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  • #49573
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    If I’m making a master model to be cast, is it ok to use parts of other models in it?  I’m thinking wheels and tracks for tanks, maybe a gun barrel or a hatch cover.  Things I could make myself if I had to, but that would be a lot more time consuming to do so.

    I don’t want to cross any line into recasting other peoples models, I know that is indefensible. But how much can I take and use as part of an original creation?

    #49574
    PatG
    Participant

    A great many TV spaceship models used in filming use bits from plastic model kits. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble. IP wise I think you would be fine using generic or historical parts like Sherman drive sprockets but I would be very careful about using identifiable parts like 40k blasters. Another issue would be commercial production – you have a few pieces already that would cross the line if not for personal use only.

    #49577
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Oh, they’re only ever for personal use, so no worries on that score.  I wouldn’t have gone near Daleks, Cybermen, Clangers and GEVs otherwise.

     

    #49617
    willz
    Participant

    I would have a read of this web site Victoria before you stubble into a legal nightmare.

    http://copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law

    #49619
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    It is the right place to look, and unfortunately this page is the one that directly answers your question I think:

    http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/copyright_myths

    And these are the relevant bits:
    6. If I change someone else’s work I can claim it as my own

    The act of copying or adapting someone else’s work is a restricted act. Any adaptation will be legally regarded as a derived work; so if you simply adapt the work of others, it will still be their work, and they have every right to object you if publish such a work when they have not given you permission to do so. They are also entitled to reclaim any money you make from selling their work.

    The only safe option is to create something that is not copied or adapted from the work of others, or seek the permission of the rights owner (you should expect to pay a fee and/or royalties for this).

    There is nothing to stop you being inspired by the work of others, but when it comes to your own work, start with a blank sheet and do not try to copy what others have done.

    7. I can legally copy 10% without it being infringement

    This is not the case. Unless it is explicitly allowed under fair use or fair dealing rules, any unauthorised use of copyright work can potentially lead to legal action.

    When using quotes or extracts, there is no magic figure or percentage that can be applied as each case must be viewed on its own merit. In cases that have come to trial what is clear is that it is the perceived importance of the copied content rather than simply the quantity that counts.

    Our advice would always be to seek permission before you use the work of others.

    8. It’s OK to use copy or publish other peoples work if I don’t make any money out of it

    No, except in specific circumstances permitted under fair dealing/fair use rules, any copying or publication without the consent of the copyright owner is an infringement, and you could face legal action.

    If the use has a financial impact on the copyright owner, (i.e. lost sales), then you could also face a claim for damages to reclaim lost revenue and royalties.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    #49621
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Thanks, it’ll be chopped up cocktail sticks and plastic rod for the wheels and gun barrels.  I’ve ran out of moulding rubber so I have plenty of time to do it that way. 

    6. If I change someone else’s work I can claim it as my own

    The act of copying or adapting someone else’s work is a restricted act. Any adaptation will be legally regarded as a derived work; so if you simply adapt the work of others, it will still be their work, and they have every right to object you if publish such a work when they have not given you permission to do so. They are also entitled to reclaim any money you make from selling their work.

    This seems to make selling painted figures illegal. 

    Oh well, if they lock me up for my Clangers and Doctor Who stuff, it was worth it…

     

    #49622
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    To All:

    The arguments made above refer to “the work” of another. If Victoria is using components of a work, then an argument can be made that she is not infringing on copyright in anyway; as she has used components to create something new and unique. In the same way that copyrighting a poem, song lyrics or novel does not privatise the words used to create it, so the use or reproduction of model components from different kits into something new should not be restricted because she is using parts which are the components of a copyrighted work but not the work itself. If the components were also protected property then artistic collages, and ersatz ransom notes in movies or TV shows could be illegal, not to mention all those models made by architects or movie special effects teams. One copyrights a complete work but not the components used in the construction of that work. Unless a model maker copyrights each individual piece of the model separately then the use of model parts should not be restricted. If one uses Robertson screws to build a table, then one does not owe the screw designer a royalty and one does not need his/her permission to go forward with the build. One could also turn additional screws on a lathe if necessary and use them. Copyright and patents apply to the whole work or significant chunks of a work and not to the individual components of a work.

    That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth, and others are free to copy it for whatever purpose they deem fit.

    Of course all this could be avoided if we all would just agree to join together and rise up against the legal tyranny of the enclosure of expression/creativity and the misappropriation of the commons; but until the day we line up and shoot all the IP lawyers, I guess we shall have to tread carefully in a legal “mindfield”.

    Cheers and join the revolution.

    Rod “the Digger” Robertson.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Rod Robertson.
    #49634
    willz
    Participant
    This seems to make selling painted figures illegal. Oh well, if they lock me up for my Clangers and Doctor Who stuff, it was worth it…

    That’s an interesting concept Victoria, I now have a vision of lots of suits turning up at wargame shows demanding that each and every person with painted figures, vehicles, buildings give legal proof that they have permission to have done so.

    Hey maybe it’s a business idea in the making, “permissions to paint items insurance” (PTPII) a bit like PPI but only more complicated.

    So I will dust of my old interview suit, get out the briefcase and see you all at the shows.

    #49651
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Obviously not illegal to sell painted figures. You haven’t copied them. You bought a copy and are now reselling it.

     

    #49652
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Sorry to be accurate but the ‘Robertson Screw’ example is completely irrelevant and erroneous Rod. You aren’t copying the screws are you? You bought them and are using them for the purpose sold. Turning new ones on a lathe – well you can’t copyright the ‘idea’ of a screw but if you used the original Robertson screw as a model to follow you could well be in breach of copyright (I suspect there may be some discussion of whether it is an ‘artistic’ creation covered by the Act. I also suspect the design may be out of copyright! ). As for patent – different animal but, if the screw has been patented for a particular facet, and the patent was still in force, you would be in breach if you copied it on your lathe without a licence.

    Re the wheels etc being only ‘parts’ of the whole work, well the wheel was made by someone from scratch and copyright in that object vests from that moment in its creator. You might argue that it is a minor part of the whole kit but what constitutes the ‘work’ is moot at best and I suspect you would be on very shaky ground. There is no right to copy a small bit of a created work for your own use just because it is only a small part. See para 7 above.

    Words are obviously different, they are in common use.

     

     

    #49653
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Obviously not illegal to sell painted figures. You haven’t copied them. You bought a copy and are now reselling it.

    Ah, but what if the figures are – for instance – GW Space Marines and have been painted as Ultramarines identical to GW studio ones featured in GW publications? Wouldn’t that make it infringement upon the Ultramarines copyright?

    That’s just an example, mind. I don’t mean for this to be about GW specifically. It might as well apply to Angel Barracks figures and vehicles painted to look identical to the ones pictured on the AB website.

    #49655
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Obviously not illegal to sell painted figures. You haven’t copied them. You bought a copy and are now reselling it.

    You’ve changed it by adding several layers of paint to the top of it.  You might also have added some additional detail with green stuff or swapped a gun or something.  Same with kit bashing.  According to what I quoted the person who made the original work is entitled to any money you make from selling it, no?

    #49661
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    No.

    You buy a figure.

    You buy the right to do what you want with this physical copy – same as a book.

    You don’t buy the Intellectual Property in it.

    You can sell the second hand book. You can sell the second hand figure – it is that physical copy you sell, not the Intellectual Property of the original master copy. If you have slapped paint on it and you can persuade someone to pay a premium – fine. As long as you don’t purport to sell the right to make copies you are fine.

    If you stick Green Stuff all over it – fine – as long as you don’t then stick it in  a mould without the original figure makers permission and make copies of it.

    #49663
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Reading further into it,

    Copyright automatically exists under law whenever an individual creates any type of work listed above provided it is original (not directly copied or adapted from an existing work), and exhibit some degree of labour, skill or judgement in its creation.

    So the road wheels on a model PzIV  aren’t original, they are directly adapted from an original work, and aren’t protected by copyright?

    You know, sometimes I wish I hadn’t even asked, this stuff is too confusing. 

     

    #49664
    willz
    Participant

    These questions are best pondered over a bottle of red wine.

    BTW Victoria, love the Clangers in combat on your blog.

    #49666
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Thanks William, I’m tempted to send the Clangers round to shoot all the lawyers. 

     

    #49669
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Guy Farrish wrote:

    “Words are obviously different, they are in common use.”

    So are wheels and screws. They have been for millennia.

    To All:

    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice in any form.

    The manufacturers of at least historical miniatures and models are copying other peoples’ real world designs and work. Fantasy and Sci Fi figures are often based on the descriptions or images associated with books or movies, etc. The figure or model sculptor did not create these forms and shapes, they mimicked them. Because their mimicry involved some artistic skill they have a claim of copyright for the whole work but not of the component parts. Thus, if I cut a head off of one miniature made by one artist and an arm off of another separate miniature by a separate artist and then glue them together to the torso of a third miniature by a third artist and then I apply green-stuff to alter all three parts, I have created a unique and novel chimera-figure which has never existed before and thus I can reproduce and sell this new and unique creation at my pleasure. Just like an artist makes and sells a collage of others artist’s images or photos. Those who say no you can’t do this are trying to impose a new frame of mind in order to limit our traditional freedom for the profit of a few. Only if they can make you believe that this is valid law can they succeed. If you don’t accept the premise then the ‘law’ falls, ineffective and hallow. Only by convincing you or intimidating you can IP proponents succeed in their goals and yoke you for profit.

    Chimeras are legal. This is exactly what generic drug companies do to get around drug patents and what brand-name manufactures do to extend/re-patent products which they wish to protect. This is what genetic engineers do and patent all the time, splicing scorpion DNA into the genome of corn to improve mould and rust resistance for example. They can do this because they have war-chests of money and legionary-lawyers to back up their innovation which was based on other’s work. We the people do not have such resources so we are easy prey for predatory litigation and legislation/statute/regulation. This is why we are being targeted.

    The problem with IP law is that it is attempting to impose artificial constraints which never existed before in an attempt to enclose and commoditise something which human beings have been doing freely for millennia. When I started building models in the 1960’s there was no law stopping me from copying parts if I wanted extra wheels or stowage on a model. Such laws began in the 1980’s and have snowballed since then. IP law is an new imposition, not a valid tradition. This process is like the tyranny of standardised spelling and indeed most if not all of copyright law, which was imposed upon us in the late 17th and early 18th centuries when it had never existed before. This was done in large part to suit the needs of the rising printing industry. These new IP laws are an attempt at social engineering to reshape our societies for the profit of a few at the expense of the many. If you reject the basic validity of this corpus of emerging law then it becomes a political struggle and not a legal one. We the people have the numbers so we can win a political struggle. Of course until then you will have to fend off legionary-lawyers and trumped up torts trying to impose this alien body of law upon free spirits and artisans. The rule of law includes resort to civil disobedience, the ‘out of doors’ and the ‘right to rebellion’. It is after all called “common law” and perhaps the commons should rise up to claim the law back from the syndicates and corporations which have appropriated it and return it to the Whole Commonwealth?

    That’s just my opinion however.

    Rod “the Digger” Robertson.

    #49672
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    There is so much wrong in that I hardly know where to begin.

     

    The politest thing I can say is  – you are wrong.

    Its too late to be polite so I shall stop right there.

    #49673
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Let’s have that bottle of wine now… 

    #49680
    Cerdic
    Participant

    Victoria….I bet you wish you never asked!

    #49683
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Victoria….I bet you wish you never asked!

    Yeah, and in the meantime I went ahead and made my own wheels.

     

    #49690
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    To All:

    Here is an interesting read on the topic from an historical and sociological perspective. The first few pages are also a pretty good primer on the history of IP law in the UK, Europe and the USA.

    http://papers.wybowiersma.net/abstracts/Wiersma,Wybo,Enclosures_of_the_mind_intellectual_property_from_a_global_perspective.pdf

    Cheers and good reading.

    Rod Robertson.

    #49692
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Victoria, I think you are immensely talented and certainly talented enough to make your own models in their entirety from scratch.

    I answered your question in good faith and I believe what I said was accurate (but I am not currently a practising solicitor, and haven’t ever been involved in copyright law directly so ignore it by all means). If you think you are okay to copy bits of other people’s work despite what I said go ahead but I still think you would be in breach. (although in the circumstances extremely unlikely to suffer any consequences whatsoever – I am answering the tight question by the way and not morally judging anyone).

    Take your example of the PzKpfwIV model.

    I suspect the original wheel fails as an artistic creation (it is utilitarian) and therefore would not be protected by copyright. (patents, TM etc are different but not applicable here).

    So there is almost certainly no issue of copyright in the original.

    The model of the wheel however, is not utilitarian, it has no working function on a model produced for its primary purpose of enjoyment as a visual entertainment. That I would argue (and no doubt you will find another lawyer who would argue differently) means it is an original creative work entitled to copyright protection in its own right.

    As the original PzKpfwIV wheel was not copyright, anyone else could come along and produce their own version from scratch but could NOT copy the first model made by the first modeller/artist as IP (their skill and time) in that particular version vests in them.

     

    Rod seems to have a philosophically opposed position to copyright law. Philosophy is fine. It doesn’t answer the question of whether copying is allowed by law.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    #49696
    willz
    Participant

    Let’s have that bottle of wine now…

    All ready drunk, now opening the second one.  Life is simpler when viewed over the rim of a wine glass.

    #49697
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Thank you all for all the opinions given, every one was appreciated and has helped me to decide to just make everything myself.  

    Can we lock the thread now please? 

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