Copyright in unconventional art work

Solving copyright related issues is oftentimes challenging already when dealing with the so-called traditional works, such as paintings, written works or musical works. Hence, determining copyright can be even harder in the case of unconventional works, where the work is placed on somebody else’s buidling (e.g. grafitti) or even somebody else’s skin, as is the case with tattoos.

Who owns the copyright on a tattoo that was put into a client’s skin by the tattoo artist? What if the tattoo artist copied the tattoo off of a preexisting work? Is it possible, in the cases of copyright infringement, to demand and achieve the removal of someone else’s tattoo? Timotej Kotnik Jesih addressed these and other questions in his article titled “Unconventional artwork and copyright – is my tattoo really mine?”, published in Pravna praksa magazine on 18 June 2020 (pp. 24-26).

You can read the whole article (in Slovene) here.