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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay Guys and Girls I have a question to the legal minded among you.

If I reproduce a car on a 3D CAD package, get rapid prototypes made and go on to make up a mold and then sell them as kits would this incur the wrath of the copyright police? Lets say for arguments sake a Honda CRX.

I appreciate a lot of folks do this sort of thing for personal use but there are also a few people that sell these kits in small volumes. I have a few projects I would like to get made but the costs are more than it would be worth for me to have one or two cars for myself. I would like to be able to sell a few to recover some of the outlay.

Does anybody know the legal side to this? I would also make up and supply decals for race liveries where appropriate. Will I end up with Honda beating down my door?

Thanks in advance
 

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Wayne,

As one that does exactly what you're asking about, I'll be happy to answer.

When I started resin casting almost 9 years ago, I was taught by a caster that has sold his wares all over the world. As I was quite familiar with the attitude towards decals, I was concerned about this. The resin community here in the USA runs by several unwritten rules: if the model changes over 30% it is a new model (ie scale, color, modifications, each counted as 10% etc), if you are selling under 1000 units of something, a General Motors won't mess with you, and finally - don't copy another caster's work.

So, with those said, I always abide by them and have had no issues. Watching the model/resin market for the past 20 years or so, I've not seen a case in the USA of any issues, and indeed there are a great number of resin casters on eBay from the USA.

As for the RP process itself, if you scan a 1/24th scale body and shrink it to 1/32, it does fall into the above rules as the Scale change alone constitutes a major change to the model. As you'll undoubtedly be having to modify the body after the RP process as well as will be casting it in a different color (tan in my case), you should be ok.

As for the decals, this is a touchy area. When doing the Datsun 510 BRE, I used 3D scanning and RP for the body, hand finished and modified it and then cast it. My decal maker was contacted by BRE and asked to license them - we did. It was only $50, and they were as nice as could be.

Good luck!
 

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Phil Kalbfell
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I do know that Patto has had some issues with at least one car company about making decals foe sale.He tried to licence them BUT they wanted more than it was worth.
 

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I'm going to start this with saying - this is my opinion - I'm not a lawyer - draw your own conclusions.

I suspect you are going to get several different answers on this, but here is my take (based on experience of intellectual copyright and ownership in the design industry).

You are actually asking two questions;
1. - Cars - shape and design of.
2. - Logos/liveries - design of.

Short answer to both is that if you copy either then you are at risk of breaking copyright, intellectual property, trademark and possible patent laws in a number of countries.

One thing that does seem to be an even more grey area is cars, logos etc over 25 years old.

Making them for your selves is one thing and i would suggest you are very unlikely to be asked to stop. However there are already several examples of companies searching around for exactly the kind of thing you are describing. Models of cars especially and decals specifically with lawyers letters instructing to stop etc.

It's not just the small home trader this effects most of the mainstream manufacturers have encountered problems in the past. I know several UK based slotcar retailers that have been contacted with cease and desist orders from motor manufacturers and logo owners. - not for product they have made themselves, but for product sold by others.

License deals with motor manufacturers and sponsors is big business and most car manufacturers have a team specifically in-house to look at this. I have seen several such teams at toy fairs checking deals are in place.

All that said - rules in Spain seem to either be very different or not enforced.
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Guys
There is a historical precedent for this ,at least in england and since that is the way that law works inb this country I guess it must still hold true
back in the late 60s the formula one constructors association (or whatever it was called in those days) decided that vac formed racing bodies offended their copyright and took out writ banning folk like Gordon tapsell of gt models and charlie fitzpatrick of betta/classic form making bodies of F1 cars
worse than that they did a deal with howard taylor of taylormade to produce some officially authorised bodies which were more expensive than either GTs or classic .the extra cash going to FOcA ,from memory it was about 20% more
What betta and GT did was to challenge this writ saying that since the cars appeared in the public domain ie at GPs etc then making a body and selling it was no different than taking a photograph of it and selling it as the captured shape was the same , that was found in favour of the good guys and FOCA went away with a bloody nose
However I do know recently that tamiya did some deal with McLaren such that they werer sole manufacturers of mclaren modlels but that may have been a contracy in which the law is different

Cheers tony
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Copyright laws are still in flux. Things change frequently and it takes a greater head than mine to keep up with it all.

In extremely simplistic terms and from an outsider's world, the likelihood of being approached to stop or not seems to depend at least partly upon the potential profit turnover of the product. The more you produce and distribute the more the original copyright owner is likely to come a-knockin' on your door.

There are also some companies that are much more protective of their image than others. The fast food chain with arches of gold, for instance, are extremely protective. And the Italian automotive manufacturer represented by a 'Sable horse rampant on a field of Or' have quite recently approached a small scale (artesan) slot manufacturer regarding use of their badge and name. But they can not protect the shape of the vehicle.

Said Italian automotive manufacturer has attempted on at least one occasion to protect the shape of iconic historic vehicles without success.

Embs
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Folks

So it seams as long as it is substantially different from the original, Supplied without decals and not branded with the original manufactures name I should be reasonably safe to sell a few? I was only thinking about 10 -20 off for club and maybe a few known forum members.

I wouldn't want to tread on another castors toes either. If the bodies are available else where I would be only too happy to buy those. Much simpler


The other option of course would be to contact the manufacturer and ask for permission.
 

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Hi,

I don't know about scale resin body's. But when it come to logo's I'm sure that you are not allowed to reproduce them if there's a registered trade mark. Now registered trade marks come in several variations. It can be registered in a country, community or world wide. This means that in those area's you not allowed to reproduce anything or import anything without the manufacturers approval, outside them you are. Every car manufacturer has probably got there Logo protected world wide. But you don't have to move into space, there are curtain countries who are not part of that world wide agreement and the biggest one is, or was, China. But since they started their economic boom a lot has changed their and I have to leave it in doubt, if you still can do it there or not. Mind you several million slot racing Chinese, you can build up quite an enterprise there

Some countries go even further, when you buy a model car, or what ever with a logo on in Italy, you'll find it is been labeled with a number that stands for the manufacturer's approval. Five years ago you could find close with all kind of logo's on, on every street corner. But since the European community started a campaign against fake goods, all that has disappeared. You can even be charged by buying fake stuff, and this throughout the European community.
This is all theory of course, when you make decals for your own use, although your not allowed to do it, there's nobody, who's going to cheque you out, but when you start selling it, with money involved, the danger of being caught gets bigger. One chance in thousand you get caught, but don't be surprised if you are.

Cheers,
Danny
 

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Phil Kalbfell
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While many companies do not like their logos reproduced some are very helpfully. Some years ago I enquirer about using AG Software to do Alex Davidsins Porsche,not only did I get permission they sent me PDF,s of the logos.
 

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QUOTE (wayne69x @ 16 Nov 2011, 23:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The other option of course would be to contact the manufacturer and ask for permission.
Some companies can be very helpful with extra info to help make the model, particularly small makers who are run by enthusiasts!
The down side is if they do say no (more likely with big companies) you've given yourself a problem.
Most likely they'd never notice a "cottage industry" scale producer if you didn't tell them about your youself.
 
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