As noted, Illinois tattoo artist Catherine Alexander recently filed a lawsuit against WWE and 2K Games over the use of Randy Orton’s tattoos in the WWE 2K video game series. Alexander, who has done Orton’s ink since 2003, claims she owns the copyrights to the designs. She has accused WWE and 2K of copyright infringement because Orton’s tats are depicted to a tee in the games. TMZ Sports noted that Alexander claims she brought the issue up with WWE in 2009 and was offered just $450 for the rights to use the designs, which she declined.
The suit was filed on April 17th in the United States District Court of Southern District of Illinois and also names 2K Sports, Take-Two Interactive Software, Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co. and Yuke’s LA as defendants. PWInsider adds that Alexander has requested a jury trial and is asking the court to rule that the tattoos are her copyrighted works, and that the defendants infringed against her. She is also asking the court to rule that she is owed damages but there’s no word yet on how much she’s seeking. None of the defendants have responded to the lawsuit as of this week.
Alexander’s suit claims that all of her tattoos on Orton are her original designs and that she never gave the defendants permission to recreate them in WWE video games. Alexander says she did the work on Orton between 2003 and 2008, and that the tattoos are “easily recognized by his fans and members of the public.”
Alexander submitted applications to register copyrights on each tattoo on March 15th of this year.
The suit also says Orton does not have ownership of the copyrights and has no authority to, and did not grant permission to, the defendants. It should be noted that Orton is not listed as a defendant.