Tattoo artist Catherine Alexander finally gets her day in court after years of waiting when she filed a lawsuit against WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd., and Yuke’s L.A. Inc.
The trial has been delayed several times. However, the lawsuit will go to US court in the Southern District of Illinois on September 26. According to court documents obtained by PWinsider.com, the lawsuit will have its final preliminary hearing next Monday.
The trial was scheduled for last January but was postponed due to a spate of cases from the ommicron coronavirus pandemic in this district.
Alexander stated in the lawsuit that she performed the tattoo work on Randy Orton between 2003 and 2008. She thinks they are “easily recognized by his fans and members of the public.” WWE originally used her work for fake sleeves and was later portrayed in a video game, and she believes she should receive money from those consumer products.
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Alexander claimed she contacted WWE in 2009 and the company offered her a $450 fee for the rights to the designs. She turned down an offer from WWE. Alexander’s legal team stated that it “has not authorized WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce Plaintiff’s designs.”
The ruling in this case is an important one because the court will decide whether the defendants had the right to use the work in the game as fair use of copyright or whether Alexander has grounds for receiving money for the use of her work. If the court sided with Alexander, other tattoo artists could receive royalties for their artwork in other video games.