George Lucas loses Star Wars legal battle

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SlugBlanket, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. SlugBlanket macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2011
    Came across this BBC story today and I'm not quite sure what to feel. I'm glad the little guy won as he was the "original" maker of the stuff but it does throw up some tricky issues for the film studios and presents opportunities for the real knock-off artists (a very bad thing imo).

    Still they are very good quality if a little expensive for me
  2. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    that is good for him, but if i had money and was skinny i would totally buy a storm trooper outfit.
  3. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    After a cursory reading, I totally disagree with this ruling. This was a work-for-hire, he should not be able to profit without having to share with the other creators, such as George Lucas and Ralph McQuarrie:

    Besides, according to the BBC article, "If Lucasfilm could convince the courts the 3D works were sculptures" (as opposed to industrial props), "they would be protected by copyright for the life of the author plus 70 years. If not, the copyright protection would be reduced to 15 years from the date they were marketed, meaning it would have expired and Mr Ainsworth would be free to sell them." ... So, the artist was essentially arguing that these were not sculptures, despite this from his own website:

    "I made no sketches, no models, no engineering drawings. I sculpted the production moulds directly, ..." Andrew Ainsworth describing his approach to sculpting the Stormtrooper helmet mould in 1976. (My underlining.)

    Sorry, this doesn't smell right to me.

    Cool sculptures, though.
  4. kokako macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    that's just not right !

    never thought i'd be on the dark side but I'm with george, that's not fair.
    i can play a great dylan cover of knocking on heavens door i wonder if i can sell it on iTunes uk?

    the guy is making someone else's designs. that stinks.
  5. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2009
    But he's the guy who originally designed it.
  6. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    The fly in the ointment is that there was no contract written up. Company's in the US require their employees to sign over all intellectual discoveries they make while working for the Company. In this case, nothing in writing. It could go either way.

    I agree with the UK court decision. Stick it to the man. I would have sided with Lucas IF he hadn't screw over Star Wars with the special edition garbage. Han shot first!!!!! Yeah, yeah, get over it right?:p
  7. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Do not underestimate the power of the courts.
  8. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    I read this in the newspaper of all places this morning. George invented the storm trooper so I think he should be compensated for it especially if someone if making money off of it.
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    I confess to skimming over this thread, but it occurs to me that George came up with the character, not the working "uniform".

    I doubt that he could, given that real people have to be able to move about while wearing that "rig". That takes some ergonomic skills.

    Is George approaching the need for a Tag Day, or something? :rolleyes:
  10. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Um, yes you can record knocking on heaven's door and sell it on iTunes. If you are smart you would try to get a license first, usually 10 cents per copy sold. Most of the time if you don't get a license, you'll be paying more per copy sold. Rarely would you have to pay 100% back to Dylan and his labels. In the music world their are two protected works, the actual recording and the musical artwork. Selling your own recording means that you pay a license fee to ASACP or BMI. Usually 10 cents or 10% of sales.

    In the star wars case, this guy started selling them to pay for his child's school tuition. Lucas should have asked for a license fee, rather than sue him to stop producing the stormtrooper gear. Lucas isn't selling these outfits to anyone, so might as well let the original designer license and sell them.

    Since these were industrial props for a film production, it makes sense that they aren't classified as scuptures. They were not built with the intention of putting them in the an art gallery. If the original star wars film was unsuccessful, they'd be in some warehouse in California and the whole issue would be moot.

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