Marvel removed my models

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by paulelderdesign, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member
    Hi guys

    I recieved a C&D (Cease and Desist) email from marvel asking me to remove all my work that ressembled anything of theirs. Anyone else had a similar experience?
    They've also shot themselves in the foot too as I'm a product designer who will think twice about working with them in the future :/

  2. roofoo
    roofoo Well-Known Member
    Interesting. If I might ask, what were the products they took issue with?
  3. barkingdigger
    barkingdigger Well-Known Member
    Copyright is a minefield! I assume you've satisfied yourself that the C&D email was genuine? I thought big stuff like that was still done the old-fashioned way, with ink on paper. The Interwebs are full of scoundrels and scammers, after all...
  4. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Did it come from Shapeways, like an email from a Shapeways employee or something like that? Or did it come to you some other way? I agree with Barkingdigger in his or her thinking. For me, when comes to online the very first thing I think is FAKE! Then, I slowly work from there to determine the reality if it can be determined.

    I once received a C&D from Zazzle employees who were contacted by Buzz Aldrin's company for using one of his moon shots. :D
  5. Arnaud3D
    Arnaud3D New Member
    That's a concern I had with this whole concept of "custom design", are there any rules right now ? To what point would they consider it is custom or genuine, like just changing one small detail would be enough ? (when I see how Apple and Samsung can go to court just for a square shape, I guess its more complicated :laughing: )
  6. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member
    Definitely not fake. I know Marvel very well

    Now Marvel is here too?

    The email was from Gregory Pan he's well known in the Replica industry and is hired to sniff out the breaches in copyright.
    The models in question are posted below as you can see I don't do things by halves and as a dedicated cosplayer accuracy is
    a key part of my job.








    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  7. barkingdigger
    barkingdigger Well-Known Member
    Wow - nice work! I hate to say it, but it looks like they've got you bang to rights. If you are selling these items then your only courses of action are 1) withdraw them, 2) come to some kind of licensing deal, or 3) get really clever about selling a bunch of separate mechanical "shapes" that can be assembled into something suspiciously similar to the Ironman props. (That last option isn't very safe or indeed advised for obvious legal reasons, but I do know some of the bigger plastic kit manufacturers sell things like "1/4 ton US truck" to avoid the Jeep copyright, and one model train mfgr sold a familiar brown panel van with buff decals for "United Postal Service" and "Parcel Delivery Company" that could be cut up to make the trademarked logo of a well-known courrier firm...)

    Since Option 2 is the most appropriate, be sure to point out the actual profit margins (not the SW print cost) and predicted unit sales so they can see how much or how little they stand to gain from the deal, as it may convince them not to bother with their higjhest-priced lawyers. Good luck!

    Of course, there's nothing to stop you making as many copies for personal use as you like.
  8. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Hi guys,

    I'm sad to say, but this does sometimes happen.

    Shapeways enables people to 3D print whatever they can imagine, which unfortunately occasionally includes things that already exist and may be covered by copyright.

    While we do what we can to ensure the content on Shapeways is appropriate, we cannot realistically review every model uploaded for a possible copyright infringement. We are also unable to determine whether the user has obtained a license for copyrighted content. As a service provider, our liability is protected by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act under their Safe Harbor provision. (More details can be found here on Wikipedia: t)

    What this means is that while Shapeways is protected by the DMCA, individual users, like paulelderdesign, are not protected and are thus liable for any penalties resulting from copyright infringement. We thus do not encourage infringing known copyrights.

    On a more positive note, I have seen cases of licensing being worked out with profit sharing, so it is worth investigating that possibility.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  9. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member
    Hiya Natalia

    I contacted them and asked for a compromise in sharing the funds or just royalties. Wish me luck? :)

  10. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    I wish that I could. But your shop is wall-to-wall copyright infringements...I'm not sure what makes you think that's likely to turn out well.
  11. waetherman
    waetherman New Member
    Yeah, I think you're on the wrong side on this. While I think that Marvel should certainly support cos players and hackers alike, when your hobby becomes a business that is built on the work of others, it crosses the line in my opinion. Technically you probably can't even make this stuff for yourself but you certainly can't sell it.
  12. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member
    Fair enough but which models do you mean in particular? because it states that "I make replicas" and the following companies have featured my work in good light several times

    Stan Winston Studios AKA Legacy Effects link to my work being promoted is on the Hugsy and Endo arm pendant. I also run the Stan Winston page on facebook ;)

    Twentieth Century Fox I have worked for them promoting Aliens in the past and am friends with most of the cast of the films. I can't quote who said this but a very well known hollywood actor was interested in my pulse rifle when I was in a film with him last year, in fact Fox knew what I did when I was hired to do the Predators promotion I gave them my website :)

    Not defending the copyright just stating a few facts. I'm also renaming my models and removing the logos

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  13. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member

    I'm also quite intrigued to how this isn't breaking copyright? Arc Reactors on Shapeways :confused

  14. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    The fact that SW is stuffed with IP infringing models does not mean that it is ok. (And who knows which of them infringe, and which have permission?) Perhaps all these other models will one day trigger C&D notices, but this does not help you, since you have already received one.

    An analogy: if you are ticketed for speeding, it will cut no ice with anyone that everyone else was speeding.

    You are clearly a very skilled modeller: perhaps you should create some stuff of your own and then no-one will be able to dictate to you.
  15. barkingdigger
    barkingdigger Well-Known Member
    Well, there's certainly a lot of ARC Reactors available here! I can only assume the others either have permission, or are ripe for their own C&D orders...

    As for your issue, you need to talk to their guys and make your case that a) your product doesn't hurt their "brand" in any way, and b) that it actively promotes the "brand". (Any free PR is good PR, eh?) Then you need to work out the true cost of making your CADwork, document your sales to date, and project your potential future sales in order to work out how much actual profit is up for negotiation. Chances are it's too small for them to care.

    If they are dealt with fairly and openly they may just see the sense of letting you promote their franchise! (Trouble is the easiest thing for the lawyers to do is say "no" - it protects their trademark/copyright with the least effort. Your sales pitch has to break through this barrier.)

    As for making items for yourself, there is no restriction that I know of. All the legal stuff comes into play if and when you try to sell, or if you use the item in public to the detriment of their reputation. Simply carving out your own ARC Reactor at home ain't no crime...
  16. paulelderdesign
    paulelderdesign New Member
    I'm negotiating with Gregory from Marvel now.

    He has made a very valid point, even after providing my sales overview and discussing it, there is not enough revenue to warrant a license.
    I do however like Barkdigger's idea of the free promotion for them as that's what I do in cosplay and it's all good for charity and Marvel as far
    as I'm aware.



    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  17. roofoo
    roofoo Well-Known Member
    You've got some amazing stuff, I hope you can come to an agreement.
  18. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Lawyers are sticky wickets. There was once a sci-fi themed space restaurant in North Chicago called the Star Voyager Restaurant & Bar and I believe they had the name before the Voyager series came out. The idea of the place was to loosely emulate a space station restaurant. They had some fake portholes with space images behind them, space art, and display panels on some of the walls. The owners tried very hard to not infringe on Paramount IP but to no avail. After the lawyers did a walk through they found all sorts of things offensive. For example some of the fake display panels on the walls had "borders" and the lawyers claimed they had a copyright on space ship instrumentation display borders. Yeah you could try to fight the lawyers but in they end they will outlast you.

    [​IMG] 5912/ med-eateries/
  19. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    What I find interesting is how 3D printing its self plays into this and other situations like this. The digital aspect of it that is. You see, Paul is not selling anything tangible. He doesn't even know whom is the customers are or even if anything has even sold unless Shapeways tells him about it. What he IS selling is a set of non-tangible instructions that tells a machine at Shapeways what to do.

    Here's an analogy. I walk into a machine shop and verbally tell a machinist how to make a certain item. They then make the actual tangible item using my verbal instructions with the agreement that if they sell the item that they have to give me a portion of the sale. So they then sell the item and they disburse to me my share as agreed.

    So then, here comes a copyright holder waving a C&D order! Who'd is liable? Certainly not MEEEE!!! HAHAHA!! :laughing: All I did was tell the machinist what to do! :D

    So the machinist exclaims, "HEY NOW! DON'T LOOK AT ME!" I'VE GOT INSTRUCTIONS COMING IN FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ITEMS PER YEAR HERE!" HAHAHA!!! :laughing: "Oh yeah and, [whispering] that's why there's the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. CHA CHINGGG!!!" hehehe :p

    And so the copyright holder is standing there with a blank stare.


    By the way great work Paul, I can appreciate the expenditure of effort that when into the creation of everything you have up. The way I see it, nobody cares about copyright infringement unless you're making enough money to make it worth their effort to tell you to stop. It's sort of like how farmers don't care much about people helping themselves to the outer fringes of a crop. It's just when some pulls up driving a harvesting machine that they tend to take notice. So to get a C&D is like a compliment in a way, cuz it shows that you're doing too well at what you've set out to do. :)
  20. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Nice idea, but not really how it works. The IP owner can see that his rights are being infringed upon, he is going to get the item taken down or if not (and if he is inclined to proceed) seek redress (money!!!). If he cannot get satisfaction from the designer he will go after SW, who are after all a much juicier target with (presumably) deeper pockets.

    Now this discussion has been had before: SW say they are not responsible for the content (and point to the disclaimer that we all agree to each and every time we upload a model) and that they simply provide a way for the designer to sell his or her product. Others agree with the scenario that you describe where SW is the seller and the designer has merely licensed the rights to their design.

    Either way, when presented with a C&D, if the designer does not take down the offending articles I would guess that SW would, and pretty damn lickety-split too!
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013