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Online creators hit with IP and copyright lawsuits
(CNN) — It’s weird when wrestling superstar Randy Orton, Netflix’s romance “Bridgerton,” TikTok, a tattoo artist, Instagram, NFTs and Andy Warhol’s portrait of Prince all show up in the same law school textbook.
For decades, so-called “copycat” lawsuits boiled down to ‘you stole my song/book/idea.’ Now, as the number of platforms to showcase artistic content have multiplied, these court cases are testing the rights of fans, creators and rivals to reinterpret other people’s intellectual property.
Three weeks ago, in a first-of-its-kind case, a jury in an Illinois federal court ruled that tattoo artist Catherine Alexander’s copyright was violated when the likeness of her client, World Wrestling Entertainment star Randy Orton, was depicted in a video game. Alexander has tattooed Orton’s arms from his shoulders to his wrists.