Re: Casting small Parts for 54mm Figures
- OK . . . I think it's time for a rebutal frpm a long-time caster.
1. I've been unable to find the parts I wanted to purchase. I buy many small parts when . . . and if . . . I can find them.
2. Any parts I make are for my personal use . . . I make no profit from them as they are not for sale.
3. If I were to copy an item 100 percent, then it would be a copyright infringement. In the toy soldier world it is commonly accepted that at least 20 percent of a figure should be modified (thus changing the character of the item) to remain clear of infringement. Purists may disagree, but this has been the custom for at least half a century. Look at the music industry . . . you need to change only a few words or notes to get around infringement. In this case, I'm taking a figure, adding self-made parts plus very small items taken from another figure.
4. I see this as akin to prayer in school . . . the courts may make it illegal, but as long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school.
So, while purists may disagree, the vast majority of us who don't have modeling skills, will continue to do as I do or worse. I have great envy for those of you who do have the skills, but at 79 I don't think I'm going to become a skilled artisan.
My apologies to those who disagree.
- Except that I've read through all of that legalese in the copyright laws, and I can assure you that there is no acceptable percentage that allows copying part of someone else's work.
As a matter of fact, the laws state that it is up to the original copyright owner's whether or not your use of his/her work is acceptable use. If that owner decides that your use of 1% of his/her work is unacceptable, you are in violation of the copyright laws.
If you'd like a really good example of this, try crossing Games Workshop. They have very expensive and capable lawyers who will run you into the ground if you abuse their Intellectual Property rights.
If you really need to copy that part, contact the copyright owner and ask for permission before you do it. If they say "yes", or that they'll be glad to do it for you at a price, you're good to go. If they say "no", and you do it anyway, well, then, IMO, you're a thief stealing their property and profits.
Just my 2 cents.
- Just so there's no misunderstanding, the "you" below is a public reference, not specific to any one person on this list. "?.. the copier's a thief..." might have been a better choice of words.
Sent from my iPad
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> If you really need to copy that part, contact the copyright owner and ask for permission before you do it. If they say "yes", or that they'll be glad to do it for you at a price, you're good to go. If they say "no", and you do it anyway, well, then, IMO, you're a thief stealing their property and profits.
> Just my 2 cents.
- On 3/08/2012 3:25 AM, Al wrote:
> 1. I've been unable to find the parts I wanted to purchase. I buy many small parts when . . . and if . . . I can find them.This point is okay under Oz copyright law
> 2. Any parts I make are for my personal use . . . I make no profit from them as they are not for sale.This is not okay under copyright law in Oz, unless the part is no longer
in manufacture. This includes if you make an exact copy in another
material. E.g. A lady I knew made an exact copy of a Pandora bead in
gold, because she could not purchase that bead in gold from Pandora...
she was still in breech.
> 3. If I were to copy an item 100 percent, then it would be a copyright infringement. In the toy soldier world it is commonly accepted that at least 20 percent of a figure should be modified (thus changing the character of the item) to remain clear of infringement. Purists may disagree, but this has been the custom for at least half a century. Look at the music industry . . . you need to change only a few words or notes to get around infringement. In this case, I'm taking a figure, adding self-made parts plus very small items taken from another figure.This okay too as it's like a collage, which is fine, however you cannot
make duplicates of that "collage" for sale. In Oz
> 4. I see this as akin to prayer in school . . . the courts may make it illegal, but as long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school.I'm missing the point on this one.
Regards Charles from Oz
- Realized last night that this is about 54mm figures.
When I first got into GW's Inquisitor (54mm figure game), I built a custom
war band of five figures. One of those was the original Space Marine figure
that GW came out with, but I heavily customized the figure. I was a bit put
off by the fact that the figure did not come with a helmet for the armor, so
I sculpted two of my own, both generally based on GW's 28mm line of Space
I heartily apologize for the really poor pictures. I was using a 35mm film
camera, and just could not get the whole macro thing going. I'll try to get
some digital pictures up of the figures.
Now, being fully aware of GW's propensity to (justly) stomp on certain
activities, and having access to a GW sales rep (worked in a hobby store), I
called them and asked about the helmets. One, they were something that GW
(up to this point) had not made, and two, I really wanted to have the option
of marketing the things at a later date.
The US rep put me in touch with the company in Great Britain, which led to
me talking to their IP (Intellectual Property) people. I also sent samples
to the US rep (who loved them, BTW. [grin]) Remember, these were literally
hand sculpted from scratch, not using any GW bits or pieces.
After some really nice conversations with GW's IP folk, I was told that as
long as I did not use their copyrighted labels, like "Space Marine", I could
market the helmets. They preferred that I include the helmets as part of a
set of different (1:30 scale) 54mm heads, but I got permission to claim my
own copyright on the bits.
A few phone calls, some time, and I was in the clear.
I know that copying is done and generally condoned by hobbyists, but it's
legally wrong. It steals creative energy and profits from someone or some
company who makes their living from what's being copied.
I have a 1500-2000 point WH40K Space Marine army that the customizing of the
figure above was based on. As a challenge, I wanted to build them so that
no two figures had the same exact arm/hand position, and also built custom
weapons and gear for all of them. I could have simply copied the arm sprues
to provide all of the arms that I needed, as the bits are plastic and no one
would have been the wiser, but I purchased all of them from GW. All of the
weapons were individually built from styrene and other non-gaming bits. It
was fun, BTW.
Then we had a customer at that hobby store who bought 5 GW miniatures and
cast an entire 1000 or 1500 point army from them. ... and he came in and
bragged about what he'd done. In all good conscience, we could not let him
play with that army in the store. It was a GW product that we sold in the
store. Not only had he copied GW's work, he kept us from profiting on all
of those mini sales. Had he kept his mouth shut, no one would have been
the wiser unless they picked up one of his minis and wondered why they were
"plastic" instead of metal, and slightly less detailed than the original
minis. Brick hobby stores do not stay in business unless you buy from them.
As a caster, I can't stay in business if someone buys one of my works and
copies them to avoid buying more. I put hundreds of hours in designing new
miniatures and mastering them, and tons of research if their
historically-based minis. I have one fort that has 200+ hours in it.
Now, I could see how tempting copying a bit or a feature off of a mini for
personal use could be, especially if it's a bit that isn't offered for
separate sale by a manufacturer, but if I were to do this, I would not
publish anywhere that I was going to or had copied the part.
There is no "20% rule" in copyright law (or any other "percent"), it's
entirely up to the original copyright owner to decide whether or not your
use of their work is acceptable. It's also unwise to inform others on a
public forum that you're copying other's work.
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- Just realized that my custom Squat mini is missing from those pictures...
Time to replace those pics with new ones.
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- Good points, Mike.
Perhaps I should clarify my earlier discussion on copying parts.
First, I have discussed the topic with the agent of William Britains, the largest manufacturer of toy soldiers, and have a letter from them saying that I may do so provided I do not sell them . . . which I don't.
Second, the figures that I copy parts from are generally outside copyright here in the USA as they're pre-WW2.
Third, the 20% rule that I quoted is widely accepted among modellers even though not a part of copyright law. I, for one, normally modify any part I copy just to remain within copyright laws. Remember,all of us are not skilled artisans and need all the help we can get.
I realize that my note struck a tender chord with sculptors and I apologize for that . . . they certainly deserve all the fruits of their labor they can get. (My wife and I sponsor the arts as best we can.)
It should also be remembered that most of us contributors do not state the full case when submitting a question so as to keep messages short. Please remember this when making an acerbic comment and give us the benefit of the doubt. Most of us are as honest as you are!
Still, the ensuing discussion was one that needs to be aired now and then to keep us on our toes.