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Tattooed Quarterback Colin Kaepernick Got Copyright Waivers to Appear in Video Game

Tattooed Quarterback Colin Kaepernick Got Copyright Waivers to
Appear in Video Game

By Ira Boudway
     June 5 (Bloomberg Businessweek) -- The arm tattoos on San
Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be duplicated
on his digital avatar in the next “Madden” video game. Screen
shots from Electronic Arts game, set to be released on August 26,
show the biblical psalms and other religious references inked
into the biceps of the virtual Kaepernick.
First screenshot from Madden NFL 15 released
     — Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre) June 5, 2014
     According to ESPN, Kaepernick secured copyright waivers from
the two tattoo artists who drew on his skin to include their work
in the game. If so, that would make Kaepernick  the most
high-profile example of an NFL player heeding the advice of his
union when it comes to clearing tattoos.
     Both the NFL Players Association and EA insisted on it in
this case. “We’d love to secure the rights to the tattoos of
other players in the future,” Seann Graddy, senior producer for
“Madden 15″ told ESPN. As I wrote last fall, EA and other video
game makers have been sued in the past for re-creating tattoos in
their products without permission from the artists. So have Nike
and the makers of The Hangover Part II.
     None of these cases have made it far enough for a judge or
jury to begin to set precedents around unsettled questions about
tattoos and copyright. “All we are doing is proactively telling
players, ‘Yes, we know you love your tattoo artists, but
regardless of whether or not you trust them, regardless of
whether or not there are legal merits to the lawsuits that we’ve
seen, just protect yourself,’” George Atallah, the NFLPA’s
assistant executive director of external affairs told me in
     Apparently Kaepernick was listening.

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