Who owns the Copyright in My Tattoos???
Article Writer: Kingsley Ugochukwu Ani Esq.
You walk into a tattoo parlor and request for a tattoo. It’s done, then you start posting images of it online. Now, a question occurs to you: the copyright in this tattoo belongs to me, no?
You guessed right. The answer is no.
The Copyright Act made specific provisions, vesting copyright in literary, artistic works in the original creator of the work. And unless that copyright is assigned to another in writing, the position remains.
So, you submitted yourself to be tattooed, but that tattoo belongs to the tattooist, not you. Why? He’s the one that expended care, expertise, and time and effort creating it. He owns the copyright in his artistic work. And the Law provides for same and protects it.
So, when you want to have your best friend Copy the same design for another tattooist to work with without first seeking the permission of the original tattooist, don’t forget you’re infringing on another person’s copyright. The Law may not specifically provide for tattoos, but they doesn’t mean it’s not an artistic work. It is, and it’s protected.
This article does not constitute legal advise, neither does it create any attorney-client privileges between the author and the reader. Technical expertise should be sought for your specific circumstances.
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Kingsley Ugochukwu Ani Esq writes from Nigeria and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org