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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just suppose you wanted to make a replica of a famous race track and then use/rent/sell it for commercial gain - would you need permission/a licence from the owner/operator of the circuit?

So, say Goodwood - I'm guessing you'd need Lord March's approval.
What about Le Mans - part of that is public roads?
Monaco - it's all public roads?
What about a defunct track such as Reims?

Anybody got any thoughts, opinions or cold hard facts?
 

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For sure if a commercial product the ACM for Monaco and the Auto club de l'ouest for Le Mans would need licensing. They have deep pockets if you don't. Goodwood would be the same.

If you get licensed then is an official product then it would help with sales. If it is low volume idea then a % deal would be best. You can anyway put it on the sales price.

If it is a small scale cottage idea that might not be noticed maybe go for it and see what happens...

Defunct tracks I think would not be an issue, but a lawyer might say to check.
 

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Tore
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A 1/32 scale Goodwood replica would have to be 393 feet to be a real replica... so a regular slotcar track will need a huge amount of "artistic compression". I have no idea how licensing works towards art work.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Unless an official license will REALLY benefit you, you're probably better off just making a nice track and saying "Inspired by Goodwood" and such. Don't use official logos, seals, or artwork, and you're probably good. Besides, you probably won't get it without 1) paying a wad of cash and 2) being a respectful and accurate representation of the track. You could also find out what SlotMods does in that respect. He makes a bundle on his tracks, selling to the likes of Jay Leno, so he can probably pay any needed licenses. At the very least, he would know. Alas, some businessmen would see you as competition, and tell you to figure it out for yourself.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Intellectual Property is a hugely complex area, it is not consistent across countries and so it earns I/P lawyers huge wedges of cash.

In the UK there is copyright, design rights, trademarks and patents.

I am not a lawyer.

However, in my opinion a circuit like Goodwood would have been subject to design rights and these design rights may well have expired which would leave a trader free to copy the design of the circuit. HOWEVER there is something called "Passing Off" which means you could not create a replica of Goodwood and call it goodwood.

The name Goodwood is still current and being operated as a commercial business so using the name would be impersonating that business or pretending there was some official endorsement by Goodwood.

I agree with the previous comment that you could possibly call it "inspired by Goodwood" but you would still risk the current commercial business take a court action against you for making money from their name.

BUT it is a question of degree. Most of the scratch builders making low volume replicas of old cars are technically breaking the law. However the owners of the brands turn a blind eye to such low volumes because it would cost them more to bring the action than they could win in damages. But if a mainstream volume manufacturer were to produce a classic car without taking the proper licenses it would be worth the hassle and they would be sued for all the profits they made on that car PLUS punitive damages.
 

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Its all about the scale and volyme of the business!
Wath do you have in mind? Projekt?, Volyme?
Or is it secret!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks fro the comments thus far.

I've got no particular plans at the moment, although I have started thinking about a style of track for my own personal use which I realised 'may' have a potential market. As such I want to think through how it could be commercialised before I make my own one so that it could be used as a prototype if I choose to proceed with the idea.

I'm fully aware that a product (such as a car) is protected by various copyright and licensing laws, however I am unsure about how that applies to venues. Taking the Monaco example - can the venue (the streets of Monte Carlo) be protected, or can it only be the event - The Monaco Grand Prix? There is no well known logo associated with the circuit, it is simply famous for being what it is.

I'm not really bothered too much at this stage whether the idea is worth pursuing or not as I haven't wasted any time on it, but it's a scenario I haven't seen discussed before so thought it might be interesting to see what other peoples opinions are.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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I would expect there to be a difference on ruling between a public road course and a private race circuit. In the case of a race that uses public roads (Bathurst, Monaco, Le Mans) it would be the event, event name and any related logos and publications that are subject to licence.

Embs
 

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Gran Turismo put the Cote d'Azur track into their videogames; here is a map of the Cote d'Azur track.



It has the tunnel, the harbour, the hairpin.. total rip off of Monaco, but they have it as an unlicenced track in the game.

I would think if you don't put the name of the track when you sell them it would be fine?
 

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I know that this is a bit late....I've only just seen the thread.

For information, the ACO have been to court and have the intellectual property rights on everything concerning Le Mans, the fact that part of the circuit is public road is of no consequence. You can of course do what you like....as long as you do it for youself. As soon as you try to sell it or use it for any commercial activity you are in breach of the law. For Le Mans this means the Dunlop bridge, the blue and yellow colour scheme, the name Le Mans and even 24Hours if it is written in their style.

I am not a lawyer, but I know this because I work closely with them. I offer no moral judgements on the situation, merely wish to clarify what is an often misunderstood area. Yes the law is different in different countries, but the ACO's rights are protected by international law, so it is not to say that other race/circuit promoters can obtain the same rights in their respective countries. I made inquiries in the UK and was told that no one would know where to start, so basically no problem with regard to one international track.

Hope that this is helpful...even if a little late!
 

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Heres something for you all. I'm Currently spectating with a proposal to build a smaller version of Lakeside Raceway for their museum out at the track. Its about 10 mins from where I live. Obviously the release of the current Tasman Lotus 49 couldn't have come at a better time. But yes, bogged down due to discussion involved around anyone that might need to be paid. One of the guys is from Melbourne,.. typical. Ie read total banker. It's already 12 months old and so far, no decision.
 
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