George Lucas loses Star Wars copyright battle in U.K.
Reuters reports Britain’s high court decided today that George Lucas did not have a case for copyright infringement against Star Wars prop designer Andrew Ainsworth… at least in the U.K.
Ainsworth, 62, kept the original molds and tools from when he fabricated many of the Stormtrooper helmets for the 1977 film and has been making replicas for fans for several decades. The court ruled that, in Britain, replicas are not covered by copyright law because they are not works of art. In an odd twist, the court did declare that Lucas’s copyright was violated in the U.S. — LucasFilm has already successfully sued Ainsworth for $20 million in the U.S.
Ainsworth, who does not sell to the States, was untroubled. In a statement, he said, “I am proud to report that in the English legal system David can prevail against Goliath if his cause is right. If there is a force, then it has been with me these past five years.”
LucasFilm issued a statement that it would continue “to aggressively [protect] its intellectual property rights relating to Star Wars in the UK and around the globe through any and all means available to it, including copyright, trademark, design patents and other protections afforded by law.”