"Could have had" but didn't. That's what the whole lawsuit was about. And that's exactly the point I was making. During the case, it was laid out for the British judge that he had had temporary subcontractor status decades earlier, had no IP rights then, and certainly none now. He did not create the designs, the initial sculpts, or the three-dimensional realizations of those pieces, but was just one individual fabricating them under contract. And the judge found in Ainsworth's favor. While it does set precedent for the rights of IP holders in the UK vis-à-vis the people making the pjysical objects for them, there is nothing unique to Ainsworth in the matter, legally speaking. He had had a business relationship with the production decades before, but it had ended decades before. At the time of the lawsuit, he was just a private citizen making nonlicensed items without permission. Everyone's still amazed at the way the decision fell. It's also helped protect RS, though, as a result of the decision.I wasn't addressing his credibility, the accuracy of his offerings or his level of film involvement. I am only asserting that due to his film involvement, it isn't as clearly black and white as in the case of RS and countless others. For all we know, Ainsworth could have had an agreement similar to Roddenberry where he was permitted to sell pieces. CBS sure tried to shut down Roddenberry but failed and this could be a similar matter.
Roddenberry and CBS is far messier, but far simpler. Gene and Majel retained licensing rights, as a family, in perpetuity. First as Lincoln Enterprises, and later as Roddenberry.com. As long as there's a family member alive to retain those rights, they can't be taken away. Though CBS has tried. I expect that's a thing of the past, though, now that Les Moonves is out. I really hope Shari Redstone succeeds in re-integrating the whole CBS/Comcast/Paramount mess so the Trek stuff can maybe get a little better sorted out...
Maybe. Maybe not. With the Lucas v Ainsworth case as precedent, there's a strong chance any attempt to stop someone making IP-depicting items without permission would fall in the makers' favor, and for the same reasons.I suspect if Disney went after anyone else, they'd have a much easier time having it stopped.