Florida Joker says Rockstar Games stole his likeness for Grand Theft Auto 6

Originally published at: Florida Joker says Rockstar Games stole his likeness for Grand Theft Auto 6 | Boing Boing

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While they probably were thinking of this guy to spoof, he isn’t exactly the only one when it comes to mug shots of people with colored hair and a lot of face tattoos.


:expressionless: the only resemblance beyond “facial tattoos and colored hair” is tattoos specifically around the eyes and coming from either side of the mouth. Both of which I suspect are popular with the types of people who enjoy facial tattoos. Even if the character was inspired by Florida Joker, inspiration is not image theft


If someone with the resources and connections of William Randolph Hearst couldn’t get anywhere with that argument against Citizen Kane then I doubt Mr. Sullivan is going to have any better luck against Rockstar Games.


This lawsuit will go nowhere; it’s clearly a matter of inspiration, not impersonation. I’d just like to say how much I like the “IMPENTINENT” tattoo on the character’s forehead. No Ragrets, indeed.


“GTA, we got to talk”

They don’t.

“if not, you got to give me like a mil or two,”

They really don’t.

It’s amazing how little a case he has. I mean, sure, that bit in the trailer is clearly a reference to that (criminal) event he was involved with, but not him, specifically, as a person. (Also, does Florida have laws about not profiting off a crime?) It doesn’t look like him. (Other people have colored hair and facial tattoos.) Those aren’t his tattoos - if they were, the copyright on his tattoos would be held by the tattoo artist, not him. (This has caused problems in the past for celebrity likenesses in sports games, where tattoos were faithfully recreated - and resulted in having to pay fees to the tattoo artists.) We don’t actually know that this character is even in the game itself - there are a bunch of references to viral videos/news stories about Florida craziness in there that clearly aren’t going to make it into the game. (Is “lady who twerked on top of a car” going to demand her cut, too?) Plus, issues of parody, having the right to refer to real events in fiction, etc.

On top of which, the idiot calls himself “Florida Joker,” thereby admitting that he’s imitating a trademarked character. He can hardly claim to the original in all this, that it’s “his likeness,” and if an infringement was made, it could be argued that it would be DC that should get the money…


Would it be poor taste for Rockstar’s counsel to just send him a piece of their letterhead with “Why so serious?” and a smiley face scrawled on it?


I’d like to think the kid’s got moxie…but I haven’t had lunch yet, so maybe I’m spread a little thin.

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And even impersonation would likely be legal if presented as satire. Otherwise Saturday Night Live would have been sued into oblivion about half a century ago.


Could also have gone with “POOR IMPULSE CONTROL”


I think there’s also the principles that people aren’t allowed to capitalize off of illegal activities, and that " public figures" are open game for parody? If he doesn’t want to be a public figure, he shouldn’t perform the newsworthy activity of pointing guns at people. If he was pointing a gun at people, that’s clearly an illegal activity, and if he wasn’t, then he’s not the criminal referenced.


Chicken or egg.

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Or perhaps:


i like turtles GIF


I doubt it’ll ever see a court, but I can imagine the wall of faces that Rockstar would wheel in, all pre-dating Derivative Man.


Well, I think this “gentleman” has already found rock bottom when it comes to “taste”, so they can only go up from there.


Yeah, there’s multiple, overlapping, sets of binary disqualifiers here (either the situation is X or Y, where if it’s “X” he gets no money, and if it’s “Y” he also gets no money). I wondered above if Florida has a law about profiting off a previous crime (a so-called “son of sam law”), and looking it up, they do, but his crimes might not have been serious enough to trigger it. But even so, the fact that he’s fundamentally trying to profit off his own crime and arrest… I can’t imagine it would help his case or win the sympathies of anyone he needs in a legal fight (i.e. the jury, the judge… anyone he’s trying to get to represent him…).

There’s no “perhaps” about it, given that he literally calls himself the “Florida Joker” and 90% of his tattoos are explicitly referencing that (plus his hair).

But on the “Florida man with facial tattoos viral mugshot” front, he’s not remotely alone, either. There’s at least a couple of guys with “Joker” face tats, another guy famous for a series of mugshots in which his facial tattoos multiply until they completely cover his face… yeah, this guy isn’t remotely original.

Just googling “Florida facial tattoo mugshots” brings up an awful lot of material all on its own…


I would call the guy out for being an idiot to think the GTA character was his own likeness, but I think he already showed his idiocy long ago.

“Y’all took my life.”

Like anyone wants his life? No thanks!

Only if he looked like a mutant eskimo.