The Empire has struck out. Britain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday defeated a bid by George Lucas’ (photo) company to stop a prop designer making and selling replicas of the iconic stormtrooper helmets from the “Star Wars” films. The court did, however, prevent him from selling them in the United States. Andrew Ainsworth sculpted the white helmets worn by the sinister galactic warriors in the original “Star Wars” film in 1977, and now sells replicas over the Internet. Lucasfilm Ltd. has been trying for years to stop him, in a battle that has climbed through the British courts. Lucasfilm’s lawyers argued that the stormtrooper suits are sculptures and therefore works of art covered by British copyright law. Two lower courts ruled in 2008 and 2009 that the costumes were props, not artworks — victories for Ainsworth. … On his radio show Monday, former Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck discussed last week’s attacks in Norway where at least 76 people were killed. In an aside, he talked about the Utoya Island camp run by the ruling Labor Party for youngsters interested in politics. The camp “sounds a little like the Hitler Youth or whatever,” Beck said. “Who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.” The camp was targeted by the gunman, who claimed he was trying to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonization. Torbjorn Eriksen, a former press secretary to Norway prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, told The Daily Telegraph in England that the comments were a “new low” for Beck. “Young political activists have gathered at Utoya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about,” Eriksen said. “Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.”
WILD PONIES Chincoteague ponies make their way across Assateague Channel during the 86th annual Chincoteague Wild Pony Swim on Wednesday. Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Island Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd. Ponies that are not sold and those that are donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague Island, located in Maryland and Virginia.
AP Photo by Jay Diem/Salisbury Daily Times