LeBron James testified Friday in the court case of Solid Oak Sketches and Take-Two Software.
Solid Oak Sketches filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Software for adding players’ tattoos in the NBA 2K video game franchise. According to the company, it’s nothing but a copyright infringement since it signed copyright licence agreements with the tattoo artists who designed tattoos for LeBron James and other NBA stars.
Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner confirmed that LeBron talked in favor of Take-Two Software on Friday.
“My understanding is that [my] tattoos are a part of my body and my likeness, and I have the right to have my tattoos visible when people or companies depict what I look like. I always thought that I had the right to license what I look like to other people for various merchandise, television appearances, and other types of creative works, like video games,” he said.
Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe are among the players who had their Solid Oak Sketches tattoos included in the games.
“In the 15 years since I’ve been playing professional basketball, this case is the first time that anyone has suggested to me that I can’t license my likeness without getting the permission of the tattooists who inked my tattoos. No tattooist has ever told me I needed their permission to be shown with my tattoos, even when it was clear I was a public basketball player,” LeBron added, noting that he was never told by tattoo artists that he couldn’t display his ink without permission.
The judge denied the defendant’s request to dismiss the whole case earlier in March.
According to LeBron, his tattoos are part of his “persona and identity.”
“If I am not shown with my tattoos, it wouldn’t really be a depiction of me,” he added.
Well, it’s significant case for the NBA.