Website TheLawyer.com has this week published two articles with regards to the copyright legal battle between Lucasfilm Limited and Andrew Ainsworth of Shepperton Design Studios over the sale of unlicensed replica Star Wars props and costumes.
The articles do an excellent job of summarizing the current state of the dispute and provides information about hearings that are expected this year.
The first article by Katy Dowell at TheLawyer.com – May the force by with you – can be found via the link below:
This article provides a great summary of the past legal action in both the United States and the UK.
This year, the case will be heard by the UK Supreme Court, which will rule on two issues (quoting from the article):
1) “whether a defendant domiciled in England can be sued here for his acts in the US that amount to infringement of copyright under US law; and”
2) “and whether the helmets were in fact sculptures”
The article notes that the outcome of the case will have “major implications for the UK film industry”, in that if Ainsworth prevails and the court holds that copyright protection is limited to 15 years, it could consequently serve as a deterrent for film and television studios to utilize UK-based prop makers as they could later sell unlicensed replicas of props that they design and produce under the employ of the production companies.
The second article by Katy Dowell at TheLaywer.com – Lucasfilm invokes the force of Sumption QC in Star Wars showdown – can be found via the link below:
The second article discusses the firms and attorneys representing the two parties in the pending legal proceedings.
The Supreme Court case is slated for March 2011.
Prior Original Prop Blog articles related to these developments can be found here: