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Copyright notice regarding Brickmania kits & instructions


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#1 brickmania

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:36 PM

In recent months I have run across several people selling my kits and/or instructions without my permission. While I appreciate that my models and name have become marketable items, I do not appreciate that other people are using them to make money without sending me royalties, let alone bothering to ask my permission.

Playing with Lego bricks is one of my foremost passions in life, but doing Brickmania kits also involves endless hours of just plain work. I have recently resigned my "real job" in order to fully concentrate on the new generation of Brickmania kits and instructions. With a family to support this means I have to be very conscious about making a positive return on my investment of time and money.  When someone else is selling my products it takes away from the legitimate return I should be receiving for my time, skills and material expenses.

With this in mind I am outlining my position on reproducing Brickmania's kits and instructions.

1. I control the copyright on all Brickmania instructions, kit packaging, website and all images contained therein. Permission is granted to make a backup or printout of my instructions for personal use only. Any other reproduction for sale, transfer or other distribution is not allowed except with my written permission.

2. My instructions and kits are intended for the end-user to build a model of my design for their own personal use and enjoyment. These designs are also my intellectual property and may not be resold or otherwise distributed without my written permission. In other words it is not OK to use my instructions—even if paid for them—to recreate my designs for resale.

3. My kits, models, instructions, web galleries (Flickr, MOC Pages, etc.) and web site content may not be reproduced in any other medium without my written permission. The exception being posting of images of models derived from my kits and instructions on personal web blogs and galleries. In this case I politely ask that credit be given for my design and a link provided back to http://www.brickmania.com.

Faced with the prospect of not being able to put food in my kids' bellies I must insist that these guidelines be respected. Failure to comply with these may result in expulsion from the fair lands of Brickmania, legal action, an all-expenses paid vacation in federal prison, and/or a visit by the Brickmania goon squad. :cry_sad:

#2 LuxorV

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:57 PM

It's sad to hear what is happening to you, brickmania.

When someone puts so much effort and passion in their hobby, and most of all when it becomes their job and way of earning a living for them and their family, respect and honesty are the most important things.

I think you're totally right in asking people to follow those guidelines, and I hope things will solve soon.


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#3 Joey Lock

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:57 PM

That seems quite serious, who has been selling these? No one on here I hope?

It could be of a few reasons:

1. The price, just my opinion but $100 for a small tank and $55 for a Jeep is quite expensive.

2. Most of your items are discontinued which makes people want to make them any way.

3. Some people expect your no longer a active seller so they may try to take advantage of that.

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#4 Hinckley

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:58 PM

Hey there Brickmania, sorry to hear that people are taking credit for your work. I really hate to see that happen. Thanks for trusting Eurobricks as a place to get word to the community. Best of luck nipping this thing in the bud! :classic:

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#5 Skipper 24

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:21 PM

Sorry to here about your predicament. I am sure you can trust the members here at Eurobricks though. I hadn't previously seen any of you models all of which look quite realistic compared to the real thing/s. Thanks for sharing this notice :thumbup:.
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#6 Ralph_S

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:47 PM

View Postbrickmania, on Jun 7 2009, 09:36 PM, said:

In recent months I have run across several people selling my kits and/or instructions without my permission. While I appreciate that my models and name have become marketable items, I do not appreciate that other people are using them to make money without sending me royalties, let alone bothering to ask my permission.

Playing with Lego bricks is one of my foremost passions in life, but doing Brickmania kits also involves endless hours of just plain work. I have recently resigned my "real job" in order to fully concentrate on the new generation of Brickmania kits and instructions. With a family to support this means I have to be very conscious about making a positive return on my investment of time and money.  When someone else is selling my products it takes away from the legitimate return I should be receiving for my time, skills and material expenses.

With this in mind I am outlining my position on reproducing Brickmania's kits and instructions.

1. I control the copyright on all Brickmania instructions, kit packaging, website and all images contained therein. Permission is granted to make a backup or printout of my instructions for personal use only. Any other reproduction for sale, transfer or other distribution is not allowed except with my written permission.

2. My instructions and kits are intended for the end-user to build a model of my design for their own personal use and enjoyment. These designs are also my intellectual property and may not be resold or otherwise distributed without my written permission. In other words it is not OK to use my instructions€”even if paid for them€”to recreate my designs for resale.

3. My kits, models, instructions, web galleries (Flickr, MOC Pages, etc.) and web site content may not be reproduced in any other medium without my written permission. The exception being posting of images of models derived from my kits and instructions on personal web blogs and galleries. In this case I politely ask that credit be given for my design and a link provided back to http://www.brickmania.com.

Faced with the prospect of not being able to put food in my kids' bellies I must insist that these guidelines be respected. Failure to comply with these may result in expulsion from the fair lands of Brickmania, legal action, an all-expenses paid vacation in federal prison, and/or a visit by the Brickmania goon squad. :cry_sad:

Sadly there are too many people who don't seem to realise that by not respecting other people's intellectual property they are undermining work done by creative and hard-working builders such as yourself. I've had things made by me plagiarised, which is annoying enough, but for me it's only a hobby. Since you are actually trying to make a living with these designs, this actually damages your livelihood. I wish you the best of luck.


View PostJoey Lock, on Jun 7 2009, 09:57 PM, said:

That seems quite serious, who has been selling these? No one on here I hope?

It could be of a few reasons:

1. The price, just my opinion but $100 for a small tank and $55 for a Jeep is quite expensive.

I agree that at a first glance it does seem like quite a lot of money, but I am actually positively surprised that Dan can make a small profit selling sets for these prices. You see, you're not only paying for the price of the parts, but also for the time it takes to source and sort the parts, to design the set, and to make the instructions and lots of other things such as packaging, advertising cost and cost involved in maintaining the website. A large company like LEGO benefits from the economics of scale, which means that the costs for all of these things are only a fraction of the retail price of the set, but for a one-man outfit, these things weigh heavily. I've occasionally had offers by people to buy my models and doing the maths I soon realised I couldn't actually do it for a profit unless I'd charge amounts of money for the models that I'd never be willing to pay myself or unless I could do it on a much larger scale -incompatible with having a day job doing something else. I suspect it's only by doing it on a fairly large scale and by doing it professionally that a custom kit business can be profitable and my hat is off to Dan for doing it.

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Ralph_S, 07 June 2009 - 09:49 PM.

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#7 Shadows

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:55 PM

An absolutely ridiculous situation. :angry:

I've found that a certain part of the population has no respect for the work of others and won't hesitate to misuse it. Fortunately, it isn't a large group, but it doesn't take many to do the damage. I've seen a lot of that going on with custom decals and most recently, people stealing pictures of entire MOCs to claim as their own in contests.

The only way to stop it is to expose it, so thank you for posting this.

If there is anything we can do to help out, let us know.

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#8 Ricecracker

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:27 PM

That's terrible. I hope this all gets resolved soon, and you can start getting all the credit you deserve. Best of luck, and, like IS said, if there is anything we can do to help, just say.

@Staff: Would it be appropriate to make a frontpage announcement regarding plagiarism and stuff like this?

#9 Joey Lock

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:45 PM

View PostImperialShadows, on Jun 7 2009, 10:55 PM, said:

An absolutely ridiculous situation. :angry:

I've found that a certain part of the population has no respect for the work of others and won't hesitate to misuse it. Fortunately, it isn't a large group, but it doesn't take many to do the damage. I've seen a lot of that going on with custom decals and most recently, people stealing pictures of entire MOCs to claim as their own in contests.

The only way to stop it is to expose it, so thank you for posting this.

If there is anything we can do to help out, let us know.
Well you could post it as Front Page news, So everyone knows.

EDIT: @Ricecracker: Oh snap!

Edited by Joey Lock, 07 June 2009 - 10:46 PM.

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God save the gracious King,
Long live the noble King,
God save the King:
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the King.

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#10 Dadster

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:22 PM

Huh.  That sucks...  Shame I had to learn of you and your hobby this way.

EDIT - Hope that didn't sound rough...you do have some good stuff.

Edited by Dadster, 07 June 2009 - 11:24 PM.


#11 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:53 PM

I have seem them on line too I have also seen others claiming some of your work as there own. it is sad that people do things like that.

#12 Lord Admiral

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 01:48 AM

I sympathize with your situation. It is unfortunate that people are buying from these 3rd or 4th parties, rather than you. It seems from what you've said that you are encountering people who've purchased your product and are trying to resell it again. You can stop reading and ignore everything below if this isn't the case.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, just an avid collector of "intellectual property" information, but even if I was, actions aren't absolutely legal or illegal until a court of law says they are on a case-by-case basis, so don't take anything I say to be legal advice or to be binding.

The thing is, people are selling Lego instructions on Bricklink, sometimes not even the original but a scanned version, and people are likewise selling used Lego sets. Not only does TLG not care to question such actions, but there is legal precedent to allow it. There is such a thing as doctrine of first sale, which states that if somebody's purchased a set from you, they are also allowed to resell it. They aren't allowed to make copies or to sell those copies, but they are allowed to sell the items they've purchased from you, or comparable replacements (if their original CD is lost or unreadable, they are allowed to make copies for backup purposes, and subsequently to sell it once--provided they destroy or include in the sale all of the other backup copies). There is also Peeron, whose service of providing set inventories and instruction scans through PICSL is a complete violation of copyright, and LDraw, whose models of certain pieces fall into a gray area of copyright and/or patent law. However, I believe TLG is not suing these services into oblivion because they provide value to fans of Lego, and would garner the ill will of fans everywhere if they did so.

I'd like to clarify that I'm not in support of the guy who buys your kit, and makes copies of your instructions and resells it. That's not only against the law, but I find such actions to be morally reprehensible. I also would never condone buying your kits, and creating and subsequently selling models from your instructions. That's probably legal or situated squarely in a gray area, but not morally acceptable. However, what I'm saying is that once the kit and instructions leave your hands, you no longer have a say in what happens to those items. You can appeal to the community to purchase only from you (which may work, and which it seems you are doing), you can ask others nicely to not resell the kits once they've purchased it from you and refuse to continue to sell to known offenders (though that actually is not legal in all juristictions, so ask a lawyer!), you can put copyright control on your CD's (DRM), and you can support laws that change copyright to the point where you are in control of that which you're selling after you've sold it.

Of course, again, this cuts both ways. If you want laws that allow you to control your creative works after sale, then you'll probably have to pay TLG for anything you sell, as will everybody else on Bricklink. This will probably drive you out of business quite quickly. My humble advice, if you will hear it, is to pay attention to the market. If the market demands for instructions, I would advise that you sell instructions separate from the kits. Perhaps put in added-value items, such as putting the instructions on paper in a book, or offer decals with the instructions or whatnot. I'd suggest you start with the kits you've discontinued and are still in demand, but such business decisions are up to you. But you cannot force the market to go whatever way you decide, because in the end, people are under no obligation to buy, and despite all of the recent BS about "too big to fail," no business, however honorable or amazing or fair or righteous or whatnot, is entitled to succeed.

#13 brickmania

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 05:37 AM

Thanks for all the kind words. Most folks have been overwhelmingly supportive as this thread has shown. I've only just now decided to speak up because the number of people bootlegging my stuff has shot up considerably in recent months. There really isnt a huge amount of financial rewards for what I'm doing so must speak out to defend what little return I actually have coming to me.

Just to be clear, I have NO problem with people reselling and of my kits or original instructions CDs or licensed versions thereof (the only kit I have licensed is 3739 Blacksmith Shop to Lego and my CD-rom to A & M productions). Once someone buys my kit they are free to resell it on eBay, donate it to a museum, break it up for parts, toss it in the trash or whatever they like.

I DO have a problem with people making UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTIONS for sale or other public distribution. Sadly there are some people are manufacturing their own versions of my models and copying my instructions for resale. For the moment I'm just spreading the word that I don't approve of this activity because it hurts my ability to keep on doing it.

Thanks again!

#14 Lord Admiral

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 07:25 PM

Thanks for the clarification, brickmania, and thanks for not taking my comments the wrong way. The affairs on Lego Universe are troubling enough as it were, but I would expect community members and fans of MOCs to behave better. It's not surprising on a certain level, but it is disappointing that while everybody shares the same enjoyment of building with Lego bricks, the same can't be said when it comes to having respect for others' works.

Best of luck with stamping out these bootleggers. I suspect though, now that you've let out the word, that they're not going to have much business.

#15 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:16 PM

That sucks.  If you need another goon let me know!  

I've got your building instructions DVD.  One of these days I am going to build that guarded church and tavern.  Your work is amazing!
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#16 Tom Bricks

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:57 AM

Sorry to hear that this is happening because you where actually one of the Lego heros of my childhood. Every time I saw that "designed by a fan" tag on 3739 I thought about how cool that would be if it happened to me. It was (and still is :tongue: ) one of my goals. After seeing this earlier today I went to your site and downloaded the instructions to "Salty Anchor Tavern" so thank you once again. It really is a shame to see this happening and good luck.
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