WWE In Legal Trouble Over Their 2K Video Game Series

Published 09/29/2020, 8:44 AM EDT


WWE is producing its 2K Games annually since 2000. The series of wrestling simulation video games saw its latest installment 2K Battleground releasing earlier this month. However, the company is now going to trial over the games, thanks to a tattoo artist.

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According to reports, Catherine Alexander is suing WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software, 2K Games, 2K Sports, Visual Concepts, and Yuke’s for using her work in the WWE 2K game series without her consent. The Illinois based tattoo artist has been tattooing Randy Orton since 2003.

WWE laughed off Catherine Alexander’s attempts

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According to Alexander, she owns the copyright to the designs on Orton’s body that are featured in 2K’s wrestling video games. She previously reached out to the company in 2009 but her attempts for securing the rights were ridiculed. WWE offered her a $450 compensation which she declined.

“The person (at WWE) laughed at me and said I had no grounds, and they can do what they want with his images,” she testified. “He is their wrestler.”

She’s responsible for the tribal tattoo on his upper back, full sleeves, a Bible verse, a dove, skulls, and a rose and owns the copyright to them all.

However, WWE is now under fire. On Saturday, an Illinois federal judge handed her partial summary judgment in favor of Alexander. The judge said that WWE and Take-Two Interactive Software copied the artist’s work, even if it was for recreational purposes.

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Read next – WATCH: Randy Orton Destroys WWE Legends as a Disguised Janitor

Now, another jury will decide whether this could be increased to copyright infringement. Randy Orton’s claim over an “implied license” will be the clinching factor in the case.

The former world Champion said he deems the tattoos to be a part of his personal expression. He never realized he or his employers will need further permission to make them visible.

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Previously, Take-Two faced a similar copyright issue. The company previously won a case against a group of artists claiming to own the tattoo designs of LeBron James, Kenyon Martin, and Eric Bledsoe in the NBA 2K series.

Hopefully, the Jury will rule the judgment in favor of justice. What do you think about this situation? Let us know in the comments below.

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Angana Roy

1266 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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