A California district court has granted DC Comics summary judgment on copyright infringement claims against a manufacturer of famous car replicas, who sold replicas of the versions of the Batmobile depicted in the 1966 television show and the 1989 movie. The case presented several interesting issues, including ownership and copyrightability.
With respect to ownership, the case was brought by DC Comics, notwithstanding that the two particular versions of the Batmobile copied by the defendant were not created for the comics, but rather were created by the respective television show and movie producers. The only copyright registrations covering the two versions of the Batmobile at issue in the case listed those production companies, not DC Comics, as the copyright claimants. [Read more…]