(Image Source: Flickr.com)

BY LEAH BECERRA

ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

 

Holy copyright infringement, Batman! Mark Towle, owner of Gotham Garage -- made custom Batmobiles for a living. But a judge just ruled that’s copyright infringement. Digital Trends explains.

“Towles had originally attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the Copyright Act doesn’t protect ‘useful articles’ like a car and its design, but … according to the judge, the ‘useful articles’ exception doesn’t apply when there are so many elements of the car that serve no practical, well… use.”

This ruling could affect more than Towle -- he’s one of many who have made Batmobile look-a-likes.

Gizmodo shows one built in 2011 -- the only Batmobile that is actually propelled by a turbine.
 
The Hollywood Reporter was explains how the ruling went down.

“DC … accused Towles of violating its copyright and trademark and confusing the public into thinking that his cars were authorized products. Trademark is one thing, but can an automobile design really be copyrighted?”

The answer is, “yes,” according to the judge. But as Wired points out -- it’s not over till the fat Penguin sings.

“The opinion does not necessarily mean DC Comics wins its lawsuit that also alleged trademark infringement. However, the judge’s ruling doesn’t provide much hope for Towles, who can settle with DC Comics or defend himself at a copyright infringement trial.”

But Forbes argues that DC could have benefitted from Towle's business.

“...wouldn’t you think the occasional custom Batmobile would be just about the best sort of free advertising DC Comics could hope for? It’s not like they’re building cars.”

DC Comics Claims Copyright Over the Batmobile

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Feb 6, 2012

DC Comics Claims Copyright Over the Batmobile

(Image Source: Flickr.com)

BY LEAH BECERRA

ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

 

Holy copyright infringement, Batman! Mark Towle, owner of Gotham Garage -- made custom Batmobiles for a living. But a judge just ruled that’s copyright infringement. Digital Trends explains.

“Towles had originally attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the Copyright Act doesn’t protect ‘useful articles’ like a car and its design, but … according to the judge, the ‘useful articles’ exception doesn’t apply when there are so many elements of the car that serve no practical, well… use.”

This ruling could affect more than Towle -- he’s one of many who have made Batmobile look-a-likes.

Gizmodo shows one built in 2011 -- the only Batmobile that is actually propelled by a turbine.
 
The Hollywood Reporter was explains how the ruling went down.

“DC … accused Towles of violating its copyright and trademark and confusing the public into thinking that his cars were authorized products. Trademark is one thing, but can an automobile design really be copyrighted?”

The answer is, “yes,” according to the judge. But as Wired points out -- it’s not over till the fat Penguin sings.

“The opinion does not necessarily mean DC Comics wins its lawsuit that also alleged trademark infringement. However, the judge’s ruling doesn’t provide much hope for Towles, who can settle with DC Comics or defend himself at a copyright infringement trial.”

But Forbes argues that DC could have benefitted from Towle's business.

“...wouldn’t you think the occasional custom Batmobile would be just about the best sort of free advertising DC Comics could hope for? It’s not like they’re building cars.”

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