Is it legal to sell built free downloaded paper models?

Discussion in 'Feedback & Support Forum' started by Rocco13, Jul 24, 2008.

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  1. Rocco13

    Rocco13 New Member

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    Hi,Im new to the forum and have yet to build my first model. I was searching for free models and saw a site which I thought had free models but they were actually built models of free downloads for sale. The models were many I found on this site for free but way to complex for a builder like me. However I did like one of the models and figure it will be a long time before Im at a high skill level. Would I be wrong in purchasing this model? Does this person have the right to sell a free downloaded model that he built?
  2. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Yes - it is OK to sell a built model.
    Chris
  3. jaffro

    jaffro Long term member

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    I was showing a guy at work some pictures of my models the other day and he asked why I don't sell them... As much as I'd love to make money from them I don't think I could part with them after all that time and effort.

    But ahh, yeah, back on topic like Chris said there's nothing wrong with buying or selling a model once it's been built, no matter where it came from.
  4. Rocco13

    Rocco13 New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. The car i was going to buy is the Ghostbusters car. He laso had a cool Camaro from Transformers both free downloads here and was asking 14.99 for the built versions. I am going to hold off and build a couple of models first see if I have any kind of skill. His models were painted very well(still dont get how you can paint on paper). I have a lot to learn............
  5. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

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    You've spent the time building it, and you deserve the right to sell it! Problem solves ;)
  6. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    No... I'm afraid that it's not as simple as that. Selling a built model IS a legal problem. I'm afraid that Chris is quite wrong here.

    Allow me to explain. By selling the model you are obtaining financial gain. You are obtaining that financial gain from the use of someone else's copyright design. While it is true that you are obtaining some of that financial gain from your own work this does not make it legal to sell that model. Unless the designer or copyright owner has given specific consent for that.

    Otherwise, in the same way, A Pirate could sell a whole disk of commercial and free models claiming that he was only selling the work he had done in compiling them onto a disk.

    As you can see from this.... This is not as simple as the question first appeared to be.

    However, it is so unlikely that any prosecution would be brought from such a sale, that you may as well go ahead and buy them. It's really a matter for your own personal choice.

    As a legal technicality, there is a problem with doing it. But nobody is going to waste time chasing down something like that, where there is little if any prospect of a financial return for doing so.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline.
  7. modelperry

    modelperry Member

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    I don't agree. When you sell a built model, free download or purchased kit, you are seeking compensation for your time, labor and the cost of materials. I absolutely do not see an issue here.

    Greg
  8. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

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    I see your point...

    Most free models does mention "Not for commercial purposes", but this in most cases only refer to the original model itself, ie the intellectual property that the model contains. It's another question that you have put effort into building this model. In essence it's just like selling keychains of a say, Star Trek, character (perfectly sensible thing to do). Unless explicitly mentioned you do not even need to inform the film maker of such action (although it says copyright, but that's for the film itself), and unless you're dealing with someone like George Lucas the film maker most likely would not care anyway...

    --But going from this logic it's indeed true that pirates can argue that they're only reclaiming the cost for the disc they use and the time they've put into collecting the models... We did have one who caused much of a stir in this forum last year and I'm not willing to go into that. ;)

    So my best advice, go ask the designer beforehand. :D

    Above is my input, any words from a legal expert?

    ===========================

    Edit: as soon as someone says "no" in this thread I realise it's going to be another endless discussion on copyright... So may we keep this discussion simple and cool? --And please be prepared to see this thread locked if things get out of hand:oops:
  9. patriot missile

    patriot missile Member

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    i was offered a few bucs from some one at a local hobby shop for an enlarged model of a Marine MH -53 offered as a free model... but i just gave it to him........ ( seems he was looking for one like it.. and i was showing it to the owner)i mean if you cant trust a MARINE who can u trust
  10. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    You can disagree as much as you like Greg. It doesn't change the way the Law works.

    Indeed you may only be seeking compensation for the work you have done. Legally you are entitled to do so. HOWEVER! You are using a model to do that work that was designed by someone else and earning money from it. You do not have a legal right to do that.

    Look at it this way.... Lets say you were to manufacture a set of Star Wars Toys, from a kit that was available and sell them, and then claim that you were only seeking compensation for the work you did manufacturing them. That simply wouldn't stand up in Court, because you would still be in breach of the Copyright and patents and rights in the original design.

    The Copyrights in the paper models allow for personal use only. They do not allow for commercial use, which is effectively exactly what you would be doing by selling them. Unless the designer or copyright owner specifically grants you legal release permission to do so.

    As I said, A Pirate could sell a whole disk of commercial and free models claiming that he was only selling the work he had done in compiling them onto the disk. Do you think that he is entitled to payment for that work?? Do you think a Court would accept that as reasonable??

    OK look at it another way.... You buy several CD's... You rip different tracks from them, and assemble them into a Compilation. Do you think it would be legal to charge for your time and materials in doing that? Of course not... and the same applies here.

    But as I said, nobody is going to chase this down, because the cost of doing so would be too high with little prospect of recovering any money from it. Which brings it back to a question of your own personal moral choice.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline (Copyright and Patents Lawyer)
  11. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    Technically you still broke the law in doing that..... That's like copying a CD for your mate and giving it to him. Doesn't make it legal just because you didn't charge for it.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline.
  12. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    Not so! That would be an entirely illegal act, you would be in breach of their registered Trade Marks, Copyright Designs and in the case of Paramount their Patents as well. Copyright subsists in the Character designs, costume designs, Makeup designs etc etc... You could also end up in breach of the actors legal rights as well, by producing those key chains.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline. (Copyright and Patents Lawyer)

    P.S. I think that about covers the legal questions about everything that has been asked and said... So I'll bow out of this now. So the answer to the original question remains. No it's not legal to do that, but nobody is likely to chase you for it, so it's up to you to decide for yourself, whether you are going to do it.
  13. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Hopefully I can ask another questions before you bow out....

    If I purchase a card model and build it, can I sell that built model on the internet? Evenif I can sell it at a profit? I know that many kits are worth more than their original selling price so I should be able to resell the kit for a profit. Well I think anyway.
    Thanks!
    Chris
  14. modelperry

    modelperry Member

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    Soooo. If someone buys a commercial kit or prints a free one from the internet and commissions someone else to build it because they can't and pays that person for his time labor and materials: What is the difference? I don't see any. Regardless of the media: paper, plastic, resin or whatever.

    Greg
  15. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    Technically, you are still making financial gain. The problem lies with the fact that the copyright on the original design, prohibits any commercial use. If on the other hand you obtain the permission of the designer or copyright holder in advance, then there would be no problem.

    If you sell the model unbuilt, then that is just re-sale of the original item as supplied and does not infringe copyright, provided that in selling it you are acknowledging the transfer of the original designers rights to the new owner. That's like re-selling a book for profit on the internet. Perfectly legal. Take a look in a few books.... You'll find that most of them even have copyright notices forbidding them being re-sold in anything but the original dust jacket. Put a wallpaper dust jacket on a book instead of the original, then sell it, and the publishers rights are immediately infringed.

    Crazy! I know!!

    Yes Chris, provided that it is sold as it was originally sold to you (unbuilt), otherwise it becomes a derived work, and technically breaches copyright in the design.

    But again, as I said, it is extremely unlikely that anyone would chase this down due to the costs and time of doing so, for no return.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline.
  16. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    The difference is that you are not transferring the ownership or rights of the item to a third party. You are buying the model, you are separately contracting a commercial service. I know it sounds stupid... Even I think it sounds stupid. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.

    Basically no transfer of ownership or claimed ownership is taking place. Provided that you bought the model and the model is built for you, then it could easily be argued that it is still for your own personal use.

    That said, it would be up to a Judge to decide if there was any infringement involved and you would have to prove precedents. But again! it's unlikely that anybody would try to chase this down due to costs.

    At the end of the day, it's your own personal choice and up to you to asses your own risks.

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline.
  17. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Thanks for all the valuable input - its greatly appreciated!
    Chris
  18. Bspline

    Bspline New Member

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    No problem Chris,
    I hope it clarifies a few things..... Sorry but I really must duck out of this thread now as I have a huge amount to get done over my few days off..... and If I don't get it done my other half is going to kill me.... wall1

    Best Wishes,
    Bspline
  19. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

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  20. KCStephens

    KCStephens Member

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    Holy cow!

    It's a free model for gosh sakes....

    If some one wants to pay me to put it together for them and I had the time I'd be happy to. The only problem is i don't think anyone would be willing to pay my hourly rate.sign1


    But, What if...someone told you they liked a particular free model, and you went and downloaded it on your own pc, printed it out on your own printer, cut it out with your own knife, colored the edges with your own markers (keeping in mind you use the same colors that the designer originally intended... we don't want to change the color for Gosh sake might upset even more people...) and finally assembled it with your own glue! Then boxed it all up - gift wrapped it and gave it (for free) to that special someone. Who just happened to accidentally drop a few bucks on the floor (just fell out of their pocket by accident of course) then walked away with gift in hand yelling "finders keepers - loosers weepeers" .....WOULD THAT BE OK?
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