If you’ll remember, Mike Tyson’s tattoo artist, S. Victor Whitmill (a tattoo artist with an initial for a name, I wonder if he works with a monocle), sued Warner Bros over Ed Helms’ Hangover II tat at the beginning of May. A few weeks later, a judge denied the artist’s request for an injunction to stop the film from being released, but allowed the suit to go forward. Now the judge has set a trial date for February 2012, even though the DVD comes out in December. Warner Bros. may have to take out the tattoo digitally for the DVD, but only because they basically volunteered to do that to postpone the trial.
Whitmill and his lawyers at St. Louis’ Brickhouse Law Group had sought a trial in August. But Warners, in opposing that extremely expedited schedule, submitted court documents arguing that such a quick resolution wasn’t necessary because the studio plans to whitewash the offending mark from the movie after its theatrical run, thus eliminating any further alleged damages to Whitmill from his copyrighted tattoo appearing in the film.
Warner Bros. got its wish, with Judge Perry declining to set a trial date in August. But a February trial, after the planned DVD release, would require the studio to spend big to remove the tattoo from all the offending Helms scenes. From our recollection, he’s got the tattoo in pretty much every scene after the 20-minute mark or so; we don’t envy the special effects wizard charged with scrubbing the mark from each frame.
As we’ve said from the beginning, this case is probably headed for settlement way before trial. To that end, Judge Perry has scheduled a private mediation for June 16. Hopefully both sides can work out a resolution. [THR]
Jesus, did anyone else fall asleep reading that? Court sucks. Lawyers suck. How long could it possibly take to learn all the facts here? This guy made a tattoo. Warner used it in a movie. This case has a judge, right? Make a goddamned decision already. If I wanted to hear six months of “on the one hand, on the other hand” I’d watch CNN.