Star Wars and Copyright Wars

Posted by on Sunday May 1 2011

Andrew Ainsworth, the industrial designer who designed and made the original stormtrooper helmets for “Star Wars” — and is selling copies (apparently from the original molds) for rather amazing sums — is being charged with copyright infringement by George Lucas. The case has now reached the Supreme Court in the UK.

This should be an interesting case for those of us who deal with those never-answered questions about copyright in designed objects. Lucas won his $20 million infringement suit against Ainsworth in the US in 2004. But the UK courts have held that the helmets are not works of art, and therefore not protected by copyright in the UK.

More from The Guardian here.

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