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Old Nov 24, 2003, 08:12 AM
Registered User
N. Staffs, UK
Joined Jan 1997
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Kits from free plans ?

Does anyone know the legalities around making and selling kits of parts, perhaps just the fiddly bits like formers and ribs, for the free plans which turn up in various magazines ?

Obviously from a moral standpoint one should ideally ask permission of the designer and be willing to pay a royalty if required but what is the legal position ? Are the plans, once published, in the public domain or what rights if any do the publisher and/or designer retain ?

Note: no specific plans in mind, I'm just generally interested.

Steve
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 10:14 AM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar
Camarillo, California
Joined Apr 2002
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Most published plans include a copyright notice. If there is one, you are required to get permission from the person claiming the copyright. Just being released in a public place or forum does not make the plans public domain and therefore up for grabs...
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 10:37 AM
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N. Staffs, UK
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Indeed that's true and it should certainly prevent anyone selling plans. But AFAIK copyright generally protects only actual documents like booksand plans not necessarily the ideas and shapes contained on them. I.e. the copyright in an architect's plan does not protect the shape of the bricks used in the building. For example, I wonder how many model designers are paying royalties to Mr Clark for the use of his "Y" .

O.K. the Clark Y is probably old enough to be out of copyright anyway but you know what I mean .

Steve
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 10:59 AM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar
Camarillo, California
Joined Apr 2002
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It doesn't copyright the bricks, but it does copyright the arrangement they are put in. A model plan doesn't copyright formers, but it does copyright their shape, placement, etc. The whole design is called 'intellectual property'.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 10:59 AM
Turbines suck ;-)
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Mar 2000
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If you start making a Sportwin short kit , I'll take one!! Not far to collect it, I live in Fleet!!
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 11:02 AM
Turbines suck ;-)
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
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Quote:
Originally posted by rorywquin
If you start making a Sportwin short kit , I'll take one!! Not far to collect it, I live in Fleet!!
Seeing as I have already paid for the plans, this should be legal.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 12:37 PM
Team 30 Micro EDF
Mike Taylor's Avatar
Camarillo, California
Joined Apr 2002
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You bought the right to use the plans to build a model; not to manufacturing rights to reproduce the plans or the kit. There is a difference...
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 01:28 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
24,867 Posts
I'm with Mike.

I bought the rights from Mark Rittinger (designer) to make kits of the Python, which has free plans here on E-Zone. I put out good money for this, and having the designer on your side is definitely something you want to do.

Andy
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 01:36 PM
Registered User
N. Staffs, UK
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So if someone sends their copy of a plan (free or purchased) to a kit cutter to have a kit made from it is that o.k. ? If someone produces a set of formers and ribs which will be of no use to anyone unless they already own the plan is that o.k. ?

Anyone else have any insights ? The rules in this area don't seem at all clear and I guess would need to be tested in court (separately in each country probably).

Sorry Rory, it's just a theoretical enquiry at the moment .

Steve
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 04:30 PM
Turbines suck ;-)
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Mar 2000
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Quote:
Originally posted by steve lewin


Sorry Rory, it's just a theoretical enquiry at the moment .

Steve
I am really lazy when it comes to cutting balsa parts !! Wish there was an easier way for building from plans!!
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 05:01 PM
Cheapskate freeloader!
Zeroaltitude's Avatar
Orebro, Sweden
Joined Oct 2002
3,155 Posts
I am somewhat uncertain about the issues regarding copyright and intelectual property, even within my own country. I am however fairly certain that if you purchase a plan, you could get a lasercutter to make as many kits as you please, for your own personal use.
I am ALMOST 100% certain that you couldnīt give away the kits, even free of charge to someone else with a copy of your purchased or free plan.
I am 100% certain that if you try to make ANY money off someone elses intelectual property without getting their aproval, that would be illegal.

Anyway, why would one even consider not contacting the designer of the plan first? Regardless of legal issues, that to me would seem to be the apropriate action. Do unto others.....

Anders
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 05:50 PM
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Winnipeg, MB Canada
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I've read that all things are copywrite if ownership can be demonstrated, whether or not there is a formal entry. ie: this message, being dated, is in fact copywrite to me.

I would think that is not only fair but prudent to contact the developer of the plan for permission to use it for commercial purposes, or to find his source. It might be that his plan is just a slightly modified version of something else not declared. In that case your quest would be a bit complicated, but still necessary. Tex.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 05:59 PM
29 rods from you in western WI
Karl Bē's Avatar
Joined Jan 2003
4,885 Posts
If the purchaser of the plan contracts with me to build the plane wholly or in part (ie. cutting formers/bulkheads), I would think that this isn't infringing on anyone's copyright.

On the other hand, if you purchase a plan and mass-produce parts for sale without some sort of agreement, it seems to be much more of a grey area. I've seen relatively generic (can work with more than one aircraft) replacement parts offered, typically fiberglass cowls or wheelpants, marked as, for example, "1/6 scale fiberglass Piper Cub cowl, fits Sig, etc." No idea if these are done cooperatively with the original kit mfg or not.

Good question, makes you go "hmmm".

Karl
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 11:48 AM
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N. Staffs, UK
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It looks like there are no easy answers. We all agree that the correct approach is to contact the designer and get permission but no-one seems to know what the situation is if you don't do that. I'm particularly interested in magazine free plans, where we all know that there are hundreds of copies out there that are never likely to be used.

Pretty much as Karl says, I'd suggest that anyone with a legal copy of the plan is entitled to subcontract someone else to cut a set of parts for him. In the case of free plans that would be anyone who has bought the magazine. What would be wrong with that ?

Steve
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 11:57 AM
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Boston, MA
Joined Dec 2002
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So if I go to my local airport, take some pictures of an actual piper cub, go home and scale down the 3-views and make it into a balsa/foam kit, is this patent infringement? What if I took pictures of a wingo and made a balsa kit from that?

- FFFlier
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