Like video games, lawsuits get sequels too. Last week, James Hayden filed his second lawsuit against 2K Games over the use of his tattoos in the NBA 2K Games.
Here is why we’re at the free throw line: Hayden is a well-known tattoo artist who has worked with a number of NBA players. That list includes LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Kyrie Irving, Collin Sexton, Daniel Gibson, Shannon Brown, Danny Green, Dion Waiters, Mo Williams, and Tristan Thompson.
2K Games produces NBA 2K, a basketball game that features all NBA teams and players. The depiction of each player is pretty realistic. Here is an example (LeBron James):
Wait what’s that on his shoulder? Oh it’s Lebron’s tattoo….ah. And therein lies the problem. Hayden alleges that 2K portraying the tattoos in their game infringes on his copyrights.
Originally, Hayden filed a complaint against 2K for NBA 2K16, 2K17, 2K18, 2K19, 2K20 and NBA 2KMobile. In that action, Hayden notably survived summary judgment attempts by 2K and is currently heading to trial. While that matter is still pending, Hayden filed this new matter (relating to 2K21).
Will this be a layup or a missed shot from half court? Stay tuned.