United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
808 F.2d 1316 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 826 (1987)
Lee Seiler (plaintiff), a graphic designer, accused Lucasfilm (defendant) of copyright infringement with regard to machines called Imperial Walkers depicted in The Empire Strikes Back. Seiler claimed that Imperial Walkers were copied from science fiction creatures he created and published in 1976 and 1977 called Garthian Striders. In 1981, Seiler obtained a copyright on the Garthian Striders, depositing with the Copyright Office “reconstructions” of the originals as they as had appeared in 1976 and 1977. Lucasfilm argued that Seiler did not obtain his copyright until after The Empire Strikes Back was released and there is no evidence that Seiler created the Garthian Striders prior to The Empire Strikes Back. The district court held an evidentiary hearing on the admissibility of the “reconstructions” of the Striders. It found that Seiler had lost or destroyed the original drawings of the Striders in bad faith and under the best evidence rule, the reconstructions were not admissible. The district court granted summary judgment to Lucasfilm. Seiler appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Farris J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 202,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.