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Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User





Hope somebody has some useful info here.

The basic question is - what are the legal issues surrounding creating your own range of models for use in 40k and other tabletop games?

I.E. - Forgeworld (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/) has their own range of 40k models and they've been around for quite some time. Can't GW sue them somehow for infringing on their trademarks or something?


   
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Ontario

Uh...
Forgeworld is owned by GW, you do realize that, right?

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Forgeworld has been officially licensed by GW to make models. All the super heavies (such as Baneblades, Titans, Stompa's, ETC... are all made by Forgeworld.

If you want to make your own models for GW games you can, but can't put any of the GW trademarks on the model. But you can not distribute them to anyone else, otherwise GW will get very very angry with you

Here is a link to their legal section on th GW website which explains all:
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=§ion=&pIndex=2&aId=3900002&start=3

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Made in ca
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Kamloops, B.C.

I.E. - Forgeworld (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/) has their own range of 40k models and they've been around for quite some time. Can't GW sue them somehow for infringing on their trademarks or something?


Ummm....

No.


Forgeworld is practically GW. Despite how they insist otherwise.


As for creating your own, as long as you scratchbuild everything (Meaning no use of GW bitz in your casts), you don't state that your sculpts are for specific use with a GW race, and no use of copyrighted GW symbols (The Aquilia, SM chapter symbols, the Chaos star, etc...), then you're safe from the Adeptus Lawyericus, even though they might try.

Some guys still go ahead and break these copyright rules, but let's be honest - it's not like GW is broke, and they don't make a lot of stuff that people want. So folks like Chapterhouse take the liberty of filling the gap.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/04/29 22:04:32


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Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/29 22:17:06


 
   
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Kamloops, B.C.

Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


They might still come after (and win) for sculpting your own marines from scratch, but sculpting individual replacement bits that 'just-so-happen' to fit a GW Space Marine won't get you on the radar.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/30 15:58:02


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Khornholio wrote:Wait, wait that guys a Philly fan. They boo Santa Claus and Cancer Awareness. That explains it.

 
   
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Lord Commander






San Jose, CA

Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?

Sadly, it's not that simple. Copyright and trademark cover more than just GW's emblems. I'm just going to quote myself from a recent thread:
Janthkin wrote:
If you are seriously trying to get reliable legal advice off of an internet message board...well, you get what you pay for. Few people are qualified to give you the advice you seek; those of us who are, won't. I am an intellectual property lawyer, but I'm not YOUR lawyer - the risk of liability is way too high if I were to tell you anything you considered to be legal advice, and later got in trouble for.

If it's a good sculpt, you might contact Chapterhouse Studios - they use independent sculptors to create figures and add-ons, and they may be interested in carrying your piece.

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? 
   
Made in gb
Heroic Senior Officer





London

You can make what you like to use yourself, it's selling the stuff that creates problems. If you start using identifyable GW icons, like their stylised aquila or things that obviously look like their style of space marines as opposed to men in space armour, you could get into trouble. Also you can't use the Warhammer brand name to sell your stuff, you shouldn't put their logos on your packs to suggest that your miniature can be used in their games.

Cases brought against people making stuff that infringes copyright are settled on a civil rather than criminal basis. If GW can argue that your stuff looks enough like their own that it causes confusion in the customer and you are piggybacking on their trademarks then they could have a case against you. As in all these things, you don't know quite how close to the line you can go unless you are to risk court action, sometimes GW send out spurious Cease and Desist letters but often companies will merely comply to save the potential risk and expense of fighting it.

They would nearly always send out a C&D first because once you ignore that you can't claim genuine ingnorance of trademark infringement. People do accidentally infringe trademarks with no bad intentions. For instance different companies accidently making logos that look similar and the like. Usually the new party will change their logo or whatever and everyone is happy. But the point is that ignoring the C&D moves the legal process forward, if GW or whoever is merely sabre rattling then you won't hear from them again. If they feel they have a genuine case against you then things will get more serious. It's up to you how to react.
   
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Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


Uhhhh.... how did you not know that?

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Heroic Senior Officer





London

Dork Eldar wrote:So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


It depends on how much it looks like their Space Marines anyway. GW don't own the copyright on men in space armour, but don't think you can virtually clone their stuff and get away with it by leaving the eagles off.
   
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Howard A Treesong wrote:
Dork Eldar wrote:So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


It depends on how much it looks like their Space Marines anyway. GW don't own the copyright on men in space armour, but don't think you can virtually clone their stuff and get away with it by leaving the eagles off.


Not to mention unless you are doing the sculpting yourself it could easily cost you $500 dollars to have a single sculpt done by a well known sculptor. Then you are looking at a little less than $100 dollars for the mold and the masters. Then you have to actually pay to have them cast (haven't researched the cost of that yet so I don't know). But I would guess most people are just better off buying GW Space Marines if you want them. You could have 200 miniatures from GW for the price it would take for you to have one sculpted (and all of yours would look exactly the same).

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Nigel Stillman





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These discussions seem to be coming round with a lot more regularity.

If you are serious and actually care if you may get busted then consult a lawyer.



   
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Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


Actually, GW has some legal claims on the term 'Space Marine' so you probably shouldnt't use the name.

If you're serious, you'd need to consult a lawyer. And, yes, that will cost some cash.

But they can't say anything if you wanted to sculpt and cast some heavily armored soldiers with sci-fi weapons, as long as they don't look too much like GW's Space Marines.

Play the games that make you happy.
 
   
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Regular Dakkanaut





if you do it ( a personal creation that looks like a smurf) for yourself, and dont sell it most likely the gw lawyers will ignore you. as you could make a good enough argument that it is personal user/design interpretation. note this is for an original creation, not a copy. and creating an original that looks close enough to be a copy is a copy.


in general most of the copyright and trademark laws really get enforced when there is money, or distribution involved.
   
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Palm Coast, FL

brettz123 wrote:
Howard A Treesong wrote:
Dork Eldar wrote:So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


It depends on how much it looks like their Space Marines anyway. GW don't own the copyright on men in space armour, but don't think you can virtually clone their stuff and get away with it by leaving the eagles off.


Not to mention unless you are doing the sculpting yourself it could easily cost you $500 dollars to have a single sculpt done by a well known sculptor. Then you are looking at a little less than $100 dollars for the mold and the masters. Then you have to actually pay to have them cast (haven't researched the cost of that yet so I don't know). But I would guess most people are just better off buying GW Space Marines if you want them. You could have 200 miniatures from GW for the price it would take for you to have one sculpted (and all of yours would look exactly the same).


For White Metal casting:

Sculpt: $100~$600 depending on how 'known' the artist is, and remember that 'Known' and 'Quality' are not the same thing.
Master Mold: $180+ (More then one model can be done in a master mold to save costs)
Production Molds: $60+ each
Casts: Prices vary depending on the current cost of tin and how much is going into the model.

Then you have packaging costs to add onto that.

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Howard A Treesong wrote:You can make what you like to use yourself, it's selling the stuff that creates problems. If you start using identifyable GW icons, like their stylised aquila or things that obviously look like their style of space marines as opposed to men in space armour, you could get into trouble. Also you can't use the Warhammer brand name to sell your stuff, you shouldn't put their logos on your packs to suggest that your miniature can be used in their games.

Cases brought against people making stuff that infringes copyright are settled on a civil rather than criminal basis. If GW can argue that your stuff looks enough like their own that it causes confusion in the customer and you are piggybacking on their trademarks then they could have a case against you. As in all these things, you don't know quite how close to the line you can go unless you are to risk court action, sometimes GW send out spurious Cease and Desist letters but often companies will merely comply to save the potential risk and expense of fighting it.

They would nearly always send out a C&D first because once you ignore that you can't claim genuine ingnorance of trademark infringement. People do accidentally infringe trademarks with no bad intentions. For instance different companies accidently making logos that look similar and the like. Usually the new party will change their logo or whatever and everyone is happy. But the point is that ignoring the C&D moves the legal process forward, if GW or whoever is merely sabre rattling then you won't hear from them again. If they feel they have a genuine case against you then things will get more serious. It's up to you how to react.


So how the hell does Chapterhouse stay in business then?

 
   
Made in gb
Heroic Senior Officer





London

Boss 'eadbreaka wrote:So how the hell does Chapterhouse stay in business then?


I've no idea, they appear on the face of it to sail close to the wind. But as I said these things can only be tested in a court, you don't know if something infringes copyright until it's tested. Perhaps GW simply aren't too bothered or don't think their case would be as strong as it is against recasters who they do try to shut down regularly. They have sent C&Ds to other people and asked them to remove products and people have complied. Not sure how many have stood up to them. I did hear that Hasslefree had a C&D for a couple of figures and they ignored it, and they are still operating. So GW do their fair share of sabre rattling as well as genuine legal actions.
   
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Howard A Treesong wrote:
Boss 'eadbreaka wrote:So how the hell does Chapterhouse stay in business then?


I've no idea, they appear on the face of it to sail close to the wind. But as I said these things can only be tested in a court, you don't know if something infringes copyright until it's tested. Perhaps GW simply aren't too bothered or don't think their case would be as strong as it is against recasters who they do try to shut down regularly. They have sent C&Ds to other people and asked them to remove products and people have complied. Not sure how many have stood up to them. I did hear that Hasslefree had a C&D for a couple of figures and they ignored it, and they are still operating. So GW do their fair share of sabre rattling as well as genuine legal actions.


Not only that, it might not make sense to pursue Chapterhouse in an economical sense. The costs of preparing a case and then pursuing a case through the courts would be quite high - lets not forget we are not dealing with an open and shut case here; GW and their legal team have to convince a judge that Chapterhouse are 'copying' their work, for want of a better term, and that is not necessarily easy. You also have to take into account the ongoing costs of a lengthy court case and the potential for adverse publicity for the case - look at the recent C & D fallout for an example of how damaging this can be.
So as Howard says, it is much more cost effective for them to send the C & D letters and try and 'bully' people into toeing the line.

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Chapterhouse stays in business because what they do is 100% legit.

What's financially viable for GW doesn't matter. If they feel their IP might be being breached, they'll move to protect it. CH hasn't received any C&D letters because GW legal knows that CH isn't breaking any laws or infringing and has pursued legal counsel to ensure that they remain that way.

@OP
You should look into what Troll Forged is doing, if you want to make your own range of models. They're doing their "own thing," while making models that are easily usable for GW or other games.

Eric

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/30 15:46:20


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Longtime Dakkanaut





If you were to sculpt something in a similiar vein, say a new MkXIII armor, for Cosmic Marines. There is literally nothing that could be done about it. Again that's assuming you are not using any copyright iconography or IP.

So stylistically the model could look like a new type of SM armor, but the sculpting would be artistic liscense. That'd be a lot of freaking work though. Oh...and I'd sculpt it as 'true scale'.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/30 15:50:46


 
   
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Castle Clarkenstein

Dork Eldar wrote:Hope somebody has some useful info here.

The basic question is - what are the legal issues surrounding creating your own range of models for use in 40k and other tabletop games?

I.E. - Forgeworld (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/) has their own range of 40k models and they've been around for quite some time. Can't GW sue them somehow for infringing on their trademarks or something?




Not even going to read the thread, as I'm sure people have pointed out your lack of knowledge already. Obviously, GW can have part of GW make GW models for GW games.)

No, no one else can make a line of 40k figures without a liscense from GW. Yes, you are totally free to make original designs of scifi figures that do not infringe on GW copyrights, and sell those models. Players may then choose to use them for whatever game they want to.

I'd sell a lot more GW if only GW would get out of my way and let me make them more money.

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Major




HI all.
Wargames Factory have released info on thier new great-coated scifi troopers.
Some may people prefer to use these in thier games of 40k for thier IG armies.
As they are NOT saying '40k- Imperial Guard- Valhallans-Steel Legion 'etc, GW dont appear to mind them selling these exellent minatures!
(Perry Minatures sell some true scale 15th century minatures that could be used for WH Empire armies , etc.)

As long as the minatures are not marketed with any referece to GWs IP, or physicaly too close to established paterns, ther doesnt appear to be a problem.

(Most other manufactureres sell plastic 28mm infantry for about 50p each.BTW.)

TTFN
   
Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User





brettz123 wrote:
Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


Uhhhh.... how did you not know that?


I haven't really looked at FW until recently, and wasn't informed there was some kind of established relationship. There's nothing on their website saying they are licensed by GW or anything else.

MagickalMemories wrote:
@OP
You should look into what Troll Forged is doing, if you want to make your own range of models. They're doing their "own thing," while making models that are easily usable for GW or other games.

Eric


Thanks Eric. Do you have a link for me for their site?

mikhaila wrote:
Not even going to read the thread, as I'm sure people have pointed out your lack of knowledge already. Obviously, GW can have part of GW make GW models for GW games.)

No, no one else can make a line of 40k figures without a liscense from GW. Yes, you are totally free to make original designs of scifi figures that do not infringe on GW copyrights, and sell those models. Players may then choose to use them for whatever game they want to.


My 'lack of knowledge' was the reason for posing the question in the first place. Thanks to you and a few other folks that instead of offering useful advice decided to make troll'ish comments.

For everybody else that offered useful information, thanks. There were a few useful replies here and it pointed me towards the info I'm looking for.

For everybody that said 'how could you not know about the relationship between FW and GW'...very helpful thanks (that's being sarcastic). Seriously, if this license/relationship/whatever you wanna call it isn't published anywhere, how the hell was I supposed to know in the first place? Even in this thread there was a bunch of speculation about how their relationship works, which tells me most of you are just guessing and don't really know. Some of you said GW owns FW, others said they're licensed. If you're gonna make comments about my lack of knowledge, then why don't you figure out what the truth it between those two and give me a solid answer on this instead of just jumping on the troll wagon.

Again, thanks to those of you who offered useful information
   
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Steelcity

Building your own models for your own use is fine.. Even if it wasnt fine youd have to be really arrogant to think GW would spend time worrying about some random guy making models in his basement for personal use


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I don't see how that would make you arrogant, but that - pretty much.

Unless you're recasting their stuff directly, or casting and selling things that use any of their copyrighted images or IP, then you won't get in trouble. If you're recasting bits from a SM kit, they might come after you if they managed to find out. But if you were casting your own replacement bits to use on your Space Marines, they won't really care.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/30 17:08:19


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Steelcity

The arrogant comment is all about a single person thinking that his PERSONAL recast stuff that he uses in his private games constitutes a problem large enough for a multi-national corporation to first KNOW about, care about and then have it cause enough distress that they actually would prosecute :p

That to me says you consider yourself extremely over important

In short.. just recast whatever you want.. nobody cares as long as you dont sell it

Do you like HUGE narrative battles that actually have a story line, yet also have tons of action, wacky rules and new heroes? If so download the Battle for Rikal IV PDFs below and enjoy large scale apocalypse games with a purpose.

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Being cautious doesn't make you arrogant. It just means you don't want to run the chance of pissing anyone off. It's not a matter of personal worth to be concerned about infringing on copyright laws. But yes, as long as you're not selling recasts, they won't know. Personally, I support the people recasting discontinued stuff that GW doesn't put out anymore. But the folks that are rescasting existing, supported ranges are not a crowd I can agree with. It takes money away from the company that could be used to bestow new goodies upon us players.

That's not to say GW is short on cash by any means, but every dollar counts for something nonetheless, as far as I see it.

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Khornholio wrote:Wait, wait that guys a Philly fan. They boo Santa Claus and Cancer Awareness. That explains it.

 
   
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@DE
I don't have a link handy, but a google search might pull them up.

Also, look for their thread here, in the Dakka Forums.


Eric


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Found the thread for you:

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/239075.page

Warning: it's epic in size.


Eric

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/04/30 17:58:24


Black Fiend wrote: Okay all the ChapterHouse Nazis to the right!! All the GW apologists to the far left. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE !!!
The Green Git wrote: I'd like to cross section them and see if they have TFG rings, but that's probably illegal.
Polonius wrote: You have to love when the most clearly biased person in the room is claiming to be objective.
Greebynog wrote:Us brits have a sense of fair play and propriety that you colonial savages can only dream of.
Stelek wrote: I know you're afraid. I want you to be. Because you should be. I've got the humiliation wagon all set up for you to take a ride back to suck city.
Quote: LunaHound--- Why do people hate unpainted models? I mean is it lacking the realism to what we fantasize the plastic soldier men to be?
I just can't stand it when people have fun the wrong way. - Chongara
I do believe that the GW "moneysheep" is a dying breed, despite their bleats to the contrary. - AesSedai
You are a thief and a predator of the wargaming community, and i'll be damned if anyone says differently ever again on my watch in these forums. -MajorTom11 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut




Chapterhouse has been spending money to work with GW's lawyers to make sure they aren't breaking any IP laws.

As with all businesses they spend money to make money. It might seem crossing the line but apparently GW legal has given them the okay on everything.

In another thread someone asked about female IG and one of the guys from Chapterhouse said they could make female models that look similiar to IG cadians but would have to consult with GW's IP laywers which will cost them money so they haven't given it a whole lot of thought due to needing to be sure demand is high enough before investing money to keep everything legit.

Hence, no C&D because GW has given them permission to do what they do.

--The whole concept of government granted and government regulated 'permits' and the accompanying government mandate for government approved firearms 'training' prior to being blessed by government with the privilege to carry arms in a government approved and regulated manner, flies directly in the face of the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”


 
   
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Dork Eldar wrote:
brettz123 wrote:
Dork Eldar wrote:Ahh...I wasn't aware that FW was owned/licensed by GW. That explains a lot.

So if I sculpt a space marine model that is decent quality, I can sell it as long as it doesn't have any of the logos/emblems on it?


Uhhhh.... how did you not know that?


I haven't really looked at FW until recently, and wasn't informed there was some kind of established relationship. There's nothing on their website saying they are licensed by GW or anything else.



So all the direct links to every other GW site and the copyright information at the bottom of EVERY page wasn't a dead giveaway?

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2500 pts World Eaters
1950 pts Emperor's Children
333 pts Daemonhunters


 
   
 
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