Questions About Copyright On Stormtrooper Costume Hit UK Supreme Court
from the i-find-your-lack-of-copyright-disturbing dept
Over the past few years, we’ve covered the ongoing legal battle between Andrew Ainsworth — the prop designer who created the original Stormtrooper costumes for Star Wars — and George Lucas. Ainsworth had been selling Stormtrooper costumes, and Lucas claimed it was a copyright violation. In 2008, a UK court tossed out a ruling against Ainsworth, pointing out that movie props are utilitarian, rather than works of art, and thus not covered by copyright in the UK. Of course, Ainsworth is being a bit silly too. At one point he countersued Lucas, saying that Lucas owed him money for all the merchandising he had done involving the Stormtrooper outfits.
Either way, the case is finally going to the UK Supreme Court. Apparently, Lucas is claiming that there was an implied term in the agreement between Lucas and Ainsworth that Ainsworth wouldn’t be able to have any rights to sell the works he created. So the question really may come down to whether or not the court really believes in such “implied” terms, or whether it prefers contractual terms to actually be explicit before people can agree to them.