Believe it or not, Mr. Ripley. Anyway… Reuters reports:
In what a Lucasfilm spokesman told the BBC is an “anomaly of British copyright law,” prop designer Andrew Ainsworth won the rights to sell replicas of the original “Star Wars” Stormtrooper helmets, which he designed.
The 62-year-old London-based designer triumphed in a local court on grounds that the costumes were “functional, not artistic works, and so not subject to full copyright laws,” according to the BBC report.
The only way Ainsworth won his case has to do with that he sells the replicas only in the UK, not the US. (Although he used to at one time) Over a period of eight years, Ainsworth has sold $2,500 + (estimate) for each helmet; the lawsuit from Lucasfilm was for 20 Mil.
The court rulings are that the helmets are “not artistic sculptures, so a 15 year copyright law had expired.”
Now, some folks like the notion that this is a “David vs. Goliath’ situation, how folks who are really darned lucky can stick it to “the man” and whatnot. Yes, I consider that Mr. Ainsworth is, right now, the bona fide luckiest SOB on this Earth or at least one side of the Death Star.
The lawyers were paid up, that’s for sure.
Chime in, Int’l friends.