Tats Entertainment! Tattoos, Copyright and the Entertainment Industry

When: September 28, 2017 at 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT - This event has passed





Program Description:

The rise in the popularity of tattoos, and the depiction of those with tattoos in works of entertainment, has ushered many novel and fascinating questions of copyright law.  Are tattoos protectable? Is human flesh a “fixed medium of expression”?  Who owns the rights in a tattoo?  Absent a writing, does an implied license accompany a tattoo?  What is its scope?  When, if ever, does the unauthorized use of a tattoo violate copyright law?  How will the answers to these questions impact the entertainment, media and interactive industries?

Over the past decade, tattoo artists have brought lawsuits claiming that the use of their tattoos in television commercials, motion pictures, video games and restaurant chains violated their copyrights. Plaintiffs have had some success, with most cases ending in undisclosed settlements.  Most recently, in a case now pending in New York federal court, the rights-holder of various tattoos adorning LeBron James and other NBA stars sued videogame publisher Take-Two Interactive, alleging that the depiction of their tattoos on the players’ avatars in a basketball videogame constitutes copyright infringement.  Last month, the publisher filed a motion claiming that its use of the tattoos was de miminis and constitutes fair use.  Are they right?  Let’s talk about it and other issues pertaining to the copyright ability of tattoos!



Students: $19  |  Must present valid student ID at the door

Program will satisfy 1.5 CA CLE credits pending approval by the State Bar of California.


Zoey Taylor is “one world LA’s most talented female tattoo artists” (Time Out LA) and owner of The Warren Tattoo Shop in West Hollywood.  From Zoey’s website: “I started drawing as far back as I can remember. An unconventional upbringing in the Oregon woods, home schooled, in a cabin without electricity, I spent all of my free time reading and drawing. At 14 I started painting. At 18, living in the city, I started tattooing. I got my first job in a street shop on hollywood boulevard at 20, and at 31 I opened my own shop.”  Zoey will share her incredible artwork, tell stories and talk about her views on some of the issues.



Yolanda M. King is Interim Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Law at Northern Illinois University College of Law. Professor King teaches property, intellectual property law related courses, and entertainment law.  Professor King has published numerous articles about the legal issues arising from tattoos, including The Right of Publicity Challenges for Tattoo Copyrights, 16 Nev. L.J. 441 (2016); The Enforcement Challenges for Tattoo Copyrights, 22 J. Intell. Prop. L. 29 (2014); and The Challenges “Facing” Copyright Protection for Tattoos, 92 Or. L. Rev. 129 (2013).  Her upcoming book is Pushing the Body Beyond its Limits: Copyright Protection of Body Art, in Non-Conventional Copyright (Edward Elgar Publishing, Enrico Bonadio and Nicola Lucchi eds, forthcoming 2017).





Kal Raustiala is a professor at UCLA School of Law and the UCLA International Institute.  Since 2007 he has served as director of the UCLA Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations. Professor Raustiala’s research focuses on international law, international relations, and intellectual property. His recent publications include “Governing the Internet,” American Journal of International Law (2016) and “Fake It Till You Make It: The Good News About China’s Knockoff Economy.”  Professor Raustiala co-authored the Los Angeles Times article, Whose tattoo is it anyway?






Jeremy S. Goldman (moderator) is a partner in the Litigation Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC and Co-Chair of the LA Chapter of the CUSA.  Jeremy represents companies, brands and individuals in the media, film, television, gaming, advertising and technology spaces. He frequently counsels clients, litigates claims and resolves complex disputes involving copyright, breach of contract, the First Amendment, right of publicity, chain of title, trademark and intermediary liability.  Jeremy has written and spoken extensively on these and other topics.  In 2015, after spending eight years with the firm in New York, Jeremy moved across the country with his wife and two children to help launch Frankfurt Kurnit’s LA office.  He is admitted to practice in New York and California.





(Please park at the Century City mall across the street. The first 3 hours are free.)

CLE Credit Details

Program will satisfy 1.5 CA CLE credits pending approval by the State Bar of California.

This event has passed