“Star Wars Kid” Lawsuit Settles

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Back in 2002, portly Canadian high-school student Ghyslain Raza made a video of himself (after class) imitating a Star Wars character, using a golf-ball retriever as a "lightsaber."  He then made the poor decision to leave the videotape lying around.  A few months later, the owner of the tape viewed it and, not surprisingly, shared it.  He first shared it with friends and then with the Internet.

You’ve probably heard about all this, because the file became one of the most-downloaded files ever.  People started adapting it in various ways, making music videos, adding visual effects, and so on.  The incident became part of popular culture (including at SF Giants baseball games, where for a while the Giants would play one of the videos on the Jumbotron next to a picture of the opposing pitcher whenever a new one was warming up.)  All this made Raza famous, or infamous, or just embarrassed, to the extent that he eventually sued the students who posted the thing on the Internet.  According to the lawsuit, which demanded about $350,000, he suffered severe emotional distress and had to drop out of school. 

The case was set to go to trial on Monday, but, sadly for me, settled last Friday for an undisclosed sum.

The Wikipedia article below has a complete history of the matter and a link to sites on which you can watch some of the hundreds (literally) of "Star Wars Kid" videos.

Link: globeandmail.com
Link: Wikipedia article on "Star Wars Kid"