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George Lucas loses fight to stop someone else from profiting from Star Wars for once

In the rare story that ends with George Lucas not getting money, George Lucas has lost a copyright case before the British Supreme Court in which he sought to stop his former Star Wars prop designer Andrew Ainsworth, who came up with the original iconic Stormtrooper helmets, from selling replicas of his most famous work online. Lucas had successfully blocked Ainsworth from doing business in the U.S., arguing that profiting from a decades-old George Lucas creation should be the sole province of George Lucas. However, while the British court recognized that selling the helmets in America would be a copyright violation, according to the judgment there, it ultimately decided that ruling shouldn’t also apply in the U.K., as the props were considered functional, rather than artistic works. In Ainsworth’s words, “Art is like a Rodin sculpture, film production is an industry and that's what these products are. They were always industrial designs.” Granted, that’s specious reasoning—and an official, let-the-hate-flow-through-you statement from Lucasfilm argues that the decision represents “an anomaly in British copyright law” that wouldn’t fly anywhere else in the world—but at the same time, let the man have his little $2,500 helmets, jeez. As a small token of consolation, you can have everything else, forever.


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