For centuries tattoos have served numerous purposes, from status symbols to warding off evil spirits, for punishment and for their perceived healing powers. Cutting across the continents, there have been stunning examples of body art found among ancient civilizations in Egypt, Asia and beyond. The most startling discovery in the history of tattooing was found on Ötzi the Iceman . . . a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived over 5,000 years ago, and who was found to have more than 50 tattoos.
Until very recently, modern day perceptions in America about tattoos were pinned to bikers, gangsters, and servicemen. In the last two decades, that has changed. With reality TV, celebrity and sports star tattoos, and tattoo publications, tattoo art has become mainstream. Tattoos have also gained attention as an art form, with tattooists now insisting that they are “artists”. It is this art form that fascinated Matthew Beasley during his 2nd year of law school.
Searching for a topic for his Law Review Article, he took his interest in copyright law and explored the world of tattoo artists armed with one question, “do the artists think tattoos are worthy of protection under US copyright law?” His journey included interviewing dozens of tattoo artists in Southern California exploring the blending worlds of law and tattoos. The most intriguing tattoo Matthew saw in his travels was adorn on two backs of a couple, that when standing together created a combined landscape of a sunset.
Mr. Beasley’s practice focuses on litigation. As an experienced litigator, he has successfully handled all stages of litigation from initial pleadings through discovery, law and motion, expert depositions and trial preparation. Specifically, he has represented entertainment studios, commercial property owners, private security providers and other growing companies handling matters involving allegations of:
- copyright infringement,
- breach of contract,
- commercial property disputes, and
- Defended a high profile burglar alarm company in a putative class action lawsuit involving claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. Achieved dismissals of all claims in exchange for a waiver of costs.
- Successfully obtained $10 million monetary judgment as well as a permanent injunction on behalf of Riot Games Inc. against the makers of cheating software designed for Riot’s League of Legends video game.
- Represented global private security company in a unique commercial unlawful detainer matter. Matter was settled on the second day of trial and a favorable result was achieved for the client that allowed them time to relocate.
- On behalf of Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment, and James Cameron, obtained summary judgment in copyright infringement and breach of contract suit brought by plaintiff claiming that the motion picture Avatar was based on his screenplay.
- Represented plaintiff property owner in state law environmental claims regarding downgradient pollution allegedly caused by the defendant, a major petroleum explorer and marketer.
Other Career Experience
- Judicial Extern, Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Who Owns Your Skin: Intellectual Property Law and Norms Among Tattoo Artists85 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1137, 2012
Notable Published Decisions
- U.S. District Court
- Central District of California
- Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- Ninth Circuit
University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D.; Order of the Coif
Southern California Law Review
University of California, Berkeley, B.A.; High Honors
- Fluent in Spanish