Copyright-problems when selling props?

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tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Copyright law differs from country to country. It gets EXTREMELY complicated as the US laws pertain to the US, yet most countries try to cooperate on enforcement of rights from one country to another. There are specialist lawyers who job is purely how to deal with one countries IP law.

"why can movie companies take an off the shelf item, Modify it, and then claim to own the copyright, trademark, or likeness of it? Does anyone have a good answer for this"

In the case of Lucas, sometimes they have gotten lucky such as a more modern product and the originating product company not going after him. In other cases, the companies have gone out of business and there is no one to pursue an infringement case. In other cases, the base item has been altered so much that the function, use and recognition of the item is altered to a point that it hits a very grey area of enforcement due to those changes.

This is where it can get extremely complicated and where a good lawyer can make a difference in enforcing / defending their intellectual property rights.
 

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CVWcreations

Active Member
Do studios send a cease and desist first, or can they sometimes go in all guns blazing asking for compensation and even suing. The only case's I've heard of going all the way are the guy with the star wars helmets and Gotham garage.
 

Hoppy81

New Member
Reading this has made my head hurt and in the end I'm left thinking, "Well, I'm going to break a copyrighted thing." and hope for the best
 

Cephus

Sr Member
Reading this has made my head hurt and in the end I'm left thinking, "Well, I'm going to break a copyrighted thing." and hope for the best

So long as you make an informed decision, that's entirely up to you. The thing to take away from this thread (and many like it) are that you are technically breaking the law knowingly, you are aware that someone else owns the right to the things you are making and you are open to legal challenge every time you sell a model. You can make all of the props for yourself that you want, you cannot provide anything to anyone else, even at zero cost, without taking a risk that the copyright owner is going to come after you. To be honest, the reason more people don't get sued isn't because these companies understand and tacitly condone what is being done, but because the people making these models are not worth suing, they largely have no money and it costs more to sue than they could possibly recover. That doesn't mean they can't make an example of you and if you get sued and lose, your financial life can be pretty much over forever. They can garnish your wages pretty much for the rest of your life to pay whatever the damages are.

So long as you're willing to accept that as a very real possibility, go for it.
 

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