George Lucas Loses Stormtrooper copyright fight

The man who made the original Stormtrooper helmets for Star Wars has won a legal battle to sell replicas in the UK.

Andrew Ainsworth argued that the costumes were not subject to full copyright laws because they were functional items rather than artistic works.

The ruling by judges at the UK Supreme Court upheld a 2009 Court of Appeal decision which allowed the 62-year-old to continue selling them.

“This is a massive victory, a total victory, we’ve already got the champagne out,” Ainsworth told the BBC.

The prop designer from south London, who sells the outfits for around £1,800 each, said he went to court on principle as he didn’t want to allow director George Lucas to “buy his soul”.

However, the court also ruled that Lucasfilm’s copyright had been violated in the US, where Ainsworth has already stopped selling the outfits.

Lucasfilm said it remains committed to aggressively protecting its intellectual property rights, adding that the court’s decision maintained “an anomaly of British copyright law under which the creative and highly artistic works made for use in films may not be entitled to copyright protection in the UK”.

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