Insight Into Jury's Decision In Randy Orton Tattoo Trial

The lawsuit against WWE and the developers and publishers of the WWE 2K video game series over their use of Randy Orton's real-life tattoos has come to a close. While a jury did rule in favor of tattoo artist Catherine Alexander this past Friday, the victory is not as clear-cut as it may seem on the surface.

According to documents obtained by PWInsider, Alexander received just $3,750 as damages for the use of tattoos. After spending years on this trial, that is likely considerably less than Alexander was hoping for. Additionally, when posed the question of how much of an effect Orton's tattoos had on the sales of the game, the jury determined that it was none whatsoever, preventing Alexander from receiving any cut of the series' profits.

The outcome of the case muddies the waters when it comes to the rights of tattoo artists when their work is represented in products such as video games or movies. In the past, judges have often ruled against the artists, determining that the use of the tattoos did not infringe upon the artists' copyrights. Now, a new precedent has been put in place by this jury, though the monetary gain leaves much to be desired. It remains to be seen what kind of effect this will have on future WWE titles and sports games such as the NBA 2K series or the NFL's Madden series, where players are usually realistically recreated for the game, tattoos and all.

Last week, Orton himself testified for over three hours regarding the case, though it is worth noting that he was not an actual defendant despite being the subject of much of the conversation.