EA Is Being Sued Over A Tattoo From 2004

Tattoo artist Stephen Allen is responsible for at least some of the artwork adorning the arms of former NFL running back Ricky Williams. That same tattoo has appeared on the cover of a video game, leading Allen to sue both Williams and the publisher.

The game in question is NFL Street, a console game released by EA Sports in...2004. Despite the game's age, Allen says he only became aware of the use of his art in 2010. He says the tattoo featured on the cover - represented in an illustration, which you can see above, and not a photo - was inked on Williams in 2003.

Allen is pursuing the case because he claims his individual tattoo work is copyrighted. He has filed the suit in a Louisiana federal court.

New Case: Allen v. EA (Tattoo Art) [Patent Arcade]


    Stupid lawsuit is stupid. When commissioned to produce a piece of artwork, the artist having received payment no longer owns or can retain the rights to it, its reproduction or representation. Americans are idiots.

      Agreed, except for 'Americans are idiots'
      If it where an Australian, would that make all Australians idiots? Americans are some of the friendliest, fun people I know.
      Stupid generalization is stupid...

      Last edited 11/01/13 8:37 am

      Yes, Americans are stupid, and Australians are cowardly, lazy alcoholics.

      But regarding the lawsuit, yes, it's ridiculous, but a tattoo artist sued Warner Brothers over using the tattoo he made for Mike Tyson in The Hangover 2 and it was settled out of court, so he very well could end up making money from it.

        Er, the alcoholic generalisation is apt, sure. But why on Earth would you decide to label Australians 'cowardly'? What stereotype did you get that from? Idiot.

          All of the nanny state laws seem to indicate that nothing dangerous is ok, hence, cowards.

          Stereotypes and generalisations are fun, aren't they?

    Seems like a shameless grab for cash if you ask me.That, or the artist is just super paranoid about protecting his work, which is odd, considering it's a bit hard to control its use once it's permanently tattooed on someone elses body.

    Ack, replied to wrong one.

    Last edited 11/01/13 8:51 am

    He must have heard of THQ getting sued because of the tattoo reproduction on Carlos Condit in UFC Undisputed 3.

    The artist is absolutely entitled to compensation for his tattoo, it wont be a lot, but there well be money award as the tattoo is clearly visible on the front cover. Like tyson's this wont see a courtroom.

      I am a big body art fan, but I am just not sure I agree with this. It is a small step between this, and saying that every time a picture of this person is used that shows the tattoo, the artist should be paid. He was already paid, and that art is now a part of the athlete's body. A representation of the athlete, thus, should include the ink.

    People's greed should have ceased to amaze me but it hasn't.

    I always wonder whether it is the artist's greed, or ego, that drives them to do these things.

    He should be compensated. His artwork is being used for a commercial product and he isn't getting paid? Seems fair to me. And it's surprising that EA didn't pick up on this, as this isn't even a picture, but an artist rendering, so an artist would have had to take the time to render the tattoo when they could have left it blank and not been in the situation they now face themselves.

    I'm Ricky's hairdresser, I'm also suing EA for using MY hair style design!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now