The legal battle for the rights to use the facial tattoo Ed Helms sports in The Hangover Part II just keeps getting crazier. Now Warner Bros. is considering digitally altering every frame that the tattoo in question appears in throughout the whole movie, which is apparently almost every scene after the first twenty minutes or so. Good luck, special effects people!
As you may remember, the tattoo used in The Hangover Part II bears a resemblance to Mike Tyson’s “famous” facial tattoo and the Missouri tattoo artist who created it, S. Victor Whitmill, not only sued Warner Bros. for copyright infringement, but also tried to derail the opening of the movie. That failed, of course, but Whitmill is still trying to collect damages from the company after Part II made over $350 million worldwide.
Right now, there is a court date set for the case in February 2012, though a judge mediation has been scheduled for June 16th 2011, during which the case is expected to settle. I still think Whitmill’s charges are pretty excessive, not only considering that the designs he based the tattoo on are traditional Native American designs and not originally his, but also because The Hangover‘s use of the tattoo seems to fall under the Parody Exception. But, since there is no official law explicitly stating that Warner Bros can use the tattoo, and several copyright laws implying that they can’t use the tattoo, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on June 16th![via The Hollywood Reporter]