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 Post subject: The End of SDS?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:00 pm 
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SDS web site now gone...LFL wins 20 Million....


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:04 pm 
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Press release from this morning.

October 11, 2006 06:30 AM Central Time
Lucasfilm Ltd. Wins Major Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Star Wars Stormtrooper Pirate
U.S. District Court Awards $20 Million for Illegal Creation and Sales of Unauthorized Star Wars Products

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has awarded Lucasfilm Ltd. $20 million in damages in a copyright infringement and unfair competition case against the British firm Shepperton Design Studios and its owner, Andrew Ainsworth.

The court found that Shepperton Design Studios had been marketing unlicensed copies of Stormtrooper helmets and costumes, and TIE fighter pilot helmets from the Star Wars films, as well as making misleading claims about the authenticity and origins of these items.

The Judgment, by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, awards damages to Lucasfilm Ltd. for copyright infringement, unfair competition and trademark infringement and permanently bars Shepperton Design Studios from copying, reproducing, importing, licensing, marketing or displaying any of its unauthorized Star Wars products in the United States. Lucasfilm is also pursuing legal action against Shepperton in the U.K., where the company is based, to ensure that the judgment is enforced there.

“Lucasfilm vigorously protects its intellectual property rights in Star Wars,” said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. “Infringers like Shepperton need to understand that we will pursue them anywhere in the world to shut them down and seek restitution.”

Roffman noted that many Star Wars fans around the world produce replicas of Star Wars costumes for their own personal use and enjoyment, an activity to which Lucasfilm Ltd. has no objection. One such group, the “501st Legion” of Stormtroopers, is a global organization that has often worked with Lucasfilm and its partners. “We appreciate that Star Wars has sparked the imaginations of fans around the world,” he said. “We would never want to discourage fans from showcasing their enthusiasm for the movies. However, anyone who tries to profit from using our copyrights and trademarks without authorization crosses the line; they become an infringer and we will go after them.”


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:07 pm 
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Gone....maybe.....it certainly is down for the moment. Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:32 pm 
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I tried the cached page it also does not work....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:50 pm 
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Those helmets will go up in value if nothing else.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:55 pm 
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My thoughts exactly! :lol

Let's see.....one stunt, one hero, one armor.... Image

I'm rich! Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Hmm... so when can we expect LFL to make accurate licenced helmets and armor? Shouldn't we, the fans, demand that, instead of that crap we are always offered?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:04 pm 
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Good question, who are we to demand though? LFL is happy keeping their prized possessions locked up to increase their legend and value. We the fans get crappy versions like Rubies (Sorry to offend rubie owners) etc...

Even now for the lastest offering of MR or rubies supreme versions of ROTS :rolleyes :rolleyes , is that the best we can have?

LFL go out of the way to not give us what we want. Is that right? Would you share your pictures and detail with everyone if you had an original? I must admit on one hand I want more like everyone else. If I had an original I would love the thought of me sharing? I could not guarantee that would happen in reality. This is along the same thoughts as the Elstree boys. But hey.. doesn't Paul Allen share :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:04 pm 
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Looks like the SDS site is back up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:32 pm 
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It's down again and my new IE knows why.... :lol

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:47 pm 
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:lol


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:24 pm 
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:lol :toothy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:30 pm 
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Quote from Jhyphen:

Quote:
Let me add a few comments:

LFL has always been gracious in my experience. Several years ago I helped Gerardo Follano when he stumbled onto their radar. Although LFL flexed its mighty muscles at first, once we showed them that Gerardo respected their rights, they showed him clemency. I was very impressed by their deft touch.

In contrast, AA/SDS has displayed a willful disregard for LFL's interests, and indeed has tried to usurp them. AA/SDS forced LFL's hand IMO by not backing down after being given several opportunities to do so.

Before AA/SDS began producing helmets, their representative approached me to solicit a legal opinion to support their position. I politely declined, but as a courtesy I shared my informal, personal view that they lacked a legitimate claim to LFL's rights under US copyright . I warned them that even if they truly believed--as they said--that AA/SDS had some residual interest in the copyright under UK law, that US law was a different animal altogether, and that UK law would not protect sales to the United States. I ended our brief discussions by urging restraint and respect.

Obviously, AA/SDS disregarded my friendly advice, and in a big way....

Unfortunately, AA/SDS, mostly through a spokesman on the prop replica forums, began a very public negative marketing campaign, trashing MR and others while promoting their own wares. This sharp practice polarized people, and cost AA/SDS a lot of good will.

Although I do not enjoy seeing AA/SDS suffer such massive, life-altering consequences, I can't say they have done much to protect themselves. The bottom line is that they thumbed their nose at LFL, and miscalculated the support they would receive from the fan base.

It's important to remember (or learn) that copyright law does not require that you target every infringer. The concept of "selective enforcement" means that you can go after all, some, or none. It's completely up to the copyright holder, who can decide that one infringer is OK and that another deserves to be sued into oblivion. It doesn't have to seem fair to the world at large or make sense.

In this case, AA/SDS antagonized LFL and allegedly misled its customers about the provenance of its moulds. Also, credible allegations surfaced that AA/SDS simply recast armor pieces from other unlicensed makers for their full suit.

In a nutshell, while I have sympathy for them on a human nature, they are essentially unsympathetic defendants. They were given numerous opportunities to stand down, but they bit the hand that fed them, and now they are in this unfortunate situation.

But perhaps much, much worse, I now hear through the grapevine that LFL is preparing to go after other less obnoxious armor makers. I even heard Gerardo's name being bandied about.

I certainly hope I'm misinformed, because it would be a crying shame if LFL decided to declare war on everyone because of AA/SDS. If that comes to pass, my sympathy toward AA/SDS will harden into anger, because had AA/SDS stayed under the radar, I'm confident that none of this unpleasantness would have come to pass.

By the way, although my views here don't constitute legal advice, I am a lawyer, with particular experience dealing with LFL on several similar matters.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:00 pm 
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Well hopefully this is just to scare people. Of course LFL wants to set examples to others especially as this is fresh.

As stated AA was given many chances to give this up but wanted to fight for it. His defiance is an act of his downfall.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:33 am 
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Have fun reading: http://rpf.exoray.com/LFL_vs_SDS/


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