Who Owns the Copyright to Your Tattoo?

Under U.K. law, if designed solely by the tattoo artist, then it’s the artist who owns the copyright.

Here’s an interesting take by Catherine Jasserand, PhD researcher at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands:

“An idea in itself is not protectable. If the client gives very vague instructions, then it is doubtful that he or she could be considered as a joint author. However, if client is contributing to the tattoo and decides on important elements such as the composition, shape and so on, I believe it could be argued that the client and tattoo artist could share authorship. In the end, what is important is to question the level of freedom that the tattoo artist has in the execution of the ‘design’ and which level of creativity is she using.”

Under current U.S. law, I think the outcome would be the same.

Via Needles and Sins.

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