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Old 08-14-2012, 05:27 AM
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copyright or patent

Hi all,

I was wondering if papercraft designs are covered by copyright or if they needed a patent as they are a physical thing? I am living in the UK. I am just curious as to how a persons work is protected?

If you as the designer have made a new way to construct a 3D representation of a real world or imaginary object do you own the rights to it, or if the whole concept of papercraft is open domain.

Thankyou
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:49 AM
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As far as I can recall, ideas, concepts and the like are not copyright able. I took course regarding copyright and trademark law (20 years ago) and that was the law then. Today it may be different.

I'd like to hear more on this subject, also.

SFX
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:34 AM
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My understanding is that patents protect inventions, whereas copyrights protect the expression of ideas. If several designers create paper models of the same aircraft, we would expect to see some differences in the exact shapes of their respective pieces, variation in glue tab arrangements, and variations in the markings -- and that probably means that each designer could claim a copyright for his version. If you invented a new glue-and-clamp gizmo that made it easier to assemble paper models, that's where your patent would apply.

But there are great differences of law from one nation to the next. So if you have specific questions regarding your plans or models you create, you should present it to a specialty lawyer in your own nation. Best of luck.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:23 PM
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I agree with Yale on all points. And Lawyer can be most helpful in these matters.
As a design engineer the building/structural plans I draw are mine, even if on file with the building department. Should someone want copies (even the building owner) I have to give my permission before government will make copies. I (designer) don't own the building just the plans from which it was built.

George
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:25 PM
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PS - copyrights are mine - George
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:37 PM
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Good point, George -- the "for hire" difference. I can't count the number of instruction manuals I wrote during 30 years as a technical writer. But I was an employee of a company, so the copyrights for all those books belonged to the company, not to me. But you created your plans on your own time, so the copyrights belong to you.

And, just as with any other kind of property, you could sell or give them to somebody else. That's a famous story about mystery writer Agatha Christie, whose good friend gave birth to a baby son just as Agatha finished a new play. As a gesture of friendship, she made a baby gift of all rights to the play. And the play turned out to be "The Mousetrap," the most often-produced play of all time, earning tons of royalty money. The baby never had to work a day in his life.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:22 AM
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Copyright is the expression of personal ownership of an idea or concept published in the public realm. In order to claim copyright you would have to prove that the concept or idea is original and yours personally which could always be a problem with a model design of an existing thing. This is because copyright of the image and thing already exists for the original designer. Your personal interpretation of the model would be copyrightabe as you created it but enforcement of the image would be impossible as you don't own that. A patent is awarded for an invention or original thing that exists in the corporeal world so it must be a physical thing and not the idea for a model that you designed. To be awarded a patent your invention ahs to be new and original or an original amendment to an existing thing, as papermodelling has existed for years that wont ever happen here. Hope that clears it up slightly!
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:24 PM
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Copyrights= printable media (includes anything that can be put on a cd/paper/dvd) "copy" says it all. Can it be copied-the designer/author has rights.

Patents = mechanical ideas/devices that is why you have to submit a working device for patent. The drawn plans/printed descriptions for patents fall under copyright laws.

Trademarks are totally different-can be a logo, shape, name, phrase, almost anything unique to the designer that the designer wants to protect from others using it.

Mike
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbauer View Post
Copyrights= printable media (includes anything that can be put on a cd/paper/dvd) "copy" says it all. Can it be copied-the designer/author has rights.

Patents = mechanical ideas/devices that is why you have to submit a working device for patent. The drawn plans/printed descriptions for patents fall under copyright laws.

Trademarks are totally different-can be a logo, shape, name, phrase, almost anything unique to the designer that the designer wants to protect from others using it.

Mike
You're actually a little restrictive, Mike. For example, you could not get a patent for a simple metal drawer pull -- but if its shape were distinctive enough, you could claim a copyright for your original design. As you say, if it can be copied, copyright can apply, even if the copies consist of metal, concrete, or other materials.

Trademark law may be even more complicated than copyright law, because trademarks pertain to a kind of product, not just to the owners. For example, Companies A, B, and C could each own the trademark "Inspiration," if A made plumbing fixtures, B made optical products, and C made computers. And an important rule is that you must always use your trademarks as adjectives -- you may not say, "Buy an Inspiration today," you must say instead, "Buy an Inspiration computer today." Terms such as "escalator" and "cellophane" lost their original trademark status because the owners were not careful about this usage. Then there's the distinction between simple trademarks and registered trademarks -- as mentioned, the whole subject is very complicated. Fortunately, the only members of this forum who need to be concerned are those who trademark their lines of commercial models.
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