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"Is It Pirating?" Topic


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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 2:02 p.m. PST

I'm asking this question to get honest ideas and opinions. No angry answers of "Your taking away my bread and butter!" from any of the manufacturers please.

Here's the issue:
I'm learning and teaching myself how to mold and cast items using Alumilite materials. I'm working with the differences between their different molding materials, (Quick Set, RTV, and Amazing Mold Putty), and learning the pros and cons of each.
Some of it is easy and some of it is "the hard way".

After I make the mold I make a couple of "test casts" of the item to see how it looks compared to the original and how it looks.
For my tests in molding and pouring and casting, I used a die cast car that I got from Wally World.
Using the mold putty I decided to make a mold it to see how it would set, and the amount of detail it would take. The car was small enough, but still had enough detail that a casting should show some of it.

I made three castings of the car. I wanted to see how the resins worked with the mold, and when released how much detail each one would have or lose (as a result of subsequent casting). Would the heat damage the mold? Would I lose lines and cuts? Would the rubber give up some of the detail?
After pouring and removing the third test car, I numbered them 1-3 in order of them being cast.

Here are pics of the master die cast car, and the mold…

So after looking at these three and learning from them, my question being is. I now have three cast "test" cars. Now…for a game, I could and would probably paint them up and use them as scenics. In fact car #3 was so poor it would make a good wreck.

But then would someone then come back and say "Hey, you're using pirated cast vehicles!"

Now as I am saying, I am not making oodles of copies to sell. In fact I am not even making copies to sell at all, or even planned on using. But that being said, I have three test copies that I can use for games. As I said, this is not a deliberate attempt to make any type of profit off of someone elses design. But I also know that some folks out there probably consider any type of casting such as this to be "pirating".

So in your opinion, is this or would this be considered "pirating"?

Opinons and observations would be appreciated.

Inari705 Nov 2011 2:18 p.m. PST

I always thought if you don't sell, then your not a pirate.


But thats me, and I have been known to be wrong.

Just ask my wife.

kyotebluer than blue Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 2:24 p.m. PST

No idea.

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 2:28 p.m. PST

Personally I would see this as a fair use example.

1) It is for educational and non-profit use.
2) The work being copied is not an original expression, but rather an expression of a previous work (the actual car).
3) You are copying a substantial portion of the model, however you are not duplicating it part for part.
4) The effect on the market will likely be minimal.

In the case of weighing the situation against the fair use exemptions, the only factor which would be working against you would be the portion of the original which you are copying.

Important to note though, the primary factor (as I see it) is the educational aspect or your endeavor. If you removed that and said instead, you wanted to make wrecks for your games – the rest of the evaluation would change. As opposed to having minimal impact, it would become more substantial. Since the copies used as wrecks would represent vehicles you would not buy (in order to wreck them).

I always thought if you don't sell, then your not a pirate.

Selling it isn't the only factor in making the determination (though it is a big factor in determining how much you will be sued for).

clibinarium05 Nov 2011 2:38 p.m. PST

Without delving into the legal complexities, I think the rule of thumb is "Am I gaining at someone else's expense?"

If you were selling the casts (which you are not) obviously that's the most blatant form of piracy. Equally if you are casting copies for your own use, that's piracy too as you gaining the castings you want, and depriving the maker of the money that would have been made selling the castings to you.
On that analysis (and I am not saying it's the only way to consider the problem) I think making copies of the cars is acceptable if you are only doing it as practicing your mold making. If you use the copies (thereby saving yourself the cost of buying originals from the maker) then I think that's more difficult to justify.

So for me its the intention of usage that's the important element (though not the only one).

Personal logo Angel Barracks Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 2:52 p.m. PST

I always thought if you don't sell, then your not a pirate.

Making a profit is irrelevant, as is selling at a loss for that matter.
If I made copies of all the Microsoft products and gave them away for free I would not be making a profit, do you think Microsoft would have no case against me?
Clearly not.


So in your opinion, is this or would this be considered "pirating"?

Yes it is.

You do not own the right to copy, hence something being copyright protected.
Without that right to copy you are "pirating"

The fact is, it is copying without owning the right to copy.

If you were to destroy the copies once made and given these are to practice mould making I doubt many would mind though.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 3:07 p.m. PST

I agree with Angel Barracks. His Microsoft analogy is accurate, and it transfers to your usage, perfectly: any copy is illegal, without express permission.

If, however, you further modify your copies of the car, beyond 10%, you will likely meet the legal requirement of being different enough.

Bottom line, will the original maker, who indirectly sold their toys to Wal-Mart really care? Doubtful. It might, however, be simpler just to buy more car models, and smash them up to make better wrecks. ;-) Cheers!

Little Big Wars Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 3:25 p.m. PST

When it comes to duplicating stuff like this it's definitely "don't ask, don't tell".

Mick in Switzerland Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 3:25 p.m. PST

The answers above are true but very theoretical. Real law is more pragmatic. If you look at real case law, nobody is going to spend money on lawyers to make a claim unless there is something worthwhile to go for.

Basically, if you don't sell them, then nobody can claim to have lost monκy through you actions. Therefore there is no financial claim to make.

Personal logo Angel Barracks Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 3:29 p.m. PST

If you look at real case law, nobody is going to claim unless there is something worthwhile to go for.

Very true, but getting away with the crime does not make it any less a crime though.
Murphy wants to know if this is piracy, not if he can get away with it.


Basically, if you don't sell them, then nobody can claim to have lost monκy through you actions. Therefore there is no financial claim to make.

Not so, Wally World can claim a loss for each copy he made instead of buying from them.
You don't need to sell the things that you copy to be a pirate.

Making a profit is irrelevant, as is selling at a loss for that matter.
If I made copies of all the Microsoft products and gave them away for free I would not be making a profit, do you think Microsoft would have no case against me?
Clearly not.

Personal logo The Editor The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Nov 2011 3:53 p.m. PST

Making unauthorized copies is piracy.

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 3:55 p.m. PST

If, however, you further modify your copies of the car, beyond 10%, you will likely meet the legal requirement of being different enough.

10%, 300 words and other things like that are a myth. Because of the nature of things which are protected by copyrights – it is very subjective and measured on a case by case basis. 90% of a TV show, book or movie is very substantial and will not generally be considered fair use. The portion of the whole aspect of fair use determinations relates more to the work and essence of it. At the same time, you could take something like a Barbie Doll and transform it into a zombie or monster and likely be in the clear with regards to fair use, as Zombie Barbie would be highly transformative even though you might have only altered 5% of the works surface. You can also copy the entirety of a picture – for example as a thumbnail in a search system…even though you are copying 100% of the original work.

You do not own the right to copy, hence something being copyright protected.

Without that right to copy you are "pirating"

However, the right of fair use actually supersedes the copyright itself – that is of course assuming that it would fall under fair use (which as I explained it likely would). In the same way, other rights can not be infringed by copyright, for example the right of free speech in the form of satire and parody.

Inari705 Nov 2011 4:21 p.m. PST

Like I said I have been known to be wrong, like I am now.

corporalpat05 Nov 2011 4:45 p.m. PST

You said it: "I am not making oodles of copies to sell". Enough said. You bought the original product. What you do with it now for your own personal use should be your business! As far as I'm concerned the copyright wolves have no rights at all to your personal possessions (the copies). In fact, I suppose you could argue that you have changed the original enough in your artistic reproduction that these copies are now yours to copyright! Just my opinion of this whole crazy, money grubbing, copyright mad world of ours. If this is piracy, we need more pirates!

Derek H Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 4:46 p.m. PST

Angel Barracks wrote:

Very true, but getting away with the crime does not make it any less a crime though.

But copyright infringement is not usually a crime.

A least here in the UK (and I believe also in the USA), most infringements of copyright law are dealt with by civil law rather than criminal law

It can be a crime in some circumstances – usually if you're doing it quite blatently and for large amounts of profit.

What Murphy is doing may be copyright infringement, that would have to be decided in court, but it's probably not a crime.

Personal logo GeoffQRF Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 5:19 p.m. PST

'Substantial part' is a better definition that a fixed percentage, but even so a small but significant part can be substantial.

It generally has to be willful and commercial to attract criminal prosecution. However the civil liabilites can be substantial, including destruction, delivery up of goods and account of profit. Selling it only affects the value of the damages :-)

…getting away with the infringement does not make it any less an infringement though ;-)

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 5:31 p.m. PST

What Murphy is doing may be copyright infringement, that would have to be decided in court, but it's probably not a crime.

If it is infringement (not willing to cede that point) – it is a criminal act if:

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1 USD,00 or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

link

In this particular case (assuming it is infringement…which, again I am not willing to cede) the crime would be in Section A – private financial gain. Courts have ruled that by avoiding spending money (by making a copy) you have a "private financial gain."

Just because you don't often here of criminal prosecutions of copyright infringement does not mean that they can not. Normally the authorities only get involved with larger scale operations – as that is a much better PR move than raiding Murphy in his basement making a handful of copies of a $5 die cast car from Wal Mart. While the prosecution might win in the legal system – they would definitely loose in the court of public opinion (something that the big IP lobbying groups do not want to have happen…they have been quietly extending their control in leaps and bounds for 40 some odd years).

'Substantial part' is a better definition that a fixed percentage, but even so a small but significant part can be substantial.

Yep – at the same time, the nature of a work can make it that a nearly 100% copy is not significant.

Personal logo Baddaski Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 6:37 p.m. PST

Can he be really said to be making a copy? The wheels don't turn, the doors don't open and the windows are now opaque. It's really a likeness that is different material, color, and usage.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 6:46 p.m. PST

If it is infringement (not willing to cede that point) – it is a criminal act if:

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

Good points you made here…I am not trying to make any commerical gain or private financial gain. In fact I've already spent more than the die cast car cost.


(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1 USD,00 or

Not distributing it, at all…


(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

As stated before. Not for distribution.


In this particular case (assuming it is infringement…which, again I am not willing to cede) the crime would be in Section A – private financial gain. Courts have ruled that by avoiding spending money (by making a copy) you have a "private financial gain."

Just because you don't often here of criminal prosecutions of copyright infringement does not mean that they can not. Normally the authorities only get involved with larger scale operations – as that is a much better PR move than raiding Murphy in his basement making a handful of copies of a $5 die cast car from Wal Mart. While the prosecution might win in the legal system – they would definitely loose in the court of public opinion (something that the big IP lobbying groups do not want to have happen…they have been quietly extending their control in leaps and bounds for 40 some odd years).

These are all good points.
Then a question would be this.
If, and I mean IF, we know that copies are made by people using casting resins and molds, then why not go after them? Why not go after Alumilite etc?…
If you go onto the Alumilite site and Mold Putty, etc, you will see them taking "an original" and making a mold of it, and then casting copies of the original. They even say that in their ads. Now…does alumilite own the copyrights of all of these items that they are now making molds of to make replica casts? I seriously doubt it. So now, in a sense, by showing what can be done with their product, are they now encouraging and promoting illegal behavior by producing a product that allows people to cast illegal pirated copies of items for either private use or financial reasons?

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 6:51 p.m. PST

Can he be really said to be making a copy? The wheels don't turn, the doors don't open and the windows are now opaque. It's really a likeness that is different material, color, and usage.

Badasski…good questions.
1: The original is metal with a hood that opens, rubber tires on wheels that roll, a clear windshield front and back and a detailed interior.

2: My copies are made of resin, with non opening hoods, no rubber tires, and no rolling wheels, (much less axles, hubs, pins etc. There is no seated "bottom" to the car. and there is no clear windshields front or back, AND NO interior whatsoever.

So the question now being is this?…Is this an exact copy?
Based on description of the item: No. obviously not.
Is it a new likeness created from a previous existing copy? Yes.

So is it then considered pirating?

And for those out there that think that I am going to do something illegal with these test cars, I will probably end up destroying them. If you need proof of this by photography I will be more than happy to provide to you.

Toshach Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 6:51 p.m. PST

I think you could call it a copy Baddaski. For example if you purchase a toy Ford 150 truck, it will say on the packaging that the manufacturer of the toy has Ford's permission to recreate the real truck's likeness, even though the toy does not have an engine, and you cannot sit in it.

So considering the case here, if Murhpy wanted to make and sell these things, he would likely have to get permission to do so from Ford (it looks like a Ford) as well as the manufacturer of the toy.

Personally speaking, purchasers of my pdfs can make as many copies for their own personal use as they wish. Making copies to give away or sell is a no, no.

So according to my copyright guidelines, Murphy could make as many repos of the car as he wants, as long as he keeps them.

RavenscraftCybernetics05 Nov 2011 7:02 p.m. PST

fair use.
think it through.

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 7:22 p.m. PST

If you go onto the Alumilite site and Mold Putty, etc, you will see them taking "an original" and making a mold of it, and then casting copies of the original.

No, but there is a difference between fine scale modelers and wargamers.

Years ago, I forget the company (Revel or one of those who were big in the late 1970s or early 1980s) there was a case where the big model company attempted to stop the production of additive parts and garage kits of models that they produced.

The problem that they ran into was that when you make a scale model of a real item – anyone else who makes a scale model of that real item will have a product that is remarkably the same as yours.

Anywho, the long short of it was that they got their pee-pee wacked by the judge who told them basically that you can't copyright a scale model. They had to pay the lawyer fees of the defendants as well as some other junk. Since then, no one in the fine scale industry has ever attempted to defend a copyright on a model.

There was also some issues between the concept of copyrightable works versus industrial designs…but that gets into muddy waters of an article that I read nearly 30 years ago. For this reason, you will often see in magazines like Finescale Modeler, Model Railroad Craftsman and others writers taking parts from kits and casting copies of them. However, when it comes to wargames…sponsors of forums get nervous when the mere subject of how to use RTV is broached.

As far as the post I made regarding the criminal act…those are simply the guidelines used to determine if a copyright infringement is a criminal act versus a simple civil act. I will make it clear again, I believe that what you are doing is in fact fair use – those are a different set of guidelines though. The downside though is that copyright law is a largely arbitrary thing. If you were to go in front of 4 different judges, you would likely get 4 different opinions on the matter.

In terms of the resin versus diecast and all of that – that goes to the substantiality of the copying. If you were to take an old LP record and convert it into MP3s and upload those onto the internet – the RIAA would be on you like fleas to a dog. The work is no longer the same as the original, being converted through several processes…but it is significantly the same – an audio recording. In your case, it is no longer the same – but it is still the same. The judges opinion would have to determine how important things like rotating wheels and opening trunk lids are to the actual work itself.

The same would apply if you were to go to a museum and take a picture of a painting…go home and blow it up and print it out on a printer. No one would be able to say that you have the painting – but you have the painting in substantial part.

For example if you purchase a toy Ford 150 truck, it will say on the packaging that the manufacturer of the toy has Ford's permission to recreate the real truck's likeness

That is a bit of a problematic area. You will see toys (and models) of Fords, Chevy's and the like. You will also see them show up in video games. However, there is little that Ford (or anyone else) can do about it. However, some companies will have "officially licensed" toys, models and video games. Most of the time, the game company or toy company will leave off things like the trademarked emblem (Ford's Blue oval) as well as give it a different name (Pony instead of Mustang) as a CYA measure.

The issue is that the design is both functional/practical as well as ornamental. Functional aspects are not copyrightable – so the courts need to determine where the function stops and the design starts. As far as I know, that has never been taken to court (in terms of a model versus the real item…design patents have some case law behind them).

That adds two additional aspects of IP law into the mix though (Trademark and Patents)…which makes a complicated subject even more complicated.

20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 7:31 p.m. PST

Not quite the same but I've made SF buildings by plaster casting inside "interesting" packaging – the small plastic boxes individual cake items someties come in for example. When used as a mould they provide rectangular buildings with external ribbing – perfect for a warehouse block, or a bunker.

Have I broken the copyright of the package designer ?

In Murphy's case I think the wisest thing would be to "not tell anyone". Home casting of wheels, tracks, etc is a very routine practice in plastic modelling circles (hey, where did you think all those resin aftermarket guys got their start anyway ?). This goes a little further than just casting a wheel or two of course.

Although I do also agree with Angel Barracks – if you were to purchase a 6mm building and then cast up a city worth of such even if just for your own use at home then he's lost a lot of sales. So even for purely personal use and not for profit is iffy (that's a legal term !).

Here's a thought though – what if the product is OOP ? I wanted to buy some stuff from Hales models a while back to add to the stuff I already had bought from them (in the early 1990s IIRC). They sold plaster cast (stonecast) buildings. What I discovered was not only are they OOP but the silicon rubber moulds are shot – nothing more to be had. Should I cast from the ones I bought ? I haven't, (to emphasize I HAVEN'T) but it has crossed my mind.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 7:34 p.m. PST

But copyright infringement is not usually a crime.

A least here in the UK (and I believe also in the USA), most infringements of copyright law are dealt with by civil law rather than criminal law.


I believe Derek H is correct.
The District Attorney or the Department of Justice will not be the ones coming after you to send you to jail.
It will be the owners of the copyright who will be coming afdter you with VERY deep pockets to bankrupt you.
The justice of their case is irrelevant. It will all depend on how much you are willing to spend on your defence versus how much they are willing to spend to attack you, and that will be a lot.

It's best to do this as a consenting adult in the privacy of your own home. Don't ask, don't tell.
NEVER publicize what you are doing.
You will always lose if they decide to go against you. Not because the law is on their side, but because they have more money to spend on the "case".

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 7:56 p.m. PST

I believe Derek H is correct.

No – he is wrong. It is often a crime, but rarely prosecuted. I quoted the section and provided a link to the statute. It is sort of like jaywalking. Always a crime, rarely prosecuted.

link

Here's a thought though – what if the product is OOP ?

If the product is OOP – making copies (for yourself or others) impacts the market and the likelihood that they will ever be put back into production. It is not unheard of for things to go out of production only to be brought back years later by the same or different companies. The copies devalue the works that exist as well.

Have I broken the copyright of the package designer ?

No. The package is functional, and the casting from it changes the function substantially, however…

There is a neat little clam-shell package out there that is used by several companies for packaging miniatures (forget the name off the top of my head). It has both functional aspects as well as ornamental aspects. If you were to use one of those to make a slug for thermoforming your own packages – that would violate the design patent (if it hasn't expired yet…though I seem to recall a patent number on them).

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 8:53 p.m. PST

This whole discussion put me in mind of a scene from the movie, City Slickers, where Billy Crytal's character is asking Jack Palance's character an involved moralistic question: if a flying saucer landed and a beautiful alien woman emerged and offered to have sex with you, would you do it, even if you were married, once you knew that no one else would ever find out. Palance's character was rather pragmatic and simply asked if the alien woman was a redhead cause he really liked redheads.

The majority of the answers are based on the "you would know" argument that Billy Crystal's character applied to his question. Regardless as to whether or not the copying Murphy is trying out actually does result in depriving someone somewhere of whatever minor amount they would obtain because Murphy would not buy a model car because he made a casting, what he is doing is technically pirating. Whether or not any harm has actually occurred is not the point, this type of action could result in harm and that is why there's a law against it. At least that's the way I understand the thrust of the arguments being made that it is pirating.

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 9:07 p.m. PST

I'm surprised there's that much discussion.

Sure, it's pirating. It's definitely not fair use as soon as he plays with the copies. No, he's not ever going to be caught. No, no one really cares except for people who feel the need to point out how wrong other people are (not including people in this thread since Murphy asked).

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 9:09 p.m. PST

I believe Derek H is correct.

No – he is wrong. It is often a crime, but rarely prosecuted.

I would be interested to hear of an occasion of WHEN it was prosecuted as a crime.
It's up to the copyright holder to enforce his rights. Or, to exagerate his rights.
Whichever he can afford.
Good luck finding a government agency willing to prosecute as a crime.

Deep pockets win.

ScoutII Inactive Member05 Nov 2011 9:38 p.m. PST

I would be interested to hear of an occasion of WHEN it was prosecuted as a crime.

Ask, and ye shall receive:

cybercrime.gov/laneySent.htm – Former Vancouver Area Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Conspiracy Involving Counterfeit Software

link – For-Profit Software Piracy Website Operator Sentenced to 87 Months in Prison

link – Justice Department Announces Guilty Plea in Peer-to-Peer Piracy Crackdown

cybercrime.gov/abellSent.htm – 'Operation Fastlink' Defendant Sentenced for Online Software Piracy

link – Pharmacist Convicted of Purchasing Chinese Counterfeit Drugs

link – Miramar Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods

cybercrime.gov/ipcases.html – The bigger brag list of the DoJ involving IP related criminal cases.

Those are the more recent ones. If I need to dig for more examples of criminal prosecution for copyright violations I can. With most things, they like to go after big fish…not little ones. But the little ones still meet the letter of the law which I linked to.

It's definitely not fair use as soon as he plays with the copies.

I don't recall that aspect in fair use determinations. If, while in art school, I were to create a copy of a painting as a class project…that would be fair use. However, if I were to hang it on my wall and look at it…it would no longer be fair use?

The fair use doctrine does not dictate what happens to the work when it is done being used for educational purposes – it doesn't dictate that it must be destroyed. I would even hazard to guess that it assumes it would not be destroyed.

If he were to sell it after he had used them to complete his academic endeavor though, I could see that as being a disqualifying factor to the fair use doctrine, but simply using it does not seem like it would violate the spirit or even letter of the law.

nevinsrip Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 9:47 p.m. PST

Murphy, the mold selling companies like Alumilite cover their bases by claiming that you can copy your own sculpt or
or your own original product, not someone elses work. If you sculpted your own model of a car then you could reproduce it with the companies products.
Make sense?

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2011 9:53 p.m. PST

As soon as you use it for a purpose other than the educational one, it's moved beyond fair use.

Patrick R06 Nov 2011 2:12 a.m. PST

If you make a copy it's illegal, even if you alter it, don't sell it for a profit etc.

IP must be actively protected, so companies will go after you even if you're not making a profit.

The rest is a bunch of legalese.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2011 3:06 a.m. PST

I would describe it as fair use as far as the initial casting is concerned. The initial casting is being done to check out properties of the resin, as such the model ia being used as a tool, not as an object to be copied.

However, once the castings produced are used as models it becomes pirating. They are being used to replace 'bought' castings that could do the same job.

I would say that a thing that is illegal is illegal whether it is prosecuted or not. Lots of crimes and illegal activities are not detected or prosecuted. That doesn't make them right.

RavenscraftCybernetics06 Nov 2011 7:16 a.m. PST

The caes listed above cover someone counterfieting a product and passing it it off as the real item.
Thats not the case here. he has made a non functioning copy which no one would possibly mistake as the original item and is using it for a purpose other than was intended for the original item.
Only a lawyer could argue this is piracy or IP infringement.

Renaud S06 Nov 2011 7:43 a.m. PST

All answers other than "fair use" are a kind of religious radicalism, not the spirit of human law and humanism. Wake up and breath some fresh air!

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2011 8:35 a.m. PST

Ravenscraft – I agree that this is really a discussion that lawyers would have on their lunch break but your view is not correct. It's a toy. If he uses it as a car in one of his games, how is it not still a toy? Does using the original car in your game change what it is and what you are doing with it? He could make 12 copies of it and use it as a boardgame token and it would still be infringement.

All the technical discussion aside, I am one for letting your conscience be your guide. If I need a second widget and no one sells them anymore, I'm going to copy it. As far as Murphy doing his thing here? I really don't care as his injury to anyone is so insubstantial as to make it irrelevant to the real world. I am only commenting because he asked and so that's the topic of discussion.

RavenscraftCybernetics06 Nov 2011 10:54 a.m. PST

I see your point. but the toy Murph is making no longer functions as the original and is only a copy of its shape. I believe he is doing nothing wrong if after he evaluates the casting method, he puts the model to use as he sees fit.

RavenscraftCybernetics06 Nov 2011 11:01 a.m. PST

hmmm so if Murphy took a photograph of the toy and printed it out on cardstock he is still infringing the copyright/ip of the original manufacturer?
the only difference I see is the medium.

ScoutII Inactive Member06 Nov 2011 11:32 a.m. PST

hmmm so if Murphy took a photograph of the toy and printed it out on cardstock he is still infringing the copyright/ip of the original manufacturer?

That would actually be more clearly a violation of the copyright. There are several cases where a sculpture was filmed or photographed in the background of a different picture. In many of those cases, the photographer lost a copyright case brought by the sculptor. Whether or not it is a violation depends on the prominence of the sculpture within the image…which in your proposed instance, it would be of significant importance.

The caes listed above cover someone counterfieting a product and passing it it off as the real item.

Some are counterfeiting – others are trademark violations – others are trade secret/patent violations – still others are simply copyright theft. The purpose of the post was that IP violations are in fact criminal offenses, not just civil issues. They are in fact prosecuted, and that is just a small sampling of the cases which have been prosecuted successfully in the past 10 years or so. That page is reserved for the big fish though – so tracking down smaller ones is more difficult (though I seem to recall a GW recaster from Missouri doing time 5 or 6 years ago…he was selling the items on eBay as I recall).

Mako1106 Nov 2011 12:05 p.m. PST

Arrr, depends on how much rum you've drunk…..

Perhaps if you get a Letter or Marque from a friendly guv'ner/ nation, you can declare yourself to be a privateer…..

Toaster06 Nov 2011 2:03 p.m. PST

The main purpose of toy cars is for boys to push them around the floor going "brmm brmm" so the rolling wheels are a vital part of the design.

The vital requirement for wargames scenery is that it stays were it is placed so fixed wheels are vital.

Now what does that make of the substantial change and origional use equation?

Robert

Cincinnatus Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2011 4:30 p.m. PST

Toaster – Sorry, you aren't even close to making a valid point with that post.

A toy car's purpose is to represent a life sized car in a smaller form. What people do with it is irrelevant when it comes to this specific topic.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2011 4:39 p.m. PST

The original could also be used for the purpose Murphy intends. If a copy had not been made, then Murphy – note, might – have bought more originals for that use. Therefore there is a clear potential loss to the original manufacturer.

Personal logo richarDISNEY of the RDGC Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2011 5:58 p.m. PST

Arrr…
beer

Ravenseye06 Nov 2011 8:03 p.m. PST

You are copying something that someone is selling for profit. So, therefore you are pirating the models…Pretty simple.

If you can buy it, and you copy it, you are pirating it.
No matter what the intended use of the copy is…

ScoutII Inactive Member06 Nov 2011 9:56 p.m. PST

Well, that is bad news for nycjadie – he will be out of a job since copyright law is so cut and dry.

Zyphyr06 Nov 2011 10:09 p.m. PST

IP must be actively protected, so companies will go after you even if you're not making a profit.

First, IP (Intellectual Property) is a legally meaningless term. It is a catch-all covering several distinct concepts : Copyright, Trademark, and Patent. The term was created by people with a financial interest in confusing the issue surrounding the three.

Of those three, only Trademark must be actively protected.

For Patents and Copyright, the owner is free to ignore infringements without compromising their rights.

Personal logo GeoffQRF Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2011 3:13 a.m. PST

Does using the original car in your game change what it is and what you are doing with it? He could make 12 copies of it and use it as a boardgame token and it would still be infringement.

It's not about usage, it's about copying. The right to copy the item vests with the originator of that item. What you are talking about is exercising one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder without authorisation.

You'll have to check the US law for yourself, but in the UK have a look at s.16 CDPA:

16. The acts restricted by copyright in a work.

(1)The owner of the copyright in a work has, in accordance with the following provisions of this Chapter, the exclusive right to do the following acts in the United Kingdom —

(a)to copy the work;

(b)to issue copies of the work to the public;

(ba)to rent or lend the work to the public;

(c)to perform, show or play the work in public;

(d)to communicate the work to the public;

(e)to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation;

and those acts are referred to in this Part as the "acts restricted by the copyright".

He can buy 12 of them from the originator, or he can make one of his own and cast it as often as he likes, whether for himself or for sale. However technically any unauthorised copy is an infringement (aka piracy) unless it falls under one of the limited fair use clauses (note that the UK doesn't really have fair use like the US does). In the UK you are looking at things like education, research, criticism, etc.

In Murph's case above, s.29(1) permits Fair Dealing.

Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

It's not quite so cut and dry, but may be arguable that he is researching the casting product.

There are several cases where a sculpture was filmed or photographed in the background of a different picture.

I suspect there is something in the US, but in the UK look to CDPA s.31, which provides that incidental inclusion is not an infringing act.

he will be out of a job since copyright law is so cut and dry

Proving it is often extremely time consuming, and thus the expensive bit :-)

nebeltex Inactive Member07 Nov 2011 2:42 p.m. PST

@toshach,

"So considering the case here, if Murhpy wanted to make and sell these things, he would likely have to get permission to do so from Ford (it looks like a Ford) as well as the manufacturer of the toy."

this is a realm of IP known as "trade dress". as long as it looks like an actual ford, you might end up owing ford.

"Personally speaking, purchasers of my pdfs can make as many copies for their own personal use as they wish. Making copies to give away or sell is a no, no.

So according to my copyright guidelines, Murphy could make as many repos of the car as he wants, as long as he keeps them."

copyrights do not have guidelines, what you are refering to is known as a EULA (end user license agreement). you either have the right to copy under certain circumstances (i encourage the same as you) or not at all.

@Zephyr
nope, see above. "trade dress" goes hand in hand with "trademark". if it looks like a duck, it IS a duck, whether it quacks or walks.

link

i think this could possibly be "fair use". not under "teaching" (or educational). teaching yourself is not the point, "research" possibly could apply. he is researching how to make molds and cast. i wouldn't want to bet my freedom on it though….

best suggestion here was to sculpt your own car by hand, and cast from THAT original. don't forget to copyright and/or trademark YOUR original murph… they are decent castings, now try sculpting. i know you can do it.

just because something is OOP, does not make a difference. many things in life of an artistic nature are "limited edition". this increases their intrinsic value. van gogh paintings command the highest prices. why? primarily, because he did not produce a whole lot of paintings. if he had made thousands, instead of dozens, nobody would care and those paintings would be worth a fraction of what they are now.

another point to ponder… what if every artistic person (and there are PLENTY, especially on TMP) had the ability to copy anything they wanted? they could buy widget "X" at the retail price (let's say $20 USD) copy it for our own use (and pass a few more copies to friends and family), and then sell the (no longer needed) original at a slight loss ($15USD). where would be the monetary incentive for anyone to create something new?

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