Who owns the Imperial Stormtroopers’ clothes?

By Mark O’Neill

You have to feel sorry for the Imperial Stormtroopers.   When they’re not getting their butts kicked by the Jedi Knights, they’re getting caught in the middle of a legal battle over who owns their clothes.

Andrew Ainsworth, the British prop designer who designed and made the original stormtrooper outfits for George Lucas in 1976, is now being sued by Emperor Lucas after he started making new stormtrooper outfits from the original moulds and then selling them for 1,800 British pounds each ($3,600).

Ainsworth’s justification for doing this is that he is the original designer, he owns the original moulds and therefore, he owns the legal copyrights to the uniforms.   Because of this, he thinks he can do as he pleases.

But Lucasfilm obviously thinks differently and a US court agrees.    But since Ainsworth lives in Britain, Lucasfilm now has to hire British lawyers and take the prop designer to the High Court in London to get a British court order to uphold the US court’s decision.

Lucasfilm later told the media : “Anyone who tries to profit from using our copyrights and trademarks without authorisation … we will go after them.”

Advertisement





5 Responses to Who owns the Imperial Stormtroopers’ clothes?

  1. Us yanks in America need to invade Britain, the imperial Lucas, rightful representative of the Emperor, desires justice. Praise to Lucas Sticky-Drawers, the representitive of, true Americanism. This must be admitted to, when something from the body needs release, barriers must be planned for.

  2. Us yanks in America need to invade Britain, the imperial Lucas, rightful representative of the Emperor, desires justice. Praise to Lucas Sticky-Drawers, the representitive of, true Americanism. This must be admitted to, when something from the body needs release, barriers must be planned for.

  3. I think I would agree with Lucas and the US courts on this one. I'm no fan of suppression by copyright, but this guy's going a little far. I mean, Ainsworth had to have known that by designing the costumes for Lucas, the rights to said costumes (made from the original moulds) wouldn't be his. That said, I have no problem with people making stormtrooper costumes for personal use, enjoyment, etc. I think the main issue here is the fact that Ainsworth's were from the original moulds.

    Oh, and that is one of the most awesome pictures I've ever seen. =D

  4. I think I would agree with Lucas and the US courts on this one. I’m no fan of suppression by copyright, but this guy’s going a little far. I mean, Ainsworth had to have known that by designing the costumes for Lucas, the rights to said costumes (made from the original moulds) wouldn’t be his. That said, I have no problem with people making stormtrooper costumes for personal use, enjoyment, etc. I think the main issue here is the fact that Ainsworth’s were from the original moulds.

    Oh, and that is one of the most awesome pictures I’ve ever seen. =D

  5. Pingback: Geek News Wrap-Up - Week Ending April 12 » Great White Snark