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Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by rickstef, Jun 1, 2007.
Happy stirring on the morrow
The idea of being the publisher because you downloaded it is a valid point which I did not take into consideration. This may seem picky but I would think that if you printed the model, then painted it manually, it would be affecting the final product and not the publishing of it. This would be the same thing that is done all the time to purchased kits. ARMORMAN has stated how I feel.
"As a designer who has done both free and for purchase only kits, If you buy it from me, as long as you don't scan and resell or post a pirate version of a purchased kit, I don't mind seeing what someone does with it. I like to see somone creating something new off my designs (as long as the original is credited and the above is not violated)." ARMORMAN
Meh! I already posted about this in one other thread... then a second one was created... now theres a third one. I'm not gonna post about the same thing in three threads. Oh wait ... I just posted in the third thread. IRONY!!!!!
If your downloading a model and it's locked from editing. This is a clue to ask permission to deviate from the intended build. It's a free model and the price you are paying for getting it free is to adhere to the original creator's intended distribution wishes. After all you got it for free, what else do you want. Does this mean any custom work is out of the question? Perhaps...
Lets take a shot at this.
He responds ....
Angry? Happy? Indifferent?
Which is it?
Where did I go right and where did I go wrong?
On the second quote, an upgrade kit could have been released. All parts were created by you and therefore, yours to do with as you will.
Yes, Bear...this has turned into a good thread with some interesting points of view.
As for releasing freebies, the request for freebies and such, I turned towards card modeling when I noticed the difference in price. Sure, card models generally aren't as detailed as p%*(&)# is but I am not into that much detail, so card stock worked out fine. Later on, as I found many free models available on the internet, I was happy.
Today, as my living and medical costs take close to 95 percent of my monthly income, freely released models are about the only way I will ever get new kits to enjoy. And although I have problems building them, I still like to look at the flat sheets and marvel at the engineering.
Now, just because a model is free, doesn't mean there isn't rights on that object. SteveM is totally correct in his assessment of publishing rights. In the same way, a publisher CAN NOT change the words of a writers book before printing without his consent, a user of a free model cannot for public consumption, change the look of a freely released model without the designers permission. What you do on your own under the roof of your home, is your own business, but if you want to go public and show others what you did, it makes sense to ask the designer if he will allow it.
Carrying on a little more, let's take a freely released model...enlarge it to a different scale, add a few parts for detail, and change the color. Now what. It is still NOT releasable as a freebie without the original designer's permission. You did not build a new model, you only expanded on an existing one. That is like taking the first 10 chapters of The War of the Worlds and changing the rest of the book because "it's boring" or whatever, and calling that an original work. Well, it IS NOT. You have plagiarized someone else's work for your own benefit.
As for the leaches who under whatever terms they want to use are spreading the hobby by selling CDs full of free models, I am sure mine have been put on a number of the disks of a number of those pirates. I know I can't do a lot about it outside of contacting the seller, and the business allowing the sale of the object (could eBay be charged with being an accomplice to a crime, if once told of the crime, ignore the advice and allow the sale of the unlawful goods to continue?). Does that cause me to think of stopping the release of future models I design because I don't benefit from the money some jackass is making off of my work? No, it DOES NOT. Why? Well, I seriously doubt if such a person is going to make a million dollars on the sales. I designed my models because I liked doing it and still do. I have released six models...five Flintstone models and one Kancho repaint. I have gotten less than a dozen thank you's for my Flintstone models, and only one for the Kancho repaint. I have seen only three people's builds of any of the Flintstone models and none of the repaint. Do I care? No...in the same way that I felt when I wrote an educational piece for my newspaper back in my editor days, that if the article helped one person, then it was worth taking the time to research, write and publish it.
I spent several months designing my Gruesome Limo model. It was all done basically by pen and paper, but on a CAD program. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen different files went back and forth between my beta builder and me to get the design just right. I consider that model the crowning achievement in my designing career so far. To me, it is a beautiful work of art and I love that model and that design. And I wouldn't have it any other way...waiting for someone to download, to print, to build and then to admire...whether I know it or not. Just knowing that close to a 1,000 people have downloaded the model tells me at least one person (outside of my beta builder) is enjoying the final product.
I like sharing my work with the those of the world who have shared so much of their time and labor with me...be it with kits I was able to purchase, kits they released for free and build photos of kits they built.
And I like being able to take something I got off the internet, do what I want with it for my own use. But if I ever show that work, I will always get the original designers permission to do so...it just common courtesy to do so.
So...the floor is open...the bullseye target is on my forehead. Have at the words of the Grand Poobah...but don't plagiarize them without quotes. 8v)
One of the reasons I like to see people having a go at doing their own designs is that they avoid all this grief! Although if they then release their design into the big bad world, suddenly they see this issue from the other end of the telescope.......
I've recoloured copyrighted designs in the past; replaced incorrect lettering, bad colours, turned national insignia the right way up, changed squadron markings, camouflage and more besides. And I've built the resulting models. But they were for me. Maybe I stepped over some copyright lines, but who's to know? The trick is not to shout to the world what has been done! OK, this might mean NOT doing a build thread, or a repaint tutorial, or entering the model in a competition. Just leave it on your model shelf and get on with the next project, happy in the knowledge that your version is closer to your requirements than the original. Don't brag about it.....
But LEARN from the process, and then do YOUR OWN designs! These you can distribute as freely as you want, shout about from the rooftops, build-thread and beta-test as much as you like! Even flog it for real $$$! But do it for the love of the design process. If you want your ego massaged, sign up for the X-Factor. Ash, your download/thank-you ratio saddens me, but doesn't surprise me. Anyone releasing a model expecting more than a handful of comments is going to be sorely disappointed.
I'm almost moved to say if some jerk does stick it on a CD on eBay, irritating as it is (and providing wonderful sport for some others!), other than telling eBay about it there is hardly anything you can do realistically about it. Not nice, but that is one of the down sides of digital data; look how the music industry has tried to deal with exactly the same issues. Hardly inspiring, I'd say. But put your energies into your next design. Don't let the creep distract you. You can always just e-mail the files to mates you know will truly appreciate your work.
This has been an interesting thread for me to read (along with the others on the same subject). I completely understand why a designer would be miffed if somebody reworked their model and then reissued it w/o permission, but I'm utterly baffled by why someone would get upset about having their model tweaked for the builder's sole enjoyment. I say this from the perspective of someone who mostly builds wooden ship models. In that particular hobby, modifying kits is so utterly pervasive that it has its own slang term, "kit bashing". Being sufficiently skilled to bash a kit is considered a badge of honor in the wooden ship world. Even the designers know this, since commercial wooden kits must necessarily sacrifice detail in the name of economy. There are vendors who deal in practicums for bashing certain kits. Even the kit manufacturers use display models labeled with the disclaimer that the display model may be shown with accessories not included in the kit.
So I don't get it. Every time someone sees what someone else has done to modify a commercially available kit, the potential exists that that person may be sufficiently moved to acquire the kit for them self, and thus the market (and therefore the hobby) is expanded. I have had numerous contacts from people who have said that they purchased a particular ship kit after seeing my completed build of it, and I bash all my wooden kits. I bashed, and the vendors ultimately benefited.
BTW, I do concur that contacting designers of kits one has built is a great idea. The ones I have emailed have always expressed a good deal of appreciation for the contact.
I thought that I would try to put down some of my thoughts on the background to why I make models and why I charge for them.
My models have, so far, only been available on paper, from me. I realise that someone who has purchased one can then scan it and copy it. If they then try to make money from their unaltered scan of my model I shall not be pleased. If they give it away free I shall not be pleased.
a.) If they sell it at a price that I would have sold it at then that is a loss to me of the selling price of that model.
b.) If they give it away free then I have, in effect, lost the selling price of that model.
c.) If they sell it at a lesser price than I would have sold it for then I have lost the price that I would have sold it at.
d.) If they sell it for more than I would have sold it for I have lost the price that I would have sold it at and they have extorted the remainder from someone ignorant enough to pay more.
Now at scenarios b.) and c.) above you could say that the models would not have been sold by me as the price was more than the purchaser was willing to pay, but you cannot be certain of that and it is a grey area.
Why do I want payment for my models?
You design a few and see how you feel about it, but I have been brought up in an environment where you pay for what something is worth, and time is worth more than you expect, and time is what it takes to design a model.
I estimate that I shall have to sell more than 1000 of each of my designs to break even and so I am resolved to run at a loss as I never expect to achieve this. I may be charging for my models but I'm still designing for the love of it, not for profit.
So, what if someone takes one of my models and changes it?
Well it could be that it was something I was going to do myself. For example, if I produce a locomotive depicted at a certain date, it may well be that I have a plan to produce another model at some time in the future showing how it was changed after being taken over by another railway company and altered and repainted. Now I'm not going to mind if someone alter a model in this way, and I'm not going to mind if they display their work. If they try to sell their altered version of my model though, that is where the disputes start.
If they ask me if they can do so then I shall make a decision based on how I feel about it, after all they could always re-design their model from scratch without using my model and I would have no reason to be upset, it would all be their work and effort.
So it comes down to whether you respect the effort being put in to producing the model, your own effort being respected, and the effort of someone who wants to use your model as a starting point for theirs.
If everyone acted in a respectful manner (and I'm not pointing a finger at anyone, just stating my thoughts) then perhaps there would be less disputes, and it is so easy when not talking face to face to leave the wrong impression.
Now, in the next year I intend to have a web site up and running and then I shall be exploring having some free downloads available. Can I really say that I would have any other feelings about models that I was giving away free, at a loss, rather than models that were very slowly paying me back and still at a loss?
I'd like to see the managers and members of the site pick up on Goney 3's suggestion about the Creative Commons to see whether it might be a practical way to protect members' work so that people who are harrassed or ripped off might be able to continue to make their work available free if they really want to. I went to their web site, found I'd have to go back to get the basics I wanted, but then I clicked on Goney 3's "It's Easy" icon. It's a short video which gives those basics. I'll still go back to learn more, but if you want the basics, click on the icon. I know that when I see a notice at a site that materials are protected by a CC license it makes a good impression on me.
I endorse Goney 3's suggestion that info about CC be made a sticky.
Somehow I doubt we are going to change human nature from (or even in) this website.
I can't imagine that most people who download without saying "thanks" are actually ungrateful. Some, yes, and I know that there are profiteering moochers everywhere, but I don't have time to sweep them all from the face of the earth. On the other hand, I've not been injured personally as far as I know, and so I don't know how big a fire would be set in my soul if I were.
Finding free models here and elsewhere has been a wonderful experience for me, one that makes me full of admiration for human generosity. This is a great hobby. I'd love to have kids introduced to it as soon as they can cut and paste. Too many adults I know can't figure out how a nut and bolt relate to each other: what you learn about construction, design, visualization isn't really taught much at all in school, and what you learn about this from paper modelling will serve you all your life, whatever you do. Free models help kids get started. Free models help people who would like to learn to make their own. Retired people or people with large families can enjoy a creative hobby they can afford. People with mild brain damage can regain use of important parts of their brains while doing an activity they can enjoy instead of (or after) routine occupational therapy which a lot of people hate too much to get its value. Sites which offer a mix of free and non-free models have a good thing going, I think: I've downloaded free, only to go back again and again to a site to buy something else there which I like.
I'm going on too long here. I'll come back later with something about the mental process of saying thanks for a free model. It seems really easy, but it is really fairly complicated. Maybe together we could figure out a way for modellers and designers to meet on common ground at least some of the time.
creative commons is a great idea but we are forgetting the 2 types of people in the world ... the few who live by the rules and the many who ignore them.
The honest people who design and contribute and those who never design but are active building the community are the few. The many are those who thumb noses are copyright, intellectual property and creative developement to either hoard as much free product as they can or use it to line their pockets.
The latter will never stop to think of the former and the only good thing is that the former can learn more to not become the latter.
If you are producing a model for sale it would be appropriate to compensate the owner of this website as the website is advertising your model. It is obviously the Admin's decision but I don't think this website costs him nothing.
"ungrateful" users: The ironic thing about this is that it is the very rarity of "thank you's" that makes the ones you do get so valuable. If every one of the 300,000 downloads from my site sent a "thankyou", I think I would have stopped caring about them long ago. As it is, each of the 10-20 I have received are nearly as valuable as gold (emotionally) and really do make it worthwhile to continue designing.
pirates: I really don't get why you would refuse to release a free model just because of the existence of pirates. I am having a really hard time expressing this without sounding like I'm condoning piracy. But pirates are not going to be stopped by not releasing your model. You were releasing it for free. All you do by not releasing it is to deny it to the people you were intending to give it to anyway. No, I do not condone nor appreciate pirates making money off my hard work and would try to stop it when I see it, but the reason I design models is not to not distribute them because somebody might try to make money from it. I design to give to people who enjoy building models. I'm not trying to make money off it myself, and I think far more people are benefitting from downloading the free model than are being ripped off by the ebay pirates.
That implies that the "rules" are not corrupt or damaging to the society.
Copyright Problems Facing All Americans (VERY IMPORTANT!)
Eyes on the Fair Use of the Prize
I've been reviewing my own behavior. I notice I am pretty good about thanking someone for a response to my queries and for a tip that I find really helpful.
I am terrible about thanking people for designs I download, and it looks as if many of us are in the same boat. Am I ungrateful in my heart? Anything but. Why is this?
I don't know how to do it. I don't know when to do it.
When I download a design I know I will build? Probably. When I download a design I hope to build "someday"? Not so clear. When I download a design because it happens to interest me at the moment or because I think I will live forever and may run out of designs to build? Even less clear, but probably I should think a little more carefully about what I download.
When I am building or have built the design? Unless I have pointless criticism, absolutely. But when did I first download it, and where did I get it? I've been getting better about keeping records of sources, but often I just don't know, so the good intention of doing it when I build it easily fails, and all that is left is silent gratitude. And if it has been, say, 5 years since I downloaded it, what then?
If I find that I have made several models from the same designer, I absolutely should send a note to that designer as soon as I realize that I am paying attention to that designer's work.
And what about designs we pay for? Are the $ we pay a sufficient sign of gratitude? (I'm not knocking the warming value of $, just noting that paying $ can sometimes lower the value I put on the thing purchased.)
Designers and users need each other, but sometimes I think we don't talk to each other very well. I'd like to hear from other users who, like me, haven't expressed their appreciation for particular designs and why they haven't. (I know that one of my excuses used to involve not stuffing designers' mailboxes with too many "thank you's" [WRONG!]
Being a user not a designer here is my view on this topic.
I always send a thank you note to any designer that I am able to contact when I complete a model I have downloaded.
I have never sent a thank you note when I download a model and it has been troubling me somewhat since I started reading this and many of the threads leading to this discussion. I started a thread asking about this and how you choose what to build next (didn't think I needed 2 threads).
I do know that I have changed my habit of downloading lately though. I have stopped grabbing every model that I though "I might get around to building that" about. I now only download the models that I have every intention of building.
The other big issue here seems to be copyright.
In light of recent events I really like the EULA posted earlier in the thread. If the designer states exactly what he allows and exactly what he does not allow (ie NO repaints, NO rescaling, OK to repaint, ...) then it might clear up some issues and may even make it easier to prove your copyright if needed.
While I guess I am lucky and don't have to deal with anything but the simplest end of it, the user end, I think I understand enough about it to say the following:
An EULA, Creative Commons, or whatever form you use is exactly like a lock on your front door. It will only keep the honest people out, and honest people are becoming a rarity.
Whether you sell or give away free, I think you just have to factor in some degree of piracy as a cost of doing business in the digital world,at least for now.
The new challenge for designers (or any IP content creators) is to create things which people might be able to get for free, but don't mind paying for, either because the value vs. price is so great, or because they like the product so much that they want to support the creator and enjoy more of their work.
High quality and low price are hard to put together, but in digital media some things like production or distribution may have trivial cost. Reaching your customer or audience directly without expensive physical-media middlemen (corporate studios, publishing houses, etc) may also help artists and designers to keep prices low (ask a musician sometime how much of the price of a CD actually ends up in their pocket).
Designers can also add purchasing incentive by offering things that pirates can't reproduce, e.g. special services, something attractive about the buying experience, etc.
It's a tough environmment now, but who knows, when the dust settles, it might be better than ever before. If we can create an environment where piracy is held to tolerable levels, and creative people can reach their customers without the need for down-dumbing corporate mass-marketeers, we could end up with more creative products available, at lower prices than ever before, and in much wider variety and broader range of tastes. And maybe even better livelihoods for underpaid creative people!
Wow, you really don't understand what the Creative Commons is about.
Please click on these and watch the videos to be more informed:
Wanna Work Together?
Building on the Past
I have watched those and I understand them. My point is that in todays society copyright has little meaning to ALOT of people.
I understand what the videos in your previous posts are all about. I also understand the importance of a copyright. The bigger isue is that until it is made easier for the little guy (card model designer for example) with little to no resources to actually do something about copryright infringment the problem will persist. As I understand it now there is little any of our guys here are capable of doing besides possibly getting an illegal auction shutdown, and if they could prosecute, how many of them have the time or cash to invest into the case? Honestly ebay doesn't even enforce their own rules because it will lose them money.
So I will say it again,unless you have the means to do something about it sadly your copyright is only going to mean anything to those who respect it. The others really don't care about it because the chance of actually getting caught and prosecuted for it is so low that it isn't even a rush for them.
If you doubt what I say then please visit ebay, any bit torrent site, any warez site, any MMORPG (they all have an all powerful EULA, but it does not stop people from breaking it. Actually almost noone reads it anyway). Think back on how many threads you have seen posted here that have had a site link removed because they had pirated models on them. After a thorough look around please tell me I am wrong.
Not to be a jerk here and I do hope you don't take it that way but, I find it hard to believe that you have read this entire thread. You have posted 3 or 4 times and have absolutely nothing to say. You tell people they don't understand something and then post up some links to the creative commons stuff. I agree that the CC stuff is great and would serve many people well. But how do you feel about the subject at hand? It is almost like you might be getting paid for every time you link to the CC site.
I guess it is a "Creative Commons" thread now. I wonder how come no one on the Plastic Model websites worry about modifying their models. I have seen so many customized platic models, slot cars, RC aircraft and have never heard anyone question it. Ojimak's "problem" is the only instance I have ever heard about this. Has anybody else actually heard complaints from other designers before this incident as to their objections to modifications?
Just as a clarification, I do not feel that models made of ships, planes, cars, etc. should need the permission of the original designers or companies of the original creators. Especially if you are modeling a military ship etc. our tax dollars paid for those ships and planes, etc so we should have the right to draw or model them. I also believe as I have read in the threads accessory kits should be allowed as they are your own design. I have downloaded a lot of models and built them for my son. Some proved quite durable as toys and I am thankful to the designers who offered these models. If there were a way on those websites to post a thank you I would have. I just am leary of giving my e-mail address out as I have had to change it when I have gotten too much SPAM.