Mr_Blank (172031) writes "A federal judge has ruled that Batmobile replicas built by Mark Towle, of Gotham Garage infringe on copyrights and trademarks held by Warner Bros. Towle's attorney argued that US copyright law doesn't allow "useful articles" to be copyrighted. Zerner, in court documents, insisted that Warner Brothers' lawsuit claimed the entire Batmobile was protected including doors, seats and tires. The judge agreed, but then ruled the law does allow copyrighting of unique design elements of useful articles. The judge said, "Defendant did not copy the design of a mere car; he copied the Batmobile character. The fact that the unauthorized Batmoble replicas that Defendant manufactured – which are derivative works – may be 'useful articles' is irrelevant. A derivative work can still infringe the underlying copyrighted work even if the derivative work is not independently entitled to copyright protection." Expect other car manufacturers to put their cars into copyrighted works soon!"
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