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Ainsworth vs Lucasfilms Summation

Star Wars helmets are not art, says judge | Pinsent Masons LLP

Star Wars helmets are not art, says judge

OUT-LAW News, 04/08/2008

A designer did not infringe the Star Wars film franchise’s copyright when he sold replica Stormtrooper helmets because copyright law does not apply to them. The designer will face an English court hearing on US copyright law over the sales.

Andrew Ainsworth worked on the original helmets for the Star Wars films in the 1970s and now sells replica helmets based on his original moulds. Lucasfilm, the company behind George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise, sued Ainsworth in the US and the UK over the sales.

It won a copyright judgment against Ainsworth in the US and sought to enforce it through the UK courts and to conduct a separate case in the UK.
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Ainsworth vs Lucasfilms appeal Ruling

Lucasfilm cannot enforce US copyright ruling on Star Wars helmets, rules Court of Appeal | Pinsent Masons LLP

Lucasfilm cannot enforce US copyright ruling on Star Wars helmets, rules Court of Appeal

OUT-LAW News, 16/12/2009

The makers of sci-fi blockbuster Star Wars have failed in their bid to establish that they owned the copyright in the helmets of the film’s sinister stormtrooper army. In an appeal they lost a right, granted earlier, to enforce a US copyright ruling.
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Star Wars Copyright issue continues

George Lucas reaches stalemate in legal battle over Star Wars stormtroopers | Film | guardian.co.uk

Instead, he made two rulings at the high court today, one in favour of each side and agreed to allow a further hearing for both parties to apply for permission to challenge his findings.

He found the film-maker was right in his claim that Ainsworth had infringed the US copyright.

But other claims aimed at stopping replicas being sold from the prop designer’s shop in Twickenham, south west London, failed.

Ainsworth’s claim to the copyright also failed.

Basically, helmets are defined by British law as being under Industrial Copyright – which would now have expired. The judge, in supporting this, has actually agreed with Ainsworth’s argument – even though he hasn’t won yet.

George Lucas stuck in Poverty Trap

The Director, George Lucas is trying to save his ever declining financial status by chasing up old copyrights from a small film he made back in the 70’s.

Times are so hard for Lucas. Every film he has made since 1977 has seen him losing money as he has been taken advantage of by film maker after film maker, designer after designer, writer after writer.

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