Mike Tyson`s tattoo artist sues `Hangover`

Last Updated: May 23, 2011, 17:29 PM IST

New York: Artiste S Victor Whitmill who inked boxing legend Mike Tyson`s famous face tattoo, has sued the makers of `The Hangover 2` for parodying his work.

The sequel to the hit 2009 film sees one of the
protagonists sporting similar body art and Whitmill is suing the movie studio for copyright infringement, reported New York Times online.

Tyson, who has a small role in the film, as he did in the first film, is not named in the suit. But lawyers say the proceedings are not merely frivolous, and could possibly delay release of the much anticipated film, now set for May 26.

In the film, actor Ed Helms reprises his character, except this time he wakes up in a bathtub, only to discover that he has a tattoo inked over half of his face.

The ink job closely resembles the tattoo Mike Tyson famously received in 2003.

Whitmill has filed a motion in Federal District Court in St. Louis asking a judge to order Warner Brothers to stop using what he calls his `tribal tattoo` in its posters or in the movie.

That would effectively block the film from being released, or at least delay it until further editing.

Whitmill is also seeking monetary damages for what he deemed "reckless copyright infringement".

The lawsuit states, "Mr Whitmill has never been asked for permission for, and has never consented to, the use, reproduction or creation of a derivative work based on his original tattoo."

On this Friday, Warner Brothers responded to Judge Catherine D Perry in a brief, pointing out that delaying the film at this point would be hugely expensive.

The studio condemned Whitmill`s suit as a "radical claim that he is entitled, under the Copyright Act, to control the use of a tattoo that he created on the face of another human being."

PTI