The Supreme Court has decided not to get involved with a fight over whether or not the Batmobile is entitled to copyright protection, rejecting an appeal by a California man who makes and sells replicas of the caped crusader’s vehicle.
The high court let stand a September decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that the Batmobile — as seen in Batman comic books, TV shows and movies — was entitled to copyright protection because it’s basically its own character.
“Originally introduced in the Batman comic books in 1941, the Batmobile is a fictional, high-tech automobile that Batman employs as his primary mode of transportation,” wrote Judge Sandra Ikuta back in the September ruling. “The Batmobile has varied in appearance over the years, but its name and key characteristics as Batman’s personal crime-fighting vehicle have remained consistent.”
Now that the Supremes have rejected the appeal, the man peddling Batmobile-like collectibles can’t do so without permission from DC Comics, the copyright holder. He’d been making replicas of the car as it looked in the 1966 TV show as well as the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael keaton, and selling them for around $90,000 each.
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[via The Associated Press]