Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Screenwriter and bestselling author of 'The Honourable Thief', 'The Water Diviner', and 'The Pacific: In the Footsteps of Captain Cook.'

True story. Here’s something I heard from colleague working on what will be an extremely high-profile local TV production. One of the actors involved is rather extensively covered in tattoos.

No biggie, right?


The production has to seek permission from each and every one of the skin artists who has worked on the actor’s body before filming and broadcasting any of the tattoos. Seriously. And this is a production where there will be a bit of flesh bared, so there’s no avoiding them.

Now, having come from the art world before entering the film and tv industry, I know all about the ins and outs of seeking permission from artists and their estates when a work of art appears on tv or in film. And what this ruling is acknowledging is that tattoo artists are exactly that – artists.

But I wonder whether the hipster baristas covered in tatts, not to mention the ill-advised recipients of end-of-season booze-induced footy trip tatts on Kuta Beach, realise the long-term implications of what they’re doing.

That queen of hearts or yin and yang symbol means the tattoo artist can assert moral rights and copyright claim over that piece of your flesh. Which strikes me as bloody hilarious.

What do you think?

About time?

Or, a world gone mad?

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