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23 Tul. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 35 (2021)
The Tattoo That Sings: Soundwave Technology and Copyright Law

handle is hein.journals/tuljtip23 and id is 43 raw text is: The Tattoo That Sings: Soundwave Technology
and Copyright Law
Kathleen Wills*
The tattoo industry yielded 83 million dollars in the United States in 2019, and this revenue
is projected to increase to 110 million dollars by 2024. With a booming industry comes a new trend,
one that implicates intellectual property law: Soundwave Tattoos, the tattoos that sing. Skin Motion,
the company that converts a user-uploaded audio file into a design, charges users for access to a
phone application that scans the tattoo to play it aloud. But clients are using commercial songs,
downloading afamous song to play itfrom their bodies, forever This trend matters because emerging
technologies and applications continue to implicate copyright law through unauthorized uses of
another's work. This Article discusses the intersection of law, technology, and the tattoo industry,
and how this intersection impacts the legal liability of the tattoo client, artist, and company.
I.    IN TRO  D UCTION    ....................................................................................36
II. SOUNDWAVE TATTOO TECHNOLOGY .................................................37
III. PROTECTING MUSIC UNDER COPYRIGHT LAW ...................................40
A. The Implicated Rights of a Copyright Owner by
Soundwave Tattoos.............................................................40
1. Reproduction Right ...........................................................41
2.    Public Performance Right.................................................42
3. Public Display Right .........................................................44
4. Adaptation Right ...............................................................45
B .   Infringem    ent .................................................................... 46
1.    Direct Infringement...........................................................46
2. Secondary Liability ...........................................................48
C. Audio Transmission Types Affect Skin Motion's
Liability............................................................................... 50
1. Digital and Download Transmissions ..............................50
2. Peer to Peer Sharing of Music Files .................................52
3.    C loud   L ocker.....................................................................53
D.     Other Legal Considerations ........................................... 57
IV. CONCLUSION .......................................................................................58
*     © 2021 Kathleen Wills, J.D., Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.
The author would like to thank Professors Sean O'Connor and J. Devlin Hartline for their guidance
and feedback on this Article. This article was written as a hypothetical analysis based on the
publicly available facts and law at the time. The material and information contained within this
Article are for general information purposes only.
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