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Escobedo alleges that THQ did not seek or gain his permission to use the tattoo's likeness in the game, which was tattooed on fighter Carlos Condit, the current interim welterweight champion of the UFC. Since technically Condit's tattoo is artwork, it is owned by the original creator. Escobedo's lawyer Maria Crimi Speth of Jaburg|Wilk elaborates:
People often believe that they own the images that are tattooed on them by tattoo artists. In reality, the owner of the tattoo artwork is the creator of the work, unless there is a written assignment of the copyright in the tattoo art.
Escobedo explained, "I would not have agreed to the recreation of the tattoo by an animator," and that at minimum he would have insisted on approval of the artwork and fair compensation. Condit's tattoo, a large lion running up his side, was copied by UFC Undisputed 3 artists and can be clearly seen on the character of Carlos Condit in the game.
This is not the first time this particular issue has arisen, with Mike Tyson's appearance in The Hangover II causing some controversy when the tattoo artist who created his facial tattoo sued him for its unlawful use.
THQ is not having a very good month, it seems.
'Sup world! I'm an avid gamer, modder and game developer living in Melbourne, Australia with my partner and two cats. As is law here at Player Attack, I can't function without copious amounts of caffeine.
Jimmy the Geek