Tattoo Art Copyright

It’s hard to identify a more personalized collaborative endorsement statement or method than using our bodies as canvases, permanently marking the skin. Tattooists can be some of the most prolific producers of art. The tattooed compositions of his clients are more visible and easier to see than the works made in perhaps almost any other medium. However, within the field of tattooing, sufficiently detailed or serious analyzes of the activity, as well as the associated technological and socio-economic impacts, are rarely given.

We briefly turn to an article from New Zealand. As is more common with tattoo-related writing online, the content often serves primarily as an advertising vehicle for images promoting inking as practice and is then peppered with quotes from a handful of easily contactable. [often just mainstream] artists. However, the implications of copyrighted tattoo designs and associated body art forms, particularly completed tattoo works, are worth exploring in more detail:

“Tattoo artists claiming the right to copyright their work | There is an unwritten rule in New Zealand: Decent tattooists do not copy designs. At this time, the Copyright Act 1994 is under review and the Artists behind the ink say that strict legislation could make original tattoo designs. House of Natives founder Gordon Toi would advocate protecting tattoos. “I would like to see some kind of government on Maori and Polynesian tattoos … there’s so much exploitation. ”Original designs were often replicated, often overseas without even speaking to the New Zealand artist, he said.

“Skin is probably the hardest thing for copyright, because everyone is copying it.” Pacific Tattoo owner Tim Hunt wanted artists to respect the meaning of Pacific and Maori cultural symbols and patterns. “Any artist could say, I can make you a design that has Korus and looks like Maori,” Hunt said.

“But if you want something authentic, you will have to go elsewhere.” Abroad, tattoo artists are suing when their designs appear in the media, such as television. In 2011, Maori-inspired facial tattoo artist Mike Tyson sued Warner Bros for a similar facial art depiction on a character from The Hangover: Part II. If copyright law protected cultural images, Hunt would respect the change. “I want more tattoo artists to stand up and say, ‘I don’t know enough about it, I don’t know the story behind it and I don’t know the context behind it. Abroad, tattoo artists reproduce images without a second thought.

New Zealand was different, he said. “It’s kind of an unspoken code in New Zealand that you just don’t do that.” Hunt believed that the client was the owner of the tattoo, not the artist. Union Tattoo owner Craigy Lee agreed that there was an unwritten code of conduct for not copying a custom tattoo. Decent artists wouldn’t dare make money off someone else’s design, he said. University of Auckland associate professor Alex Sims said that technically what is currently happening in New Zealand is likely copyright infringement, under the banner of a work of art. However, Sims cautioned against strict enforcement of copyright laws on tattoos, which could include removing tattoos, preventing the appearance of tattoos in movies and advertisements, or requiring removal of tattoos from social media. social. “It would give the copyright owner the power to control images of a person, which would be extremely concerning and just plain wrong.”

Tattoo vs art

For use in the tattoo world, a distinction must be made between tattoo illustrations designed or applied with copyright. We target tattoo professionals as their top sustainable means of income.

Tattooists can have multiple images and other media content not yet applied, such as designs, compositions, sketches, or custom artwork. Like renderings of various traditional art forms, these are relatively easy to record and upload, allowing for clear digital attribution of copyright ownership.

Separately, as used by clients, tattooists often have wallets of tattooed pieces. The use of a three-dimensional canvas introduces complexities in automated digital identification. In many image copyright tracking software, positioning alone can completely get rid of investigative techniques. While Instagram and alternative photo upload databases offer some form of timestamp verification, due to comparatively openly editable structures, subsequent origin and ownership attribution can be diluted. Whether the artwork produced by the tattoo artist is documented on skin or another type of canvas is the first practical distinction.

Artist vs technician

In order for copyright considerations to be properly reviewed, the grouping serves as initial categorizations specific to the tattoo industry. On one side of the creative spectrum of tattoo art, there are those tattoo artists who only implement their style and techniques.

By forgoing reflections on how tattoo artists’ styles and aesthetics may have been derived or inspired, the tattooist’s works are independently recognizable as “his own.” In a sense, the tattoo artist has a stylistic monopoly.

In proportion to other creative means, the tattoo artist has a particular vision, knowledge or experience that cannot be easily substituted by anyone else. Therefore, the tattoo artist can be classified as a practitioner of tattoo art to convey a unique style or promote the continuation of a unique aesthetic or technique.

Tattoo technicians may have different portfolios of finished and tattooed work. While tattoos on such wallets cannot be exactly replicated, such unique quality attributes are primarily due to placement on a bespoke canvas, that is, on a completely individual person. The cohesive result is more personalized than the isolation of a composition. Also, this tattooed work is formed into specific, often non-reproducible proportions. In fact, the resulting tattoo can be faithfully replicated by any number of other tattoo technicians, albeit on a different exclusive canvas.

And in proportion to the skilled technicians in any field, a tattoo technician can be replaced without inherent loss or degradation of results. A technician is the tattooist physically and technically capable of applying categories of tattoos, but can do so indiscriminately in regards to a single style, size, technique, aesthetics or design. Ability rather than artistic temperament or vision here is the limiting factor.

Tradition vs technique

You can think of tattoo artists [as just two examples from millions] Ondrash conveys a unique aesthetic to Horioshi III in Japan continuing the culturally rich art of tebori. Both being solely in the jurisdiction of the tattoo artist, the delimitation of the copyright of single compositions as opposed to reproductions of traditional iconography forms another notable separation.

Like any setting in the more classical mediums such as painting, such a dichotomy is not to claim that the art of tattooing itself does not necessarily clearly fall on one side. As with all artistic endeavors, the sources of inspiration and subjectively justifiable conclusions that the very compositions labeled ‘homage’ by some or ‘theft’ by others remain to be objectively qualified either way. As is often said, good artists copy, great artists steal. In practical terms, although the tattoo artist who produces traditionally inspired works may be automatically and logically excluded from the copyright registration of tattooed art outside of the human canvas.

Copyright vs claims

Copyright registration can serve a dual purpose. First, this works as an externally verified acknowledgment, by a third party, of custom or attributed authorship. This adds credibility, weight, or authority to the content. Not least of which they often give substance to sales prices.

Second, the purpose of having a copyright property registry could be to prepare for cataloging procedures by initiating formalized legal protections. Nonetheless, these procedures require offenders to be identified, compromised with, refuse to comply with registration, and then successfully convicted in a restricted manner by geographically applicable courts of law. The quantification of the remuneration receivable depends on the precise identification of the infringer, the documented use of the proprietary content, the culpability established through the response, and the attainable legal ramifications as determined in part by the physical location. They all form remarkable and complicated factors.

Recognition vs protection

It has been found to be commonplace for one tattoo artist to use another’s completed designs or even tattooed portfolio pieces. While a large portion of reputable tattoo artwork is searchable online, the huge volumes accessible through disparate sources fracture attempts to a single point. [i.e. one tattooist’s] accreditation. Illegal or unauthorized use of tattooed works may only be found in printed or offline wallets, such as those shown to studio clientele. Tattoos often serve as an art form represented individually and privately.

Therefore, the online display, and therefore the essentially public “registry” of tattooed works, may not exist intentionally. Your carrier could have requested this.

These factors translate into the ability of tattoo technicians, dealing directly with individual clients, to be potentially quite liberal in statements of completed work and, by extension, in stated tattoo expertise or experience.

In a practical way, the motivations or impetus for the registration of copyright ownership of tattoo works applies more widely to the tattoo artist and perhaps only as a form of registration of the completed portfolios for the technician. While achievable compensation or punitive actions against copyright infringers are far from universally predictable, a focus on digital time stamping on both tattoo artwork and wallets via Blockchain verification is the first step towards authenticity assurance. Regardless of how it is used, the creator now has an immutable, single-source property justification.

As with the decentralized capability of the technology, the ability to reassign trust in individual sources rather than ‘hubs’ amounts to ushering in a new standard of verification of work. This is very important to the customer when selecting the process. For tattoo artists, the effects and benefits of copyright ownership through blockchain are also significant.

Previously mentioned article: May 28, 2018, Amber-Leigh Wolf on Things

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