Lucas owns copyright on a non existant fictional product and claims that against a real life product.
So when we get around to warp drives, time travel and sharks with fikkin laser beams, the copyright owners will go after them?
Lucasfilm has issued a cease-and-desist against Wicked Lasers - the manufacturer of the Spyder III Pro Arctic which has created quite a stir among wannabe Jedi worldwide. The Star Wars firm is less than impressed with the "most dangerous laser ever created", and late last month informed Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers: "It is …
Lucas is complaining about the physical enclosure of the device being close to or a copy of a light sabre. Yes, light sabres are a fictional weapon but it is perfectly legitimate to build, market and sell kids toys that look like the thing in the film. So you've got two things potentially going on:
1. Trademark violation - the product has been deliberately made to look like something from Star Wars that has been trademarked, so the manufacturer is trading on the back of somebody else's reputation. It doesn't have to be identical, just similar enough for a normal person to think it is a Light Sabre.
2. Copyright violation - if it is identical to the handle on a toy light sabre then the manufacturer is definitely violating Lucas' copyright.
Surely something fictional can't be used to prevent the construction of something real?
Or does Carl Sagans estate actually get stunning amounts of royalties from the Geostationary satellite networks? Will asimov get royalties for robots that seem a bit like stuff he wrote about?
Sounds like if you want to rake it in for the future, just get writing, or knock up some utube clips of stuff that looks a bit futuristic, then claim the $$$$s when something a bit like it gets built.
After the furuoe surrounding the laser's initial launch, I went over to the website and had a quick shufty at their forums. To my surprise, these laser enthuiasts seem quite a level headed bunch and were just as worried about morons using them irresponsibly as the rest of us - many were actually in favour of a qualified license system for the more potent ones.
If I had to hazard a guess, someone in the marketing department screwed up and then a series of Chinese whispers reached the ears of the media, with someone using the word "lightsaber" along the way.
My current thinking is that although there is a real hazard of Jedi-morons waving these things around and blinding someone (hopefully not a passer-by), George Lucas does not control all the lasers in the world and a manufacturer is quite entitled to put a snazzy case on a laser without having accusations of lightsabers thrown at him.
Maybe he's just pissed because he's not making money from them, like the gold-seeking whore he is.
maybe the the US Rubber Maid or Italian Brabantina companies should sue George for infrining their fliptop garbage can designs and calling it a "R2-D2"
The Catholic Church should sue for reproducing "Adam" MK.1 Human, in the form of his "C-3PO" design which is a blatent KIRF of the original?
Or, as its a US based organisation maybe the US Jewish lobby could sue George Lucas on behalf of the "God of Abraham" on a similer basis...., they appear to have a greater sucess rate in having the US legal and Political system meet thier requuests?
Some really civic minded individuals point them at airplane cockpits, when they are taking off or landing at airports, amongst other unsuspecting victims. Other sterling members of society take them to raves and ... (fill in the blanks)
I honestly don't know how useful a laser aiming sight is to the general populace (I advocate a gun-free state) I can't imagine anyone would want to tie this to the end of their super soaker 5000 water gun let alone their glock ....
I suppose hikers could use them as some sort of signalling device....
Honest to god, I don't know what these are for, but as you can tell the abuse potential is there.
They are probably meant as science toys, but the people that abuse them cause so much heck that these days it's so hard to buy a laser conference pointer these days or even one of those new fangled laser things to align stuff for your DIY projects down under here.
I have always thought that the light sabres in SW looked like old-fashioned flashlights (torches). So I can't see how Lucas can claim any originality in the basic design. Of course, if the laser was an exact reproduction of the detailed light sabre design, there might be an issue. But just a general cylindrical shape with knobs and studs and some form of light coming out of one end is certainly no ground for infringement.
...the thought of the sort of arsehole that wants to own one of these things actually being allowed to fills me with dread. New law please.
P.S. Yes - George Lucas bit of a dick. Couldn't care less about his trademark infringements. Do care about my eyesight.
isnt a light sabre just a tube with a light at one end... I had one of these when I was little, Used it for finding stuff in the dark, back in those days we called them torches. Those were the days.
In other news he is also suing monkeys for looking too much like chewy and Harrison Ford for bearing a striking resemblance to Han Solo...
"Class 4 lasers include all lasers with beam power greater than class 3B. By definition, a class-4 laser can burn the skin, in addition to potentially devastating and permanent eye damage as a result of direct or diffuse beam viewing. These lasers may ignite combustible materials, and thus may represent a fire risk. Class 4 lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock. Most entertainment, industrial, scientific, military, and medical lasers are in this category." Quoted from the Great Satan, but seems to check out...
It doesn't look to me like those have a key switch...
Lucas isn't claiming to own all lasers, or contest their creation of all devices not much more reminiscent of a Lightsaber than a torch - so all you Geostationary Satellite folks can get a grip and calm down.
This is a design thing - if you make a device and design the appearance of it to be exactly like a Lucas Lightsaber, then you're in the wrong. So yes, if you invent a robotic protocol robot, but make it look exactly like C-3PO, you'll be in trouble too.
Their website suggests that next time an astronomy hobbyist is desparate to point out stars of a constellation, you will be able to whip your extreme nuisance danger device out of your pocket, hand it to them and watch them blind people. No, that's not it. They can show you which star it is they know the name of.
Well, yes, I can hardly make my way home at night unmolested by astronomers with poor pointing and describing skills and a desparate need to ensure I have understood exactly which star it is they know the name of. Astronomers who are extremely keen on their hobby and sharing it with others, but not keen enough to have thought of buying their own astronomy pointing aid.
I wonder if they keep a straight face as they type that stuff?
I've had a look at the thing, and also had a look at replica lightsabers. I've also seen the movies so I'm eminently qualified to make a judgement here.
The similarity is that it's a tube that is about the right size to fit in a hand with a light that comes out of the end. So are torches potentially going to come under copyright scrutiny from Mr Lucas?
it doesn't really look like a lightsaber when examined.
(at least those replicas you can buy)
also ... each lightsaber is as unique as the one who built it so what's to copyright?
I think in fact the laser looks cooler than the toy replica lightsabers....
George Lucas and Steve Jobs apparently think that their income between big hit products/movies/whatever can be fulfilled by way of lawsuit. Some judge somewhere just needs to step in and say "WTF are you doing?! Quit wasting my time. Go do something useful and leave these folks alone."
Oh you mean the star wars "light sabers" were not real? OMG - couldn't possibly be true!
That they were just bits of pipe with crap stuck on them with a few LED's and shiny bits and paint - just to look like "something important".
And the special effects superimposed images of a "light blade" over actors playing samuri in a stage set?
And these while not being a "blade" per sae, do actually emit a beam.
So George - some 30 years after starwars came out, and the kids have stopped playing with the battery lit "Voooooo Voooooo" sticks, now thinks it's a copyright issue.
What is "Mr Creative's" next move going to be? Suing people with respiratory complaints who make Darth Vader "Wheeeeeeeeze Wheeeeeeeeze" noises?
Good one dick head.
It's hard to see how Lucas Arts can rightfully sue over this product's superficial resemblance to a lightsaber, given that the original and most definitive lightsabers (i.e. Luke's from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) were just cosmetically modified battery packs from 1950s Graflex camera-flash units!
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