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‘NBA 2K’ Maker Must Play Defense Against Tattoo Artist’s Claims

March 22, 2019, 2:20 PM

2K Games Inc. must face copyright claims that it used an Ohio tattoo artist’s work in digital renderings of NBA players in the “NBA 2K” video game series, the Northern District of Ohio ruled March 21.

2K may still be on the hook for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees, depending on whether each annual NBA 2K release is a separate work or part of a single work under copyright law.

Jimmy Hayden owns copyright registrations for six tattoos on NBA players LeBron James, Danny Green, and Tristan Thompson. Hayden sued 2K for its inclusion of the tattoos—in addition to five ...