Somewhere on Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas is sitting on his Palpatine-esque throne plotting his next move: he just lost a long-running U.K. copyright battle with the original prop designer of the Stormtrooper helmets featured in the first movie. As BBC News reported, Andrew Ainsworth has spent over £700,000 fighting Lucas over his right to make what's been deemed by the England's Supreme Court as functional helmets. And his recent incremental victory over the Star Wars creator appears to have hinged on that fact, writes Reuters, which also notes different terrain stateside:
The Supreme Court ruled that the replicas were not covered by copyright law because they were not works of art, the Press Association reported. But the court also ruled that the director's copyright had been violated in the United States.
Lucasfilm criticized the "anomaly" that allowed the designer to escape copyright law in a statement via the AFP:
"The decision unfortunately also maintains an anomaly of British copyright law under which the creative and highly artistic works made for use in films... may not be entitled to copyright protection in the UK," it said.
And naturally, Ainsworth added this cheeky reference: "If there is a Force, then it has been with me these past five years."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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