Author: Kiera Boyd

About Kiera Boyd

Kiera Boyd practices in the area of communications, with a particular emphasis on copyright. Kiera graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to law school, she completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Political Science at Queen’s University. During her summers throughout school, Kiera worked as an Administrative Assistant at a large national firm, where she was part of the Intellectual Property Team.

PART II: Are Tattoos Protected by Copyright?

Men tattooing a person.

As detailed in Part I of this blog post, despite the fact that Canadian courts have not yet grappled with a case related to copyright and tattoos, the Copyright Act and foreign caselaw suggests that copyright very likely subsists in tattoos and that the rights to tattoos most likely reside with the tattoo artists who design and ink the tattoos on individuals’ skin. This copyright can create a host of legal problems for tattooed individuals, particularly public figures whose tattoos could end up on display and recreated across many different platforms. Continue reading for a discussion of some of the options available to those individuals who are concerned about the consequences of not owning their own tattooed image.

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PART I: Are Tattoos Protected by Copyright?

Men tattooing a person.

Updated October 18th, 2022

As tattoos have become increasingly common, the question of whether copyright subsists in a tattoo and what that means has come to the forefront of the copyright conversation. The deep personal connection that many people feel towards the permanent ink on their skin does not change the fact that the authorship and ownership of most tattoo designs most likely does not reside with the bearers of the tattoos, but rather with the tattoo artists. This fact creates a number of issues that can range from relatively simple problems, such as tattooists being prevented from using other tattooists’ designs on others, to complicated issues, such as large video game companies being unable to recreate accurate depictions of real tattooed celebrities who have given the companies permission to use their likenesses in games.

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Are Disney’s live action remakes extending the copyright of their animated movies?

a Tiara and glass slipper with the forest in the background.

During a time when Disney’s copyright protection over some of their most classic works is either nearing an end or has already ended in certain countries like Canada, it may seem oddly coincidental that Disney has begun to create live action remakes of many of their most iconic films.

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Image Copyright in the Age of Social Media

Social media phone

In an age where online image sharing is more prevalent than ever thanks to the abundance of different social media platforms, the question of who has a right to use what photographs or creative visuals may appear increasingly complicated, but the truth is that similar copyright principles that apply to a physical photograph or artistic image also apply to pictures shared over social media. Continue reading for a discussion of social media platforms’ rights to the images posted by their users and for an explanation of Canadian copyright in images.

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