Storm Trooper Copyright Lawsuit Back On In the UK

from the in-a-galaxy-far,-far-away dept

Last year we wrote about a copyright fight between George Lucas/Lucasfilm and Andrew Ainsworth, the guy who created the original costumes for the storm troopers in Star Wars. Ainsworth believes that he has every right to now sell storm trooper costumes. Lucas, and his licensing empire, feel otherwise. It got to the ridiculous level of Ainsworth claiming that Lucas actually owed him money, for all the free merchandising Ainsworth has done for the various Star Wars movies by selling his costumes. Eventually, the High Court in the UK tossed out Lucas' claims, saying that the costumes were not works of art and not covered by copyright in the UK. It did note that there may have been copyright infringement in the US, but said that Ainsworth was immune from a US court ruling on the subject since his US sales were not that big.

Apparently, Lucasfilm isn't happy about this and is appealing the ruling, claiming that the storm trooper costumes are indeed works of art, like sculptures. The whole thing, frankly, seems like a waste of time. Is it really that big of a concern to Lucasfilm if the guy who created the original costumes is selling them himself?

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  1. identicon
    John Hudgens, 4 Nov 2009 @ 9:08pm

    This guy did NOT create the Stormtrooper costumes

    Ainsworth has falsely claimed to be the creator of the stormtrooper armor. The truth of the matter is that Ralph McQuarrie came up with the design, while Nick Pemberton and Liz Moore created the original clay sculpts for Lucas, all prior to any involvement from Ainsworth, who was only hired to fabricate multiple copies for costume use in the film.

    In fact, while the original British judge ruled that Andrew Ainsworth violated U.S. copyright, but not British copyright, a most telling thing was this statement: "I do not accept Mr Ainsworth’s evidence on this point. I think that his factual case is born of a combination of loss of recollection over time, and his propensity to claim credit for greater creativity than he in fact demonstrated."

    Ainsworth may claim to be a victim, but that's hardly the case. He's recently offered up reproductions of the original stormtrooper blasters as well, again claiming to be the creator, when in fact the props were developed by armorer Bapty’s, not Ainsworth.

    The man deserves to get taken to the cleaners by Lucasfilm.

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