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Made in gb
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Killer Klaivex







Slipspace wrote:

A pose may not be copyrightable, but copyright laws do include protections against someone making something "strikingly similar". That's likely where the Wraith King stuff had a problem. You can't copyright a pose, true. The general concept of a floaty ghost with a sword and no legs isn't copyrightable. There's a spectrum between a generic ghost figure and a direct copy of a Nighthaunt and the law doesn't only protect a direct 1-to-1 copy. There is protection for striking similarity. How close you need to be to the model in question before you're infringing is pretty much what a court case is used to determine. There's no hard and fast rule, merely shades of grey that need to be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Totally and absolutely correct.

At the same time, the bar for artistic originality is actually really quite low, historically speaking. It's why I can take a plastic Bloodletter of Khorne, recast it forty times, glue them all together in a big ball, spray them Fulgrim pink, and then put them on the end of a stick labelled 'The Fethstick of Wargaming Commerce'. And then do it another hundred times as a limited run and sell each 'Khornestick' as works of art. Even though I'm literally recasting and using Games Workshop's sculpts in this example, this would be protected as artistically original under copyright law.

When it comes to determining whether or not a completely original artwork infringes on another (because that's all the law guarantees at the end of the day - the copyright of an expression), it's like you say. It's a weighting of evidence, an accumulation of identical facets. But there have to be sufficient similarity for the alleged infringer to not be ruled an -original- work in it's own right (because that would make it deserving of independent copyright) and instead merely a replica of another previously existing work. This requires a substantial accrual of many similarities of many types, a burden of evidence that stretches far beyond 'they both have skulls and flowy robes m'lud'.

In some cases however, this can be made easier by pursuing trademarked images and words instead of copyright. Trademarks are especially powerful because they bring into play the part of law to do with confusion of product. That is to say, if an average punter would conflate your product and the trademark, it doesn't matter how different it is artistically speaking, it still infringes. There's a slight burden of evidence in that a trademark does have to show usage in standard commercial application, but this is usually easily met. This is where sometimes people mix up the Chapterhouse case. Almost half of the claims GW succeeded in winning against CH were for trademarks - not copyright.

Even then however, if something is in generic enough usage, the trademark might not hold. Of GW's final claims for trademarks, 38 were upheld, but 26 more were ruled as fair usage (as being too generic), and 28 were dismissed as bad/meaningless.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/31 02:55:58



 
   
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Also, remember, after multiple litigations, the judges have deemed Catalyst's new Reseens as different enough so that they've dismissed all claims with prejudice, and those are expressly created to be reimaginings of the same designs:

Spoiler:









They have been thorougly contested, and they are a-ok enough to make sure it never comes up again.
   
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New Jersey, State of Perfection

 Ketara wrote:
chaos0xomega wrote:

The big issue with that kickstarter was that about half the miniatures in that model range were basically identical poses to GWs minis with only minor aesthetic/stylistic changes to differentiate them, and in many cases using similar names to market them (and in at least a couple cases directly referenced Nighthaunt, which is a trademarked term), etc. Theres a certain give and take, an art if you will, to riffing off of someones IP. You have to imagine there being a checklist of qualities for what it is you're doing (i.e. names, iconography/symbols, various stylistic design elements, poses/geometry, etc. etc. etc.), the more boxes on that checklist you hit the more likely you are to get a C&D for infringement.

Sorry, you've made the claim. Could you provide the evidence? Namely, the multiple direct references to Nighthaunt in a fashion that infringed upon the IP? Also, you are aware of the fact that a 'pose' isn't copyrightable, right? I'd appreciate it if you could nail down for me the actual exact -expression- of an idea by Games Workshop which is being copied in the campaign, and the checklist you mention.

You seem pretty clear in stating that these are 'basically identical', and whatever GW eventually chose to go with as a means of resolution, that has absolutely no bearing on the legality of things.

In any case, we can see from the followup that the problem was actually certain very specific items in the campaign, which not coincidentally are specific concepts - or fixed expressions, if you will - that I can only really associate with GWs Nighthaunt designs and therefore are, in fact, infringements on its IP. So all this doom and gloom about GW trying to copyright bedsheet ghosts or whatever was clearly overwrought.


...I'm just going to point you to the bit of Games Workshop's complaint to KS which claimed it infringed 'A significant part of Games Workshop's expression of the Nighthaunt'. You can of course, write to them to tell that they got their own initial and generalised complaint wrong.


Geez, talk about making someone a martyr. The impact and results of the Chapterhouse lawsuit are generally misunderstood and largely overblown.

You are aware, of course, that you're implying that part of Nick's legal team (which Weeble was) has....misunderstood the impact and results of the case he spent five years intimately working on? I'd be fascinated to hear on what basis you're dismissing his commentary. The more details the better. I love hearing well reasoned and evidenced legal commentary. Weird I know, but I take a real interest in it when it comes to wargaming IP.


I'm not going to waste my time doing the work on this for you, because frankly its going to take a lot longer than its worth and my time at hte moment is limited and needed for more valuable endeavors. But with regards to Weeble (assuming he really was on the legal team as you contend), a picture is worth a thousand words:



Okay - maybe thats being mean. Hes no doubt proud of his involvement, I would be too. In any case, Weeble didn't make any specific claims as to what the "good" that came out of it was or what specifically changed, only that we are "reaping the rewards". My contention is that he's being dramatic/hyperbolic and the scope of what changed and what the impact was is not as sweeping or dramatic as he is portraying it to be. This is a matter of perspective and not something I can "prove" to you. Established legal precedent at the time (at least in the US) was always pretty clear that the production and sale of aftermarket accessories for someone elses product, etc. was not an infringement of someones copyright, trademark, or IP (though as I recall there were many on dakka and other communities without any legal expertise who tried to argue otherwise) - which is why Chapterhouse won many of the claims that it won. There was a fuzziness or grey area (which still exists today, though it has gained more definition and clarity) as to what extent GW could protect the design of a miniature - GW won many of the claims that fell into this category (many on basis of trademark specifically, but quite a few on the basis of similarity of likeness), Chapterhouse won some (but not as many) claims here as well. The big ticket win/loss here, which did set some new legal precedent, was with regards to GWs inability to claim a model infringes on GWs IP if the model depicts something that GW does not themselves make a model for or depict something that GW has not shown in artwork - as I stated previously. The major change in direction from GW that resulted from this is that they killed rules for anything that didn't have a miniature (which I'm not really sure anyone is particularly a fan of) and stopped portraying things in artwork which they did not produce miniatures for as well (now all we get is names of things with vague descriptions).

The only other change I can fathom Weeble might be referring to would be a potential decrease in GWs litigiousness or willingness to send out C&Ds - I have no empirical data to prove one way or another that GW actually dialed it back or not, but I will point out that most of the current bitz and alt-40k options out there predate the Chapterhouse lawsuit and weren't C&D'd into non-existence, so was that a huge change? I don't know, maybe if they had "won" the case they would have C&D'd more of these guys out of existence - in any case this was less of a function of the law and more of a function of GW being a bully and trying to wield the law as a cudgel to stifle competitors and defend its moat. GW was able to get away with it because they had the resources to bully and threaten small-time shops, not because the law was actually on GWs side. In that sense, I suppose you could argue that the outcome of the case was as dramatic as Weeble is portraying it, because GW got a nice black eye out of it and had to back off for fear of taking more hits - BUT there was nothing specific to the legal outcome of the case that actually prevents GW from taking this case, its not like they were threatened or warned against pursuing further litigation against other parties.

Almost half of the claims GW succeeded in winning against CH were for trademarks - not copyright.


BUT GW still did win a number of claims on the basis of copyright: https://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1200&context=historical

For example:
Upon independent examination, the Court finds that GW’s shoulder pads involve
enough originality to afford them copyright protection. The unusually large proportional
size of the shoulder pads as compared to the Space Marine’s head (depicted in GW’s
product at entry 49) is a creative addition to the common shoulder pads sometimes
worn by real-life soldiers in battle. The shoulder pads created to fit onto GW’s physical
figurines, though more proportionally accurate, are nevertheless still larger and boxier
than those typically found outside of the Warhammer 40,000 fantasy world. The Court
thus concludes that GW is entitled to copyright protection as to the design of its
shoulder pads.

The Court likewise rejects Chapterhouse’s contention that other GW shoulder
pad designs are ineligible for copyright protection. Chapterhouse contends that for
GW’s products in entries 48, 50, and 56 on the Claim Chart, the only similarities
between the parties’ works are common geometric shapes—such as an “X” or a
chevron—that are in the public domain and are not copyrightable. “It is true that
common geometric shapes cannot be copyrighted.” Kelley v. Chicago Park Dist., 635
F.3d 290, 303 (7th Cir. 2011). Yet although GW could not base its copyright claim on a
20
Case: 1:10-cv-08103 Document #: 258 Filed: 11/27/12 Page 20 of 36 PageID #:14881
depiction of an “X” or a chevron alone, its depiction of that otherwise-common element
affixed on an original, creative shoulder pad with a distinctive color scheme is sufficient
to satisfy the originality requirement. See Kay Berry, Inc. v. Taylor Gifts, Inc., 421 F.3d
199, 207 (3d Cir. 2005) (“When an author combines [otherwise non-protected] elements
and adds his or her own imaginative spark, creation occurs, and the author is entitled to
protection for the result.”); Tufenian Import/Export Ventures, Inc. v. Einstein Moomjy,
Inc., 338 F.3d 127, 134 (2d Cir. 2003) (“[T]he defendant may infringe on the plaintiff’s
work not only through literal copying of a portion of it, but also by parroting properties
that are apparent only when numerous aesthetic decisions embodied in the plaintiff’s
work of art . . . are considered in relation to one another.”). Chapterhouse’s motion for
summary judgment on the basis that GW’s shoulder pads are not copyrightable is
therefore denied. The Court’s finding resolves this issue for entries 4–7, 12–13, 19–20,
46–48, 50–52, 56–62, 64–65, and 101–02 on the Claim Chart.


The GW products at issue in entries 3, 63, 83, and 104 of the Copyright Claim
Chart are also copyrightable. A skull is not protectable on its own, but GW’s particular
depiction of a Chaplain in entry 3, which includes a skull with red eyes that wears a
helmet, is copyrightable.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
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Killer Klaivex







chaos0xomega wrote:

I'm not going to waste my time doing the work on this for you, because frankly its going to take a lot longer than its worth and my time at hte moment is limited and needed for more valuable endeavors.

Errrr...you claimed that the Kickstarter mentioned was using Nighthaunt terminology (presumably in its marketing/description). I, as a backer, have not seen a single such reference. It's possible I've missed them, and if so, I'm happy to alter my opinion somewhat on the extent to which they're conflating their product with GW.

But this isn't something that would require much effort to evidence, certainly it would have taken far less than your extensive paragraphs on what Weeble wrote. A quick quote with an indication of where you saw it would do.

.The only other change I can fathom Weeble might be referring to would be a potential decrease in GWs litigiousness or willingness to send out C&Ds - I have no empirical data to prove one way or another that GW actually dialed it back or not, but I will point out that most of the current bitz and alt-40k options out there predate the Chapterhouse lawsuit and weren't C&D'd into non-existence, so was that a huge change? I don't know,


I think this is what he meant, and it's certainly what I got out of it. Someone else might have a different opinion (I haven't bothered to compile a actual data either), but from my recollection, most bits makers don't actually predate the Chapterhouse case. And the ones that did offered a much more limited scope. You essentially had (if memory serves) Maxmini, Scibor, and Kromlech as the alternatives at the time. Kromlech was essentially just doing orcs at that stage (ain't no-one gonna square up with the Tolkien estate), Scibor did ridiculously over the top ornate and differently sized miniatures, and Maxmini played it exceptionally safe with generic components. And even then, the GW C&D's still went out consistently over small things (I remember one firibble with the PW Club for example). Everything was quite small and tentative that was deliberately geared towards the Warhammer market.

Then Chapterhouse appeared and basically made hay; using GW models in their pictures, referencing the 40K names/categories on the website, and even using their trademarked designs on shoulder pads and the like. They didn't just poke the bear, they shoved the stick right into its eye.

BUT GW still did win a number of claims on the basis of copyright:


Something which I feel you also don't give enough credit for is that of the cases in favour of GW's copyright awarded by the Jury, there was much dissent. To take the shoulder pad example, the US Registry Office (or whichever department it is in the US responsible for such things) actually refused to endorse the pads as having valid copyright IIRC. Chapterhouse's team were seriously confident that the jury had been inconsistent on their rulings as to what did and did not apply for protection,and that furthermore, most of their rulings in GW's favour did not actually reflect either the letter or intent of the law. Hence why it was going to be carried on until they managed to squeeze Nick's house onto the target list.

If one is inclined to do so, it's very easy to just go 'Yeah, but the opposing team would say that, wouldn't they!' And that's true, to a point. By the same measure however, I remember reading through it at the time and thinking that they had a damn good point, and the jury was exceedingly inconsistent. YMMV, but I'm reasonably certain that if it had gone the whole mile, most of the raft of remaining claims related to copyright would have been slung out by the next court along. And Games Workshop was certainly panicking at the time. I've read a few second hand accounts from in-house since, and they considered themselves to have gotten off easy; given that they were literally sanctioned for fraud at one point (in their depositions I believe? Could be misremembering the area) and the poor foundation most of their claims rested on. Both the judge and jury were bored as hell and gave them a very easy ride to try and make it end quickly.

The main result of Chapterhouse was that both wider sector and GW reached something of a more neutral balance. Even though they were very clearly and legally allowed to do so, you won't see any third party manufacturers using Games Workshop names in their sales categories, or struck down trademarks in their artwork. By the same measure however, Games Workshop drew back and adopted much more of a 'If you don't link to our IP in an obvious fashion, we won't sue you' approach. It's why places like Wargames Exclusive still exist today, which have a thousand times more similarities than the wraith KS. Both sides essentially adopted something of a wary mutual respect for each other's territory. That atmosphere, I would argue (and which I think Weeble was implying), is what the Chapterhouse established for the wider hobby. If another case ever went back to court, there's a damn good chance GW would just lose even more ground, and it's that risk which kept them from doing so.


It's what makes GW's recent deviation from the established habit of the last several years really quite interesting. I think the refreshment of the legal team has something to do with it, but the fact they're not renewing their assault on the resin 3rd party companies implies strongly that they perceive the 3d print market in a different fashion. It could be simple opportunism (the ease of getting a takedown on Patreon/KS), but I'm not so sure. The way they went in heavy with this recent wraith/Dark Gods Kickstarters, only to then row back just as quickly implies either disorganisation in the department (possible), or a calculated strategy. I suspect the latter. Working out what that strategy is? Well, that's the fun.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
EDIT:- Orc King Space War's patreon has just been taken down.

This message was edited 10 times. Last update was at 2021/07/31 20:34:10



 
   
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 kodos wrote:
 Ketara wrote:
There are so many examples both as art or as physical wargaming models that it really beggars belief that GW is attempting to claim ownership of the entire genre. Here are some of (literally thousands) of examples.

none of those looks close to the Nighthaunt or the models in the KS



those are not like 1000 other examples, but a little bit too close to the orginal and calling them Markers instead of Spells, won't do much


I think WotC should DMCA GW.... Find the Lurker card from The Dark set....

   
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 Ketara wrote:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
EDIT:- Orc King Space War's patreon has just been taken down.


Their regular non-space war page is still up.
Apparently they thought trying to release this was a wise business decision.
Isn't the original supposed to be an incentive to sign up for warhammer+ for a year or something?
I think GW is gonna take umbrage with copycats that directly jeopardize subscription numbers

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/02 19:50:42


 
   
Made in gb
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Killer Klaivex







Jesus, you're not wrong. That was a direct copy. What on earth made him think he'd get away with that? There's being inspired by something, being tongue in cheek, being heavily "inspired by" something, and then there's just taking the piss. No sympathy on this end at all.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/08/03 00:53:02



 
   
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New Jersey, State of Perfection

As I said/implied earlier, theres a lot of artists and designers, etc. out there that just don't "get it". Part of it is driven by the artists/designers being skilled but not creative, part of it is laziness and greed, and part of it is the customer base for these products overwhelmingly being narrow-minded and cheap.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Some of it is also cultural. I notice that some of the designers who put up more pushback/attempt to hide better or otherwise don't seem to get "get it" tend to be from outside of the UK/USA sphere.

I think there are countries where the concept of copyright is a little different; or the perception of it is a little different.

In addition different nations can have slightly different attitudes toward things and some of it might just be a kind of anti-big-overseas-company attitude.



Mixed in with that there's also real copyright aspects that do protect the independent creator as well. So it can be a confusing ball of opinions, esp since copyright is often something not really taught to many and if they've learned their art through self teaching (majority) they might well have never really need to learn in depth what copyrights and such are at a functional level.



Finally there's also those who are against copyright as a concept, though I notice that they tend to be more anti-big-business more than anything because they'll always cite how copyright allows Disney to abuse it, but forget that the very same rules are protecting their own creations and all the smaller creators as well.





Personally I'm all for GW protecting their copyright. I think it does the 3D Printing market good all round to be weened off the idea of copying what works and instead pushed and encouraged into providing different things. I've said it often that if the market gets happy copying GW then it won't be long before they are copying everyone else who does well - Puppets War, Wargame Exclusive etc... and even each other within the 3D print world. At which point you enter a free-for-all race to the bottom and in the end customers don't benefit.

However a market that grows on the foundations of unique designs and with elements of solidarity and working with not against each other; has far more potential to provide more and better for the customer.

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Bristol

 Overread wrote:

Finally there's also those who are against copyright as a concept, though I notice that they tend to be more anti-big-business more than anything because they'll always cite how copyright allows Disney to abuse it, but forget that the very same rules are protecting their own creations and all the smaller creators as well.

In my experience, they argue that it doesn't actually protect small creators due to the costs involved in litigation. If a company is bigger than you and steals your work, they don't necessarily need to win the case, they just need to outlast your ability to access the legal system.

The Laws of Thermodynamics:
1) You cannot win. 2) You cannot break even. 3) You cannot stop playing the game.

Colonel Flagg wrote:You think you're real smart. But you're not smart; you're dumb. Very dumb. But you've met your match in me.
 
   
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 Overread wrote:
Mixed in with that there's also real copyright aspects that do protect the independent creator as well. So it can be a confusing ball of opinions, esp since copyright is often something not really taught to many and if they've learned their art through self teaching (majority) they might well have never really need to learn in depth what copyrights and such are at a functional level.

I mean that is true... but it's not less true that the copyright laws protect the big corpos much more than they protect the independent creator by the simple fact that the big corpos can (and do) litigate, whereas the small, independent creators simply can't most of the time.

Particularly when they have to defend their rights against those aforementioned big corpos.

It's very much a case of "the laws might be the same for all, but the way they are applied, and to whom, ain't".

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/03 10:56:34


 
   
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On a kind of hilarious tangent, Gearguts has already released files for a couple of the new Ork units that haven't even been officially released yet.
   
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UK

 Albertorius wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Mixed in with that there's also real copyright aspects that do protect the independent creator as well. So it can be a confusing ball of opinions, esp since copyright is often something not really taught to many and if they've learned their art through self teaching (majority) they might well have never really need to learn in depth what copyrights and such are at a functional level.

I mean that is true... but it's not less true that the copyright laws protect the big corpos much more than they protect the independent creator by the simple fact that the big corpos can (and do) litigate, whereas the small, independent creators simply can't most of the time.

Particularly when they have to defend their rights against those aforementioned big corpos.

It's very much a case of "the laws might be the same for all, but the way they are applied, and to whom, ain't".


True, but lets also not forget that GW are not Apple or Disney and that the first big time GW went to court - they did not do half as well as they thought they would. Granted that's because their legal advice at the time was from someone who wasn't as well versed in the law as he thought he was. It was enough to send CD letters but not to stand up in court.

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Do you ever notice, sometimes, there's an extra post? 
   
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 Overread wrote:
True, but lets also not forget that GW are not Apple or Disney and that the first big time GW went to court - they did not do half as well as they thought they would. Granted that's because their legal advice at the time was from someone who wasn't as well versed in the law as he thought he was. It was enough to send CD letters but not to stand up in court.


I'm sure that's fine for them most of the time, simply because most creators will comply with a C&D letter, or the plattform they're in will comply for them, and they don't have the money to litigate with GW.

That first time you mention was only possible because a lawyer acted pro bono to begin with.
   
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From the Dark Gods Kickstarter

Please don't expect near-replicas of the now forsaken models, and please try not to send suggestive messages to rise up and release them free. I am under a lot of pressure not to let those models loose or lose everything I have made thus far.


Interesting quote. It implies that GW threatened to go after his other works if he didn't bend the metaphorical knee and do what they said. If legal/IP concerns were their genuine worry, that would be strange - one would think they would already be chasing anything that they considered to infringe after all.

The notion that this is more about controlling and directing warhammer derivatives in the print market than it is IP infringement is certainly gaining more credence in my mind.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/11 19:57:42



 
   
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UK

IF he has a written agreement with GW to not release those models and then does so, even if GW don't have iron tight copyright, they have a breach of contract/agreement with him.

So yes if he agrees not to distribute them, and then does, he could well face losing it all.

He's also likely getting a LOT of angry/supportive/missguided fans (and people who just hate GW) sending him messages too. Likely a huge mix of "make a stand" and "go on show it to them" and all the rest.



In the end if he reworks the designs and pushes forward everyone walks away with a win.

He might also have had to do a bit of fighting to secure some of hte ones that aren't pulled down - ergo those close to the mark - and GW might be fine letting some of those go if he keeps to the agreement with the first lot.

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Longtime Dakkanaut





 Overread wrote:


He's also likely getting a LOT of angry/supportive/missguided fans (and people who just hate GW) sending him messages too. Likely a huge mix of "make a stand" and "go on show it to them" and all the rest.


Its easy to be the one calling for a fight when you'll loose nothing regardless of the outcome.
   
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Discriminating Warrior





Austria

there is a different problem behind those than just "loose nothing"

there are people around who see a donation as "payment" for a product and any changes to the product they payed for is a no-go

making a Kickstater with renders and "final product may look different depening on the process used in the end" and some people will be very angry if the model looks differnt because this is not what they payed for

same way as seeing people still getting angry at Mantic because they did not make 1:1 copies of old GW models in plastic (seen as the main critical point of their new Halflings in some places "hate them because they don't look like the GW metal ones")

and those are not many, they are vocal and have strong feelings for their demand (not just the internet meme "haters" but real hate, which is a problem)

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Agreed on both counts - that said KS is a project proposal system and I'm fairly sure many of those who have paid will be happy with reworks once they get to see them. Though they might underestimate how long they take to create.



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TBH, there's also the problem that in general, 3D sculptors going independant tend to sell their files to low prices. If you're alone, that may help to get complementary money in addition to another job, but I'm not sure it's really helping those who try to make a fair living out of this on the long term. It also tends to depreciate 3D sculptors work value (and salaries) to others companies...

There's the false perception in 3D printing that making 3D files is cheap and easy. Not helping when you have those who make it for fun / free. I think the market will need to evolve further and not just cripple professionnal 3D sculptors on long term just because of that.

Not really sure it's good for everyone on long term. Sure, customers may have files for cheap on short term, but at what price ? When 3D sculptors decide to give up because it's not worth it anymore to try to live out of it, we'll see what happens for them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/12 09:16:38


 
   
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Austria

I have not looked into many files that are sold, but from what I have seen alls the cheap ones needed additional work as there were no supports and/or those were never test-printed

so additional work was needed or did not work well with the available printer

so they were cheap for a reason reducing the amount of complains

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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UK

From what I see you can make good money IF you can market yourself decently well, make good stuff and get a nice high hundreds to low thousands of backers on Patreon.

The real issue is burn-out and the race to the bottom in terms of price per model. Burn out is simply that Patreon is 12 months of the year and if you want to keep customers whlist you can set a dry month (no new content, customers not charged) its easier to maintain your market interest by having releases every month.

Ontop you add people wanting to push out as much as they can because the more they have the more "value" many causal people can see.


The trap is that they end up working at maximum output every month and not wanting to pause. Which is fine for the first year perhaps; but it means any illness, any delay; any problem (eg file has errors that need fixing); or any holiday or time off - suddenly becomes a huge problem.



Long term some plan ahead, realise the traps and take steps to avoid it. Focusing on social interaction and marketing; focusing on quality over quantity; focusing on not working at their maximum capacity so they've got time to work on side projects (eg a KS or independent releases or just spare models for a sick week/week off etc..). They also learn to bundle old models into the new which increases perceived value as there's always new people joining in.

Right now I'm honestly impressed how well the model can work for a single creator or small team. I've also seen a few team up to offer more and some of the bigger ones are contracting out to several designers for work.

Right now the market seems to work and because the customer market is also growing its a growth on both fronts that seems to balance out ok. I think stagnation points or trouble spots can arise - when the number of designers increases without increases in customers or if designers all do the same sorts of thing without any plans (one or two I know talk to each other to avoid doing the same theme at the same time, or if they do to then ensure they don't end up doing the same concept models and such).



I do agree that there is a concern that the market is in a "race to the bottom" in terms of price; however I think that as 3D printing expands it should be able to shed that feeling toward higher value or at least not lowering from where it is now.
It doesn't help that some view 3D printing as the "cheap" optoin and their prime reason for doing it isn't just quality or increased variety, but primarily because its cheap. However I think that there's a healthy influx of those who are in it for other reasons - though that said I can only say what I've seen in the social circles - I've no idea what messages designers get

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Bristol (UK)

I think describing stuff like Patreon or Kickstarter as just donations is not really true.
"Donate £10 to me and I'll give you an STL" is selling, I'm pretty sure there's already something to this effect in law because that'd be a perfect tax/responsibility dodge otherwise.

That said, I do agree that people can become very entitled to things and are quick to inspire others to fight for their cause.
   
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as much as I like the idea of more original designs winning out, I would miss it if all gw-copycat stuff was removed because there is some ridiculously fun, creative alternative armies out there that are still clearly aping gw but giving you something you can't buy from GW.

I support Edge Miniatures for example, because in all my years of playing Dark Eldar I have gotten seven new miniatures from GW, total. Seven new models to add to my army, and Edge Miniatures gives me the possibility of ~10 sculpts per month or so, plus terrain, plus scenery and little bonus extras like captives and objective markers and combat drug tokens, none of which would ever be made by GW. I have multiple poses of Grotesques as opposed to the one finecrap one in an extremely distinctive and obvious pose that GW sells, I have female as well as male wracks and my male wracks can be in poses other than "standing/walking very slowly with arms limply at their sides". I have alternate beasts including a beastmaster riding a pterodactyl, more demonic looking mandrakes, massively distinctive (while still being recognizably a Talos) pain engines that actually reflect their lore as 'artisan creations of a mad genius designer". And speaking of, also, multiple alternate haemonculi that don't all look like exactly the same dude in exactly the same pose.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
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Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland

I think the_scotsman raises a valid point here.

I can understand GW's right to protect their IP, and I can also appreciate Overread's position that 3D design en-masse is tending towards lazy derivatives rather than original productions, which has the potential to stymie over-all creativity. But at the same time, this is not strictly a character deficiency of 3D modellers. Most of the IP's that are widely infringed upon, such as 40k or Star Wars, are copied because the scale of content is enormous. Taking 40k as the example, GW have laid out a galaxy stuffed to the gunnels with content - yet they choose to represent only a slim segment of it. And not just now - it is a historic trend that GWs lore has consistently out-paced their capacity to represent it in miniature form. Hence, whilst 3D designers have the potential to be lazy and make blatant copies of existing GW products, many others are stepping in to produce content that fans are desperate to own, but GW consistently refuses to produce.

For example, if I were to model and sell a Salamanders praetor in Cataphractii armour, it would likely be seen as an infringement of GW's IP. And it would be. But waiting for GW to release a Salamanders praetor could take an eternity. They simply aren't interested. For them, the investment into producing those moulds is not worth the return from the fewer number of fans Salamanders gain. So 3D modellers/printers step in to fill the gap.

Is it IP infringement? Certainly. Is it original? Certainly not. But that doesn't detract from the issue that it's a desired commodity.

And that's only touching upon IP's with support. Others, such as HALO, are similarly protected - but their miniatures production has utterly ceased. If I wanted a 32mm SPARTAN-II Team, my only option now is to pay ridiculous prices for a Halo: Ground Command set (Inflated well beyond it's original value), or to find/model a 3D Print. My other option is to simply suck it up and accept that because Spartan Games has gone out of production, I'm not allowed to enjoy Microsoft's IP (Outside of the video games).

Of course, none of that really 'solves' the issue of IP infringement. It's still infringement. But I don't feel that forcing 3D modellers to produce original works is strictly conducive to that community continuing to exist. Especially because many 3D modellers produce derivative works because it's what they're initially interested in. Moreover, from a financial point of view, it's easy to say 'base your business on original works' - but if nobody wants to buy your models because there's no implicit tie-in to lore which they have grown to enjoy, they're less likely to buy your model. Nobody is going to buy my generic M1 Abrams hover tank if it doesn't fit into 40k, Star Wars, HALO, Infinity, etc. etc.

So derivative works are created, because the modeller/printer can be confident that their initial investment is not going to founder on creating yet another ambiguous sci-fi tank that doesn't aesthetically fit into any established fandom, and has nothing to differentiate itself from a hundred other designs. And it's unlikely that 3D modellers en-masse are also all writers par excellence, capable of also creating a compelling universe in which to set their designs.

So again, I can appreciate both sides of the argument, but demanding originality doesn't appear (to me at least) to be sustainable for the community.

Now with 100% more blog: 'Beyond the Wall'

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Longtime Dakkanaut





 the_scotsman wrote:
as much as I like the idea of more original designs winning out, I would miss it if all gw-copycat stuff was removed because there is some ridiculously fun, creative alternative armies out there that are still clearly aping gw but giving you something you can't buy from GW.



I'm in the minority on this board as I don't play GW games. It's only been in the past year or so that GW dominance has really annoyed me as so many interesting Paterons just shift over to chasing the GW dollar, if they're not doing D&D stuff, and it gets a bit frustrating. I get why they do it. Money is nice.

Since I don't play GW games and don't really run D&D games (do lots of RPGs, just not high fantasy that much anymore) I'm finding less and less on Pateron that I feel is worth backing. And even though it costs me more per model I find waiting for sales on MMF and just picking up one or two things to be cheaper overall then just subscribing for a deal even though I have no interest in 90% of the releases.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Still, there is something that is common from backers : a lot of them buy with some potential use in game in mind, be it D&D or Warhammer. How many are purely doing it for just painting ? Even collection or buying them "just in case" tends to be linked with games.

Pure original work isn't selling as much as you'd like it to be, that's what I see. While some people would like to buy something that some well known company doesn't already sell, it's always with a game setting in mind most of the time - be it a female goblin paladin or a sister of battle with a unique pose.

That's why I totally understand GW protecting their IP, but I also get 3D sculptors trying to appeal to a market audience that is known for being bigger than others or even backers wanting to have cheap W40k proxies that are also visually appealing to them.

In the end, money rules all and no one is clean or better than the other. It's all about personnal interests.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I do agree having a "use" for models helps drive sales and copying GW works easily to meet both needs.

I'd just rather see someone take an army - like Stormcast - and use them purely as a construction base. So using the models rough volume (height); base size and core properties (eg mage, ranged, close combat - varied weapons etc....) and then going wild with something that might look nothing like a stormcast.

BUT that you could put on the table and play as a stormcast army.

At least that's at the extreme end of artistic freedom.

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Thats also, unfortunately, overwhelmingly not whats occurring on the market, and not really what seems to sell.

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UK

chaos0xomega wrote:
Thats also, unfortunately, overwhelmingly not whats occurring on the market, and not really what seems to sell.


Aye, but I think we will start to see it. There's only so much room for recreating the same core designs GW does and in the end not everyone wants to even make marines 101 all the time. Even those currently doing marines and other stand-ins are likely going to experiment branching out and doing stuff of their own and such.

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