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Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Star Wars video prompts lawsuit
Darth Maul and his double blade light sabre, PA/TCF
Mr Raza was emulating the skills of Darth Maul
A Canadian teenager has launched legal action against classmates who put a video of him online, saying that the publicity has left him mentally scarred.

Ghyslain Raza became known as the "Star Wars Kid" after a video of him using a golf ball retriever to emulate the light sabre slinging tricks of Darth Maul was posted on the net.

The video was hugely popular and some people even added effects to make the golf ball retriever look and sound like a light sabre.

But the public exposure of the clip proved a burden for Mr Raza, who has been through psychiatric care to cope with his unwanted publicity.

Cash call

The 15-year-old made the two minute video as part of a class project but probably never intended it to be seen by anyone else as it is not a flattering portrayal of his sabre-twirling skills.

The lawsuit filed last week alleges that four classmates of Mr Raza stole the video from the cupboard in which it was being stored, digitized the clip, posted it online and then invited people to view it and make insulting remarks.

Since the original was posted on the Kazaa file-sharing system, it has been downloaded and passed around to millions of people and Mr Raza's story has been featured in newspapers all over the world.

Now there are about 38 versions of the original video that add all kinds of effects to his stick twirling tricks or mock Mr Raza.

One site has started a petition to convince George Lucas to feature Ghyslain in the forthcoming Star Wars film.

The lawsuit says that Mr Raza has had to endure harassment and derision from his school mates and the general public because of the publicity that the clip received.

It also says that Mr Raza is undergoing psychiatric care to cope with the publicity and reaction.

Lawyers for Mr Raza are claiming compensation of 225,000 Canadian dollars (100,000) from the four boys who allegedly stole the video and put it online.

The story about the lawsuit first appeared in Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper.




SEE ALSO:
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The dangers of having a good idea
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Web takes the biscuit
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