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- Jun 17, 2013
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Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D is the subject of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit winding its way through the courts that could have a huge impact on how tattoo artists do their work.
NEW YORK - Celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D is the subject of a first-of-a-kind lawsuit over artistic interpretation and copyright infringement.
In 2017, Von D, whose legal name is Katherine Von Drachenberg, tattooed a likeness of an iconic photograph of jazz great Miles Davis onto a person.
Von D did not get paid for the tattoo but did post her work on social media.
In 2021, the man who took the photograph, Jeffrey Sedlik, filed suit against Von D for copyright infringement.
"Essentially he's saying that the tattoo is substantially similar to his photograph of Miles Davis and therefore Kat Von D has committed copyright infringement," said Aaron Moss, a copyright attorney in California.
Von D has insisted that her version of the photograph is transformative of the original image.
A federal judge in California recently decided that the case can go to trial.