Tattoos and copyright infringement


By: Marta Zaballos and Nora Oyarzabal

Could a tattoo infringe the copyright over a photograph? Is the reproduction of a photograph in a tattoo subject to authorization by the right holder? Would a tattoo of a copyrighted photograph qualify as fair use under US law? In our legal tradition, would that use fall under any of the limitations on copyright protection under the Intellectual Property Act (LPI)? If not, could it obtain legal protection through a broad interpretation of the so-called “three-step test”?

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