The expression "the process is the punishment" comes to mind. Even if GW gets an unfavourable ruling, they would still have knocked the wind out of the guy's sails.
Last edited by Iron Puritan; 03-06-2012 at 21:18.
Last edited by Hendarion; 03-06-2012 at 20:04.
Edit: In other words, winning isn't always the objective.
Considering that the items in question do cross some likes with their IP (using the BA icon was unwise, thus making it identifiable), they are certainly within the right to act. They would be stupid not to, in all honesty. What I find interesting is that from what we have seen so far, the focus appears to be on the "sharing of the method" rather than addressing the more obvious IP issue.
To be fair - the only thing that they can really do is go after the specific sharing method.
If they attempted to go after someone who creates a digital model (copy or otherwise) and then proceeds to print it for their own personal use - they would also have to go after people who create any other model or figure from scratch and use it for their own personal use.
Whats more problematic for GW is that as computer games get better and better graphics, and 3D printing becomes better and more accessible - the time will come when they will have to deal with people extracting models from within the games and printing them on a 3D printer. It can be done already - but the level of detail in terms of real geometry isn't present in the video game models to make it worth while.
Pretty sure GW has small nightmares about the time when that happens.
Games Workshop and a lot of other manufacturers want something they may not be able to get out of the legal systems in the West. I can't see how an action would succeed unless they get specific, namely that the plans make an identifiable Blood Angels Dreadnought rather than vague "looks like" accusations draped in legalese.
In general I agree that if it is "uncomfortably close" it can be considered an illegal imitation, but outside direct copies it's always difficult to say exactly where the border is for legal and illegal. If it's not a direct copy, then legally you need to start considering other product-related things like how does it affect GW sales, how iconic the original design is to the company, does the product include/do everything the GW product does, how much benefit the maker of the knock-off gets, how many of the copies he sells etc.
This is the reason why design furniture copies are sold broadly, it's just so difficult for the owner of the original design to build a solid case and proof that they are copying the design and taking his customers. You can't just say that "they've sold 1.000 pieces of these €30 chair knock-offs, so I have lost 1.000 customers of my €300 chair."
Last edited by prowla; 04-06-2012 at 12:16.
Personally, I can't wait to see the effect that improving 3-D Printing technology has on GW. They need a good scare to kickstart some innovation and rethinking of their various strategies.
Although I'm not looking forward to paying 500% of current prices for their new line of Printcast models.
Incidentally, did anyone see the new controller design for the WiiU that was unveiled today? Look familiar?
I have a friend who works for a 3d printing company and posted a picture of a model similar to a sentinel on his personal facebook, he wasn't sharing the model with anyone, and he received a cease and desist as well.
GW (or most other cases relating to C&D orders) would be hard pressed to actually go to court and win. However, they have their lawyers on retainer sending out C&D letters day after day. When most people get one, they fall over, fearing an impending lawsuit and all the related expenses therein. So, they comply - or at the very least stop posting pictures.
However, in principal - there is no difference between a 3D printed model that you design yourself (even if it is a copy of GW's work) and the various plasticard IG tank threads that you can find here on Warseer and other websites. Both have the same impact and from a legal perspective are the same (the law doesn't address difficulty of reproduction, it simply addresses reproduction).
If you could, have your friend send a copy of the C&D to ChillingEffects.org - he may get a legal opinion or an offer to help deal with the issue. There are a lot of law firms who are interested in getting involved in these types of cases, and GW would be a nice target for them. It is big enough to get global news attention, but small enough that your average national firm can take on anything that their legal department can muster.
Regarding WiiU everything I see about it looks more and more awesome, very excited about it actually. You read the song of ice and fire books at all(bearing in mind your name and avatar)?