Tattoo artist suing THQ over UFC Undisputed


Chris Escobedo, the owner of Elite Tattoo, has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Arizona for copyright infringement against THQ, Inc., the makers of the hit mixed martial arts (“MMA”) video games UFC Undisputed and UFC Undisputed 3. (United States District Court, Court of Arizona Case 2:12-cv-02470-JAT) Escobedo, who is represented by Maria Crimi Speth of Jaburg|Wilk in the lawsuit, tattooed a large lion on the side of Carlos Condit, the current interim welterweight champion of the UFC. The lion tattoo was Escobedo’s original creation, and it is alleged that it was then re-drawn by THQ’s animators for use in the video games. Escobedo did not authorize the copying of his original artwork.

“I would not have agreed to the recreation of the tattoo by an animator,” says Escobedo, who explains that if he had been approached by THQ to license the tattoo, at a minimum he would have insisted on approving the artwork and being fairly compensated.

“People often believe that they own the images that are tattooed on them by tattoo artists,” explains Speth. “In reality, the owner of the tattoo artwork is the creator of the work, unless there is a written assignment of the copyright in the tattoo art.” Escobedo and Condit never had a written agreement. Thus, claims Escobedo in the lawsuit, he remains the owner of the copyright over the image he drew.

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tags: Carlos Condit (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

lgi site profile image  

12/6/12 8:42 PM by lgi

Belcher's tattoo artist should join the case. Unless he's shy about his work.

Jump Kick site profile image  

12/6/12 8:39 PM by Jump Kick

Some food for thought: In all of the cases people have mentioned (magazine shoots, TV appearances etc.) it would have taken time and effort to remove the tattoo and prevent it from being seen.  In the case of the video game, time and money was spent to copy and add the image.

Tat2tillidie site profile image  

11/24/12 11:04 PM by Tat2tillidie

Lmao I'd hate to be that guy with half the UG calling :)

Rockstars site profile image  

11/22/12 9:56 AM by Rockstars

Did Carlos pay him for it?

VictorG site profile image  

11/22/12 6:04 AM by VictorG

Thisis absurd.

ToneybyArmbar site profile image  

11/22/12 4:58 AM by ToneybyArmbar

Hath anyone called the plaintiff's tattoo shop for more details?

simonpe site profile image  

11/22/12 4:29 AM by simonpe

This is America in a nutshell

HexRei site profile image  

11/22/12 1:11 AM by HexRei

^^^shoman's images are an exception, they are obviously parody.i keed, i keed :)

ranier wolfcastle site profile image  

11/21/12 12:08 AM by ranier wolfcastle

mma artists are in deep shit, they draw tattoos in portraits! mma photographers take pics of fighters, AND THIER TATTOOS! time to sue!

Tat2tillidie site profile image  

11/21/12 12:00 AM by Tat2tillidie

Bs if true ... Your paper artwork may be copyrighted but once its on the skin it no longer looks exactly like the design ... So his argument is crap ... Once Carlos signed a release form and got the tattoo it was his to deal with unless in the release form some people add that any and all photos be credited to the artist and not to be duplicated without prior consent ...