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Cumulonimbus

MOC Sharing Dilemma

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2.) don't expect constructive criticism here. People are too nice here to say their negative criticism :wink: (unless it's a MOC from a non-member. All the negativity gets poured on those :laugh: )

I would not say the lack of constructive criticism is because people are too nice. For me, it's mostly that I'm lazy and/or don't care enough (to that end, if you need explicit constructive criticism, maybe the quality and quantity of discussion that a build generates is a good enough proxy).

The other thing is, what are you gonna do with that constructive criticism? Personally, I appreciate that people even look at my stuff, but when I'm posting something on the net, I've often spent enough time on it already and just want to be done with it. For instance, take your Audi. There are things I like about it (some excellent bodywork details, although as a whole it looks too 'pixellated', if that makes sense) but I didn't care to tell you that because: (i) laziness; (ii) I didn't care enough (yay, another large red supercar with suspension, gearbox and fake engine); (iii) you probably spent a great deal of time on it and I figured if you're happy with why needlessly critique it?

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I totally understand your dilemma on whether or not to share creations. This issue is actually a lot more complicated than most replies imply and it has certainly nothing to do with being paranoid. Instead we have to broaden our perspective if we really want to understand the bigger picture. Some say that sharing ideas, technology and information only results in better solutions. Although I certainly agree with this, the majority of businesses don't work like this, and actually try to protect their products and innovations as much as they can. Why? If they would give their ideas away for free, the competition would steal them, and sell them in a slightly different format. I'm sure this business couldn't survive and would be out of business in no time. That's why they work secretly, copyright and patent all their creative ideas and innovations. If someone steals/ copies them, they get sued for high sums of money.

Now I happen to be in the creative industry myself, but do not have a large corporation behind me or the money to protect my work. So instead I decide to share my work with others, with the intention to inspire and help eachother. Now what will happen? Would people support me and donate? Perhaps a few, yes, but the majority would use it for their own needs, and if not individuals, then certainly companies. The company would say thank you very much, make a lot of money on my creative skills/ profession for free, while I struggle to survive. And still I have to pay for the products or services of that company. So to be able to pay for these products I decide to ask fees for some of my work and services. Companies and most people are perfectly fine with that, and don't mind paying, but why is it always such a big issue in this community? And why is it that less and less have respect for intellectual property rights anymore?! If the trend of sharing ideas and information for free continues like this, I'm convinced that the gap between rich and poor will only increase, small creative businesses will disappear, and big companies get even more power and influence.

Is that what we really want? Basically this concept only works if everyone is in and everything is shared for free, which I don't think will happen anytime soon unfortunately...

So please respect other people their intellectual property rights, be a little bit more grateful for all those amazing artists (LEGO and non-LEGO) who share their work for free, support them and give credit where credit is due. Is that too much to ask?!

Edited by NKubate

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People share their creations with the world hoping to find like minded people. Only people who are interested in what you are doing will seek it out. If artists, writers, sculptors and those famous painter people did not share their work the world would be a dull place. Who knows who your work might inspire so please share. If lego did not release their sets where would we be?

H

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So please respect other people their intellectual property rights, be a little bit more grateful for all those amazing artists (LEGO and non-LEGO) who share their work for free, support them and give credit where credit is due. Is that too much to ask?!

LOL.. It took you long enough to finally make a post here.... :thumbup:

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I see it like this. If your goal in posting a creation is to enrich the community with your knowledge and to learn from the suggestions of others, then there is no problem with people copying it. If your goal in posting a creation is personal glory or fame, then the inability to permanently attach your name to your creation can be annoying. I've had people remove my watermark from my renders, for instance, or use my descriptions of a set from Technicopedia on their eBay listing without crediting me. Whether you choose to be flattered or offended is up to you, but your decision of how to feel won't change what happens. Anything on the Internet seems to get copied and used by others, and there's nothing we can do about it other than abstain.

I think where the discussion changes is when the MOC is monetized. Selling copies of someone else's design is unethical. Selling someone else's instructions is illegal. Making instructions for someone else's creation without their permission is not something I've ever seen happen, so I guess there is no point spending too much time on that one.

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My MOC is a connection of few people idea and nobody really complains because of that.

In LEGO world You do what You want the way You want so if You copy any MOC its probably modified by Your own idea. Every builder has a personality that appears in MOCs.

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I plan to share MOCs but not WIP.

When the MOC is finished, you can put your name on that particular combination of features that you claim to be finished. If someone nearly copies, you but makes a small modification, then that is their MOC.

The problem with sharing WIP is that you haven't defined your own MOC yet. If someone comes along, copies, and then makes their own MOC, there's a chance you end up in a very similar place, or worse, that they beat you there.

I steal so many building techniques from LEGO sets and other MOCers that there's no way I could protect the entire design. After-all, LEGO is really to credit for creating the pieces that make all of our models. When monitization is involved, things are more touchy. But LEGO owns us!

Share, because if you dont, there will be no new ideas for us to inspire us!

My question is, when do you determine that a MOC is finished?

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My question is, when do you determine that a MOC is finished?

A MOC is finished when you want to disassemble it to build something new.

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@NKubate:

Maybe I misunderstood your post, but we are talking about a hobby, and you are talking about business. I don't think anyone can make a living (or wants to) from his Lego hobby.

VMLN8R:

Maybe some critique would made me explain the reasons and maybe rethink some design choices and other things. Maybe that would relax my desire for recognition and fame and glory to see some negative comments. Dunno. Unfortunately I am one of the few who does care about fame (or one of the few who admit it).

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Interesting Lipko: still, the laziness factor remains :P

As for recognition, fame and glory; don't we all want those things? If someone in a creative field says they want to be less popular, they're lying.

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Well, maybe I just need to have sex with my Audi to get the satisfaction I need and move on :laugh:

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Sharing is what keeps the hobby going. I look at this board everyday. If it were not for this board I would have let my old pieces and sets in the attic. It's about building a sense of community.

Share, Share, Share

v/r

Andy

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I can see no reason not to share what you build, we all benefit from this.

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@NKubate:

Maybe I misunderstood your post, but we are talking about a hobby, and you are talking about business. I don't think anyone can make a living (or wants to) from his Lego hobby.

There are actually quite a few who make a living out of it (or try to) and I'm certain that the designers at TLG also get paid for their work. The problem is that the boundaries between hobby and profession are disappearing, especially when it comes to artists. For example it becomes increasingly difficult to compete as a professional artist (whether in graphic-, web-, productdesign, sculpting, music...) when there are so many people out there who offer their services for free, because to them it's "just a hobby".

Don't get me wrong, because I think it's amazing to see how much creativity and talent is out there, but I also have very much respect for those who decide not to share their work (for free), because they understand the complications and in a way try to protect the creative industry; some people have to make a living out of it. As you can see there is something to say for both sharing and not sharing (for free). So to me it is indeed a dilemma, that I'm constantly aware of.

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There are actually quite a few who make a living out of it (or try to) and I'm certain that the designers at TLG also get paid for their work. The problem is that the boundaries between hobby and profession are disappearing, especially when it comes to artists. For example it becomes increasingly difficult to compete as a professional artist (whether in graphic-, web-, productdesign, sculpting, music...) when there are so many people out there who offer their services for free, because to them it's "just a hobby".

Don't get me wrong, because I think it's amazing to see how much creativity and talent is out there, but I also have very much respect for those who decide not to share their work (for free), because they understand the complications and in a way try to protect the creative industry; some people have to make a living out of it. As you can see there is something to say for both sharing and not sharing (for free). So to me it is indeed a dilemma, that I'm constantly aware of.

The topic is still about a hobby. Lego is not necessary equal to hobby, since there are professional designer Lego employees.

Does anyone (apart from employed designers, obviously) you know is able to make money from MOCing that's enough to make a living? I think Sheepo or Crowkillers is the best selling MOCer today (maybe VFracingteam?). Do they make a living from MOCing?

I think we misunderstand each other somehow. You are thinking in a much broader scope when the topic is clearly about sharing Lego MOCs. Not about painters, sculptors, web designers, music composers or paid Lego employees, or event organizers, advertisers, part retailers, bricklinkers etc. And I don't think this Lego community is big enough to be exemplary in intellectual property protection.

If someone wants to make sufficient money from Lego model design, the only way to succeed is to being known. And for that, you need to share (how the hell anyone would know about you otherwise?)

Edited by Lipko

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There are people who don't even design anything that pull in money from youtube for just doing reviews on Lego sets... I have no clue what MOC building heavy hitters like Sariel pull in, but I know people that have far less subscribers are making several thousand dollars a year from their Youtube channel just making simple videos.. While it may not be enough to make a living, it does pay for their Lego hobby.... If one was creative enough and devoted all of their time to their Lego hobby, I believe that someone outside of Lego could certainly make a living designing models, makign videos, selling instructions and small kits, etc...

Of course you have to constantly be coming up with new ideas and such and then of course you are going to have to deal with people blatantly ripping you off from time to time, but that come with the territory and happens in all businesses.

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Let me start by saying I understand your concerns, and I don't think anything in your first post is arrogant at all. I too have things I don't want to post for different reasons, some of what I think are my best creations sit in my basement, and for me the greatest satisfaction is the accomplishment of making something either look just right or just simply work.

As you mention later on in your post we have all been inspired at some point even if what we end up making looks nothing like the 'source material' it might not ever have been made if not for that inspiration. That is the beauty of forums like this, in my opinion we all, and probably TLG designers too, from seeing what each others are up to. I think so much has happened to Lego in the last 10 years or so, and I think people sharing their MOCs does have something to do with it.

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It goes like this:

- you're not a natural sharer, if you were you would not have these concerns

- if you share it's going to worry you

- worrying destroys the joy in what you're doing

- as soon as someone does something you don't like it's going to be pain and drama for you, and probably for others

So forget sharing. It's clearly a very big deal for you. Avoid it.

For the record I have a 100% opposite view about freely sharing what I make. I figure life is too short to worry about insignificant things like people copying the toys I made, or even making (very small) amounts of money from them. But you should do what's right for you. :classic:

Edited by andythenorth

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I think you can still share at your local LUG meetings. Make sure all your fellow LUG members don't have any cameras on them and have them sign a non-disclosure and non-compete agreement. Only after that, bring out the model.

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Well, I think you can share pictures of your MOC without a lot of worry. People can't sell the creation, because they don't know how to build it, unless you make instructions.

But, believe me, it's very, very difficult to make a LDD file, let alone full instructions, from a bunch of (outside) pictures, especially for Technic models. :laugh: Unless, of course, you take a lot of pictures from the inside or WIPs...

So, there's no need to worry about sharing some images of your MOCs in my opinion.

But, if it still doesn't feel right to you, don't do it. In the end, it's not a must, do what you like and if the liking stops at building, so be it :classic:

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Of course you should share. It's not LEGO if you don't.

The halls of LEGO buildings are literally filled with images containing the slogan "joy of building pride of creation" :)

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It's good to see some healty discussion about a subject like this. There's bound to be as many views as there are people, and it's good to see so many different opinions. In fact, this very discussion is a form of sharing, but of sharing opinions and arguments rather than MOCs. And, opinions and arguments, like MOCs, are a result of creative thinking. So by even joining this discussion, we're sharing, and helping create a community.

Anyhow. As far as MOCs go. My personal experience with sharing is 100% positive. I have shared quite some instructions of my models on my website, and not once have I been copied. On the other hand, I have seen that people have built my models, which is the biggest honour you can get as a MOCcer and instruction sharer.

Also, I think the entire copyright/patent "protective" mentality is detrimental to society and innovation as a whole and I wouldn't want to be part of such an environment. I want to be part of an environment where sharing is normal and people admire each other for the beautiful stuff they create, and be inspired by each other's ideas to create even better stuff. That's how humanity advances.

Also, holding back stuff because copycats may copy it, means the copycats win. Let's not give them that power ;)

Besides that, I think that people, even outsiders, will eventually find out who is a genuine creator and who is a copycat.

Also, remember that you're only copied if you're really really good. Copycats know what to copy - the best of the best, and that which will impress the general public of non-AFOLs. So, in essence, most people are not even a target for copycats. For those people there's not even really much of a dilemma ;)

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@Erik Leppen, I couldn't agree less.

To provide any additional explanation would involve politics. But, my ancestors sailed across an ocean to the new world over 300 years ago to enjoy individual freedom and property rights.

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