Some three years ago, in a court room far, far away (California, actually), George Lucas successfully sued Brit Andrew Ainsworth for $20 million copyright infringement. Ainsworth had been making and selling replicas of the iconic Storm Trooper helmet and armor from Star Wars, which at least sounds pretty illegal, but what holds true in this country isn't necessarily so in another.

The British court system would not enforce the ruling, thus prompting Lucas (via Lucasfilm) to appeal the British decision. On December 14, Lord Justices Rix, Jacob and Patten agreed to dismiss the appeal, citing that the helmets and armor were, according to The Times UK, "'utilitarian' rather than artistic purpose, so 'neither the armour nor the helmet are sculpture'." The ruling also stated that Lucasfilm could not exercise its US copyright in the UK. At least they made it clear that Ainsworth did not actually own copyrights to the helmet or armor (well duh...).

I can't pretend to understand the finer points of US copyright law, let alone those laws as they translate to the UK, but doesn't something about this just seem fundamentally...wrong? Would the ruling have been any different had Ainsworth been making Darth Vader helmets or Boba Fett suits?

(via The Times UKand The Hollywood Reporter's THR, Esq. blog)
categories Movies, Sci-Fi