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DbM gallery and LDD model plagiarism


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#1 rday1982

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:15 AM

Having noticed that some guy called "Coredom", some 9 year old kid has stolen one of my Olton Hall designs and added a (horrible) coach to it without crediting me had me wondering if anybody else has experienced a sudden pang of irritation when flicking through the LDD gallery and seeing that somebody has stolen one of their designs.

EDIT: Changed title to better reflect topic /Superkalle

#2 vexorian

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 05:22 AM

From the gallery terms of use:

Quote

5.0 Your Model & other uploaded Material:

When you submit your model you automatically assign the right to any of your material to the LEGO Group. The LEGO Group may use the material for any purpose whatsoever.

Quote

3.2 Give Credit to Original Creator:
If your model was either inspired by, or you have continued building upon another model found in the gallery, remember to give the original creator credit in your description.
I think that since you don't have any rights to the stuff you submitted to the gallery, then he is not really 'stealing' your design. But at least the other rule exists against submitting modification without proper credit and  I think you can get the copy deleted or at least edited to give you proper credit by telling the gallery moderators about it.

Edited by vexorian, 12 August 2010 - 05:25 AM.


#3 Superkalle

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:20 AM

First, I suspect you are talking about the LDD/DbM gallery at LEGO.com

Secondly, this is an important topic. I will mail the person I know at DbM team and bring this up.

In my mind, the LEGO disclaimer is a bit too lame - just giving credit to the original maker is not enough, since with LDD models it's to easy to rip the whole thing. And that is made the property of TGL just by uploading cannot be legaly correct. That would mean that TGL now owns your design rday1982, and that cannot simply be the case.

To everyone else - post in the forum if you find more examples of pure copying/plagiarism that is upload to other sites.

#4 JopieK

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:51 AM

on the other hand, a nine year old kid is not very likely to understand anything about copyrights. You could also be just flattered if someone else borrows your design. b.t.w. LEGO also 'steals' ideas at events from the AFOLS so, well... I don't condone plagiarism but just want to put it a bit into perspective

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#5 hawkyboy4

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:51 AM

So that's why I keep seeing two copies of the same model, and one of them being by a young "designer". I would hate for anyone to take anything I create and use it as their own, without me recieving credit for the idea. (luckily I haven't made anything worth showing :wacko:)

Edited by hawkyboy4, 12 August 2010 - 08:53 AM.


#6 roamingstop

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:06 AM

Thats one of the reasins why I believe it would be useful to allow annotations to be added into model files (a little like the preview capabilities of Adobe Acrobat). It could even be something as simple as adding a custom decoration to a part (e.g.4x6 tile with 12 studs) which lists "Author", "Title", "Date". It could also add to the appeal of the model...

If you can annotate the model with a copyright flag, then someone would have to knowingly delete it to make it their own. Whilst some kids would probably not care, it might be enough to make someone first stop and think. Currently it is so easy to download from the gallery, modify and upload again that no-one will think about it.

Currently I dont upload models to the LDD gallery - I can keep control of them, order the bits I need from Bricklink, and leave it at that.

#7 JopieK

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:32 AM

View Postroamingstudio, on 12 August 2010 - 09:06 AM, said:

Thats one of the reasins why I believe it would be useful to allow annotations to be added into model files (a little like the preview capabilities of Adobe Acrobat). It could even be something as simple as adding a custom decoration to a part (e.g.4x6 tile with 12 studs) which lists "Author", "Title", "Date". It could also add to the appeal of the model...

If you can annotate the model with a copyright flag, then someone would have to knowingly delete it to make it their own. Whilst some kids would probably not care, it might be enough to make someone first stop and think. Currently it is so easy to download from the gallery, modify and upload again that no-one will think about it.

Currently I dont upload models to the LDD gallery - I can keep control of them, order the bits I need from Bricklink, and leave it at that.

But better not put any pics on the www and/or don't take it to a larger event, LEGO is spying on us as well and they aren't just little kids anymore...

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#8 Superkalle

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:44 AM

View PostJopieK, on 12 August 2010 - 09:32 AM, said:

But better not put any pics on the www and/or don't take it to a larger event, LEGO is spying on us as well and they aren't just little kids anymore...
Hm, not sure I understand that part.

Anyway, I think it's good that we clear this up with TLG. Sure, copying of models is not new. There was always the problem with physical models being copied, but that took such time (and bricks) that only a few did it. And the AFOL community would soon spot it. And sure, there was with LDraw/MLCad the possibility that models were copied in digital format, but LDraw was never used by kids, only by AFOLs.

With LDD and DbM we have a completely new case:
1) LDD is used by kids who just copy stuff without thinking and don't understand the concept of "credits".
2) DbM allows kids to upload models to LEGO, which then claim they own them.

This is why this is intresting to clarify.

#9 JopieK

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:14 AM

Well, what I mean was, that if one wants to be sure no one else makes a copy, you can better not put any pics and or the model itself in the openness. I have seen LEGO designers taking very close pictures from models and some years later very familiar aspects were introduced into sets. But it stays a very difficult matter. How far can one go. I'm right now creating a train in LDD based on an existing train from a museum. That is also a form of plagiarism of course although no one will care and the train is too old to have any representatives left I guess.

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#10 Aanchir

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 01:24 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 12 August 2010 - 09:44 AM, said:

Hm, not sure I understand that part.

Anyway, I think it's good that we clear this up with TLG. Sure, copying of models is not new. There was always the problem with physical models being copied, but that took such time (and bricks) that only a few did it. And the AFOL community would soon spot it. And sure, there was with LDraw/MLCad the possibility that models were copied in digital format, but LDraw was never used by kids, only by AFOLs.

With LDD and DbM we have a completely new case:
1) LDD is used by kids who just copy stuff without thinking and don't understand the concept of "credits".
2) DbM allows kids to upload models to LEGO, which then claim they own them.

This is why this is intresting to clarify.
People have been doing this for a long time even on the other LEGO.com galleries. Consider the so-called Great Ice on the BIONICLE.com gallery. The first person to post it there was the user vakamagod from Argentina. However, he is not the original builder-- the MOC (called Brackaksis) and photograph are the winning entry of BIONICLE-based-creations contest #9 on BZPower forums, built by the user bionicleminotaur. And bionicleminotaur is from Missouri, not Argentina.

As if that weren't shameful enough, the LEGO.com user andrei1996 from Romania used the exact same image and name ("Great Ice") for his own MOC-- though thankfully, he had a greater respect for capitalization and punctuation.

So this problem isn't new to LDD. Rather, it's a consequence of the very few restrictions and user-friendly design of LEGO.com's gallery system. The only way I could picture this problem being solved is if LEGO added a "report" button, and even that wouldn't completely stop the problem-- plenty of more advanced hosting sites like deviantART have report buttons and you can still find shamelessly-pirated artworks and MOCs there. I'm not certain whether that would be worth the amount of work it causes the LEGO web team.

The best advice I can give on a personal basis is to e-mail LEGO customer service and alert them to this particular infraction. It won't alleviate the larger problem, but I'm sure they'd be willing to take down the plagiarized MOC for you.

#11 fred67

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 01:34 PM

View PostJopieK, on 12 August 2010 - 10:14 AM, said:

Well, what I mean was, that if one wants to be sure no one else makes a copy, you can better not put any pics and or the model itself in the openness. I have seen LEGO designers taking very close pictures from models and some years later very familiar aspects were introduced into sets. But it stays a very difficult matter. How far can one go. I'm right now creating a train in LDD based on an existing train from a museum. That is also a form of plagiarism of course although no one will care and the train is too old to have any representatives left I guess.

Hmmm.... if LEGO released your LDD model brick by brick, or nearly so, then I'd call it plagiarism... but I don't know if being inspired by ideas you've seen from other LEGO "artists" is necessarily plagiarism.  I didn't come up with the idea of microscale, but I use it; I didn't come up with the idea of microscale castles, but I make them.  I didn't come up with the idea of using clips as battlements on microscale castles, but I intend to use them.  I didn't come up with the idea of "tinyfigs" (as they've been called on EB), but they populate my castle.  I didn't come up with the idea of modular castle building (although I think I was the first to apply it to microscale castles).

We all build on each other's ideas.

On the other hand if, like you are saying with the train you are building, someone else decides to do the same train and the result looks remarkably like yours, are you really going to be able to complain they stole from you?  You're just building a model of the same thing, after all.

Oh, and about LEGO "owning" your upload... certainly, if that's what's in the "contract" before you upload the file, they are allowed to do it.  Transfer of ownership of IP happens all the time, sometimes with compensation, sometimes not.
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#12 lgorlando

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:10 PM

I used to be one of the most popular builders on Lego.com; how do I know, because I was ripped almost daily. I would see my models posted over and over by users sometimes right next to my own upload. I suppose I didn't mind so much since our generation of internet users is supposed to share information (and most posters are kids and they are just trying to have fun) but then my LDD files got loose on the open web (MOC pages, etc) with other users claiming my models as their own creations. I developed a bad taste in my mouth about this and I haven't posted on Lego.com in almost 2 years. I also see some LDD files on ebay of all places (I don't assume the files don't actually belong to the seller) but that is just plain scary so I tend to keep my LDD files locked down though it really shouldn't be that way in a community such as ours.

#13 rday1982

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:03 PM

I'm not going to email LEGO, causing problems for an innocent 9-year-old is the last thing I want to do... but I am going to stop uploading Olton Hall models to their gallery until I get a design that I'm truly happy with, and want to purchase. I like the idea that my designs are somewhat popular, but there's no way I want to see a bajillion custom Olton Halls that look exactly the same as mine. I want my model to be a true custom creation... otherwise I'd put my own website up with full instructions for stuff I've built.

I'm just annoyed that somebody can take my design work (and the associated time, effort and attention to detail that went into it) and pass it off as their own. It stings a little. I guess I'm just being childish really.

I suppose I should be flattered that somebody else wants the credit for it.  :tongue:

#14 fred67

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:22 PM

View Postrday1982, on 12 August 2010 - 07:03 PM, said:

I'm not going to email LEGO, causing problems for an innocent 9-year-old is the last thing I want to do..
I don't think you need to cause problems just for asking for credit... they know it's some kid who doesn't understand what he did wrong, they'll tell him what he did wrong, you'll get credit, and most likely that will be the end of the story.

Edited by fred67, 12 August 2010 - 08:29 PM.

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#15 private_lego

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:49 PM

This is not a problem with LDD alone.
The same copy behaver is going on for years now in LDraw & other programs.
A lot a people post only pictures, and will send you the file on request.
Some people make a business of it :cry_sad:

If you want to be sure that your work isn't copied at all, don't post it on any site.
The credits work among adult, but not with kids.

#16 Marckeyh

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

If they copy your work, change it a bit and don't make any money out of it, then I'd say it's fair enough. Shame it happens, but it does. The internet is a small world, if you post something, there's bound to be someone that 'borrows' your idea, picture or whatever you've made.




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