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Author Topic: Railnscale in dispute with BMW  (Read 902 times)

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Offline Bornin1980something

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Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« on: March 26, 2018, 09:41:10 PM »
This one might have fitted in the 3-D modelling forums, but I put it here because of the very specific prototype concerned.

Since the subject of licensing was raised in the Oxford Diecast thread (apparently they have to have a license to produce everything, and even to change the scale, and that's one of the main reasons they have so few releases in N), I have been concerned about the cottage industry model kit makers, who has been part of the scene for decades, but could never produce an officially licensed product. It got me wondering, are all my kit built cars illegal?

It seems that a worrying answer has come up; Dutch 3-D print designers Railnscale has withdrawn their individual BMW models from sale. This explanation appears on their website:

'These models have been discontinued because of a legal dispute with BMW on intellectual property rights. We are convinced that RAILNSCALE does not infringe any rights of BMW by selling these models. Unfortunately we do not have the financial resources to start a lawsuit against BMW.'https://railnscale.com/2015/11/22/bmw-3-series-e21/

Despite the statement, however, this is not the end of the story. They had a few multicar sets which included the BMWs, and they still sell those with the BMWs still in. None of these sets are in 1/148 British N. This is where one of their latest releases comes in.

You see, before I knew of this dispute, I was excited to see that their latest release was a 'Car breakdown' set with an open bonnet and a detailed engine. I immediately requested it be upscaled, though I was curious about why its description contained no prototypes details, simply beginning with the phrase 'Not every car is perfect.' Now, guess what the actual car turned out to be.
https://railnscale.com/2018/03/15/car-breakdown/

This seems to be a somewhat vindictive move, rereleasing a banned product by 'wrecking' it. In truth, I would like to use for a show car, not a breakdown. But I'm still not sure. None of the Railnscale range is licensed. They state that the brands they represent on their models belong to their respective owners and are used for information only. It seems none of the other car makers have requested removal, but none of them are available with an open bonnet as yet (Unless they upscale one of their rear engined Fiats). Now, if I buy that 'Car breakdown,' would I be a party to flouting the wishes of its original maker? And, was any of this range of the legal in the first place?

Offline woodbury22uk

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 09:58:44 PM »
I think when this issue was raised in relation to Oxford Diecast I mentioned that OD had already gone through a trademark infringement case and had no intention of repeating the experience. Who has the resources to run a court case against a large car manufacturer? The answer is no-one, so whether the case is justified or not, the prudent course is to stop making the shape, and using the name. Sad, but true it seems.
Mike

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Wondering how many pedants can dance of the head of a pin.


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Offline Rabbitaway

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 11:16:25 PM »
A way around the licence issue is to make generic models that resemble common vehicles.

The cheap Chinese car models that you buy in the bag full do this badly, a more refined set of generic vehicles would be just fine for N gauge, a lot of modern car look very similar anyway. These could likely be sold out at a low price

Oxford have done the same with generic farm machinary such as the bailer and trailers



« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 11:47:33 PM by Rabbitaway »

Offline Webbo

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 12:26:12 AM »
North American car models are poorly represented in N scale as well. About the only relatively recent cars that one can buy from the major manufacturers are Fords. Fords are fine cars, but not having Dodges and Chevs makes model parking lots look a bit strange. I asked Dan Huberman of Pacific Western Rail Systems about this and it seems that this is also a licensing issue. He was of the opinion that General Motors and Chrysler Corp. were afraid of the adverse publicity that might arise from a child choking accident. Presumably, they would not like to see headlines such as "Toddler Chokes to Death on Pontiac".

There are smaller fish using 3D printing etc. who are making recent Dodge and Chev models, but I suspect these are flouting the copyright rules.

Webbo

Offline red_death

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 12:33:11 AM »
There are no copyright rules on making a model.  There are trademark rules potentially on using someone's brand name to describe models and again potentially design rights.  The real problem is who is prepared or able to spend the money to challenge a large company.



Offline Foster

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 03:12:42 AM »
This one might have fitted in the 3-D modelling forums, but I put it here because of the very specific prototype concerned.

Since the subject of licensing was raised in the Oxford Diecast thread (apparently they have to have a license to produce everything, and even to change the scale, and that's one of the main reasons they have so few releases in N), I have been concerned about the cottage industry model kit makers, who has been part of the scene for decades, but could never produce an officially licensed product. It got me wondering, are all my kit built cars illegal?

It seems that a worrying answer has come up; Dutch 3-D print designers Railnscale has withdrawn their individual BMW models from sale. This explanation appears on their website:

'These models have been discontinued because of a legal dispute with BMW on intellectual property rights. We are convinced that RAILNSCALE does not infringe any rights of BMW by selling these models. Unfortunately we do not have the financial resources to start a lawsuit against BMW.'https://railnscale.com/2015/11/22/bmw-3-series-e21/

Despite the statement, however, this is not the end of the story. They had a few multicar sets which included the BMWs, and they still sell those with the BMWs still in. None of these sets are in 1/148 British N. This is where one of their latest releases comes in.

You see, before I knew of this dispute, I was excited to see that their latest release was a 'Car breakdown' set with an open bonnet and a detailed engine. I immediately requested it be upscaled, though I was curious about why its description contained no prototypes details, simply beginning with the phrase 'Not every car is perfect.' Now, guess what the actual car turned out to be.
https://railnscale.com/2018/03/15/car-breakdown/

This seems to be a somewhat vindictive move, rereleasing a banned product by 'wrecking' it. In truth, I would like to use for a show car, not a breakdown. But I'm still not sure. None of the Railnscale range is licensed. They state that the brands they represent on their models belong to their respective owners and are used for information only. It seems none of the other car makers have requested removal, but none of them are available with an open bonnet as yet (Unless they upscale one of their rear engined Fiats). Now, if I buy that 'Car breakdown,' would I be a party to flouting the wishes of its original maker? And, was any of this range of the legal in the first place?

Offline Bornin1980something

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2018, 01:14:41 PM »
^Why did you quote me without comment?

Online The Q

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Re: Railnscale in dispute with BMW
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2018, 07:51:03 AM »
I seem to remember some  football teams getting shirty about producing of the footballer series of locomotives in recent times. I think the lawyers these days just want to make money from everything wanting money to use the "trademark", and of course terrified of being sued for something..

 

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