Athletes Don't Own Their Tattoos. That's a Problem for Video Game Developers. 刺青著作權歸誰？ 運動員身上刺青不是自己的
文/Jason M. Bailey
Athletes Don't Own Their Tattoos
When LeBron James bounds down a basketball court, he is both a transcendent athlete and a prominent palette for dozens of tattoos. His mother's name, Gloria, rests on a crown on his right shoulder and his forearms bear a portrait of his son LeBron Jr. and 330, an area code for his hometown, Akron, Ohio.
Although those tattoos have personal connections, they may not truly be his.
Any creative illustration "fixed in a tangible medium" is eligible for copyright, and, according to the U.S. Copyright Office, that includes the ink displayed on someone's skin. What many people don't realize, legal experts said, is that the copyright is inherently owned by the tattoo artist, not the person with the tattoos.
For most people, that is not a cause for concern. Lawyers generally agree that an implied license allows people to freely display their tattoos in public, including on television broadcasts or magazine covers. But when tattoos are digitally re-created on avatars in sports video games, copyright infringement can become an issue.
"Video games are an entirely new area," said Michael A. Kahn, a copyright lawyer who represented the designer of the face tattoo on boxer Mike Tyson. "There is LeBron James, but it's not LeBron James. It's a cartoon version of him."
Electronic Arts, a game developer and publisher, re-creates more than 100 tattoos in its FIFA and UFC games, including the colorful sleeve on the right arm of soccer star Lionel Messi and a heart-eating gorilla on the chest of fighter Conor McGregor. Yet only a handful of players in its Madden football games are depicted with their real-life ink.
Spokesmen for Electronic Arts did not respond to requests for comment. The company faced a copyright infringement lawsuit after the cover of the game NFL Street included an illustration of running back Ricky Williams and some of his tattoos, but the artist withdrew his claim in 2013.
Players' unions, many of which license the players' likenesses to video game publishers, and sports agents have advised athletes to secure licensing agreements before they get tattooed. Artists have an incentive to sign rather than pass up a client who could be a billboard for their work.
Gotti Flores said he has spent at least 40 hours tattooing NFL receiver Mike Evans, one of the few players with tattoos in Madden. He was surprised, he said, that he had to give permission for his work to be reproduced in the game.
"Really, it didn't even matter to me," said Flores, who signed a waiver for no compensation. "It was dope to have my tattoos on there."
Useless Knowledge Begets New Horizons 現代教育沒教的「無用知識」 能造就新視野
Useless Knowledge Begets New Horizons
In October 1939, as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were plunging the world into war, an American educational reformer named Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper's Magazine under the marvelous title, "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge."
"Now I sometimes wonder," he wrote, "whether there would be sufficient opportunity for a full life if the world were emptied of some of the useless things that give it spiritual significance; in other words, whether our conception of what is useful may not have become too narrow to be adequate to the roaming and capricious possibilities of the human spirit."
This comes right on the heels of NASA's Osiris-Rex probe entering into orbit around the asteroid Bennu, barely a month after the InSight lander touched down on Mars, and not six months since the Parker Solar Probe began its trip toward the sun.
You don't have to be a space geek to appreciate the awe and wonder involved in these missions: New Horizons' stunning close-ups of Pluto and its moons; the breathtaking ambition of Osiris-Rex to collect rocks and dust from Bennu's surface and return them to earth.
The marriage of disinterested science and technological wizardry on the farthest-flung adventures of the human race is what John Adams had in mind when he wrote that he had to "study Politicks and War that my sons may have the liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy." It is among the greatest fulfillments of the American dream.
It is not, however, among the most commonly understood ones. Typically, we think of the American dream in materialistic terms — a well-paid job; a half-acre lot; children with better opportunities than our own. Or we think of it in political terms, as an ever-expanding domain of ever-greater freedom and equality.
But prosperity, freedom, equality for what? The deep critique of the liberal society is that it refuses on principle to supply an answer: Each of us lives in pursuit of a notion of happiness that is utterly subjective, generally acquisitive and almost inevitably out of reach — what psychologists call the "hedonic treadmill."
Religious cults and authoritarian systems work differently: Purposes are given, answers supplied, questions discouraged or forbidden, and the burdens of individual choice and moral agency largely lifted. They are dictatorships of meaning.