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Freedom of speech

University of Michigan Law School

2013

Courts

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Getting Down To (Tattoo) Business: Copyright Norms And Speech Protections For Tattooing, Alexa L. Nickow Dec 2013

Getting Down To (Tattoo) Business: Copyright Norms And Speech Protections For Tattooing, Alexa L. Nickow

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

What level of First Amendment protection should we afford tattooing? General public consensus formerly condemned tattoos as barbaric, but the increasingly diverse clientele of tattoo shops suggests that tattoos have become more mainstream. However, the law has struggled to adjust. The recent proliferation of municipal near-bans on tattooing has brought tattooing to the forefront of First Amendment debates, with cases such as Anderson and Coleman leading the way toward recognizing tattooing as pure speech. Tensions between formal and informal copyright norms in the tattoo industry further highlight the collaborative and expressive nature of the artist-customer relationship and its resulting products, …