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Tyson Tattoo: Why The Hangover II is getting sued by Mike Tyson's tattoo artist

Tyson tattoo artist sues The Hangover II for copyright infringement on his Mike Tyson tattoo. Does the tattoo artist have a case?

Mike Tyson, a cast member in "The Hangover Part II," poses alongside a poster for the film at the premier May 19 in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello/AP

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After another wild night of debauchery in the Hangover II, actor Ed Helms as Stu Price wakes up with a not-so-subtle souvenir from the night before.

Tattooed on his face is the same Maori tribal swirls sported by Mike Tyson, who makes a cameo in both movies. Stu Price isn’t the only one upset by his new facial ink.

Tyson’s tattoo artist, S. Victor Whitmill, has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. to stop the movie’s release and gain compensation for copyright infringement. Whitmill may have a case against the studio, although Chief Judge Catherine D. Perry Tuesday denied the request for a preliminary injunction stopping the movie's release. The movie will debut Thursday, but the case will continue.

The complaint filed in the Federal District Court of Missouri includes the tattoo release form (click here to download a copy) that Tyson signed in 2003 stating that "all artwork, sketches and drawings related to my tattoo and any photographs of my tattoo are property of Paradox-Studio of Dermagraphics." Also included in the case legal filings is a copy of Whitmills copyright registration that went into effect April 19, 2011.


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