Who owns the right of a tattoo?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by RMThompson, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    So I am putting together a photograph book of tattoos, and someone brought up an interesting point. Does someone who gets a tattoo on their skin have the right to use that tattoo and sell pictures of it? Meaning, if I get a model clearance, can I sell a book with someone's tattoo in it?

    The point of the book is to show off tattoos, using selective color and other methods, example here:

    [​IMG]

    As a tattoo artist, do you have some power over these photos?
     
  2. Moxi

    Moxi TPF Noob!

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    The only issue I know with tattoos is when there is an exclusive design tattood on someone and they pay the extra to have it 'retired'. Then its not supposed to be tattood on anyone else.
    But any tattoo that is on my body is my personal possession and if I says it ok for you to sell the image then its ok.
     
  3. Oldfireguy

    Oldfireguy TPF Noob!

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    I disagree. Do a search under "tattoo and copyright" and you may change your mind. There are some interesting cases out there.
     
  4. Moxi

    Moxi TPF Noob!

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    Well all of my tattoos are original pieces of work by me except for one that was retired. At any time in my life I can have these photographed or modified without anyones permission.
    You can say that the tattoist has copyright on tattoos but theres not one out there that wont modify or cover anothers work, or stop someone from having it done. And theres flash out there from decades ago. Trying to find the originating source is ridiculous. If the artist is reachable, call and ask.
    And Id make sure credit was given where its due too. Everyone loves to see their name in lights.
     
  5. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Forgot to mention that. If the model KNOWS the tattoo artist I will surely put his name and information in their!
     
  6. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    More on this...

    Can you imagine the outrage if upon getting a tattoo you couldn't model? I am sure there has to be some legal blockage of this... unless you specifically sign an agreement of sorts.

    All i could find on legality was using someone elses design as your own!
     
  7. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I think it would be a little different if you have a picture of a model modeling herself then a picture of basically just the tat. I really have no idea tho. You could say tho doesn't a personal trainer own the copyright to a models body since he made it:lmao::lmao:?
     
  8. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    that is really a great idea, because if you include their name (in small print on the page with the actual photo) I bet the artist would be willing to help sell your book because it gets his name out to the public as well.
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Copyright should come out of respect. In the environment you have illustrated the shot is clearly about the Tattoo artist as opposed to the model. Maybe in another shot it is all about the subjects bod. Maybe in another it is all about your photo. List the players in the proper order and you will not have a problem. Just give credit where credit is due.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'd imagine the tattoo artist or whoever designed the tattoo would own the copyright.......however......
    in the image posted above, the tattoo is in the image, you could argue it's not a breach of copyright since you're not reusing it (as you would with a copied song).
    It's like taking a photo of a sculpture or a building. Both may be copyrighted but taking a picture doesn't breach copyright.

    I think copyright isn't infringed if you're photo is largely a new work. In the image posted i'd imagine that it's a new work since it's highly unlikely to mistaken for a tattoo on it's own

    But, hey...what do i know....i don't have any tattoos and I'm no lawyer!!!:lol:
     
  11. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Thanks, the more I think about this, this is the way I am going to go, both to protect me, and to get more interesting shots.

    Instead of contacting PEOPLE with tattoos only, I am going to contact tattoo artists... I will be able to find some amazing shots, and also possibly shoot on location shots of people GETTING a tattoo (perhaps for the forward of the book).

    Regardless, I've had a ton of interest in this book, so I am shopping it to several publishers!
     
  12. Does the person getting the tattoo pay the artist? In that case the tattoo might be considered "Work for hire"- which is typical of intellectual property work. That means if a company hires a creative person to come up with cool ideas for a new show, the show belongs to the company paying the creative person to be creative on its behalf. It could be argued that the tattoo belongs to the person who is wearing it, even if the tattoo technician thought up the design himself.

    ...but it might a be a non-exclusive arrangement. That means other people already have the tattoo.
     

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