WSJ article on Hollywood, props and 3D printing

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PHArchivist

Master Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

Thanks for posting! Do my OCD side a favor and get that extra "R" out of your title ;)
 

third3ye

Sr Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

Can't read it without signing in. :(
You can get around the WSJ block by doing an internet search for the article title.

Personally I think most if not all of the studios won't lift much of a finger when it comes to 3D printing and IP infringement. Yes there are some lost sales to consumers who want a replica or scaled figure sooner than when the licensed market can provide, but how large of that market would've waited to buy a licensed product is highly questionable, so that's not lost sales there. Moving over to a customer retention standpoint, there's a sizable portion of collectors on this forum who would rather wait and pay a higher price for a licensed 100% SA prop replica. There's also a lot of 3D printed items that license holders would never touch anyway since they're not profitable, so that's not lost business to them. 3D printing tech is great for static objects but has a long way to go in creating the same level of quality with moving and electronic parts as the toy manufacturers. If anything this movement could hurt licensed prop manufacturers but studio royalty revenues for the collectible category is actually quite small. If, and a big if, 3D printing starts hurting mass market toy sales, then studios are gonna start hitting the panic button and siccing their lawyers.
 
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Bogleo

Well-Known Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

kenlandrum , What do you think about this?
 
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kenlandrum

Sr Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

@kenlandrum , What do you think about this?
Yes I'm selling the kit files to print your own tfa blaster. MY representation of the blaster. Not a physical product but the digital files. Go onto eBay and type in stormtrooper armor. Fan made props are the studios best friend. Take the 501st... These guys spend hundreds if not thousands of their own cash on top notch prop replicas that help promote a franchise. The article touched on many aspects of 3d printing including the toy market. But when it comes to fan made props I think they view this as a huge asset... Free fan advertisement!
 

cboath

Master Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

Some of the comments didn't hold back on him, thats for sure. I can understand charging to help keep the onslaught at bay if that was the reason. Have to say, seems a mistake to tell the author he started charging for it. Interesting to see if a C&D arrives at the doorstep or not.

As for the future of it...there's nothing illegal about me going down to home depot and buying everything I need to build out any number of props. I can build whatever I want for myself. The line only gets crossed if I start selling finished copyright product to others ostensibly.

Honestly, i don't see 3D printers getting to the point of being cheaper than ordering from amazon or going to Toys 'r us though for another decade, if then. I'm kind of with the author, laws need to change. You can't use 1920's law in the 21st century - it's really apples and oranges. I'm saying I know what it needs changed to, but it needs updated. If not, i think you're going to see consumer patent trolls for lack of a better term. People buying up licenses that have been defunct decades simply to sue people for infringement.

I disagree with a part of the article though, CD's never really offered any protection at all. If i borrowed a CD, i could easily copy it to tape well before CD writers were available to the public. You could always copy tapes prior to that as well. About what? 5 years after CDR's debuted to the public the price started getting close to what it needed to be to burner everything to disc instead of tape. Even at that it was still lie 5 bucks per CDR. By the time of napster it was still 2ish IIRC.

Where there's a will, there's a way. I'd like to think that perhaps they've learned that the harder they fight it, the harder people wish push back. Start suing everyone under the sun and it'll turn on you, no question.

If you want to take the real premise of the article to be that someday 3d printers will be ubiquitous in homes around the world and it'll be cheaper to print a toy as opposed to buy it, fine. I think toy companies are largely to blame with inflated license prices with 3 3/4" crossing $10 is ridiculous. The point WILL come where it'll take no real talent to make the model. The software exists now where you could take multiple views of a character in a movie and the software can construct a 3D textured model of them. It's not that great in quality, but it's do-able now. Jump ahead 10-15 years and those models should be pretty damn good. The printer will still have to get good enough to paint the model as it's printing, which I can see will eventually happen. The RIAA stopped suing everyone under the sun because it didn't work. They joined the party and worked the system. Toy companies and studios will have to learn to do the same.

- - - Updated - - -

Yes I'm selling the kit files to print your own tfa blaster. MY representation of the blaster. Not a physical product but the digital files. Go onto eBay and type in stormtrooper armor. Fan made props are the studios best friend. Take the 501st... These guys spend hundreds if not thousands of their own cash on top notch prop replicas that help promote a franchise. The article touched on many aspects of 3d printing including the toy market. But when it comes to fan made props I think they view this as a huge asset... Free fan advertisement!
You're very right. However, the powers that be tend to take notice when someone admits to doing so. They very well may do nothing. I can't see it being a dent in their pockets whatsoever. At the same time, you can't be stunned if they elect to do something.
 

Bogleo

Well-Known Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

I think that the author doesn't realize how much time it takes to make a quality 3D file. Sure, the software exists to generate a 3D model from pictures, but it's hardly comparable to the quality of a model made through time and effort. I imagine it took Ken maybe 20-50 hours to model the TFA blaster.

Also, the quality of a 3D print fresh off the bed is not very close to a licensed replica. It requires quite a few hours to get a 3D print to a smooth finish. Most people doing runs of helmets from 3D prints are smoothing, molding and casting it.

I don't really see how 3D printers will lose them money. For example, in the prop community, I think most people would rather buy a replica helmet than buy a toy, or wait longer and pay more for a licensed replica.
 

cboath

Master Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

The point isn't now, though, it's in the future. In the future, yes, you'll likely be able to use a series of photo's to generate a dead on model of something seen on screen that will have damn near screen accurate quality.Whether that's 10, 20, or more years down the road is beside the point. The question i think they were trying to get to is 'what happens then'. The high end collectible market doesn't make a tiny dent in the profitability of a movie. If you're counting on that money, your movie likely blows massive chunks.

Toys - on the other hand - are a separate issue. That's a market they do count on for a number of movies (some you gotta wonder why), but they do. SW is the prime example. Hasbro coughed up enough money for the toy license that all 3 movies turned a profit before the first one was released.

I'm not sure how threatened toys get though, because a toy isn't something you can pull off the screen and print - regardless of your software. Movable parts and all and whatnot. As Bog points out, that design isn't instant. Someone has to take the time to make the file properly to hand out. And even at that point, you have to figure the cost of the printer and materials and time spent vs picking it up at the store.

It IS something studios should think about now, You need to plan for the future. But they've got a a minimum of a decade before it's an actual concern and likely longer than that. 20 years?
 

Bogleo

Well-Known Member
Re: WSJ article on Hollywood, proprs and 3D printing

Very good points. I just wanted to point out that my name isn't really Bog, Bogleo is just a nickname. :lol
 

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