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Batmobiles subject of lawsuit

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Recently TVRage informed you that the original Batmobile that was used during the filming of iconic television program 'Batman' was going to be auctioned off. And while that vehicle is expected to be bid up to multiple millions of dollars, it is a Batmobile knock-off that is today's news.

Mark Towle, a California resident who runs Gotham Garage, specializes in customizing vehicles to resemble those used in television and film. Two of his Batman related vehicles have sold for massive amounts of money - each nearing $100,000. Warner Brothers is not too happy with this, saying that Towle violated their copyrights and trademarks of DC Comics, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.

Both parties have submitted motions for partial summary judgment.

"This is a very important case that has far-reaching implications," reads Towle's motion. "While it is true that this case is ostensibly about the Batmobile, which some may find to be trivial, the fact is that the issues that will be decided will have a significant impact on automobile makers and manufacturers."

Jay Kogan, DC's vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property, argues that the publisher reserved all rights to the Batmobile and that Barris' original design was based on "the evolution of the Batmobile Vehicles over the course of the comics." In addition, certain things were required of George Barris when he designed the 1966 Batmobile.

I do not really see how this is a case. If the car were Warner Bros. property, wouldn't it be illegal to make and sell a knock-off?

 


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Written by: Hamatosan
Jan 2nd, 2013, 2:21 am

Anonymous

Message Posted On Jan 3rd, 2013, 8:00 pm
This is a complex legal issue more then just a basic copyright issue. For one thing exacting and more inspired by replicas of cars are made all the time with little interference from most automakers, hell whole bodies are available to literally replace ones built in the 70s which is legal because you are allowed to facilitate the availability of replacement parts for cars. But this isn't the only issue at hand the most pressing issue is does Warner Brothers even own the copyright to the TV show Bat Mobile???? No, it doesn't it but it owns the rights to the comic book Bat Mobile which is similar but is it similar enough???? I think not, especially if DC comics didn't officially license the TV Show to use it.
Anonymous

Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 1:00 pm
Exactly you cant copyright a car my friend . and God made everything
Jazzman

Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 8:49 am
if the original designers were selling Batmobiles and were losing money because of it, i might have sympathy - but in the absence of extremely detailed schematics and blueprints, i fail to see how this can be prevented unless you want to spend a LOT of money and time on some VERY expensive lawyers for an inevitable settlement where no one really wins then suck it up - i mean how many of these things can he really sell - it's not like there is a huge demand for $100,000 roofless cars - and if it had a roof, would it be a batmobile? - not a $100,000 one at least
rtruell

Level 1 (36%)
Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 8:46 am

Copyright lasts a very long time.  Don't forget that it was *just last year* that copyright issues were resolved allowing manufactures to use the likeness of Adam West, Burt Ward and the others in merchandising.  And it's copyright issues that *still* prohibit the show from being released on DVD.

 

Anonymous

Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 5:27 am
it was created in 1966.... yes copyright is needed but 10-20 years is more that enough! this is nearly 50 years old!
Hamatosan

Level 4 (93%)
Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 5:04 am

But he is directly copying their work TO sell for profit. And if that is okay, why have copyright laws to begin with?

Anonymous

Message Posted On Jan 2nd, 2013, 3:40 am
yawn, copyshite gone nuts again. If I made a film and someone out there thought "hey that car I saw in that film was soo cool I'm going to make it" I would feel amazing! the fact that he puts that much effort into something I created would just be great. to sue him is just fucking retarded. yeah he's "technically" making money from someone elses creation but these content "owners" need to open their eyes and see stuff like this as advertising. These fat cats done give a shit about money, they just like to sit in their fancy offices thinking how can I fuck over more customers today while force feeding outdated dvd's to half the popuation! rant over!
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