Mike Tyson’s tattoo artist tries to stop The Hangover 2 with a lawsuit

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A lawsuit being filed by the tattoo artist who designed Mike Tyson's face tattoo will not stop the premiere of The Hangover 2, in which Ed Helms sports the semi-iconic design.

Tattooist Victor Whitmill claims that Warner Bros. "misappropriated" the tattoo that he copyrighted and etched on Tyson's face in 2003. A judge has ruled that the movie will premiere as planned, though the suit for damages will move forward. 

Whitmill's original suit demanded that Warner Bros. remove the tattoo from marketing materials and the film itself, which, frankly, seems a little ridiculous. Although it's pretty obvious that Stu, the character played by Ed Helms is sporting Tyson's exact face ink, the design in question is a fairly generic tribal design — one that hardly seems worth litigating over (and yes, I realize that it's supposed to be a Maori design, though it's astoundingly indistinguishable from every other tribal tattoo out there and may not even really be a Maori design).

However, as Wired notes, this is not the first time a tattoo artist has sued over their work being presented without their consent or control, which seems a little odd, given that, you know, they place their art on another person's skin. One would think that they would realize (unless there's money at stake!) just how difficult it is to control that kind of exposure.