Last week, we posted an interview our own Aaron Moss gave to entertainment lawyer/punk bassist/radio host extraordinaire Joe Escalante’s Barely Legal Radio program, about Newegg.com’s recent battle with Best Buy over the Internet retailer’s latest television advertisements. In our post, we made reference to an interview our Rachel Valadez previously gave about the Mike Tyson/Hangover 2face tattoo lawsuit filed early last month. But then we realized: we never actually provided you with the interview…how rude of us!
Plenty has happened in the case since Rachel’s post and interview first went live. In late May, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine D. Perry refused tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill’s request to block the release of The Hangover 2 and its associated advertising — but, in a decision that surprised many legal observers, Judge Perry based her ruling on the harm that an injunction would have caused, and held that Whitmill had shown a “strong likelihood of success” on the merits of the case. Although it had averted the disaster scenario of a release-blocking injunction, Warners was skittish enough about the case to announce, roughly two weeks later, that it would be digitally scrubbing Ed Helms’ Tyson-inspired tattoo from the DVD release of the film. Finally, last week, the parties announced a settlement that would allow the tattoo to remain in place in all future versions and releases of the picture.
Even though the case is now settled, though, Rachel’s interview provides some interesting insights about the quirks of copyright law, the realities of high-stakes litigation, and the craziness that results when parties start arguing over ownership of the content of a person’s skin. We invite you to check it out: