Publisher Take-Two is allowed to use the tattoos of players, including LeBron James, in his basketball game NBA 2K . Tattoo artist Solid Oak cannot sue the publisher of the game, because the tattoos are a trivial part of the game, a federal judge in New York has decided, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
In addition, the basketball players in NBA 2K have a license to use the tattoos, which can be transferred to others. The athletes have a deal with the NBA for the use of their effigy, which the NBA in turn passes on to Take-Two.
"The tattoos appear only on the players on which they were placed, which is only three of the four hundred available players (besides James, Kenyon Martin and Eric Bledsoe were also the subject of the indictment," said the judge.
"Even when the players are selected, the tattoos appear small and unrecognizable, like fast moving visual parts of fast moving characters in groups of players. In addition, the tattoos are not used in the game's promotional materials."
Solid Oak filed suit against Take-Two in 2016. The company claimed that the basketball players were allowed to license their effigies to the NBA, but that the tattoos were not covered.