PDA

View Full Version : On the whole Games Workshop and Trademarks, Corpyright etc under UK law



Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 14:10
Hi,

For the interested. (http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/showthread.php?t=24153)

Found a tread going on another forum that is basically going over GW IP, TM and C, which has relevant UK law links and brief description.

Worth noting that Copyright in the UK is automatic, no need to register, and there are some Trademark rights that are automatic as well.

Enjoy (if your into that kind of thing).

shelfunit.
24-08-2012, 14:22
Is there a link to this or something?

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 14:59
Erm, is now. Sorry.

shelfunit.
24-08-2012, 15:52
It would be interesting were it not for the fact that CHS are specifically marketing their products as after market. In order to identify what they are there is no option but to call them (for example) "spacewolf shoulder pads" in the same way that this (http://www.passionauto.co.uk/products/28887-citroen-c2-alloy-carbon-effect-fuel-cap-cover.html) is not made by Citroen, but is marketed as a part to fit Citroen cars. There is nothing new in the link that hasn't already been shown to be perfectly acceptable trade practices.

iamfanboy
24-08-2012, 16:35
To be fair, Shelfunit, when the whole bruhahaha began CHS was using the trademarks unclearly; the right way would be "Shoulder pads for Games Workshop Space Wolves", not "Space Wolf Shoulder pads." The latter implies that you've received a license of some kind, the former does not - not that you NEED a license, but there's a right and a wrong way of doin' things.


HOWEVER, the correct way of handling things would have been for GW to send a sternly written letter to CHS asking them to do it the right way. Doing so gives a plaintiff the ability to go before a judge and say, "Your Honor, we really did try to reach a compromise without wasting your time, but they just didn't want to listen!" Now, last I checked GW hadn't entered such a letter into evidence, so they almost certainly never bothered sending such a letter - instead jumping straight to "Business destroying lawsuit."

Compare that to how FASA handled the GW Slocomb Warbots which were blatant (and I mean blatant) out-and-out copies of several Battletech 'Mechs. FASA sent a letter, and a day later there was not a single Warbot on a GW shelf.

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 16:49
It would be interesting were it not for the fact that CHS are specifically marketing their products as after market. In order to identify what they are there is no option but to call them (for example) "spacewolf shoulder pads" in the same way that this (http://www.passionauto.co.uk/products/28887-citroen-c2-alloy-carbon-effect-fuel-cap-cover.html) is not made by Citroen, but is marketed as a part to fit Citroen cars. There is nothing new in the link that hasn't already been shown to be perfectly acceptable trade practices.

I think that the after market thing is a bit of a stretch. For one, going by what has come up in the UK, there has to be a need for the after market in the way of the item suffering from ware and tear. I don't see how that fits with table top miniatures, but that's just me.

It seems that the UK Fair Dealing is quite different to the American counter part of Fair Use.

Under the 1988 Act, it was originally the case that any research use was fair dealing. However, in 2003, the 1988 Act was amended to exclude commercial use from the definition of fair dealing.

Does this mean that researching GW 40k stuff for commercial use is illegal?

shelfunit.
24-08-2012, 16:59
To be fair, Shelfunit, when the whole bruhahaha began CHS was using the trademarks unclearly; the right way would be "Shoulder pads for Games Workshop Space Wolves", not "Space Wolf Shoulder pads." The latter implies that you've received a license of some kind, the former does not - not that you NEED a license, but there's a right and a wrong way of doin' things.


HOWEVER, the correct way of handling things would have been for GW to send a sternly written letter to CHS asking them to do it the right way. Doing so gives a plaintiff the ability to go before a judge and say, "Your Honor, we really did try to reach a compromise without wasting your time, but they just didn't want to listen!" Now, last I checked GW hadn't entered such a letter into evidence, so they almost certainly never bothered sending such a letter - instead jumping straight to "Business destroying lawsuit."

Compare that to how FASA handled the GW Slocomb Warbots which were blatant (and I mean blatant) out-and-out copies of several Battletech 'Mechs. FASA sent a letter, and a day later there was not a single Warbot on a GW shelf.

I completely agree with you. But (as you say) they have changed the wording on their website, and that should have been the end of it.



I think that the after market thing is a bit of a stretch. For one, going by what has come up in the UK, there has to be a need for the after market in the way of the item suffering from ware and tear. I don't see how that fits with table top miniatures, but that's just me.

It seems that the UK Fair Dealing is quite different to the American counter part of Fair Use.

Under the 1988 Act, it was originally the case that any research use was fair dealing. However, in 2003, the 1988 Act was amended to exclude commercial use from the definition of fair dealing.

Does this mean that researching GW 40k stuff for commercial use is illegal?

The after market thing is only a stretch it seems for certain miniature companies, everyone else in other manufacturing areas gets along just fine.

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 17:49
The after market thing is only a stretch it seems for certain miniature companies, everyone else in other manufacturing areas gets along just fine.

You can therefore produce evidence of this outside of machine manufacture, as I cannot find any loophole in UK law that provides for it.

From the CLA (http://www.cla.co.uk/copyright_information/copyright_information/#CLA_and_copyright_licences)

Copyright exceptions

There are a number of specified copyright exceptions in UK law which permit copying in certain circumstances (for instance for use in judicial proceedings) or for certain categories of people (for instance for those who are visually impaired). More detailed information regarding these exceptions is beyond the scope of this overview but can be found in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or on the UK Intellectual Property Office's website.

In addition to the specified exceptions, there exists a group of exemptions which fall within the scope of ‘fair dealing'. Material reproduced for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study, for criticism or review or for the reporting of current events is included in this group. If material is reproduced for these purposes, provided it is genuinely and fairly used for the stated purpose, and is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, it may be considered fair dealing and thus exempt from clearance. However, the test is subjective and will depend on the circumstances of each case.

and

Obtaining clearance to use copyright material

If the material you wish to reproduce does not fall within one of the exceptions, or if you are unsure, you should contact the copyright owner, or someone authorised by them to grant the necessary permission. For most published works this will be the publisher, contact details for which will be found on the publication itself. Permission will generally be needed for each and every occasion the material is used. There are no industry-fixed fees (they are at the discretion of the party granting the permission). In many cases, even when reproduction of the extract may not warrant a fee, merely an acknowledgment, there may be a minimum sum charged to cover administration. Depending on the amount of material you wish to reproduce and the frequency copying is required, you may find it more beneficial to take out a licence from a licensing society such as the CLA.

This is the closest I can find to an exception. It is done on a case by case process, so no automatic rights under UK law to make third party parts whatsoever.

Just trying to make sure that the legal context is clear, so people do not confuse what they think is right by what the law (in the UK) actually says.

If I have read correctly, one would have to make sure one has made something different enough to the original to make it legal, and use another name from the original, to not fall foul of UK copyright law where the original is covered by that law.

ForgottenLore
24-08-2012, 18:11
I don't see what relevance the sections you quoted have to add on parts. That text is about legal reasons for actually copying a copyrighted work, while add on parts are things that are not direct copies but functionally compatible with someone else's product.

I'm also not sure why we are discussing UK law here.

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 18:28
I don't see what relevance the sections you quoted have to add on parts. That text is about legal reasons for actually copying a copyrighted work, while add on parts are things that are not direct copies but functionally compatible with someone else's product.

GW make shoulder pads etc for their own miniatures, so one would have to be very careful not to copy them or use the same names, or at very least has artwork which is similarly covered.


I'm also not sure why we are discussing UK law here.

GW is a UK company, so all its copyrights and trademarks are covered by UK law, including all those countries covered by the Berne Convention.

Good to know, eh?

ForgottenLore
24-08-2012, 18:53
GW make shoulder pads etc for their own miniatures, so one would have to be very careful not to copy them or use the same names, or at very least has artwork which is similarly covered.
But, as has been stated about a bazillion times, functional elements aren't protectable, so just the fact that it is a shoulder pad that fits on a GW fig is irrelevant.

I'll repeat, the things you quoted from CLA are about legal reasons to copy a work. No one, ABSOLUTLY NO ONE, is suggesting that is what CHS is doing, what CHS is doing is making original works inspired by GW's designs. Those passages have no relevance at all.


GW is a UK company, so all its copyrights and trademarks are covered by UK law, including all those countries covered by the Berne Convention.
If you read some of the court documents you will see that CHS's lawyers have been trying to argue that UK law should apply to the case, as that would apparently benefit CHS. So far the judge has not ruled on it (so far as I know) which means US law is still the relevant issue.

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 19:41
But, as has been stated about a bazillion times, functional elements aren't protectable, so just the fact that it is a shoulder pad that fits on a GW fig is irrelevant.

I'll repeat, the things you quoted from CLA are about legal reasons to copy a work. No one, ABSOLUTLY NO ONE, is suggesting that is what CHS is doing, what CHS is doing is making original works inspired by GW's designs. Those passages have no relevance at all.

I am not sure that is strictly true.



If you read some of the court documents you will see that CHS's lawyers have been trying to argue that UK law should apply to the case, as that would apparently benefit CHS. So far the judge has not ruled on it (so far as I know) which means US law is still the relevant issue.

Well it looks like it is GW's to choose, as they release all of their stuff everywhere on the same date pretty much... go figure :shifty:

I would rather not turn this into another CHS vs GW thread, please stay on topic and use it as an example only if need be.

Moralein
24-08-2012, 20:07
"Copyright arises when an individual or organisation creates a work, and applies to a work if it is regarded as original, and exhibits a degree of labour, skill or judgement."

I'm no expert but this bit was interesting. Can GW feasibly claim to have invented a lot of the stuff that they do? Is it original or does it draw very heavily from other resources? Is a fist on a shoulder pad which has been used for centuries in heraldry original? Is the idea of space marines or elves in space original?

I think the problem is that GW claims copyright/trademark of an awful lot of things and this is really the first time that it's been challenged. Previously just the threat of legal action has been enough to get small companies to roll over. Presumably CHS's legal team see some chance of winning the case, otherwise they wouldn't have taken it on pro bono in the first place. I think the result will be very interesting.

ForgottenLore
24-08-2012, 20:32
I would rather not turn this into another CHS vs GW thread, please stay on topic and use it as an example only if need be.

Well, the thread you linked to in the first post is titled "GW vs CHS legality for the layman (or Laywoman)" and the first paragraph in it is "Thought I would add a new topic so people could get to grips with what is going on, and the legal complications are US and UK law regarding CHS vs GW on IP, Copyright and Trademarks." so I am not sure how you expect to keep it separate.

Commissar Davis
24-08-2012, 20:37
Well, the thread you linked to in the first post is titled "GW vs CHS legality for the layman (or Laywoman)" and the first paragraph in it is "Thought I would add a new topic so people could get to grips with what is going on, and the legal complications are US and UK law regarding CHS vs GW on IP, Copyright and Trademarks." so I am not sure how you expect to keep it separate.

Because the topic name I used here is: On the whole Games Workshop and Trademarks, Corpyright etc under UK law.

Looks like GW use UK law for ownership and US for establishing what is copied... just took a good long read of the text (It's a Friday night and I am skint syndrome.)

Llew
24-08-2012, 21:01
As with most of these discussions, there seems to be a real and fundamental failure to grasp copyright and what it means or applies to.

I have a copyright on a song called "Picking Up Women in Church." Someone else cannot record that song without violating my copyright. Now, they can, in fact, write a song and even use that exact same title. Or they can record a song called "Finding a Date in Church" and have different lyrics or different chords, even if they retain much of the character of the original song (like making theirs a jump blues song too). They will be in the clear if they actually created something new. However, if they took a direct riff out of the song, they may have infringed. (The classic "Ghostbusters" issue.) But if they didn't directly copy something I wrote, they didn't violate the copyright.

(And in fact, if they can be shown to have never encountered my song, they can write a note for note rendition and also have their own copyright on it. Although this is pretty tough to prove.)

But all of those citations appear to be directed at the *actual act of using/copying the work*. They're not talking about doing something that is similar, but instead using the thing itself. (For example, it appears you could actually recast a Space Marine as long as you were using in the research project, perhaps as a demo of what the company sold.) As such, it doesn't appear to have any bearing on the case that we all know is the object of this discussion.

iamfanboy
24-08-2012, 23:18
Or, to be clearer:

I could sculpt and market a set of miniatures called "Galactic Knights". I could make them in powered armor, with gyroget machine guns, and have them land in orbital pods according to my fluff.

I could even slap a sticker on the box saying, "Compare to Games Workshop Space Marines!"

I could NOT do two things:

1) Mark the box as containing Games Workshop Space Marines (this would be stealing their copyright and marketing my goods as theirs),

2) Copy their molds/miniatures DIRECTLY, as in recasting them, and selling those miniatures as Galactic Knights (that would be stealing their design).


I mean, I was at a Walmart yesterday, and saw some knockoff Legos that were... well.. VERY VERY military, something that Lego refuses to make. Jeeps, cannons, machine guns... on the box it said, "Compatible with all building blocks!" That's legal.

What wouldn't be legal is SAYING those were Legos (they are clearly not), or making a Lego set which is manufactured by Lego themselves - like the Attack on Weathertop set, or the X-Wing.

The knockoff army men were... well, almost the same size as Minifigs, but their faces were VERY different - they all looked like they were wearing gothic lipstick! That's probably to avoid copyright issues with the Minifigs; the faces and heads are definitely copyrighted and making one to even resemble the BASIC Minifig face would get this knockoff company slapped down hard.

The fact that the knockoffs are compatible doesn't matter a hill of beans - lawsuits innumerable have proven you can't 'protect' basic design elements.

Llew
25-08-2012, 00:13
1) Mark the box as containing Games Workshop Space Marines (this would be stealing their copyright and marketing my goods as theirs),

Actually, that would be stealing their trademark.


2) Copy their molds/miniatures DIRECTLY, as in recasting them, and selling those miniatures as Galactic Knights (that would be stealing their design).


And this would be violating their copyright.

susu.exp
25-08-2012, 01:42
GW is a UK company, so all its copyrights and trademarks are covered by UK law, including all those countries covered by the Berne Convention.

Good to know, eh?

Not good to know at all. In fact, really bad to know, or letīs make that terrible to "know", because itīs in fact incorrect. The Berne convention states the precise opposite - signatories treat works that are published in at least Berne countries as if they had been published locally. I.e. the local law of whatever place the alledged infringement took place in is the one used to work out if it is an actual infringement. In other words: I donīt have to care where a book I read is published, or where the author resides, or where the first version was published to know what I can do with it - I only have to know what is legal or illegal in the place Iīm in. When I of course engage in multinational trade itīs my resposibility to check this for all jurisdictions I expand my business to. If a UK company finds a US company to sell product in Switzerland that according to Swiss law infringes on their copyrights, swiss law matters and a swiss court will deal with it.

The main reason UK law has an impact on that US case is that copyright usually sits with the person that creates it, i.e. a natural person and not a corporate entity. In the UK in work for hire the copyright goes to the corporation with no further documentation (you just need to show somebody was working for you in a position to produce particular copyrighted works). GW have used external contractors, where they do need specific documentation for specific works. So CHS has asked them to provide that documentation and documentation on employment of the others. Since GW aparently havenīt kept employment records for some people like Wayne England and Mike McVey they decided to argue that they donīt need to show that they were working for them, which led to various legal expertises (the court being US based doesnīt really know UK law, does it?).

@Llew: Actually, for music there are international licensing agreements - there are national organizations that work out royalties and I could record your song, pay that royalty fee to the local one and not infringe. Theyīd send that money to the US, where youīd get it (if youīre a member of SESAC, ASCAP or BMI). If you arenīt: tough luck, by paying that fee Iīve done my due. On the other side, you can record my songs (there are a couple), pay a licence fee to SESAC, ASCAP or BMI and again I canīt touch you. That money then goes to the german GEMA, which (since Iīm not a member) will spread it among popular composers. As far as recasting goes - Mass produced copies of sculptural works fall under "design law" and similar in most jurisdictions, which doesnīt come with some of the fair use conditions (but are more lenient in others - you can modify these things for instance). In Germany they fall under the Gebrauchsmusterrecht rather than the Urheberrecht for instance and the former makes it clear you canīt recast under any circumstances.

Commissar Davis
25-08-2012, 06:40
Not good to know at all. In fact, really bad to know, or letīs make that terrible to "know", because itīs in fact incorrect. The Berne convention states the precise opposite - signatories treat works that are published in at least Berne countries as if they had been published locally. I.e. the local law of whatever place the alledged infringement took place in is the one used to work out if it is an actual infringement. In other words: I donīt have to care where a book I read is published, or where the author resides, or where the first version was published to know what I can do with it - I only have to know what is legal or illegal in the place Iīm in. When I of course engage in multinational trade itīs my resposibility to check this for all jurisdictions I expand my business to. If a UK company finds a US company to sell product in Switzerland that according to Swiss law infringes on their copyrights, swiss law matters and a swiss court will deal with it.


That's not how it is worded anywhere I have looked, I will use wiki (not the most reliable I admit) as a quick source.

First publication

First publication is defined as the first occasion that a work is published anywhere. But if a work is simultaneously published in several countries, all within a 30 day period, each of those countries is treated as the country of first publication.

For example, if a work is first published in the United Kingdom, but is published in Canada, Australia and New Zealand within the following 30 days, all those countries are treated under UK law as being the country where the work was first published.

This used to be of importance, prior to 1957, for in those days first publication was the only possible way to obtain copyright. It became much less important due to the Copyright Act 1956, which grants copyright in the United Kingdom to any work if the author is a British citizen or is resident in Britain, or is a citizen of (or resident in) a Berne Convention country...International copyright

Notwithstanding that a work qualifies for copyright protection in the UK, it will not be automatically entitled to the normal period of copyright (as set out above). It may be entitled to only a shorter period of protection.

Where the author is not British (by nationality or domicile), and the work was first published outside the United Kingdom (and not published in the UK within 30 days thereafter), the period of copyright protection provided by UK law is limited to that provided by the laws of the "country of origin" of the work.

The country of origin, in the case of a broadcast, is the country the transmission originates from; and in the case of other works is the country in which the work was first published.

If a work is first published in only one country, which is a party to the Berne Convention, then that is the country of origin.

If a work is published simultaneously (i.e. in more than one country, but all within 30 days), and one of the countries is a European Economic Area (EEA) country, then the EEA country is the country of origin (even if another is a Berne Convention country); but if none of them is an EEA country, and one of them is a Berne Convention country, then the Berne Convention country is the country of origin.

If two or more Berne Convention countries qualify, and not all of them are in the EEA (such as Canada, the USA, or Australia), then the Berne Convention country with the shortest applicable copyright term determines the copyright term within the UK, if it is shorter than the normal term for such a work under UK law.

So I could have UK law applied to my work when claiming copyright, as one does not have to apply for copyright in the UK it being automatic.

Omniassiah
26-08-2012, 04:29
That's not how it is worded anywhere I have looked, I will use wiki (not the most reliable I admit) as a quick source.

So I could have UK law applied to my work when claiming copyright, as one does not have to apply for copyright in the UK it being automatic.

No, you can have the UK sourced as the originating location of the Copyright and use that as proof that you have a copyright in the country you have applied for a suit in assuming that country is part of the Berne Convention. All the Berne Convention does is effectively registers your copyright in every country that is apart of the Berne Convention if you register it or have it automatically registered by being first published. You still have the local laws to deal with which are for the most part fairly homogenized in the regards to what is actually protected. What is the big difference between countries is often ownership when it comes to a person working for a company under various methods, for example contract versus permanent employee. Unfortunately in this case the end result will probably have no affect on the out come for CHS but may have an issue on whether GW or specifics authors/sculptors gets the penalties. Note that If I produce a copyrightable work, I immediately get a copyright granted in the UK even though I live in the US and am NOT a British citizen. That is the effect of the Berne Convention.

Avatar_exADV
26-08-2012, 05:34
Actually, it probably will matter for the purposes of the case in question.

It's correct that the creator of a particular work gets a copyright on that work automatically upon creation. However, the creator of the work is not "GW the corporation", it's an individual. Whether the rights are subsequently assigned to the corporation is a matter of UK law. Were they created for a US company in the US, it would be pretty open-and-shut, the works would be designated works-for-hire and GW could now sue people over them. In the UK it's more... complicated. Not saying that GW doesn't have the copyright, but that you can't automatically assume that they do just because they commissioned someone to do the sculpting (especially as an independent contractor and not an actual employee of the company).

This may matter for the case in question because a number of the works in question which GW is asserting are being copied were created in this fashion, and GW has not submitted the relevant contracts that assign the creators' rights to GW. That might be because GW couldn't find the paperwork (some of this stuff is from the 80s, after all), but it also might be because that paperwork never existed - i.e. GW, a much smaller company back then, may not have done the proper paperwork to secure the copyright on the sculpts in the first place. At any rate, CHS is asserting (as one among many arguments) that GW can't proceed with a copyright action if it can't demonstrate that, for sure, it actually owns the rights. Presumably if the judge bites on this line of reasoning, he'll order GW to cough up the paperwork or drop any claim to anything it can't document. Of course, GW might actually have all those contracts, but it can't save them as a gotcha-surprise; if it's asked for them in discovery, they either have to produce them or waive the right to present them at trial. This sort of thing is why discovery takes so long, hm?

None of that affects CHS legally, though - as a US business, they're under no obligation to follow the specifics of UK copyright law. The only reason that the UK copyright law is involved at all is because they assign ownership of the works a little differently there, in a way that's bad for GW and good for CHS in this instance.

Commissar Davis
27-08-2012, 14:20
Only work done by Freelance or Contractor would in this case require documentation, although that may not be required depending on whether GW can produce something in terms of a letter of engagement, which set out from the beginning that all rights would belong to GW. A verbal contract is also as much a contract as any other under UK law, so they person who did the work coming forward in court and saying that the work was carried out with GW being understood as the end holder of any copyright would be good enough for a UK court.

susu.exp
27-08-2012, 17:42
That's not how it is worded anywhere I have looked, I will use wiki (not the most reliable I admit) as a quick source.

So I could have UK law applied to my work when claiming copyright, as one does not have to apply for copyright in the UK it being automatic.

What this section explains is that the UK treats works that are published first in a Berne country like work first published in the UK (with the exception of duration - one of the things where the UK does stray off the demands of the Berne convention). UK copyright law does not apply outside the UK. Itīs worth notiong that the Berne convention contains some minimal conditions for national law, one of which is that copyright is automatic. This kept the US (where it wasnīt) from joining for a long time (until 1989 non-US citizens had quite a hard time to have any protection of copyrighted works in the US - quite a few Hollywood-remakes of european films were done with no royalties whatsoever to the writers of the original screenplay for instance)..

The above does not in any way indicate that a violation that occurs in Russia has anything to do with UK law - it deals with what happens if a Russian work is infringed in the UK - UK law applies in the latter case and since Russia signed the Berne convetion UK law treats the Russian work as it would treat a work published in the UK.

ForgottenLore
27-08-2012, 17:47
Thank you Susu, that was a much better examination than I had been able to come up with.

gunmnky
27-08-2012, 19:48
What this section explains is that the UK treats works that are published first in a Berne country like work first published in the UK (with the exception of duration - one of the things where the UK does stray off the demands of the Berne convention). UK copyright law does not apply outside the UK. Itīs worth notiong that the Berne convention contains some minimal conditions for national law, one of which is that copyright is automatic. This kept the US (where it wasnīt) from joining for a long time (until 1989 non-US citizens had quite a hard time to have any protection of copyrighted works in the US - quite a few Hollywood-remakes of european films were done with no royalties whatsoever to the writers of the original screenplay for instance)..

The above does not in any way indicate that a violation that occurs in Russia has anything to do with UK law - it deals with what happens if a Russian work is infringed in the UK - UK law applies in the latter case and since Russia signed the Berne convetion UK law treats the Russian work as it would treat a work published in the UK.

That's not entirely true. Akira Kurosawa sued Sergio Leone for A Fist Full of Dollars, due to the fact that he used Kurosawa's screenplays with cowboys instead of samurai. This was back in the late 60's and 70's. And yes, Kurosawa won.

Obviously we recognized foreign trademarks and copyrights at that time.

Artwork is more complicated than just writing words that form an absolutely unique pattern. The Suzuki GSXR design is copyrighted (maybe even a few trademarks). You can still paint one, take pictures, sculpt them and digitally model them. This is, without a doubt, legal. According to GW, it's not.

Also, the Berne Act covers direct copies. I can't make photocopies of GW work. I can't recast them. It says nothing about inspirational design, for which GW itself is fully guilty of. I've even been asked if a space marine is a storm trooper before because the helmet is so remarkably similar. Also, it would then also mean these people would be sued: here (http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/shop_parts/exhaust_system/ford.html), here (http://www.andysautosport.com/body_kits/ford.html), and here (http://www.carid.com/2008-ford-mustang-body-kits/extreme-dimensions-body-kit-297949.html?CAWELAID=1010028628&%22cagpspn=pla%22&gclid=CJPA2uu7iLICFQjZQgod61wADA)

Notice they even used the official ford logo? The last one is pretty good copy of the new Mustang GT.

Every single one of those says "Ford XXX" not "XXX for Ford Vehicles." They use official Ford logos and even very, very similar body kits. Obviously it's legal, and obviously it's not diluting the Ford IP.

susu.exp
28-08-2012, 08:09
That's not entirely true. Akira Kurosawa sued Sergio Leone for A Fist Full of Dollars, due to the fact that he used Kurosawa's screenplays with cowboys instead of samurai. This was back in the late 60's and 70's. And yes, Kurosawa won.

They settled out of court and Kurosawa sued in Italy. he was granted 15% of the worldwide profits with the exception of the USA. MGM/Universal the US distributors noted that because (see above) a US only release could not be challenged in a court of law and thus refused to be a part of a settlemet that only mattered for the rest of the world. Not a particular good example...


Obviously we recognized foreign trademarks and copyrights at that time.

Not unless they went for a first release in the US. There were a couple of publishers putting out their own versions of Lord of the Rings, Tolkein never saw a cent. Another infamous example: A lot of Americans think thereīs a law in Germany against reprinting Hitlers "Mein Kampf". In fact itīs simply a copyright issue: Copyright expires 70 years after an authors death and in the case of no heirs falls to the state they were last registered in. Hitlers last official adress was in Munich, so Bavaria holds the copyright and refuses to grant anyone permission to print it. Of course that book is available in the US.
And despite signing to the Berne convention in 1989, quite a few crucial parts (particularly those pertaining to moral rights of authors) have not entered national law, yet.


Artwork is more complicated than just writing words that form an absolutely unique pattern. The Suzuki GSXR design is copyrighted (maybe even a few trademarks).

Iīd suggest that there are 3 Marks: Suzuki, the Suzuki logo and GSXR. There are likely some patents as well, though.


Also, the Berne Act covers direct copies. I can't make photocopies of GW work. I can't recast them.

The Berne convention regulates how countries treat copyrights of foreign nationals - basically they are treated equal in all respects to domestic citizens and residents. It also makes some minimal provisions on what to protect. I can make private copies of GWs books and arwork, because German law explicitly allows me to do so. I can even hire a third party to make these copies for me (and thus profit from GWs copyrighted works) provided these copies are made on a "paper-like material" (so, I could get that Tattoo, credit the tattoo artist and they couldnīt get sued - parchment is paperlike and skin is parchment in training...).

I canīt recast miniatures, though, because they arenīt protected by copyright (Urheberrecht) in Germany, but by "design of useful objects law" (Gebrauchsmusterrecht), which doesnīt allow for private copies (in the same way, I canīt cast my toaster).


Notice they even used the official ford logo?

I do and Iīd note that this goes beyond minimal, informative use of Fords mark (thereīs a wordmark that would do the same informative job, namely "Ford", so the logo is excessive). Ford could sue the one that uses the logo (but theyīd probably send out a C&D first). But you arenīt just preaching to the converted here, youīre preaching to the pope. I was the first person to compare CHS to the car (and cellphone, and scale model) aftermarkets in the first CHS thread.

Commissar Davis
31-08-2012, 13:54
Also, it would then also mean these people would be sued: here, here, and here Did you check to make sure they are not made under licence?

In the UK, the law covering such third party parts are done case by case. If you make parts for something that is subject to "wear and tear" you will have a case, if not then it is highly likely the courts will rule against.

In the UK you can make copies, but only for private use and selling on copies can lead to prison.

A quick reference to wiki:


Alternatively, a work can qualify for copyright protection if its first publication took place:

1 in the United Kingdom, or
2 in another country to which the qualification clause extends.

Lists of the countries which trigger qualification are published in Statutory Instruments periodically. They are, in point of fact, those countries which have acceded to the Berne Copyright Convention.

Making parts to fit GW trademarked and copyrighted material, that copies the material in a way that makes it almost or totally indistinguishable, could well fall foul. See the Apple v Samsung case for additional insight.

weeble1000
31-08-2012, 16:29
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/apple-jury-foreman-here-s-how-we-reached-a-verdict-RqtqHC25QbOBFg7xrWa5Wg.html

If you want to know about how the jury in the Apple v Samsung trial made their decision, watch that video. The apple v Samsung case was a patent infringement lawsuit, and by and large the jury found that Samsung had willfully infringed Apple's patents related to the iPhone and iPad devices. Note that the jury did not find that Samsung infringed Apple's design patents related to the shape of the devices.

If you want to talk about the Apple v Samsung case, a new thread in another forum would probably be the best place to do that. If you have questions about it, I am rather familiar with the case as I consulted on it, though note that it is in no way related to the wargaming industry, unless you are talking about the impact the outcome will or could have on wargaming related apps.