BSG Papermodel on ebay???

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by davitch, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Padre

    Padre Guest

    Winning bid: US $76.00

    Wow, that would buy me a few new models.....................:steamtrain: I have some that should go for that much sign1. Hummmmmm? I would give full credit to designer and site to purchase or download it. Hummmmm?

    No, I LOVE my models too much, at least at this time...............haven't asked my wife as she might not agree with me and I am SURE NOT telling her how much the model went for..................:thumb:sign1
  2. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Well ... at least he wasn't selling the kit 'unassembled' like most immoral sellers do on ebay.
  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    First of all, it's not me saying this, I'm trying to inform you of what was said by a poster who represented himself as a copyright and patent lawyer, commenting on this very issue. Anyway, it appears that it's not that they can't be sold, it's that to be legally sold, they require permission of the designer - unless they were sold under a copyright agreement that allowed commercial use. Whether or not the original copyright holder would litigate is a different question. They may not care at all.

    I'm not an attorney, and I don't know what copyright agreements plastic models are sold under, and whether or not they prohibit commercial use. Assuming they do, probably the kit manufacturers simply don't care and don't litigate, maybe because they view such sales as a net gain for their industry, like the "fan art" industry.

    Presumably the studios own the rights.

    I will quote the lawyer from the other thread ...
  4. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Not according to the lawyer:

    The First-sale Doctrine does not apply to derived works. From the Wikipedia article you linked to (emphasis added):
    So the question is whether or not an assembled model is a derived work. The copyright lawyer says it is. Of course, the ultimate decision would be up to a judge. It would be great to know if there is precedent for such a case.


    Okay, you're not a lawyer, you say it's okay. Some guy who is a copyright lawyer says it's not okay. In the end, it's up to each person to weigh the risks and make a personal decision.

    My point in posting in this thread is that someone selling an assembled model on eBay as if it were their own work, and without the original designer's permission, is selling the model illegally, at least according to a copyright lawyer. I posted this because that could be valuable to know if the original designer objects to this sale. He may or may not, I don't know. But I wanted to share this information in case it's useful.
  5. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    He isn't selling the plans though. While it's true the drawings are designed so that a model can be created by cutting and folding. When he takes the PLAN and cuts and folds it. It is no longer a plan. Therefore it is no longer copy written. What is required is a Patent to mark the object that is created from the plan and being the object of your design. A different kettle of fish all together. Clearly you can't patent the process as that is a well know and widely understood. Process of construction would need to be unique to your model. Nor can you patent the model as the builder is in control of the materials and techniques used in the construction. Only if the builder followed your instructions which would then need to include the materials used to the letter would he/she have made a copy of your object then he or she would be required to pay your royalties if that item is sold with or without your permission.

    As most designers aren't in control of the building techniques nor materials used the construction of the model based on the plan is purely co-incidental and therefore not patentable.

    Plans are copyrightable but the derivative of the plan isn't. So long as you are building the object in question and not selling the plan to build the object then you are legally safe.

    Is it ethical to sell the models claiming you did all the work including the design NO. I would never do it. Not without there permission and some sort of residual for the work they put into your profit.

    Clearly there are for lack of a better word dunderheads with more money then brains willing to pay some dude to build something they could clearly do themselves for a lot less money. They are also missing out on the joy of accomplishment when you have taken the card and turned it to something fantastic. They haven't even looked at what they may get in the mail after it's been sent in box..???? Made of cardboard.

    Perhaps an EBAY store with nothing but weblinks to the free models online would do the trick.. Someone does a search for models and finds the free ones listed.. and the ones you have to pay for... Which would you choose ;) More then that perhaps. The word needs to get out more about this fantastic hobby and how people can build there own models. As word spreads there will be less and less temptation for someone to pay for work you would clearly enjoy more if you did it yourself..
  6. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Two problems.

    First, just because a kit is free does not automatically make re-distribution (free or otherwise) legal. This is a common misperception. Copyright law confers a number of rights on the designer including that of distribution. The designer may well be deriving financial benefit from the distribution of a free model, e.g. by attracting traffic to a site where he sells other models. If someone independantly re-distributes the free model, the designer is being deprived of the financial benefit of that traffic. Of course, the designer may not care, e.g. he may make the model available for free distribution as long as it's not sold. It depends on the designer and the copyright agreement he released the free model under.

    Second, it can't be argued that the builder is simply selling his labor and materials because the price includes the value of the original work. The added labor and materials have no value at all without the original work included. If this were not true, I could photograph your paintings and publish them in a book without your permission, or I could record your live performance, and sell it on CDs - in either case claiming I was just seeking compensation for labor and materials. In either case, your permission would be needed, or there would be opportunity for legal action.
  7. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Are you sure about that? I think it would depend on the copyright agreement for the plan in question, because copyright law does cover derivatives.

    I think the real question is whether or not an assembled model can be considered a derivative work.

    From US copyright law:
    Again, from US copyright law, one of the ways to determine if something is a derivative is if:
    Could an assembled model be copyrighted by the builder?

    Once again, it would ultimately depend on the agreement involved, preceeding case law, and a judge's determination.
  8. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Bingo! And that is why lately I have been stressing the need for card model designers to pay more attention to the copyright agreements they release their models under, and to make sure there are copyright notices on the parts pages of their models. It's important for combatting piracy, and insuring they get as many legal sales as possible.

    Okay I'm tired of posting today, time for some designing. :)

    Happy Chinese New Year! :wave:
  9. Padre

    Padre Guest

    Crap, I am confused!
    Is it ok if I look at the models I bought and built or do I have to burn them in the back yard and be arrested for polluting the air? Is it even safe to buy one anymore? If we are honest, build for our own pleasure, give one or two to a friend (who is not into building and pesters the heck out of you for one).................What the heck? If ya make him pay so you can buy a new model (and maybe if he pays he wont ask for any more)....................what the heck. I build because I enjoy it and for no other reason.

    I have also built some Disney and Canon for my grandchildren, is that wrong?
  10. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    As it is tranformed in a great way from something that is 2D to something that is 3D perhaps. But again it's a model not the plan.. The plan and the model that come from the plan are in my mind two separate things. The model itself isn't copyrightable. It is a sculpture you could say on one end.

    I would think a derivative work would be if someone got the plan and then changed or modified it in some way then sold/resold the PLAN claiming it was there own plan. By the definition of transformed.. That can mean almost anything.

    It is kind of poor law that uses itself as a definition of itself. In a way it's asking to prove that something doesn't hold a copyright by copyrighting it.. If it can be copyrighted then what you have isn't a derivative work.

    Okay what I'm thinking this all boils down to is this.. Is it good well no is it illegal well perhaps yes but it's a pretty broad definition. That by what the law states vaguely I think. Anyway it's enough to give one a headache and almost kill any kind of creative work especially when it comes to modeling that is by its very nature a derivative work of the original.

    Perhaps a way to solve this would be to as you said put on the model plans 'NOT TO BE SOLD (RESOLD if the model was for sale to begin with) IN HOLE OR IN PART AS A PLAN OR COMPLETED MODELl" that perhaps will slow it down if not stop that from happening if the designer of the model so wishes.
  11. davitch

    davitch Member

    You would probably have to put that disclaimer somewhere on the texture of the model, even though someone could edit it, it would make it harder for someone to sell.
  12. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    You're right, the law is very vague. I guess it has to be, to cover such a wide range of IP, media and possible transformations, including those possible with technology that does not yet exist.

    Yeah! :thumb: That's why I posted in this thread. I want designers to be more aware of this!

    Digital card modeling is a very new artform, really only a few years old. There is not yet much in the way of standards or conventions. I think a lot of designers don't even consider putting copyright statements on their models. But I think they should, even free models. That's standard practice for IP producers in other industries. This would make it much more clear what the builder (or re-seller) is allowed to do without permission.

    This could really help with situations like someone compiling a CD of free downloads and selling it on eBay. Some designers might care about this, others might not. With no copyright statement (or email address or website URL) on a model, it's not at all clear, and not easy for a customer to determine.

    I agree - in fact I just suggested that in another thread. :) If the notice was incorporated onto the bottom of a model, in a textured area, it would be much harder to remove, or at least it would probably be obvious that something was removed.

    But even just putting it on the edge of the page or on a blank tab is still worthwhile. It makes a pirate do some extra work, and (if not deliberately removed) it helps inform builders who might not otherwise have any idea where the model was from or whether or not it can be re-sold without permission.

    I would suggest that designers consider putting on every parts page something like "(c) John D. Ziner, 2009. This model available at Support card model designers!"

    Additionally, on their web site, and the first parts page could be a bit more information describing the terms, something like "May be freely copied or distributed, no commercial use without permission." or whatever the designer wishes.

    That way, no matter how a builder acquired the model, at least they would know where it came from and how they could pay for it if they wanted to.
  13. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Heh, that's probably okay! :) But if you start trying to sell Disney or Canon's models on eBay ... don't say I didn't warn you ... ;)

    Disney, in particular, is quite aggressive about defending its copyrights. In fact, someone on this forum designed a free model of a Disney castle, and was contacted by Disney's legal team. :eek: If I recall, there was a happy ending - Disney liked the model, and they came to an agreement under which it could be distributed.

    Auto companies and defense manufacturers are also cracking down on model designers. I think it was Zealot poster Mark Crowel who described a recent case in which a die-cast model manufacturer got in trouble over an unauthorized model of a Studebaker. And don't even think about trying to market a plastic model of a warplane without permission from the real plane's manufacturer! So far card models have slipped under their radar, but I think it's only a matter of time ...
  14. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    Regarding what you said about Disney, if that where the case, everyone selling 2nd hand items that are branded Disney should be warned. 2nd hand Disney items are easily available on ebay, nowt's done about that. Same could be said about every other brand on the planet. Are we to bin everything that is no longer wanted. What about books, we read them, when we've finished with them are we to bin them or pass/sell them on to other people that then read the book, then maybe sell it on again.

    And while everyone's 'at each other' about the copyright issue, various model's keep poping up around the internet. Ain't it about time everyone stopped arguing on here and did something about it. Just imagine what the pirates are thinking about when they look in on this thread, they must think we are idiots. They got to be laughing.

    And the Disney castle model designer has his own site he's not just a member on here.

    Although I think it was immoral of they guy/ebay seller,not to credit the designer, I'm getting bored and fed up with this thread, I won't be reading it anymore and I'm off to report some links to the file sharing networks. Some real action, instead of having a go at other members.
  15. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    I think you might be confusing two different issues here.

    Selling second-hand copyrighted products is perfectly legal under "first sale" doctrine. That's why it's legal to sell a book after you've read it. If you make copies of a book and sell them without permission, or use the book to make something else (e.g. a commercial film) without permission, that's where you might be infringing on copyright. So thankfully there is no need to "bin everything". :)

    I agree with you that this is a boring topic. Unfortunately, it's an important one for card modeling and its designers. :(
  16. I guess YOU are confusing a few differente issues here, as some others do too:

    It is NOT forbidden to sell a build Disney papermodel - as long as this papermodel is a LEGAL one, licensed by Disney.

    Selling a private made one is the problem, not licensed by Disney - because their copyright has been violated by producing such an item. You can make one for you, but you`re not allowed to share them - even if it is for free!

    The same thing is the point with the Galactica from the starting post: It is NOT forbidden to sell a build papermodel of that ship - IF it were a licensed one.

    This one isn`t licensed, so in this case it IS forbidden - but not because of copyright issues with the designer of tha papermodel, but because of copyright issues with the license holder of Battlestar Galactica!

    Selling only the file of the model by a third party would violate BOTH copyrights - the "grey one" of the designer of the papermodel and the real one of the BSG producers.

    It is nice to mention a way to get the unbuilt model, and a question of personal honour and sincerity, but IMHO there is no reason based on any law to be forced to do so when you sell a built one.

    For example: If you sell a build plastic kit, do you mention "by the way, you can get it unbuilt in any wal-mart", or so?

    Even selling stuff that was originaly available for free (like movie posters that you got from a cinema, or give-aways from shows and such) can be sold later for money. Why not? It is necessary to metion where it came from? Again: no. Just a question of honour.
  17. Mousemuffins1

    Mousemuffins1 Member

    What if someone comes to me with a kit, and asks "can you build this for me?" and I say ' Fine, that'll cost you $30", how is that any different from charging for time and effort on e-bay? Can I not charge for a service?
  18. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

    I have many paper models on my archives and files, such as Modelay Modelarz and freebies from JayBats and others from this forum. I have my own build of the Warhammer-40K, and I have extensively redone Jays vipers and other builds as well as Murphya. Even when I redo these models to my taste and form, I give them Credit for their base ploans whenever I can.

    I cannot place myself in the position of taking all the credit and profitting from the hard work that they did in the construction of their models.

    Warhammer is Warhammer, Disney is Disney, if you make models that reflect those corporations without their approval and make a profit, you are closer to the Somali pirates, or maybe a Socialist, "each according to their needs".

    Mess with Disney, and I hope that you made enough profit to pay for the lawyers, court cost and the lawsuit.

    Strength and Honor
  19. That is exactly what I mean. In both cases the price is been asked for the WORK done, not for the item. I see no problem with that, in a legal way. Just a matter of honour to mention the designer of a kit (something I would do) and to make sure noone thinks it is a scratchbuild model, a pure "one of a kind".
  20. Mousemuffins1

    Mousemuffins1 Member

    agreed. On the subject of Warhammers (of which I'm a fan), I am amazed that Games workshop hasn't cottoned onto Flarebaffled's stuff and canned it. they have almost as many Lawyers as Disney.

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