Hobby models collide with the DMCA

3rd party message cross-posted from a private mail list (with permission :)
I can't say that I'm surprised by this - I'm just saddened by this
inevitable result. But I knew it was happening at Boeing even before 1991. The story is at:
<http://www.modelingmadness.com/tomseditorial.htm
A lot of us grew up with model airplanes, model cars, electric trains, sailboats, tanks, and even model buildings. I don't think there were many boys who didn't at least see a wooden model of a plane or a tank or a ship belonging to a friend. And electric trains have insinuated themselves into the psyche of many, many people. And model cars - lots or kids made model cars. All these models and representations are -free advertising-. You'd think they'd find it useful.
It appears now that they'll be things of the past in a very short time. And it's not just the end of a few toys or model kits...
It's the harbinger of the end of a number of small and medium industries. Model makers, hobby stores, hobby magazine publishers, artists, photographers, computer game publishers, BOOK publishers, Barbie's toy cars, movie and television studios, and literally -anything- that is product containing or presenting an image or representation of a real vehicle or product will be a thing of the past. Even newspapers and television news programs could be affected. You think not? You'd better think again. It's already happening.
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snipped-for-privacy@tda.com says...

I grow a little more cynical.
Every day.
--
Tweak

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<http://www.modelingmadness.com/tomseditorial.htm
Man, that's sad, and sick. These big railroad, auto, and aerospace corporations ought to be thrilled that people are making and selling models of their products. The free advertising alone more than makes up for any so-called copyright infringement. Trying to squeeze a few pennies out of the model makers is just going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

It's greed, plain and simple. And while I am all for a healthy quotient of good ol' patriotic American greed, these clowns are going too far.
"Hey, that little podunk company made 120k last year selling models of these planes that we can only sell for 1/2 the price of an aircraft carrier! That ain't right! Call the lawyers...get 'em!"
--
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<http://www.modelingmadness.com/tomseditorial.htm
It was inevitable, I suppose. As a nation, we've largely moved away from creating wealth by innovating and manufacturing. Instead, we find someone else who has wealth, and either trick them out of it by deceptive advertising, or sue it away from them. Since there are so few actual products, intellectual property becomes all-important.
Imagine living in a country where the widow of a 9/11 victim can sucessfully copyright a two word sentence: "Let's roll!" With the current environment, there appears to be NO LIMIT to what can be considered salable intellectual property.
Granted, the manufacturers of automobiles and such have a point. Their products are sold at retail, and the design IS their property. At one time, such things were considered in light of advertising value. But business has become so short sighted they literally cannot think beyond profits THIS QUARTER. You can't put advertising value into a speadsheet.
Military hardware is entirely different. It has NO retail value; I cannot buy an F-16 no matter what I do. As the column stated, it was created solely for and sold solely to, the US government. WE own it, lock, stock, and copyright.
Oh, and absolutely no one with any power to affect the situation cares one molecule about small business.
Recommended reading: Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson
http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200011/0671319744___1.htm
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