Tattoo in The Hangover Part II is causing a headache

The release of The Hangover Part II may be put on hold over a legal dispute regarding a tattoo used in the film.

Spot the difference

Tattooist S. Victor Whitmill is suing the film’s producers for copying the image he designed tattooed on Mike Tyson’s face back in 2003. In the sequel to the 2009 smash hit the actor Ed Helms who plays Stu in the film wakes up after a big night drinking with a tattoo which appears to be almost identical to Tyson’s one.

Boxer Tyson also stars in the film, which is set in Bangkok this time. You may remember he had a part in the first film as well. There is no word about what the man himself has to say on the issue.

Whitmill’s lawyers are claiming the use of the tattoo is “reckless copyright infringement”, saying:

“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,”

The case has opened a can of legal worms and raised questions about whether someone can own a piece of someone else’s body and if all forms of art can be copyrighted.

This isn’t the first time the question of tattoo ownership has come up, tattooist Louis Molloy kicked up a stink about how many of the tattoos he had designed and tattooed on David Beckham would appear in an advert he was involved in.

It’s up to the courts at this point to decide what effect this copied tattoo will have on the original and how much of it is actually reproduced. If it goes Whitmill’s way, an injunction could be put in place preventing its release this week. Do you think this all sounds a bit crazy or does Whitmill have a point?

Take a look at the trailer below and see for yourself just how similar the tattoo is.

The Hangover Part II is supposed to be released on May 26.

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