(Topic ID: 31587)

A note about copyrights


By robin

7 years ago



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  • 94 posts
  • 49 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by unigroove
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    There are 94 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 6 years ago

    BTW, here's the 30-second IP summary. (High-level, omitting nuances) Just so some future discussions may be a bit more enlightened.

    4 basic types of IP:

    Copyright: Right to prevent others from copying and/or distributing creative works, applies to any tangible creative work (including drawings/paintings/sculpture, software code, literary works, films, recorded music, etc., but NOT things like live performances or collections of information). Protection is automatic now but copyrights should be registered to assert rights in court.

    Trademark: Word, phrase, logo, or combination that identifies the source of goods or services. (Sometimes a color or a sound can be a TM too). Trademark rights arise from use, but you can also register TMs on the Federal Register and in other countries, which give you stronger/enforceable rights. A 'TM' next to a word/phrase/logo means you are using the thing as a trademark; the (R) means the trademark is registered. Using (R) for a non-registered mark is illegal.

    Patent: A limited monopoly to prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, or exporting an item (or practicing a method) that is covered by one or more of the claims of a patent. Patents are enforceable for roughly 20 years after the filing date, at which time they become public domain. Patents cannot be renewed or extended. An invention must be both novel (new) and non-obvious to be patentable. If it's already 'out there' or just a trivial/obvious variation of an existing item, it can't be patented. You can also get patents in other countries. Patents don't grant the owner/assignee/licensee any right to practice their own invention, but only to prevent others from doing so.

    Trade secret: information that is maintained confidentially by a business using reasonable efforts to avoid public/unauthorized disclosure. Independent 3rd-party discovery (through legit means) of a trade secret does not violate any laws. Using confidential info from a former employer in a new job would (generally) be a violation of trade secret laws.

    Patents, trademarks and copyrights fall under Federal law. (Some "common-law" trademark rights arise under state laws.) Trade secrets are directly protected under state law only.

    [The above is merely a genral summary of some IP basics from my view. This is NOT meant to constitute legal advice or be a legal reference in any way, shape or form! ]

    #52 6 years ago
    Quoted from StevenP:

    Did Williams use actual McD's toys as the piano? Or copy it? Did they get permission if they did copy? Is there a copyright marking on the original TZ pianos? Just curious....

    It was *never* in the game.

    In 2001, Disney's "Lady and the Tramp 2" came out.

    McDonald's had several toys made from the movie for it's Happy Meal.

    Someone modified the piano's anatomy so that it could fit neatly under the clock.

    Several other people have added their own spin to the mod over the last 13 years.

    ...Each person infringing on the copyright each time.

    #53 6 years ago

    Here's some pictures of the original McDonald's toy's transformation into a pinball accessory. The only thing that has really changed is that a rubber piano roll was added.

    tzclock2.jpg
    tzclock3.jpg

    tzklock5.jpg

    #54 6 years ago

    I restore old radios & wanted to enlarge a Zenith 12s370 (1939) schematic. The guy at Kinko's said he couldn't do it because the person who designed the radio hadn't been dead for 25 years...? He changed his mind with a $2 tip

    #56 6 years ago

    - Douglas A. Hanselman inventor of the "Pinball Speaker Light Plate" pat. pend.

    LOL, you basically directly copy an already existing plastic *speaker bracket* and then patent it? Too funny.
    ebay.com link » Like
    Scott

    #57 6 years ago
    Quoted from StevenP:

    There is no issue with buying toys off shelf, modding them, and reselling them. None. And I have seen such posts here

    I'm not sure that's true ... taking a copyright item and re-purposing it for something else certainly has limitations. I remember someone several years ago got a C&D from wms directly for taking promo pieces and putting them into a coaster and selling them as coasters.

    #59 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    taking a copyright item and re-purposing it for something else certainly has limitations. I remember someone several years ago got a C&D from wms directly for taking promo pieces and putting them into a coaster and selling them as coasters.

    Can you cite an actual limitation? A company sending a C&D is not legal precedent and has little effect other than establishing when the recipient was put on notice as to an alleged violation.

    #60 6 years ago

    I have been playing with vacuum forming for probably about a year. Initially it was toyed with in conjunction with my son on a pinball he envisioned. Later I wanted to make something useful for myself and when I did I displayed it within the High Speed Club thread. I received a lot of compliments and was asked if I would be selling them. What the heck. I have not shared this outside the High Speed thread and committed to take care of everyone there who wanted one. Beyond that? We'll see. And yes I am selling them. As much as I love this hobby, I have slaved away at doing these. I don't expect to sell hundreds of these because, frankly they are a lot of work and certainly a limited interest. I feel that many who conjure up new ideas or modifications are in fact doing the industry a service by keeping it new and exciting.

    All that said.... YES I did contact Rick at Planetary and was given permission to do these.

    #61 6 years ago
    Quoted from retired_user_101:

    hmmmm....
    so who do we think is putting the pressure on Robin ?

    Some have said "They didn't like the way others played across the pond when they didn't owned the rights, but has turn into the very thing they complained about, once they did. Always afraid someone might make a dollar on a topper, shooter rod or a sticker. Some people have nothing better to do with their time.

    But, I am still guessing oh who could it have been. Hmmmm I am right there wondering with you.

    #62 6 years ago
    Quoted from retired_user_101:

    hmmmm....
    so who do we think is putting the pressure on Robin ?

    possibly anyone whose copyrights are possibly being infringed? On this forum that could be lots of companies ...lol

    #63 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    possibly anyone whose copyrights are possibly being infringed? On this forum that could be lots of companies ...lol

    So I have purchased illegal product that the copyright owner won't produce?!?!

    :shrug:

    #64 6 years ago

    I think it's safe to say that about 90% of all pinball mods and add-on's are repurposed items. There are very few truly "original" pieces.

    It would take a very fastidious lawyer with a lot of time to track down ALL the copyright and patent owners and make one fell swoop of the pinball industry to clean house of all the crap that's out there. I'd think that with such small settlements involved on each company's case, it probably wouldn't be worth all that effort. But there are some BIG companies involved.... (Disney, Hallmark, etc...)

    #65 6 years ago
    Quoted from dantebean:

    So I have purchased illegal product that the copyright owner won't produce?!?!
    :shrug:

    Sadly to say sometimes this is the alternative to breaking the law ...

    #66 6 years ago

    hmmm...

    what happens if you try to sell a full pinball machine on pinside that has an item in it (ie: mod) that whoever provided didn't get it officially licensed ?

    can you not advertise (for sale in the 'market' section) that pin here?

    #67 6 years ago

    hmmm ... i would expect that to be fine ... I would expect the unlicensed item is the issue ... not sure why that would change context.

    #68 6 years ago

    this world is full of rule followers. Thankfully not all of us are

    #69 6 years ago
    Quoted from castlesteve:

    this world is full of rule followers. Thankfully not all of us are

    I think for the most part people follow the rules. Most who do mods are trying to make the game more interesting and down right cool. Great for the hobby. However, sucks for the pin maker that might not get a cut of the $40.00 dollars they didn't make. I wish they were as passionate about getting their games made from deposits they have taken, as they are chasing $40. That goes for all pinball makers NOT just 1.
    I could totally understand if I were in my basement making a game out right and selling it to the public. That's one thing, but the chase a guy down that made a shooter rod/target sticker a topper or something so mynute. IMO (only) more about egos and self-righteous ownership than it is about a company or staying focused at the goal at hand. But that's what you get when you got company owner(s) that has nothing better to do with their time.

    #70 6 years ago
    Quoted from Finrod:

    Most people don't realize that you have 'fair use' rights to material under copyright. For example, you are allowed to make backup copies of material for your own use. You're not allowed to sell (or give away) those copies, mind you. I have copies of about 100 of my audio cds that are covered under fair use; those are the copies I have in my car. If they get scratched or broken, I throw them away and make another. The same goes for keeping a copy of your EPROMs on your computer; that's your backup copy and it's perfectly legal.
    Companies don't want you to know you have that right, because they want to squeeze every last penny out of you that they can possibly get. Greedy bastards, I call them.

    Exactly.

    #71 6 years ago

    Let me start this with a apology to all the people I'm about to piss off. This is all my opinion and is by no means has any legal fact or any citings for that matter. I would like to start by saying this was a fun read and not knowing the personal background of anyone here(god I love the internet), I would not follow any legal advice here without using your brain and doing some research. That does not mean ask your mom/dad/buddy/BFF/the guy at the bank. That means read a book / Internet research / talk to a lawyer.

    Now lets talk about My rights as a consumer. Do I have any legal rights to the product I just bought? What about those books that were mentioned earlier? I'm suppose to have books in my machine as the owner and supposedly maintainer of that machine. Last I checked Bally was de-funked. How am I suppose to get replacements? Isn't keeping the books to a machine without owning the machine some sort of crime under copyright? Isn't that equivalent of keeping a copy of a cd or movie after you have sold or lost the original? Once a machine is sold as used, are all the copyrights still in place? What about replacing a part I actually have and own on the machine? Isn't changing a coil to a different wind to get more power an infringement? What if I have the 4 pieces of a broken plastic to a machine that's not being produced, the I tape them together and scan them to produce a waterslide to put on a new piece of plastic and put that on my machine? Is that copyright infringement even though I own the machine and all 4 parts of the plastic?

    I throw all this out to maybe get some people thinking. Use a little common sense. The reason the NFL has the blurb at the end of the game about rebroadcast isn't to stop you from watching the game when you get home from work. hell its not even to stop you from watching the game with your buddy after work in you own home. Its to stop you from making a superbowl greatest hits DVD and selling it before they can! Or if you do it allows them to recoup the money from the DVDs you made. Its not illegal to tape a song of the radio and listen to it (Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 - ok I had to cite at least one right?) but its illegal to rip a CD to any kind of digital format. Its all about money.

    I recently bought a Dungeons and Dragons machine. I'm working on getting it back to its former glory but I need parts. I bought the operators manual off the E-bay because I hated the split wiring diagrams on the pinball database. The parts manual got directly off pinball database. Now with Bally gone and the manuals out of print, is the money I paid for the manual that was suppose to be in the machine going to Bally? I think not! So who is actually the criminal here the guy trying to get the parts for the machine I own or the guy selling manuals for machines he doesn't own?

    So now that my rant is almost done, lets ask the question. If its so damn important that the site got a S&D, why can't we know who and what so the rest of us have a better idea of what is being deemed "Copyrighted" and what is public domain.

    #72 6 years ago

    The law is not always black or white. There are many shades of grey.

    #73 6 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    The law is not always black or white. There are many shades of grey.

    I think 50 shades actually.

    #74 6 years ago
    Quoted from Tallon:

    So now that my rant is almost done, lets ask the question. If its so damn important that the site got a S&D, why can't we know who and what so the rest of us have a better idea of what is being deemed "Copyrighted" and what is public domain.

    I think there are some misconceptions about this thread. The thread itself was started almost 2 years ago. It had pretty much set dormant for almost a year and a half. A couple of days ago someone resurrected it.

    Looking back I didn't see any mention of the site getting a S&D and the original post by robin sounded more like a friendly preemptive cautionary post than anything.

    #76 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    what's an S&D?

    Cease and Desist maybe, if you spelled it Cease with an S?

    #77 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    what's an S&D?

    I'm guessing cease & desist ..

    #78 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    what's an S&D?

    Quoted from pinballholder:

    Cease and Desist maybe, if you spelled it Cease with an S?

    I never put any thought into it...I just saw the other poster say S&D and I knew what he meant so I repeated it without thinking about it.

    #80 6 years ago

    I was reading through all this trying to determine if I have the right to trace artwork on a playfield/backglass and reproduce it on a shirt/mug. Not a blatant copy of the artwork, just a simple line sketch. For example, the outline of the car (no shading or high detail) on the High Speed backglass. It would be recognizable to other High Speed fans, but pretty subtle otherwise...

    #81 6 years ago

    This subject keeps coming up, and in this hobby it's really tough. You have collectors wanting parts, but they aren't always available, and nobody wants a pin parted so that another can be restored (because that one less pin that someone can own, which in most cases is less than 5,000 ever made, which is probably more like less than 2,500 at this point). So then you have 2 choices, wait for CPR to make backglass / plastics set / playfield, or self-teach yourself to touchup a scan (if you even have decent artwork to start with) and spend hundreds of hours cleaning it up... For yourself. Not for resale, not to pass along and help someone else, all that work so you can make your pinball look like new.

    In my opinion (even though I know this isn't legal), any media that isn't legally for sale by rights owners (whether it be pinball, movies, music, etc) should be free to trade. MST3K videos got passed along by a VHS club before there was internet, because quite frankly there was no DVD archives of the show and it actually made the show more popular. Metallica is famous for encouraging bootlegs of their music so they would gain popularity, yet once napster came out they were the head spokespersons for shutting it down. Game of thrones is the most pirated TV show, and it's because people don't want to pay for a 300 channel cable package, they want ala carte and HBO isn't willing to do that.

    I'm all about creators getting paid for their hard work. I hate software piracy, I hate theft of music and movies. I pay for netflix, I pay for 200 channel TV, but if a sporting event should mess up my scheduled recording and I miss a show, you're dam right I'm going to go to illegal means to download that show that I legally paid for. I'm not going to sit through forced ads on HULU or some other streaming service when I also pay for a DVR to skip those commercials.

    #82 6 years ago
    Quoted from PPS:

    what's an S&D?

    it's a "search & destroy" but only applies to enforcing metallica copyrights

    #83 6 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    In my opinion (even though I know this isn't legal), any media that isn't legally for sale by rights owners (whether it be pinball, movies, music, etc) should be free to trade.

    this would make sense and i'd be for it. the argument against it (to play devil's advocate) is probably that the owned work being freely traded would preclude the actual IP owner from being able to profitably bring it back to market if they chose to (or that they'd lose the rights to produce the IP they're currently not bothering to make money off of anyway).

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    MST3K videos got passed along by a VHS club before there was internet, because quite frankly there was no DVD archives of the show and it actually made the show more popular.

    not only that, but right now you can find most episodes of MST3k in their entirety, high quality, on youtube. they're not reversed or in spanish or spread out over 20 parts or anything like that, because Best Brains (or whoever the current IP owner is) has apparently chosen not to go after them. they've been there for a long time, unbothered. i think that's great. they seem to realize that availing themselves of every possible means of restricting access and usage is not really worth the pennies they could earn doing it themselves, let alone the ill will it generates.

    fear of losing the rights to the IP through lack of enforcement is often used as the boogeyman excuse for why companies "have to" use draconian measures to stop people from trading stuff that is difficult or impossible to obtain through legal means. i wish more companies would take a more realistic and less paranoid view on that. seems to be working out fine for the mst3k guys -- joel has even announced plans to start the show up again next year.

    #84 6 years ago

    I would really like to know what pinball or pinball parts company is putting heat on Pinside. There is strength in numbers, and consumers can have a large voice in a small market like pinball. I am not sure I would want to be publicly known as the pinball company that was giving Robin a hard time over posted mods or reproduction artwork if it is not a big deal.

    If a company is actively manufacturing and selling...say artwork...with exclusive rights...we should support that company. But if the company is not manufacturing and selling the artwork, and squatting on a patent/license, I am not sympathetic when people make and sell their own. I know the law does not agree, but as consumers we can exercise our own freedoms...the freedom to support or not support certain companies...the freedom to speak with our $$$$$.

    #85 6 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    The law is not always black or white. There are many shades of grey.

    If the law was black and white, there would be no need for lawyers.

    #86 6 years ago

    Where in the hell is Ben Yetter??

    #87 6 years ago

    On facebook I think, I saw him post like 10 things yesterday.

    #88 6 years ago

    So, over the years I learned a lot from lawyers. Skip the legal stuff. Their jokes were the best...

    What is black and tan and looks good on a lawyer? .... A Doberman Pinscher...

    What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?.... A good start.

    There is a reason that 70% of the world attorneys practice in the United States.....

    #89 6 years ago
    Quoted from Freeplay40:

    So, over the years I learned a lot from lawyers. Skip the legal stuff. Their jokes were the best...
    What is black and tan and looks good on a lawyer? .... A Doberman Pinscher...
    What do you call a thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean?.... A good start.
    There is a reason that 70% of the world attorneys practice in the United States.....

    What's the difference between a catfish and a lawyer?

    One is a bottom dwelling scum sucker, the other is a fish.

    #90 6 years ago

    What's the difference between a lawyer and a bucket of shit?

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    The bucket.

    #92 6 years ago
    Quoted from pinballholder:

    I was reading through all this trying to determine if I have the right to trace artwork on a playfield/backglass and reproduce it on a shirt/mug. Not a blatant copy of the artwork, just a simple line sketch. For example, the outline of the car (no shading or high detail) on the High Speed backglass. It would be recognizable to other High Speed fans, but pretty subtle otherwise...

    I did a few shirts like this but my conscience got the better of me so I stopped. It's weird, when I first started making shirts my mentality was "Oh, the guys are going to LOVE this! It'll be awesome!" It's real easy to blur your judgment when you have an emotional connection to the thing you are doing.

    It took very little time and a few reminders from folks here on Pinside for me to see the light of day. The reality is that people worked hard on these machines, the art, etc and they were all paid for that work, which now belongs to the copyright / patent / trademark / etc owner.

    In one sense it sucks, because some great stuff will never get to see the light of day thanks to lazy copyright holders who just don't feel like dealing with the licensing. It's a shame because there are a lot of people out there who would be thrilled to fork over their cash for themed products.

    On the other side of the coin though, imagine if you were the creator or copyright holder and others were using your work willy-nilly and making money off it? My wife and I recently set-up a kickstarter that we had to start ahead of schedule because someone who consulted with us texted photos of our art to her friends to get their opinions. Now we have to rush and get our products to market before someone else does!

    It kind of sucks no matter how you look at it, but rules are rules.

    Also, if you own the rights to BK2K, send me a pm! I have got a killer design that would make a great shirt / sticker and I'm aching to sell it the legit way!

    #93 6 years ago

    Thanks Matt for your thoughtful response. Yeah, it's not like I am even trying to make money, right? I just want to make myself some awesome gear to use/wear/share since it's not available. I guess what I was looking for was, what are the rules? Where is that line? How come the guys down at the mall can sell sweatshirts with a mickey mouse outline on it, even though it's clearly not Disney official apparel?

    #94 6 years ago

    Oh boy, I just published a book with photos of all these copyrighted games...

    There may be an interesting side note to the comment about the artist who worked hard for the artwork they put on certain games. But in many cases they don't own the rights to that artwork. Some company does and they may just be sitting on it and not care about the relative small demand there is from a few pinball enthusiasts. I'm pretty sure if the artists would have the rights to their own artwork we would see lots of art being available.

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