a copyright action brought by Solid Oak Sketches Inc. to enforce exclusive rights acquired from NBA MT Coins artists that failed tattoo work to get LeBron James, Kenyon Martin and Eric Bledsoe.

To best understand the importance of Judge Swain’s decision, it is required to unpack every finding, beginning with the level of copying.

To sustain a copyright act, the plaintiff must include in their claims enough evidence to show that the defendant copied their job and that the copy is much like the original creation. Judge Swain found that the degree of replicating in this case dropped under the brink of large copying. In reaching this decision, Judge Swain utilized the ordinary observer test, which requires the court to consider if a lay person would understand that the breeding substantially copied and made use of the plaintiff’s copyright protected function.

In supporting that holding, Judge Swain found the pictures of these tattoos were twisted to a extent and were too small in scale to matter (a mere 4.4percent to 10.96% of the magnitude of the actual things). Not only that, but just three from 400 players featured in the game had tattoos that were at controversy. For the court, that amount of copying qualified as de minimis rather than substantial.

The court’s finding that the use was de minimis could have been enough to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims against the video game producer. Still, the court found that the producer needed a non-exclusive implied license to reproduce the tattoos in its NBA 2K movie games. An implied license is one in which there exists an implication that someone has the authority to reproduce a copyrighted work. It is generally understood that those that are tattooed like an implied authorization from tattooists to allow the tattoos to be revealed in public and in photographs or movies that feature the person who’s tattooed. The reproductions at issue in this situation, however, weren’t real images of the athletes. Instead, the tattoos have been discovered on virtual avatars made by artists that made realistic, but electronic, representations of their athletes and their tattoos.

In addressing this issue, Judge Swain recognized her higher ups in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals had not yet mastered the exact definition of what qualifies as a”implied license” Although, the Second Circuit had previously found that one party may grant to Buy 2K21 MT a different a non-exclusive indicated license which permits the latter to reproduce and distribute copyright protected work belonging to the former. Judge Swain looked to the evidence and found that the tattooists supplied LeBron James and the other gamers using a non-exclusive implied license depending on the purpose for the celebrity athletes to produce the tattoos portion of their identities; that comprises the reproduction of the images for all kinds of industrial purposes.

Comments are closed