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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebrush View Post
    I think in general that 'inspired by' is fine but 'copied from' is not. I think a problem is that GW are clearly in the 'inspired by' camp with a lot of their products, they have clearly taken elements from Tolkein, Star Wars, Giger etc. etc. and rehashed them into something that is theirs due to the fact they have registered and copyrighted it (and spent a long time perfecting background fluff etc). I do find it a little sad that they come down so hard on the small guys who are, in the main, in the 'inspired by' camp too though.

    Would I buy something that was a blatant rip off? I probably wouldn't. Would I buy something that has been 'inspired by'? I wouldn't have a problem with this at all.

    I suppose this is a sins of the father moment, is it moral for a company to sue another for creating a model based on their IP, when it was itself inspired by anothers IP.

    Once again I refrain from naming companies ;-p

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    Cheers for that Einion! Great response (as per usual with you).

    I also want to discuss recasting, but didn't want to throw too much in at once.

    There is most certainly a double standard and it's an uncomfortable topic....Exactly why I think it will make for good discussion!

    I'm not looking to judge anyone at all, and I certainly fall into being guilty of a double standard myself.
    Ta!

    FWIW I think it's easy to unwittingly have a double standard if it's just never occurred to you that something is technically a ripoff of IP. That was me a few years ago on the subject of movie-based figures, especially those from older movies, simply didn't occur to me that this was a form of copyright violation.

    However, knowingly having that same double standard is something else

    Just to clarify this bit:
    Quote Originally Posted by supervike
    In discussing 'intellectual property'. Is it always wrong for a company/sculptor to use other's IP (without permission)?
    Yes. If it's theft it's theft.
    For anyone that doesn't know from previous posts by me on this subject, or it wasn't clear from the context, I am referring to commercial copying here. Copying for personal use can be in the grey area but it can be above-board as it's even endorsed/suggested by some manufacturers.

    Also on the commercial side of things, in terms of a re-use or adaptation of something where you take a commercial part and use it as a basis for something - as in a recent demo by Mike Good on pF, where he based three (?) pieces of equipment on kit parts - I think this is not okay. It's one thing to use a kit part essentially as a kind of shaped armature where it's covered by putty or completely reshaped by filling or sanding (although some people would even balk at this) but it's quite another where the surface of the original part is still significantly present.

    Recasting of OOP kits is a tricky one; in terms of the legal position I think it is certain it would be considered a copyright violation (regardless of whether there's current production) but on the other hand for the US at least a good lawyer might argue in good faith that it doesn't go outside 107, Limitations on exclusive rights which includes a mention that "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work" is taken into account.

    Point 1, "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes" would seem to cover this but everything is taken together and there have been some surprising rulings in recent years that go against what common sense would seem to suggest should have been the outcome.

    Einion

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    Back to the 'derivatives' you mention. What makes it a derivative, and what makes it a straight up IP theft?

    For instance, Hasslefree does a 'Not-Ash, a Not-Snake Pliskin, and a Not-Scooby Doo gang'. Are they derivatives, or borrowing generously?

    (I own all of them, so my morality is in the dumps...LOL)
    Does Warner Brothers know about the Not-Scooby sculpts? Do they care? It is feasible that they know, but simply don't care enough to fight it. Also the premise of parody might be a decent legal shield to certain models.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  4. #24

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    my morality is a little grey. i have no probs really, although a little disappointment that they can't be original, if companies do additions for gw kits, as long as it's not something already done. way i see it, most of the chapterhouse stuff actually encouraged gw sales as it required gw original models to convert. someone, i think it could have been chapterhouse, did an actual tyranid ripoff (which was a complete model in it's own right) though. i think that's taking the piss. it's like add ons for cars, you can buy car parts for cars which aren't made by by the original company, but you can't copy a car and sell it as your own

    as for the movie stuff, like hasslefree, as long as it's not producing models that are direct competition with official stuff, i don't mind, it gives us what we want
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  5. #25

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    "but you can't copy a car and sell it as your own" yes you can.http://www.kitcarlist.com/

  6. #26
    Superfreak!!! Torn blue sky's Avatar
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    Point of case in scratch building a car, that makes little difference in the arena of motors, but it uses the same principles [theoretically] as the mini thing. Kit cars are and have been a standard for many years, would GW ever sell a "cast it yourself kit"? Highly unlikely. It all comes down to the laws and stringency of copyright and IP the company slaps on them. This could be said of many other arenas.
    No one likes to see small companies being recast in china, on the other hand, if GW was being recast I wouldn't care since they're generally arsey with the pricing of their stuff. If someone went alone deciding they wanted to sculpt their own GW stuff or commission the odd piece here and there, I honestly couldn't care less. I think as someone said though, mass producing it is rather tearing the arse out of it.
    GW itself is ironically trying to slap IPs on things Tolken set the standard for...In the end it's all laughable really.
    I have a cunning plan...So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel...

  7. #27

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    Where, I'm forced to ask, does the part of IP begin?
    I know we're talking minis here.. and so am I. But I'm going to go backward a bit farther in the process.

    Let's say Mr. McVey (picking his name completely at random for this -- I have no idea how he goes about his work -- this example is fictional) has a lady-friend
    whom he has pose for a few photos. Dynamic looking poses in order to sculpt a miniature from that.
    He chooses photo 3 because it's got something he likes. He sculpts the human form, adds a cloak, a sword, a few belts, and whatnot.

    Then the mini gets released and suddenly some painter starts crying out about IP theft because there's a surprising and coincidental resemblance between
    their painting and the miniature.

    Coincidences happen, but if said painter has a gallery on the internet, it becomes a legal clusterf*** because it's entirely possible that McVey did see said painting
    at some point in the past.

    Burden of proof?

    Arguement for the Collective Consciousness?

    Is Marvel Comics going to sue GW for having men in big suits of armour? Iron Man is a trademark, after all... and has been around since (I think) 1963? Or 67?
    Before GW, anyway, right?

    And what if, for example, Reaper Miniatures and... oh, Privateer Press both release a nearly identical mini almost simultaneously?
    Designed by two different people from opposite sides of the country, submitted and produced nearly at the same time...

    Is there an IP issue, there?

    Bear in mind, I know absolutely zip about the laws regarding such things.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarstoolProphet View Post

    And what if, for example, Reaper Miniatures and... oh, Privateer Press both release a nearly identical mini almost simultaneously?
    Designed by two different people from opposite sides of the country, submitted and produced nearly at the same time...
    According to the missus this has actually happened more than once. A sculptor created a mini just hum drum off his own back only to be threatened with legal action from someone else because it's too similar to something they've done. Crazy, huh?
    I have a cunning plan...So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel...

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    In discussing 'intellectual property'. Is it always wrong for a company/sculptor to use other's IP (without permission)?
    I generally support the rights of artists and creators, but feel that some copyright holders (particularly the music/entertainment industry) misuse their political and financial clout to broaden their copyright claims beyond all reason. I look at the behavior of companies like GW and see their behavior in a similar light.

    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    I know there has been talk around the various forums of how IP theft seems to be frowned upon. But, there also seems to be kind of an underground of "wink, wink… this one will slide". The result is a mixed message.
    There’s a massive difference between someone who creates their own work, but derives their general style from another artisan, and someone who blatantly recasts the other artist’s work. The recaster is taking someone’s labor and then trying to undercut the original producer in direct competition.

    Additionally, ancient wisdom suggests that you shouldn’t “bind the mouths of the cattle that tread the grain”. If someone does good work for you, it’s wrong to keep them from making a living. If your company owns work embodying the distinctive style of a particular artist, it’s rude to stop him from making his livelihood by continuing to produce similar art. Not only does that guarantee that you’ll never get him to work for you again, but it makes for bad press. Some of you may be old enough to remember when the owner of the Lone Ranger character sued actor Clayton Moore for wearing a mask in public appearances. The result was a PR disaster.

  10. #30

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    Parody is a legitimate defense, but I'm surprised that a certain knock-off Scooby Gang are not jumped on, since how do you "parody" a goofy cartoon which itself parodies the supernatural genre? Maybe if you made all the characters fat/orcs/aliens or something...

    Quote Originally Posted by mud duck View Post
    Then shouldn't the company recasting buy the rights to those minis?
    In software, this is called "abandonware" and people generally copy and host it freely because no entity exists that can claim ownership of it. Some old games are kept alive this way, mostly as historical curiousities.

    If the figure is simply OOP... yeah, the owner still has full rights to it. If they choose not to cast it, sucks to be (us).

  11. #31

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    NSA, I think the not-Scooby Gang would be a lot harder to argue in court. Write down a physical description of Velma from the cartoon, and then write down a physical description of the pewter casting of Velma. Without the signature colours used in the cartoon the descriptions are really hard to match up. Since the colours are chosen and painted by the purchaser it might look nothing like Velma from the cartoon. It's not as if Warner Brothers can claim Intellectual Property on bespeckled and bespectacled young women in skirts with a bad haircut. Now if the model was sold under the name of "Velma", there's probably a much better case. Either way maybe a good lawyer could do it. Still, I doubt enough sales are made off of it to really attract the ire of Warner Brothers. Possibly too risky a case to bother with in court when they wouldn't win all that much?

    Excellent point on abandonware. If a company is dissolved do the IP rights the company possessed transfer to any individuals, assuming it wasn't an individual maintaining the IP rights in the first place? If they're bought out the IP is usually transferred to the new company, right?
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tercha View Post
    "but you can't copy a car and sell it as your own" yes you can.http://www.kitcarlist.com/
    not quite the same, you can't buy make your own ferrari kits. that sort of thing
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage View Post
    not quite the same, you can't buy make your own ferrari kits. that sort of thing

    Isn't that what a kit car is? Or are you are thinking from raw materials to finished car?

    And really quite a few models are the same car with a different logo plate slapped on it. VW and Audi do it all the time. But yes they are owned by the same company.
    "Yes, yes, yes. Woman are in awe of his manhood and men swoon in his wake. Truly he is a legend in his own mind."

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Such Agency View Post
    In software, this is called "abandonware" and people generally copy and host it freely because no entity exists that can claim ownership of it. Some old games are kept alive this way, mostly as historical curiousities.
    I think it would be necessary to prove due diligence was done to try to confirm, prior to the recasting, that nobody owns the moulds since this would transfer production rights and implied ownership of the IP in almost all cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by No Such Agency View Post
    If the figure is simply OOP... yeah, the owner still has full rights to it. If they choose not to cast it, sucks to be (us).
    Yep. This is probably the bottom line when it comes to the Rackham metal figs, which is a crying shame.


    Quote Originally Posted by IdofEntity View Post
    NSA, I think the not-Scooby Gang would be a lot harder to argue in court. Write down a physical description of Velma from the cartoon, and then write down a physical description of the pewter casting of Velma. Without the signature colours used in the cartoon the descriptions are really hard to match up. Since the colours are chosen and painted by the purchaser it might look nothing like Velma from the cartoon. It's not as if Warner Brothers can claim Intellectual Property on bespeckled and bespectacled young women in skirts with a bad haircut.
    I agree in isolation the pseudo-Velma wouldn't be a problem, but how about a Velma lookalike with a bunch of lookalike kids and the van and the dog?

    For a single person or character though, if the imagery/appearance were detailed or unusual enough you could legitimately claim IP protection as it could be considered original enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdofEntity View Post
    Still, I doubt enough sales are made off of it to really attract the ire of Warner Brothers.
    This could well be right; it has been theorised that this is the thing that has protected Andrea and Pegaso when they produce figures that are movie tie-ins, either that or they have just been lucky to fly under the radar each time. Not that this is any kind of defence of course.

    Einion

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by mud duck View Post
    Isn't that what a kit car is? Or are you are thinking from raw materials to finished car?

    And really quite a few models are the same car with a different logo plate slapped on it. VW and Audi do it all the time. But yes they are owned by the same company.
    Most kits are licensed by the manufacturer or sold by the manufacturer anyways. And even though many models are extremely similar (VW and Audi for instance) they do have SOME different parts in each vehicle and can sell them as different vehicles. More interestingly is that many parts are IP. Engines for instance IP protection. This is how I understand it to work, but might not be perfectly accurate about it:

    Could you hand-build a ferrari and sell it as a ferrari? Hell no. Could you hand-build a ferrari to exact manufacturer specifications and sell it as a Mud Duck Special? Hell no. Could you change the exterior of a Honda Civic to look like a Ford Mustang SVT and sell it as a 'modified' Honda Civic? Yup, just keep the Ford and Mustang logos off of it. As much as it might look like a Ford Mustang Cobra, it's not. (you haven't matched the internal parts) As long as you don't try to pass it off as one and use the name, you're fine. You can make any vehicle look like another as long as it actually isn't. Two vehicles can look remarkably similar but not violate each other's IP. Take the Ford Edge, and the Lexus SUV that looks like a copy of it. No IP violated because as similar as they may look they are NOT the same vehicle.

    Does anyone know how many times GW has invoked IP and gotten a model company to back off without it going to court? I wonder how many they have scared off without having a good case, and simply bluffed. Happens all the time in Debt Collection, figure it probably happens in other business ventures.
    Last edited by IdofEntity; 01-19-2011 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Parts
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  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    Great reply. Very good examples as well.

    Forget about the law for just a moment. Does it bother you PERSONALLY? Let's just say, for sake of argument, that company X produces a model (before GW shuts them down) that is almost identical to a space marine. You like it, but do you buy it? Or do you stand on some sort of moral code there?
    Here's what annoys me. When it comes to someone ripping off someone on this community, everyone goes up in arms against a recaster or "theif". When GW protects their IP, everyone hates GW.
    "Oh, GW! They're so Evil!"
    But I'll point out that no one has removed Avatars of War, Trollforged Miniatures, Heresy Miniatures, Chapterhouse Studios, Maximini, none of it. Even when a company/artist blatantly states when building something that they're making it as a "better version of" a GW mini, they didn't remove the mini.

    On the other hand, GW does make a lot of problems for themselves, but some of that is part of being an international traded corporation. They overly protect IP and even project their IP and rights onto others creations. If you read through GW's IP legal they state that anything made for the intention of use in or representing their games, even not by them or directly within their setting, is part of their IP. Yeah, seems to be really dickish. Then you look at what happened with Damantus (where German IP laws would have given direct control of the IP from GW to the people to made a fan film about the setting) and you can kind of see why they would have to add some protection to prevent people from even accidentally stealing their IP.


    Do I think it's good to steal directly from an IP? No. But I do support Avatars of War, Maximini, Chapterhouse, and others who have made amazing models based off of others works. And realisticly it's almost unheard of for a mini company or artist to avoid the second instace as you're constantly being inspired by different ideas and concepts. I think that seeing work inspired by their IP should be excellent praise, but I also see dark side of it quite often where companies are directly trying to undercut another company by either skimping on making their own designs or cutting out half the development process.

  17. #37
    Superfreak!!! Torn blue sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage View Post
    not quite the same, you can't buy make your own ferrari kits. that sort of thing
    If someone could machine all the parts for a Ferrari i'd let them sell as many for as much as they like lol! Hats off to them!
    I have a cunning plan...So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel...

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torn blue sky View Post
    If someone could machine all the parts for a Ferrari i'd let them sell as many for as much as they like lol! Hats off to them!
    The guys at my old workplace told stories of another, since-retired, co-worker who was part of some old car club. And by old I mean like 1910-ish cars. The biggest problem they had was that their replacement parts simply didn't exist, and they DID have to machine their own parts.

    Now if I could just lay hands on some blueprints, raw stock, and sneak in some machine time....
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
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  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by mud duck View Post
    Isn't that what a kit car is? Or are you are thinking from raw materials to finished car?
    not as i understand it, you buy a kit car, that is a norton or whatever and that's what it is, never hear of a kit car that is made to look like a bugatti et al, but isn't
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  20. #40
    Superfreak!!! Torn blue sky's Avatar
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    This is more common than you'd think, Tim, me old china. Id hit the nail on the head. You could have a multitude of spec parts but if only a couple of things are different, it's technically not the same car.
    Peg, i've had to machine AD hoc parts meself before now, but it's really only something i'd ever think of doing as a labour of love! Royal pain in the arse that it is. If someone machined a full spec muscle car i'd be seriously impressed. It's not impossible, but it's bloody hard and frustrating work!
    I have a cunning plan...So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel...

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