Aaron Perzanowski, Wayne State University Law School; Notre Dame Law School, has published Intellectual Property Norms in the Tattoo Industry. Here is the abstract.
This article reports the results of the first qualitative study of the norms surrounding creative production, ownership, and copying in the multi-billion dollar U.S. tattoo industry. Despite the availability of copyright protection, the tattoo industry has largely ignored formal law in resolving disputes over copying and use of original works. Instead, it relies on a complex set of social norms enforced through informal mechanisms. Those norms are a product of both cultural and economic factors that offer broader lessons for intellectual property law and policy.Download the paper from SSRN at the link.