Exhibit B

Lucas Sues Creator
of Star Wars Helmets

George Lucas is taking to the U.K. Supreme Court his fight to preserve the rights to the famous stormtrooper helmets, used in the “Star Wars” movie saga. He’s suing British artist Andrew Ainsworth, who created and manufactured the original helmets used in the first films of the series, and who a few years ago, started to make and sell them again for party goers and collectors.
Lucas, who had already successfully sued Ainsworth for the same rights in the U.S., wants to protect one of the sources of his company’s estimated seven billion dollars sales from Star Wars merchandise, an amount that rivals that of the movies themselves. Backing his claim, there’s a string of celebrity filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Jon Landau and Peter Jackson.
A lower court in England had failed to support his claim that the helmets, known in the movies as “m’lud” (if you don’t know…) were an integral part of an artistic endeavor and, therefore, should be protected as a signed work of art, and not mere props of a film production. He claims that, by making and selling the helmets, Ainsworth broke a copyright agreement reached in the 1970s.
It’s very likely that the Hollywood film mogul will win the case. After all, Tinsel Town is known for regarding both artistic creation as well as its ability to be commercialized for years on end in equal measures. But it’s also likely that the issue will undermine and force a redefinition of what it’s an artifact and who should own the profits of its merchandising. Millions of dollars ride on such a clarification.
The advent of the Internet and its apparent “democratization” of the artistic creation has been at the center of the discussion of what the creator owns and has the right over, and what should be public domain and accessible to everyone. Although it may seem obvious that whoever creates something out of nothing should be rewarded accordingly, the time when copyrights were sacred and the ownership of a work of art was unarguable seems now, well, long ago and faraway.

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