Keep RC plans affordable

Here's a rant I posted on my blog. Maybe you agree with me. Maybe we can persuade the copyright owners to do something about it.
http://towerofbabble.net/the-balsa-workbench / http://towerofbabble.net/2008/keep-rc-plans-affordable /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Reynolds wrote:

Lots of good free ones about.
If you can organise your won printing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The solution is simple enough: Design your own! While we all can't be expert designers or builders, most of us CAN, if we want to, build models that will fly acceptably. There are books by Harry Higley and Andy Lennon, videos by Dave Platt and others , and some stuff on the AMA website to help the beginning designer/builder along. There's plenty of help and encouragement on RCU and R/C Groups too. For instance, there's a little scale plans or kit building "contest" going on on the R/C Groups Scale Electric forum, and the level of cooperation and advice to newcomers is fantastic! It's just as good on the glow and gas engine forums too, whether sport, trainer, or scale.
Despite the foregoing, I also lament the high price of plans. If you know someone with server space who would start a "clearing house" of plans that people have purchased, but don't plan to build, and are willing to swap, that might ease the problem somewhat!
Another source of relatively low-cost plans is Full Size Plans.> http://www.fullsizeplans.com / Other sources of relatively cheap plans are the various British and European mags that come with plans. Often the magazine back issue costs far less than buying the plan alone!
Now, you got any plans you want to trade? :-)
Geoff Sanders
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geoff...great idea to set up a clearing house for old plans ( used or not ) . Does Ebay have a section for that? I am very new in this hobby, but I can see that helping others learn and build, such as often happens on the r/c sites, is a practice not found in every hobby. regards, Rich

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rich wrote:

The trouble with sharing old ones is that it violates the copyright of the designer and/or original seller. If you have NOT built from the plan, then there's no violation. And there are plenty of plans kicking around that people haven't built from!
As for Ebay, I feel that they have too many ethical issues to do business with. They allow people who have, as Robert indicated, ripped off legitimate plans businesses to sell illegal plans.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geoff Sanders wrote:

I dont think thats true. Copyright means you cannot copy and re-sell the original, at least in such a way that it damages the original copyright holders chance to sell the plan again.
I.e. you can copuy a plan as many times as you like for your own use, or sell the original, but you cant keep the original and SELL copies.
Whether or not you have built it is irrelevant.
Also, copyright lapses after a while. IIRC its 50 years with some exceptions.
Plans of models published prior prior to 1958, are therefore free for all.

So what do you expect to do about it?
Its all below the legal radar by and large.
If the guys were making millions, then the plan copyright owbers would have some reason to sue. They aren't.
I sold some old books on Ebay. I gave up. Just one 'I never got that parcel' complaint - whether true or a lie - wiped out all the money I made. The game wasn't worth the candle and the hassle. If some impoverished student with a drawer full of his das old plans and free access to a university copier wants to make a couple of bucks that way, let him.
At least he isn't selling drugs on campus.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| I dont think thats true. Copyright means you cannot copy and re-sell the | original, at least in such a way that it damages the original copyright | holders chance to sell the plan again.
It's not quite that simple, at least not in the US. (You're in Canada, right?)
| I.e. you can copuy a plan as many times as you like for your own use, or | sell the original, but you cant keep the original and SELL copies.
Still not that simple ... | Whether or not you have built it is irrelevant.
Plans are a bit different, because actually building it is making a copy of the plans of a sort. So if somebody sells plans to build a plane, I imagine that would have to come with a license (perhaps implied) to build a plane from these plans. Can you build multiple planes? That would depend on the license.
I don't know if any of that has ever been fully worked out in the courts or what, so there's probably a lot of room for people to make their own interpetations.
| Also, copyright lapses after a while. IIRC its 50 years with some | exceptions.
Certainly not in the US ...
http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/public-d.htm
| Plans of models published prior prior to 1958, are therefore free for all.
Nuh-uh.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
We'll know that rock is dead when you have to get a degree to work in it.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I checked into this a few years ago when this topic first came up.
There is no doubt that architectural plans may not be used to build more than one building without the permission of the architect. That seems to be well-established in law. If I remember correctly, the relevant legislation was quite specific about buildings and boats.
It was silent about the status of model aircraft plans.
Gotta get ready for class. Google probably has the old thread.
My personal bottom line: I am not going to worry about building extra models from the same set of plans.
                Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Martin X. Moleski, SJ wrote:

That is because they are specifically drawn up for individual cases. However I doubt that this is a copyright issue.
Its probably more about an implied contract between the architect, marine or otherwise, and his original client.

And I am not worried about looking very hard, at a pre 1964 set of plans, sometimes with a scanner ;-), and re-drafting the whole thing to use completely different propulsion systems and maybe materials from the originals. ;-)
Publish and be damned.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In fact, oddly enough, it is a matter of copyright law.
We discussed this in 2003 and again in 2005.
Here is the background information about BUILDINGS, reprinted from one of my posts from February 14, 2003, and February 9, 2005:
The copyright law was amended in 1990 to explicitly prohibit building more than one BUILDING from a set of ARCHITECTURAL plans.
"In December 1990, President Bush signed into law the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990. Prior to this legislation, copyright protection for the work of design professionals was afforded only to drawings and specifications. The author of the design had no copyright remedy if a duplicate structure was constructed from the original drawings and specifications or from the building itself, provided the drawings and specifications were not copied.
"The 1990 Act retains copyright protection for drawings as "pictorial" or "graphic" works, and building from the original drawings or building is now a copyright infringement.
"Under the 1990 Act, a "building" encompasses habitable structures, such as houses and office buildings, as well as structures which are used but not inhabited by human beings, such as churches, pergolas, gazebos and garden pavilions. The Congressional Committee Report2 specifically notes that interior design is included in the definition of "building." Bridges, cloverleafs, dams, highways or walkways are not "buildings" under the definition of architectural works." <http://www.aepronet.org/pn/vol5-no2.html
I suggest that model airplanes are NOT buildings and that plan sets are NOT architectural drawings in the meaning of the act. The framers of the legislation deliberately excluded things that are not BUILDINGS from this particular act. A model is not now and never has been a BUILDING, and so plans for models do not enjoy the protections given to plans for buildings under the 1990 act:
"A building in this context refers to a structure habitable by people, including houses and office buildings. Another exception to the copyright arises under the doctrine of fair use. Under certain circumstances, a use that might otherwise be deemed infringing is excused. In evaluating whether a particular use is a fair use, certain factors are consideredthe purpose and character of the use, including whether it is of a commercial nature; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used; and the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of a copyrighted work. For example, copying an article from a six-year old periodical for purposes of personal use would be fair use, while repeated copying of articles from current issues of the same periodical for commercial purposes would not because the latter would tend to deprive the copyright owner of subscription sales." <http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/matters/matters-9509.html
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug McLaren wrote:

UK. But I believe it is essentially that simple.
copyright is on printed and recorded material. It menas that it shouldn't be reproduced. That's all.
It is a civil, not crimoinal, offence, which means that although technically its an offence in all cases, in practice to bringa successful action wnd gain compensation, you have to priove materi9al damages.
If for examle you have a book and its out of porint and teh original copyright hodler no longer exists, whose to sue? and whose to say that they could have made money?
In practice is a waste of time nd money - the judge would throw the thing out, or simply say, guilty: fine one penny, costs to te plaintiff. And there you go.
So you might have spent $10,000 to lose money, and inflicted a penny fine on someone. Big deal.

I think it is. The 'copy for won use' is a simple acceptancfe oif tthe fact that isince yoi have it already, copying it merely proptects your right to have it in teh future: since no trasaction has taken place, and no potential transaction has been diverted, there is no case to answer.

No they are not. Thats as stupid as saying you can't play from a sheet of music you have bought, again and again. You can.
However if uou do it in public, FOR PROFIT you owe something to teh composer and publisher of course.
Note that in every case this is about commercial gain, noty teh act of copyinh. Its teh act of copying for commercial gain
So if you ytook that plan and copied it and made laser ut kits and sold them for profit..well then there is a possible case, but even that is frauight.
There was a case I came across once - a pivotal case pofr precvedence, in which a photographer went to a particular point where a famous landscape picture had been taken, and using very similar equipment, took it again. Now photographs were held top be copyrigt, but not the view itself.
Likewise Boeing can't stop you selling plans for a model Boeing 707, although they MAY stop you from calling int Boeing, under trademark legislation.

The building of the planes is actually irrelevant to copyright. That refers to the original printed material. If you buy a book on how to plant potatoes, it doesn't come with a license allowing you to only plant one potato.
You are confusing copyright with intellectual property rights. Not the same thing at all. THOSE are protected under patent, or by direct license as a contract.

The basic rules are pretty clearly laid out. There are borderline cases. Like the photographer I described.

I doubt it.

Well that does show that the period of copyright DOES expire, just that the timelines are different..
If you look at the third box down, stuff prior to 1963, expired in 2000 even if registered, and if not has been free for YEARS.

No, its plans published prior to 1964, are free for all. Unless the owner re-applied for copyright. AND the plans say 'copyright' on them.
Now its 70 years only. Then free for all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, copyright exists for 3-d forms as well, including things like car pistons, sculptures, model aeroplanes etc. When you buy a plan you buy the right to use the plan for your own use and to build as many copies of the plane as the copyright holder licences you to. You are also granted "fair use" rights to make copies for our own personal use. These fair use rights vary from country to country.
In the case of model aeroplanes there is no generally accepted standard for how many planes you may build, but for boats, buildings etc the plans would generally only be licenced for one copy of the end product. Further builds would require additional payment.

Copyright infringement is now a criminal offence in some cases in the UK. In particular, if you go on general sale by way of business with a product that infringes someone else's copyright then that is a criminal offence.
--
Boo

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boo wrote:

I dont think its a criminal offence, no..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, there are probably better references available than the following but try this :
<http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/111524/european-parliament-backs-criminal-laws-for-commercial-copyright-infringement.html
I used to have a good link on copyright law but can't find it atm, the following seems quite useful though :
<http://ahds.ac.uk/copyrightfaq.htm
Cheers,
--
Boo

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The distinction is on *MODEL*, not airplane, for the comparison.
Are we cheap bastards or what? If you like it enough to build 10 copies from the set of plans, spend a little money. Or if it sucked enough to require 10 extra copies, maybe you should have stopped after the second.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MikeWhy wrote:

Or learn to draw your own,. Its hardly rocket science.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

That point has been mentioned several times in this conversation. I've designed a few of my own with great results, but I love well designed magazine plans. The thing I like about the RCM catalog is the enormity and variety of imagination that went into the different designs. Hundreds of designers built, tested and redesigned their own planes and then offered them to the public. And I'm pretty sure that the editors at RCM spent a lot of time making sure that the planes in their magazine flew well, at least the ones designed by their inner circle of cohorts. I get a lot of entertainment from building these planes and admiring how well they perform, and then moving right along to the next one. Of all the dozens of RCM designs I've built, only a few of them were less than great, and only one of them totally sucked. That was the Fat Porter. If you've ever considered it, forget it.
I've been amazed at how good some of the others were. The Super Kaos is excellent, the Miss Bikini is incredibly good. One of my favorites is the Big John biplane. There are just too many to mention. Any of you guys ever build the Guppy? What a cool plane. Maybe it sounds like I'm going overboard, but I truly appreciate what those other guys passed along to me. That's why I'm going to go ahead and publish my three good designs, whether they get pirated and spread around for free or not. I hope somebody else gets as big a kick out of them as I have.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob:
This is what I hoped to find in this hobby ..... passion. There is no substitute!
Harlan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Reynolds wrote:

Probably. Post em upon one of the web forums. People will pass them around, and if they have yor forum ID on them, some may even e-mail you to say 'thank you'
Thats as good a feeling as you will get!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, I'm cheap.
I've built four or five Gremlins from the same set of templates that I derived from the first set of plans I bought.
I don't think Eric (Evl-1) Henderson would mind.
                Marty
--
Big-8 newsgroups: humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*
See http://www.big-8.org for info on how to add or remove newsgroups.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.