People & Places

Best Federal Lawsuit 

Tattoo Artist v. The Hangover Part II

The lawsuit involving the release of The Hangover Part II might have been more entertaining than the movie itself. A few weeks before the film was set to be released, S. Victor Whitmill, the Missouri tattoo artist behind Mike Tyson's famous face ink, sued Warner Bros. in federal court for using his creation without his permission. Tyson, after all, had signed a release asserting that all images of his tattoo were owned by Whitmill's company, Paradox Studio of Dermagraphics. It was a classic case of the little guy defending his creative rights against the big, bad movie studio. Great underdog story, right? But this underdog threatened to delay the release of one of the year's most hotly anticipated films and nearly forced the studio to digitally remove the tattoo from Ed Helms' face for the DVD version. The two sides eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount — which means, we suspect, that while the tattoo stayed in the picture, Whitmill was the real winner.

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