U.K. Supreme Court Ruling a Huge Loss for George Lucas
“Size matters not.”
In a surprising decision, the U.K. Supreme Court has ruled to allow Andrew Ainsworth to continue manufacturing and selling stormtrooper costumes despite George Lucas’ efforts to shut him down, Blastr reported today.
The suit examined copyright issues revolving around Ainsworth’s production of the costumes. If they were sculptures, Lucas would be the rightful owner, but if not, Ainsworth would have every right to sell them. Initially dismissed by the High Court in 2009, the case had been appealed to the Supreme Court by Lucas, whose almost maniacal control over all things Star Wars has become the stuff of legend. Ainsworth designed the original helmets for the film.
The loss of the stormtrooper copyright is a big hit for Lucas and may set an overseas legal precedent that could open the floodgates for artists and designers to produce life-size, functional Star Wars replicas without fear of recourse from LucasFilm. Ainsworth compared the victory to David and Goliath, and while the decision will by no means cripple the Lucas empire, it definitely shows that his force field is not impenetrable.
Thus spake Yoda.