LeBron James NBA 2K Tattoo Lawsuit Receives New Judgment

A judge has made a ruling in the lawsuit involving Take-Two Interactive and Solid Oak Sketches. LeBron James is one of the most iconic basketball players of all-time and he is immediately recognizable thanks to his distinct look and countless tattoos. If you've noticed, his tattoos have been missing from the NBA 2K video games for…


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A judge has made a ruling in the lawsuit involving Take-Two Interactive and Solid Oak Sketches.

LeBron James is one of the most iconic basketball players of all-time and he is immediately recognizable thanks to his distinct look and countless tattoos. If you’ve noticed, his tattoos have been missing from the NBA 2K video games for quite a while now due to the fact that in 2016, Solid Oak Sketches, the designers of some of his ink, filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive stating that including the tattoos would be infringing on their copyright.

Now, a judge has issued a judgment on this matter and has sided with Take-Two Interactive, meaning LeBron’s tattoos are now fair game. The judge explained that the tattoos are fair use now because they are a part of James’ likeness. The judge also noted that the tattoos take up a very small percentage of the game’s subject matter and are barely visible to gamers, anyway.

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

“The tattoos only appear on the players upon whom they are inked, which is just three out of over 400 available players,” Judge Laura Swain explained. “The undisputed factual record shows that average gameplay is unlikely to include the players with the Tattoos and that, even when such players are included, the display of the tattoos is small and indistinct, appearing as rapidly moving visual features of rapidly moving figures in groups of player figures. Furthermore, the tattoos are not featured on any of the game’s marketing materials.”



Moving forward, the NBA 2K games will have a nice touch of added realism when it comes to LeBron.

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