Tattoos in the news

Tattoos and librarians go together like Dewey and Decimal.  If you don't believe it, have a look at the fundraising efforts of the tattooed youth librarians of Massachusetts or visit the tattooed librarians and archivists Tumblr.  There are even examples of aspirational fake librarian tattoos for children.

Tattoos and QR code campaigns

Tattoos have been in the (information-centric) news for two reasons this week.  Firstly, Springwise broke the story of QR codes being used in a recruitment campaign for tattoo artists in Turkey.    The QR code provided a great 'first sort' of potential candidates.  Only by filling in the QR code accurately could potential candidates unlock a link to the job application form.  This was a great, creative campaign idea which was completely applicable to the client and the sector.

Tattoos and copyright

Tattooing is now a big industry, worth $2billion a year in the US alone.  There are reality television shows based in tattoo parlours and in 2010 (according to the Pew Research Center) 40% of Americans aged 26-40 had a tattoo.Custom artwork is very important in tattoo art and clients can pay many thousands of dollars for an individual piece.  However, the growth of social media has facilitated the sharing of photographs making it easy for tattoo designs to be copied.  Are tattoos works of art which should be protected by copyright legislation?

The New York lawyer Marisa Kakoulas has worked with clients who have sued clothing companies for appropriating tattoo designs without consent.  The tattoo artist responsible for Mike Tyson's facial tattoo sued the film-makers after the former boxer appeared in the hit film The Hangover.  The judge said the tattoo artist had a 'strong' case, although both parties settled.  The current situation is uncertain and it seems likely that copyright lawyers will continue to debate the legal issues around ink and intellectual property. The excellent copyright blog 1709 has covered this topic in the past and will no doubt return to it as the debate continues.

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