Just in case you were looking forward to plunking down a cool $90,000 to drive your very own Batmobile replica, too bad. A federal judge in San Francisco recently shot down Gotham Garage owner Mark Towle's highly successful business making street-legal replicas of the Batmobile as it appeared in the 1966 Batman television series and the 1989 Batman movie starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader.
Ninth Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta ruled that the car has enough distinct character traits to be deemed eligible for copyright protection.
"As Batman so sagely told Robin, 'In our well-ordered society, protection of private property is essential,'" Judge Ikuta wrote.
Towle's attorney Larry Zerner argued the law holds that automobile designs are not subject to copyright.
"My client just sells cars," Zerner told reporters. "The car is not a character. The car is a car."
Unfortunately for Towle, and ultimately for Batman fans and classic car buffs everywhere, a unanimous three-judge panel disagreed. Zap, bam, pow, indeed.
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