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Tattoo artist suing EA over replication of NFL player's tattoos in 2004 game

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Tattoo artist Stephen Allen is suing his client, NFL running back Ricky Williams, as well as publisher Electronic Arts for replication of tattoos he created on Williams' arms in sports title NFL Street, reports Patent Arcade.

NFL Street was released in 2004 for PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. Allen claims that one of these tattoos was drawn on Williams in 2003, and he only became aware of its use in NFL Street in 2010. The artwork is also featured on the game's cover, which shows Williams' running while holding a football.

The complaint was filed on Dec. 31 in Louisiana Federal Court. Allen, who owns a parlor called Crybabies Tattoo in Shreveport, is pursuing the case on claims that use of his tattoo work is copyright infringement.

In a similar case last November, tattoo artist Chris Escobedo filed a complaint against THQ for replicating tattoos on the body of welterweight fighter Carlos Condit that he had drawn. Escobedo said that THQ's animators did not seek his permission to recreate the tattoo, and he "would not have agreed to the recreation of the tattoo" if they had.