Thieves Among Us (Please Read)

Discussion in 'Zealot Archives' started by exzealot, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. exzealot

    exzealot Member

    To all,

    As most of you know, I am the designer of the X-15A-2 that many of you purchased and hopefully enjoying. For that I want to thank you very much for your interest and support.

    As you can imagine, these models takes months to develop. The research alone can be exhausting. I spent virtually 100% of my free time during the holidays to complete this model because I knew many of you were wanting it, and over 10,000 hits on Zealot was enough incentive for me to get the job done. You can't get rich designing paper models, but selling them is a small reward for the many many hours spent developing them and just might help defray the cost of ink, paper, software etc..

    Sadly, members of Zealot, as well as Papermodelers decided to "share" my model for free through an Eastern European download website. I know their names, and I have not yet decided whether or not to expose them in these forums, but I am inclined to do so very soon. It is obvious to me, based on their few postings on these forums, that their interest is NOT in the subject matter or our fascinating hobby; but in stealing the work of others. These people are thieves in every sense of the word.

    Some may argue that certain cultures around the globe see nothing wrong with engaging in this activity. But such activities stifle creativity and snuff out any incentive for designers to create quality product for others to enjoy. This is in fact why we no longer have a viable music industry.

    Sorry for the rant, but this has to be one of the most disheartening events I have experienced. It is very sad to me, but I hope that the majority of honest people such as the 99% of you reading this will continue to support this wonderful hobby, and keep the spirit alive.

    Thanks for listening.

    Ken West
  2. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    How very sad. I wouldn't have believed it would happen especially from those that are here. I know the amount of time and effort it took to build this fantastic model. I can only hope that the shame be enough to prevent such activity from happening in the future.
  3. jagolden

    jagolden Guest


    It is infuriating. I emailed Chris just a couple hours ago to let him know I saw it myself.

    It's a beautiful and well designed model - I'm sure many will show their appreciation by purchasing it.
    Look forward to scaling it up and building mine.
  4. wccrawford

    wccrawford Novice Papercrafter

    Edit: The below message is more harsh than I intended. I've been stolen from in the past before, so my past pain entered in a little too strongly. As you read it, please take this into consideration.

    First of all, I agree that it's stealing and very wrong.

    But you do a disservice to all modelers by saying their theft takes away all incentive. It's the same as saying they are only in it for the money. There are many, many papercraft modelers that do it for free, and many that do it for money would still do it for free if that was the only way.

    As for a 'viable music industry', the only part that's no longer viable is the RIAA. Individual can and still do make money on their work. Look at Jonathan Coulton for an example of someone who gives away most of their work and still makes money on it.

    People that care will spend the money for the model, and people who don't wouldn't have spent the money anyhow.

    By all means, treat them like the thieves they are, just don't insult everyone else doing it.
  5. jaffro

    jaffro Long term member

    In a way you are right... "those that are here" would not do such a thing. But when you say "those that are here" you are basically talking about the many members we have who contribute to this forum with their posts, knowledge and common interests., making it the wonderful place that it is.

    The problem lies with "those others that are also here".

    There are members here who have only joined this community because they see it as a source of free models, you see them requesting copies of models, asking for scans, downloads, etc... they're everywhere. Most of them won't even build the hundreds of models they download, they only want them because they are there. They then go on to offer these models to other communities, so that they may become popular there, just like the original designers do here. Lets face it, most of these idiots don't care who designed the model and put hours of their own time into doing so... they just want it for their ever-growing collection.

    Sorry to hear it's happened to you Ken, sadly there's not much we can do to stop it, but I'd be keen to get a look at your list of names, and act accordingly.:twisted:
  6. Padre

    Padre Guest

    i am sorry that many people do not want to "rat" on a person who steals or be a "stool pigeon". They cost us all money, time and grief. We pay more for items we buy, insurance, trust in others, by not exposing those who steal, cheat or betray our trust. If we expose them more maybe they will change their ways(still waiting for that) or at least make it harder for them to practice their nefarious ways. Still it is up to you to do what you think best, I would not want to tarnish anyone who has made a mistake or a poor choice of judgment one time and will learn from it.

    The above is just my opinion and has no relation to this site or anything else.
  7. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I say expose 'em. Those of us who watched your design and build of that model know how much work you put into it, and your decision to offer it for sale should be respected and is not out of the ordinary. I've worked on enough poorly designed models with parts that don't fit or don't look right that when an expertly designed model comes along, I'm more than willing to shell out money for it if it is something I want to build.

    I write professionally for a living. If someone ripped off something I wrote, or used it without permission or attribution, it would be called plagiarism. Same deal here.

    Out the culprits. Their behavior should not be tolerated in a civil society, which is what we strive to be around here, right?
  8. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Ken, so very sorry to hear what happened. I hope you don't take your model down from sale, as I wish to buy it from chris soon. The sad part is you have a fantastic model and the price you are asking is way more then resonable for all the work you put into it. Don't know if would make any difference, but maybe the models should require a key code to open after perchase and sent fron the supplier after verification. We should ask chris what his thoughts are on this. Again, I hope that the stupidity of the few does not retract your willingness to produce more model designs. So sorry for what has happened, and my best to you.
  9. cdcoyle

    cdcoyle Member

    Out them, ban them, flog them.

    Or flog them, out them, ban them, then flog them again...your choice. :twisted:
  10. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    Simply stated out them, but please make sure that are you are positive that they are the ones who have allowed others to steal your work.

    To the members who share these files thinking that they are worth only a few dollars. I have said this before you are killing the hobby you love. To distribute a scanned or pirated file hurts you more then the designer. Think about these designers who do not make a living off of these models and even the major publishers are not getting rich off of these models. If they do not get the little compensation for their effort that they deserve then who will design that next model for our enjoyment? I am dam sure you won’t.

    Jim Nunn
  11. seth crofton

    seth crofton Member

    wow I followed your build posts quite frequently and I say expose them as well. some things will never change but a public shaming could help get them to change.

  12. Red

    Red Member

    Unfortunately :cry: when people get a paper model that they have to print themselves. they tend to view the file as if they bought a paperback book, and when they get done reading it, they give it to a friend not thinking about how that cost the author a sale of another book, or in this case a model.
    Maybe you could do something like Apple does with I-tunes so if the file is put on a new computer you have to buy a new key.
    or have the kit professionally printed boxed and snail mailed to the new purchaser ,that would raise the cost a bit.

    ( So have you given a book away and not shucked it? )yes it hurts.
    Yes the modelers that have it should have paid for it, maybe you could ask how they got it and if it was not a gift, ask them to go to your site and pay for it.
    this is just my opinion.
  13. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    Post the names, but only if you are 100% sure they posted it. It's wrong what is happening, but a witch hunt would be wrong. If we start a witch hunt people will not (possibly)buy the models, fearing that they will be accused of passing the files on to others. We have to be careful here.

    People are fighting back against this happening. Over at ecardmodels we have a group of guys that are looking through the download sites and reporting any links to designers and the file shareing sites. The file sharing sites usually take the files down pretty fast. But the big problem is, it only takes one person/member to share the files, then it's hard to stop it spreading. We can't watch all the site's 24 hours a day.
  14. jaeike

    jaeike Member

    That's disgusting. It's not like you were charging them an arm and a leg for your masterpiece. Have you looked into any legal action? At the very least have those files removed from those download sites. Perhaps it would also be helpful to lock the PDF with a password to help reduce piracy. Good luck to you Ken, your work, especially on the X-15, was worth much more than the mere $9 you're charging for it. Remember folks, a plastic kit of that scale and detail would be more than three times that cost.
  15. smyfe

    smyfe Member

    It saddens me that people here have resorted to stealing your fantastic work, I bought it myself, even though I am far from capable of doing it justice. I think you should let at least the moderators know who these people (and I use that term in the very loosest way) are, but I also think that we should all know, as it is our hobby that these idiots are putting at risk. I have always thought of these forums as a very trusting place where mere mortals like me, who have not got the amazing designing skills that you and others here like you have, can learn all the aspects of card models and watching your design threads is an inspiration to me and many others. There are many, many free models out there and most of them can be found via these forums, so i will never understand why someone would sink low enough to do this, they wouldn't like it if someone spliced into their cable tv or the like would they. 99% of the people here are trustworthy in my opinion and I think we should know about the other 1% who isn't.
    Sorry for ranting on, but this is really low
  16. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Very sorry to hear about the theft! Truly infuriating, considering how small the price is compared with the design effort. There are many people who can't create, so they just ... take.

    So true. We're in a transitional time in which the content and medium have been separated, and until we figure out a way to control distribution with out a physical medium ... it's Pirate's Holiday.

    I see no problem with exposing them, but that would be a serious accusation, so I would email them first and ask them to explain themselves, just in case.
  17. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Ken, very sorry that someone has given away your excellent model. We know you put a great deal of effort into researching and designing the subject. Did you make an effort to secure your intellectual property? I know it's possible to secure a PDF file with a password. Is it also possible to embed a serial number into each file's metadata and lock that with a password? Perhaps you could serialize each copy as it's sold and keep track of the buyer and serial number. That way, if a copy does get shared it should be possible to find out who shared it.

    On the moral issue, it's possible you may not have lost any sales. Honest people will still buy your model.
  18. exzealot

    exzealot Member


    I am 100% confident of the names who were engaging in this activity. These are NOT members who routinely participate in discussion threads. I looked up their postings in both Zealot and Papermodelers, and they are people who lurk behind the scenes looking for free handouts, scans etc. Their postings remind me of bottomfeeders in a tank full of beautiful fish.

    These are names you may or may not recognize.. I reported these names to Jaffro (administrator) and 2 of them are at Zealot. Another name has already been banned by Chris Gutzmer when he was here, but he still belongs to Papermodelers. I will be sending a message to Rick Thompson at Papermodelers so that he can perform a needed electronic enema on his site as well.

    My last words on this: I appreciate my many friends on Zealot, and I appreciate your support for the designers, builders, contributers, and our hobby in general. After a good night's sleeps, I woke up this morning and decided that I am NOT going to let a few nightcrawlers ruin the passion and fun that I find in this hobby. 2 years ago, I didn't even know that this hobby even existed. Now, I can't get away from it. I have learned so much from many wonderful and talented members of this forum, and this will not end. :thumb:

  19. ml5716111

    ml5716111 Guest

    Such people don't care about the future, they think only about themselves. :cry: but sooner or later, the results of their actions, will get back at them one way or another, and unfortunatly, the'll not even know why some no good things happen to them.

  20. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Hey, I have a few "aquaintences" named "Vinnie" an "Stosh" heading out Poland way in a few weeks, You want I should have them stop by somewhere and say EHHH!?
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