U.S. court affirms Batmobile’s copyright

September 24, 2015

The Batmobile has enough distinct character traits to qualify for copyright protection, a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

Batman (Sam Heughen) with the Batman Live Batmobile

The 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals on Wednesday (Sept 23) affirmed a ruling against a manufacturer of replica Batmobiles.

“As Batman so sagely told Robin, ‘In our well-ordered society, protection of private property is essential,'” 9th Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote for a unanimous three judge panel.

Larry Zerner, an attorney for defendant Mark Towle who sells replica Batmobiles for approximately $90,000, said he was disappointed in the ruling. The law specifically states that automobile designs are not subject to copyright, he said.

“My client just sells cars,” Zerner said. “The car is not a character. The car is a car.”

A spokesman for Time Warner Inc unit Warner Brothers, corporate parent of DC Comics, declined to comment.

 

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