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
    RD, 4 Nov 2009 @ 10:55am

    Another one

    Another good example of copyright and trademark laws being used to PREVENT the spread of culture, instead of encouraging it. To wit:

    - Lucas has NO DESIRE to EVER make stormtrooper outfits for people to buy
    - There is a pretty good demand for such items
    - Someone steps in to fill the demand in the marketplace
    - Someone is sued to prevent them from filling an obvious demand
    - Lucas, if he wins, then gets to lock out anyone else from making these but his company. Since he WONT make them, it means NO ONE makes them, QED.

    So, if this all comes to pass, the consumer loses, this guy loses, Lucas gets to be a bully and then NOT fill a demand that the consumer has HANDED to him. Copyright and Trademark abuse FTW! Just as the founders intended.

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