Holy Copyright Infringement, Batman!
By admin on Oct 29, 2015 | In Cinema, TV, Radio
I believe I've mentioned in past blog posts that most characters can't be copyrighted unless they possess some very specific and unique traits that distinguish them from all others. Batman would be one such character.
But what about the Caped Crusader's wheels? I'm talking about the Batmobile. Can a non-human, non-living piece of machinery qualify as a character for the purposes of copyright?
Yes, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In a case involving a man who sold unauthorized replica kits allowing people to make their cars look like the Batmobile (either the 1960s TV series version or the 1980s movie version), the Court ruled that the replicas constituted copyright infringement on a "character" that belongs to DC Comics. According to the ruling, depictions of the Batmobile -- with its many miraculous crime-fighting operations -- make it a character in the stories, even though it's not a thinking character.
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