Warner Bros. responds to Mike Tyson's tattoo artist's copyright claim on 'The Hangover Part II'

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Warner Bros. has responded to a lawsuit filed last month by Mike Tyson's tattoo artist, saying the injunction he is seeking to keep The Hangover Part II from being released until Ed Helms' face tat is removed from the film is a little on the hard-to-swallow side. What, just because the movie comes out on Thursday?

S. Victor Whitmill, the inker who gave Tyson his Maori-style face paint back in 2003, claims in a suit filed April 28 in St. Louis that ""Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. — without attempting to contact Mr. Whitmill, obtain his permission, or credit his creation — has copied Mr. Whitmill's Original Tattoo and placed it on the face of another actor ... This unauthorized exploitation of the Original Tattoo constitutes copyright infringement."

Warner Bros. responded with a brief to Judge Catherine D. Perry that the studio would face serious economic hardship if the movie had to be delayed, noting that they think Whitmill has asserted a "radical claim that he is entitled, under the Copyright Act, to control the use of a tattoo that he created on the face of another human being," the New York Times reports. Convenient that the waited almost a month before responding, even though the hearing is slated for this week.

But forget all that; The scarier thing is that Entertainment Weekly says Tyson shot his scenes for the sequel without being told Helms was aping his face art. But Helms says it was all good on the set.

"I was actually worried he’d be mad at me and the switch would flip, but he was so cool about it," Helms said. "He is misunderstood. He’s like the nicest man. He couldn’t be cooler so it was a little anti-climactic." Yeah, it would been much better if Tyson blasted Ed's teeth out on camera and they put that in the movie.

[Photo: AP]

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[Last modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 2:37pm]

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