A recent L.A. Times article posed the question, “Whose tattoo is it anyway?” The article goes on to outline ownership issues as it relates to the copyright in a tattoo. On the one hand, the person who has the tattoo on their body should be able to have ownership of it in light of paying for it. However, the artist who actually put the tattoo on the person may also have rights under copyright law. Lawsuits have been filed in the past over this exact issue, and, in order to avoid dispute as to copyright ownership in a tattoo, there are certain things that any transaction involving a tattoo should include. There should be a written agreement that makes clear who owns the copyright. There could be assignment language or other language, potentially even work-for-hire language that makes clear that the tattoo is owned by the person under whose body it is placed. Otherwise, there is always a risk that the copyright may be claimed by the tattoo artist.