The UK Supreme Court today upheld a 2009 appeals court ruling that Andrew Ainsworth, the engineer who designed the Imperial Stormtrooper helmets for George Lucas’ original Star Wars, didn’t violate British law by selling copies of the helmets. Lucasfilm had already won a $20 million judgment against Ainsworth and his Sheperton Design Studios in California back in 2006, arguing successfully that Lucas already had figured out the look of the helmets before coming to Ainsworth to design them. In the UK, Lucasfilm had to prove that the helmets were works of art to qualify for copyright protection under the law. “It was the Star Wars film that was the work of art that Mr. Lucas and his companies created,” the justices wrote. “The helmet was utilitarian, in the sense that it was an element in the process of production of the film.” Said Lucasfilm in a statement that the ruling “maintains an anomaly of British copyright law under which the creative and highly artistic works made for use in films — which are protected by the copyright laws of virtually every other country in the world — may not be entitled to copyright protection in the UK.”
George Lucas Loses 'Star Wars' Copyright Case in UK That He Won In U.S.
What's Hot on Deadline
'Fifty Shades' Dominant With $277M WW; 'La La' Lands $200M+ Overseas; 'XXX' Tops In China - International Box Office
Motion Pictures Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards: 'Hacksaw Ridge,' 'Westworld' Among Winners - Full List
WGA Awards: 'Moonlight' & 'Arrival' Win Top Film Prizes; FX's 'Atlanta' & 'The Americans' Lead TV - Complete Winners List
'The Good Fight' Premiere: Showrunners On New Streaming Setup, Deleted Trump Scene, Alicia & Eli Possibly Coming Back
Latest Film News
- Kim Dotcom Loses U.S. Extradition Appeal, But Claims Victory In Copyright Ruling
- Oscars: Is ‘Moonlight’ Poised To Make History After WGA Original Screenplay Win?
- Motion Pictures Sound Editors' Golden Reel Awards: ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Westworld’ Among Winners…
- Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards: ‘La La Land’, ‘People V. O.J. Simpson’ Among Winners…
- WGA Members Outline Top Issues In Looming Contract Negotiations – WGA Awards
- WGA Awards: ‘Moonlight’ & ‘Arrival’ Win Top Film Prizes; FX’s ‘Atlanta’ & ‘The Americans’ Lead TV – Complete…