Sunday, 28 August 2016

Tattoo Copyright on sports stars

Back in February, I geeked out over the latest tattoo law news in "Videogame Maker Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Basketball Stars' Tattoos." As I wrote in that post, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York against Take-Two Interactive and other companies associated with the video game NBA 2K16 for reproducing the tattoos of the basketball stars featured in the game series without permission.

The suit was filed by Solid Oak Sketches, a company who licensed the tattoo designs from the following artists who tattooed stars like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant:  Justin Wright (LeBron James), Shawn Rome (LeBron James), Tommy Ray Cornett (Eric Bledsoe and Kenyon Martin), Robert Benedetti (Kobe Bryant), and Leslie Hennelly (DeAndre Jordan). In those licensing agreements, the tattooers agreed to 
8% of the net earnings of Solid Oak for their designs.

A couple of weeks ago, a ruling came down concerning that suit, and among some tattooers talking about it, there was a bit of confusion, so I figured I'd break it down a bit here. 

On August 2nd, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan said that the videogame maker cannot be held liable to Solid Oak Sketches for statutory damages -- which could rack up as much as $150,000 per copyright infringement -- because Soild Oak did not register the tattoo designs with the US Copyright Office until 2015, years after the release of NBA 2K14 in 2013, when the alleged infringement of the tattoo designs began. 

In order to obtain statutory damages and attorneys' fees, Solid Oak must have registered its copyright prior to the alleged infringement. Solid Oak argued that, because the NBA 2K16 version was released after copyright registration, they were still entitled to those statutory damages and attorneys' fees; however, the court didn't buy it, stating that "the first act of infringement in a series of ongoing infringements occurred prior to the work's copyright registration."

You can read that opinion and order here.

The Hollywood Reporter's article on the suit got some traction last week on social media, and that's where I found that some were confused about what the decision meant. The ruling does not mean that the court found that there was no copyright infringement, rather, they said that, because of when it was registered, Solid Oak and the artists were not going to get the really big money, which would have added up to a massive amount considering the number of tattoos represented in the games. 

What Solid Oak and the artists are then left with is proving actual damages -- the money from demonstrated loss that they suffered as a result of the infringement, such as lost licensing revenue or any other provable financial loss directly attributable to the game's use of their artwork. That's tougher to do, but they could still see some decent money if the judge finds infringement.

The big argument of the defendant is that the use of tattoos seen on the bodies of the basketball stars is fair use and de minimis use. Stanford's general definition of fair use is"any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and 'transformative' purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner." And de minimis can be summed up as "the amount of material copied is so small (or 'de minimis') that the court permits it without even conducting a fair use analysis," as per this Stanford resource

In their court filings, Take-Two asserts:

Indeed, if Solid Oak were correct, it would mean that anyone appearing in public, on a television program, or in an advertisement would need to license the display of their tattoos. This is not the law and, if it were, it would be an encroachment on basic human rights.
Take-Two also made some other interesting arguments which you can read here.

It's really a fascinating debate and I really can't wait till a court rules on it rather than the cases just settling, as what happened to the Mike Tyson Tattoo Case.

Tattoo Healing Advice - Clarity 11 Watford

Tattoo Healing Advice

Listen to your tattoo artist. If you've done your homework and chosen a good tattoo artist, he or she will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your new tattoo, which you should follow carefully. Every tattoo artist will have a slightly different opinion on the best way to care for a new tattoo, but don't worry, most reputable artists have had years of experience in caring for new tattoos, so their methods have been tried and tested.[1]
  • Think of your tattoo as having a warranty; if you don't follow the artist's instructions, you might void the warranty, and he or she won't give you free touch-ups.
  • Remember: tattoo artists want your tattoo to heal correctly and look good just as much as you do, so they shouldn't give you any poor advice.
  • The following instructions may vary slightly from what your tattoo artist tell you, but should serve as a good guideline.
Leave the covering on for 2-6 hours. Once the tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will clean the area, apply an anti-bacterial ointment and cover the tattoo with a bandage or some dressing. Once you have left the tattoo studio resist the temptation to open the bandage. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo from airborne bacteria, which can penetrate through your broken skin. The bandage should be left on for a minimum of two hours before you remove it.
  • Thick, absorbent, non-stick ABD wound dressings are the most common type of bandage used by tattoo artists. These are very effective as they allow the tattoo to breathe while also being thick enough to protect the skin from bacteria and bumps. They are also extremely absorbent.[2]
  • There are many tattoo artists out there who are firm believers in wrapping new tattoos in plastic wrap, while there are many more who believe that this is the worst possible thing you could do for your tattoo.
  • Proponents of plastic wrap believe that it is the best way to wrap a new tattoo as it is easy to apply and remove without sticking to the skin. It also forms an effective shield that blocks any bacteria from getting near the tattoo.
  • Those who oppose plastic wrap do so because it prevents oxygen from getting to the tattoo, and oxygen is essential for healing. It also seals in moisture and raises the temperature of the skin, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.[1]
  • Whichever type of covering your tattoo artist uses, be sure to follow his/her advice carefully. Both types of bandages have been used successfully before. Just remember that plastic wrap will need to be changed, and the tattoo cleaned much more frequently than with other bandaging, to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
Carefully remove the bandage. The jury is still out on how long a bandage should be left on before it is removed. Most artists agree that you should keep your tattoo covered for a minimum of two hours before removing, but the recommended maximum amount of time varies between 4 and 6 hours. Tattoos covered in plastic wrap are the exception; plastic wrap should never be left on a new tattoo for longer than two hours.[3]
  • In reality, the amount of time will vary according to the size and placement of the tattoo, along with the level of tattoo seepage and the type of bandage used. In most cases, it is best to follow the advice of your tattoo artist, but you should also use your judgement and common sense.
  • To remove the bandage, soak it with warm water to prevent it from sticking to your skin. It should come off easily once wet. Discard the used bandage.

Gently wash the tattoo. Most artists recommend lukewarm water and mild, unscented liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap. Use your hands to rub the tattoo gently, removing all traces of blood, plasma, or leaked ink. This will help to prevent the tattoo from scabbing too soon. Do not use a washcloth, loofah or any sponge to clean the tattoo, as these may harbor bacteria.[1]
  • Do not hold the tattoo directly under the water. Wash it indirectly by splashing the water over the tattoo with your hands. The stream of water from the faucet may be too harsh on your new tattoo.
  • If your new tattoo is covering a large area of skin, it may be easiest to wash the tattoo in the shower.
Pat the tattoo dry with a light, soft towel. Once you have thoroughly washed the tattoo, you should gently pat it dry with a little paper towel. Do not rub the tattoo, as this may cause irritation. Once the excess moisture has been removed, you should leave the tattoo uncovered for 20 minutes to an hour. This will allow the tattoo to breathe and any excess moisture to evaporate.
  • Apply a non-scented, water-based anti-bacterial ointment. Once your tattoo is fully dry, and the skin begins to feel tight you can apply a little ointment, such as Bacitracin or A&D, to the tattoo. Make sure to apply only a very thin layer that's just enough to make the tattoo shine and rub it in gently until it's absorbed by the skin. It's very important that you don't apply too much ointment, or else you'll suffocate the tattoo and encourage the growth of bacteria.[4]
    • You should continue applying the ointment after each time you wash the tattoo, at least twice a day, for 3 to 5 days or until the tattoo starts to peel. When it does you can switch to a regular, fragrance-free lotion.
    • Don't use petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline, as these are too heavy and may clog the pores, causing breakouts on the tattoo. They also draw the ink from the tattoo to the surface of the skin, causing the tattoo to fade before it's even fully healed.
    • There are some excellent specialist products on the market that are a little pricey, but work wonders for healing tattoos. Once such product is called "Tattoo Goo" which is non-greasy and is made from natural ingredients. Another great product is "H2Ocean", which is a foam rather than an ointment, that uses a salt concentration to prevent infection.[1] "After Inked” is also an excellent product as it's non-petroleum based and mainly uses grapeseed oil that is known to have more antioxidant value than vitamin E. This helps the healing process and has great moisturizing properties.
    You should allow your tattoo to breathe like this after each time you wash it or get it wet.
Continue to wash and moisturize your tattoo, at minimum, twice a day until the scab is gone. You should continue to wash your tattoo with anti-bacterial soap and warm water until it is fully healed. This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 six weeks, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. You should wash the tattoo approximately three times a day, though you should wash more often if the tattoo is on your hand, wrist, foot, or any other area that is more exposed to germs.[5]
  • After applying special anti-bacterial ointment for the first 3 to 5 days, you can switch to regular lotion after each wash. Most tattoo artists will recommend that you avoid using lotions that are scented, colored or contain glitter. Remember only to apply a light layer of lotion, as over-moisturizing can negatively affect the tattoo.
  • The initial healing of the tattoo will take up to two weeks. During this time, you can expect the tattoo to start peeling or flaking, in a similar way to sunburn. Some colored skin may come away as the tattoo peels, but this is entirely normal.
  • After the skin peels, your tattoo will look glassy and feel tight. It may also have cloudy or white patches of skin that you will be tempted to peel off, but try to resist. This is referred to as "onion skin" and will fall off by itself within a couple of weeks.
  • If you have taken proper care of your new tattoo, you can expect your tattoo to be healed and your skin to have fully regenerated in about four to six weeks.[2]
Do not scratch or pick at your tattoo. As it heals, your tattoo will begin to scab. This is normal, and the scabs should be allowed to dry out and fall off by themselves. Do not try to help the process along by picking at the scabs. This may cause the scabs to fall off prematurely, leaving holes or light spots on your tattoo.
  • If your hands or nails are unclean; you may also cause the tattoo to become infected. You should always wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before touching your tattoo, and you should never allow anyone else to touch it while it heals.[5]
  • Dry, scabbing or peeling skin can become very itchy, but scratching at your tattoo may also cause scabs to fall off. You can relieve itching by slapping the tattoo with the flat of your hand, or by rubbing in a little lotion.[3]
  • Keep using moisturizing ointment to combat itchiness if it is a problem.
Avoid soaking the tattoo. Until your tattoo is fully healed, you should avoid swimming in a pool, in the sea, or even soaking in the bathtub. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, exposing your tattoo to too much water may draw ink out of your skin and damage the tattoos appearance. Secondly, the water in swimming pools, the sea, and the bathtub may be carrying dirt, bacteria, chemicals and other impurities that could cause your tattoo to become infected.[2]
  • It will be completely safe to resume these activities once your tattoo is healed, but for now you should stick to rinsing your tattoo in the sink or shower.
  • Keep your showers and baths short, under 5-6 minutes.
Do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. Sunlight is the worst enemy of new tattoos. The harsh rays of the sun may cause your skin to blister and bleach some of the colors from your tattoo. For this reason, it is best to keep your tattoo covered and away from the sun for at least 3 to 4 weeks, until the initial healing is complete.[2]
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing on the area with your new tattoo, especially at first. As your tattoo heals, it will seep plasma and excess ink, which may cause the clothing to stick to the tattoo. The clothing will then be painful to remove and may rip off any freshly formed scabs.[4]
    • If your clothing does stick to your tattoo, do not pull! First wet the area with water, which should loosen the clothing to where it can be removed without damaging your tattoo.
    • In addition, tight clothing will prevent enough oxygen from getting to your tattoo, and oxygen is essential for the healing process.
    • Aim to wear clean, loose-fitting clothing, day, and night, while your tattoo is healing.
    After that, you will still need to protect your tattoo by wearing a minimum of SPF 30. This will prevent your tattoo from fading in the sun, keeping the colors true for longer.
Avoid working out. Tattoos that cover large surface areas, or are near joints (such as elbows and knees), may take longer to heal if the skin is forced to move around too much during intense workouts or other physical activity. The movement will cause the skin to crack and become irritated, prolonging the tattoos healing process. For this reason, you should avoid unnecessary workouts for at least a few days after getting a new tattoo.[3]
  • If you're involved in a self-defense class like karate or kickboxing, you may want to warn your classmates so they can avoid hitting you in the wrong place.
  • If you work in a job that involves physical activity, such as construction or dance, you may want to consider having your new tattoo done on a Friday, so it will have the whole weekend to heal before your go back to work.
Avoid swelling. Swelling may occur with new tattoos on your feet, ankles or calves, especially if you have been standing for long periods of time. If this happens, you can reduce swelling by taking an Ibuprofen, applying an ice pack to the swollen area, and elevating your feet and legs.

Getting your first tattoo is a significant milestone in any ones life, and it is of course an incredibly nerve wracking experience.
And you are sure to find it intimidating, after all you're about to mark your body for life! Nevertheless getting a tattoo is something you should most certainly do, but to calm your nerves here are seven pieces of advice to relax you and get you psyched for your new tattoo!!
1. Trust the Artist

Trust your artist! They know what they're doing!!
Trust your artist! They know what they're doing!!

Walking into the tattoo shop you will no doubt have expectations and ideas of what your tattoo is going to look like, so the best thing to do is tell the artist exactly what you want, don't spare any detail! The more the artist knows the more your tattoo will be the tattoo of your dreams. However, if the artist offers you advice or additional suggestions on style, shape or placement then listen to them, they know what they are doing. At the end of the day, your new tattoo is an advertisement for their work, and any self-respecting artist will give each and every tattoo their all!!

2. Make It Custom

There are thousands of tattoos out there and it is easy to see one and decide that is the one you want, but why settle for a tattoo that countless people already have, your tattoo should be unique to you so make it custom! Talk to your artist and find the right design, and even if it is one that has been done a thousand times before try and add some personal touches to it, a name, symbol, whatever you want! It is always better to know your tattoo is one of a kind and personal to you. Be your own person and make your tattoo unique! But if you are struggling on your perfect design then why not have tattoodo come with a kickass design for you, simply click here and get the design you want!
3. A Cheap Tattoo is a Bad Tattoo
Cheap tattoo versus expensive tattoo
Cheap tattoo versus expensive tattoo
One of the most crucial pieces of information you need when your new to tattooing is to know that tattoos are not cheap and when they are they will probably look it. Truth of the matter is that if you want  a good tattoo then it's gonna cost! Though that is by no means a bad thing, think about it, would you really want to skimp on something that will mark your body for the rest of your life! Tattoos are an investment and you pay for what you receive, so paying that little bit more for a well respected artist is always going to be worth it in the long run.
4. Pain is a Part of the Process
Tattoos hurt, no ifs, no buts, no nothings, tattoos hurt it is as simple as that. The pain of getting a tattoo however is not unbearable and is something that with gritted teeth you can come through. Yeah there will be points where your skin is incredibly sore but its nothing worse than a very irritated sunburn, more annoying than agonizing. Of course where you get your tattoo and how big it is will also be a factor in how much it hurts, so if its your first tattoo do your research and get it somewhere not as sensitive, places like your eyelids and crotch are areas probably best avoided!

5. Aftercare is Essential
Most tattoo artists will give you a few pointers on caring for your new tattoo and truth be told most will tell you different things, but the basic rules stay the same. Gently wash your tattoo with warm water, let it breathe and then lightly apply some moisturizer (although each artist will probably recommend a different type to the next). As long as you keep your new tattoo clean and avoid sun you'll be good to go and be free to show of your awesome new ink.
6. Freaking Out a Little is Okay
When your new to tattooing and have just got your first tattoo your bound to freakout a little. The first couple of times you wash your tattoo there may be some ink run off, but this is perfectly normal and nothing to fear. Your tattoo is not losing its ink! It is also common for your tattoo to scab so don't be alarmed if yours does...but you must NEVER pick it or scratch no matter how itchy it becomes. Tattoos take time to heal so be patient, even if you are on edge for the first week leave your tattoo to recover and all will be well. So yeah, you can freakout a little but just don't go crazy!
7. Don't Worry About Regret
Love the design, then you'll love the tattoo!
Love the design, then you'll love the tattoo!
A common worry for anyone getting their first tattoo is whether they will regret it once it has been done, and of course this is a rational thought but when it comes to tattoos your best just to go with it. If you truly want a tattoo then when it is done regret won't even be a worry, but if it is a concern then check the design and check it again until you are happy with having it on your body! Always remember tattoos are for life and not just for Christmas, be sure it is what your truly want before going through with it otherwise it is laser removal for you!

...Getting your first tattoo is big step, so before you do anything do your research, checkout artists and go into a tattoo shop!!

Coverup tattoos Clarity 11 Watford

Getting a coverup:

1. Choosing an artist

Many artists choose not to undertake coverups due to the compromising nature of the work on their art.  At Clarity 11 we have coverup specialists who work with different types of coverups and will recommend the best person for the work you wish to undertake.  Before getting your heart set on a design or a style ensure that your chosen artist actually does coverup tattoos and that they believe there is something they can do with whatever it is that you need covered.  Make sure you choose the best artist you can afford as you only want to have to cover it once.

2. Setting expectations.

It goes without saying that the black Chinese lettering that you have recently discovered actually means "egg fried rice" isn't going to get covered by a white infinity symbol.  In all likelihood your coverup will need to be done in dark colours, (Black, Dark Red, Blue, Purple) and the artwork you can choose will be limited by the space that needs to be covered.  The 2 most popular coverup designs are Roses and Panthers but your artist should be able to offer you a number of great creative choices to match your style.

3. Consider getting something epic

Too many people choose to only coverup the original tattoo and don't get anything bigger, the best way to get an awesome coverup is to opt for a much larger piece where the coverup is somewhat incidental and hidden within a much smaller detail.