Document Type

Student Article


Tattoos are a billion-dollar industry that grows as tattoos become globally acceptable. With that market growth comes an incentive for parlor owners and artists to determine what rights they own and assert it against tattooed individuals. Artists upcharge celebrities for tattoos because of the publicity of their work, an example of how the market is adapting to the growing visibility and publicity of tattoos. But there is a cost: most tattooed individuals are not aware of the legal rights others possess, and can assert, against the permanent ink on their own bodies. This is the first paper to discuss the tattoo clients, who could be the least protected when cases on infringing tattoo designs go to court. Further, it discusses the copyrightability of tattoos, the parties with an ownership interest in a tattoo, and how the interactions between artist, client, and parlor shape the analysis for the court.



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