LITTLE ENGINES

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Atkinson_Railroad
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Atkinson_Railroad » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:26 pm

There are multiple views and valid contributions on this discussion thread that will continue to simmer for years to come.

One point not mentioned in the conversation until trivettj just highlighted it… is how everyone modeling railroad subject matter is copying someone’s earlier idea whether they want to think so or not.

Outdoor recreational size railroading has been (so far) fortunate enough to not be hit by actual railroad equipment manufacturers for copying –their-- products.

Some among the group here may recall when American Motors went out of business and was purchased by Chrysler. Model makers like AMT, Revell, and other’s had to cease production of their plastic Jeep models at the time. They wrestled the same problem again with NASCAR.

Marty summed up this [thread mess] earlier by saying, “We are a small, tight-knit community - I think a little common courtesy goes a long way. If you're thinking of offering something for an existing design, talk to the person who has that design.”

The level headed point Daris Nevil calls attention to is… The forum crowd here is “hanging” a fellow railroading enthusiast.
How is this tactic or approach of [Internet Mob] a productive sales pitch for the avocation?

It’s not.

Welcome RICHK back to the forum. He’ll decide for himself whether it’s safe to return.

In the meantime, have some more turkey, and get back in the shop where the real work gets done.

Atkinson’s Office

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Comstock-Friend
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Comstock-Friend » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:41 pm

I do remember while the LALS Board Secretary that we received a letter from UP looking for licensing for anything on the property with a UP logo. That included private members engines, rolling stock, etc. I think we pretty much ignored it as the Club was not making money on it.

Same concern I have building a CP-173/V&T #18 Dayton. Central Pacific/Southern Pacific now owned by Uncle Pete, Uncle Pete claims rights to all UP property and their predecessor lines. I run across a UP corporate lawyer at various NSRM history symposiums. Not a particularly accommodating gentleman...

John

Mountaineer
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:16 pm

IMHO, the topic inthe last post, and some of the others, is just plain crazy. This is a hobby. In my case to get away from silliness at work. Once it becomes a hard nosed business, I have no interest and will shun. Having said that, I do support a few individual suppliers and want to see them stay in the hobby and not get screwed by copy artists. Let's not get silly though, and think this hobby is a way to get rich.

Mountaineer.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:57 pm

trivettj wrote:I would always buy a set of plans to go with the locomotive build but I have a question did anyone ever pay Baldwin or any of the other locomotive builders or designers for there drawings if they were originally copied to make a scale locomotive? I have just always been curious of this or does copying there work not count?
I'm not an attorney but I did teach sessions on copyright. This is what I believe to be the case: Those drawings would have been made during the term of the Copyright Act of 1909 or perhaps a previous copyright act. In that case, they would only gain copyright if they were published and carried the copyright symbol, a c in a circle, and the words "copyright date name of copyright holder." And in that case the term of the copyright would only be for 28 years, renewable for a second term of 28 years. Publication is when the drawings are first made available to the public. If publication happened before 1976 when the new copyright law took effect, and they were published without the copyright notice, they are public domain. Works published after 1976 are automatically copyright, and do not have to be published or carry a copyright notice.

I seriously doubt that original Baldwin drawings would be copyright. By the time those drawings would have been made available to the public they would most likely have no value to Baldwin and not be worth the effort to protect them.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:11 pm

Comstock-Friend wrote:I do remember while the LALS Board Secretary that we received a letter from UP looking for licensing for anything on the property with a UP logo. That included private members engines, rolling stock, etc. I think we pretty much ignored it as the Club was not making money on it.

...
Of course, it would be terrible public relations for UP to go after some hobbyists playing with trains. The negative news would be more harmful than any benefit they might gain from making everyone paint over their engines.

However, I seem to recall an episode years ago when the RRs went after the HO and other small scale manufacturers on this. As I recall, the rationale by the RRs was that if they did not take steps to protect their trademarks, then they might lose control over them and folks who the RRs did not want using their trademarks would have an avenue to use them without repercussions. We could envision, for example, a situation where a logo was being used in a way that would be embarrassing to the RR. Unfortunately, it all comes down to folks who have less than the best intentions, and the nature of our legal system. It's too bad that not everyone will do the right thing absent some forceful restriction.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

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Comstock-Friend
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Comstock-Friend » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:33 am

Greg_Lewis wrote:However, I seem to recall an episode years ago when the RRs went after the HO and other small scale manufacturers on this.
Yep, this was at the same time that UP's efforts were making headlines in Model Railroader, RMC, etc. They sent all the Live Steam clubs letters too. It sure soured quite a few of us on UP (although I did vote in the R&LHS Pomona election to return the 4014 to the UP for restoration!)...

John

Steve Alley
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Steve Alley » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:36 pm

Sir
Yes what ever it takes to complete your Locomotive is in my best interest for you. You see you ask like a normal person would ask for. I respect that. Your intent is honest and this is old school and proper manors. All we ask as suppliers is to make contact and ask a reasonable question. You did this.
Drawings can be order as needed. Most is $12.00 to $14.00 per page. So smaller prints are cheaper. But note I will not send a digital file. Once out there is open for problems.
Please contact me and we can get going on your wish list. Mary Thanks Given and Christmas to you and your family.
Thank You
Steve Alley

Steve Alley
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Steve Alley » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:57 pm

Pontiacguy1 wrote:Several years ago, I started building a pair of Allen Americans. I purchased castings as I could afford them from Gene. I only purchased one copy of the plans. Gene was aware of what I was doing.
Am I going to have to buy another set of drawings so that I can have permission to build the second locomotive? Also, if I happen to need some more castings, would Steve sell them to me? I was thinking about some valve gear parts, maybe also upgrade to some of those new cast iron parts too. I purchased the most critical parts so that I would be able to finish the locomotives, even if I had to fab some items. I haven't worked on these in several years, but I absolutely intend to do this once the kids get up bigger, etc...
My intention was to build two locomotives and keep one then sell one. I would recoup my costs plus donate part of the sales to my church and to the local railroad club.
Now, I'm sure Steve is a real stand-up kind of guy, and I don't want to mess him, or anybody, over. So, what would be the proper thing here? Do I need to buy another set of drawings or no? I will if that's what I need to do.
I understand completely about protecting your intellectual property, which is why I ask the question.

Now here is a very good question, Yes you can built this per the drawings you have, but you said your going to built two and sell one. This is were me and Mike say this is not correct. The intent and purpose is for one engine. This is what this has come to. You see we sell far more prints then engines being built, the hobby has always been this way. Us suppliers are making most of the living or staying a float this way. They should be as if they are a casting. Now the next person is going to ask, well if I am going to built two and my intent was two all along. All I can say things change. This is do to the way others have move this hobby. Not my intent or wanted to make this move. If I do it for one then I have to do it for all. But just ask and we will come up with a working relationship. Next is the guy that builds a lot of engines. Well we are looking at a contract now. Another instance that I never intended to do or implement. You see one bad egg has curated a big mess.,
Also check and you will see, Marty and Mike have pointed out in the past this came up. They have prove that the copy drawings had the same mistakes as the originals. They could not afford then and now after all this its still being push and not understanding the mistake or problem it has raise.
Steve

rrnut-2
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by rrnut-2 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:49 pm

Ok, with everything that has been said, here is a what if.

One of the suppliers has gone out of business, and I can't locate the heirs/or get permission to make the parts available to the hobby again.
Do the same rules apply? What is every bodies thoughts?

Jim B

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Greg_Lewis » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:13 pm

rrnut-2 wrote:Ok, with everything that has been said, here is a what if.

One of the suppliers has gone out of business, and I can't locate the heirs/or get permission to make the parts available to the hobby again.
Do the same rules apply? What is every bodies thoughts?

Jim B
The best thing to do is to check with an attorney. I would say that those heirs still own the rights, so you can't copy the features that make those parts uniquely the product of that supplier. But items of general utility or knowledge are not copyrightable or patentable, and much of railroad technology falls into that category. So it depends on exactly what it is that makes those parts unique to that supplier. If you work around that and do your own research of the prototype, your own engineering, and so on, I would think that you would be in the clear. But, again, check with an attorney just to be sure.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of non-interchangeable parts.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

AnthonyDuarte
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by AnthonyDuarte » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:59 pm

Most of my sentiments have in some way been expressed, but I would like to add my thoughts on this subject.

This is, as has been noted, a hobby. I would like to see it thrive and continue, especially with regard to getting new faces interested in building steam locomotives. I think most vendors as well as myself would be glad to assist people with their projects in any way that we can, but if our hard work is shared freely among our customers, this hobby will no longer have suppliers.

I put every extra penny I have into making products for this hobby as well as countless hours of R&D on top of my full time job. I know I won’t get rich, but I love the work, and the people I meet along the way make it all worthwhile.

Marty is absolutely right. A little common courtesy goes a long way. If you want to do something that might be in an ethical gray area, just talk to the supplier. I’d be willing to wager that 99/100 times there won’t be a problem, or at least not one that can’t be amiably resolved.

For the record, after over a year of negotiations with Barry proved unsuccessful, I spoke with him at length about starting my own company making injectors before taking the plunge. Had no intentions of creating a similar product if it meant creating an enemy. It’s a very different feeling doing something in plain sight and with permission than wondering if it may be unethical.

As for our models being copies of other company’s products... While true, most steam locomotive technology is no longer under copyright, and most is no longer protected by its patent either. As many know, I’m working on making scale replicas of products from the Nathan Manufacturing Co. as faithfully as I am able, and there’s no need to worry about paying a licensing fee to Nathan since the company is long gone, and its IP is now public domain. That said, I will of course make donations to the organizations and societies that maintain the drawings I use to create my products. It’s simply the right thing to do.

No comment on Plan Ahead Designs.

-Anthony (Eccentric Engineer)

Cary Stewart
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Re: LITTLE ENGINES

Post by Cary Stewart » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:27 pm

Here is some old history related to this subject. Rail Road Supply Co. was sued by Disney C0. shortly after he put the CP 173 on the market. In a court battle it was determined that there were no interchangeable parts between the then out of production Disney engine and the RRSC version. It was determined that anyone can make a model of a full sized object. SP has released a large blueprint drawing for Disney to use as a start in the design. This was probably in the early to mid 1950s. With that both parties built engines. The Disney engine was a one off but the patterns and other info were still extant and as a result of many requests they marketed a kit. Dick Bagley took up the sales for a time. If you look closely at the two versions you can see differences such as the dome capitals, the cab, etc. The RRSC engine is not as good scale model as the Disney engine but could with some effort be brought to a fine scale model. By the way the much published photo of CP 173 with steam breaks on the drivers is from the early 1880s and is a factory photo of the engine as it came out of the shop following a major overhaul. One of our LALS members is almost complete building a RRSC version to that photos likeness. It is black with red wheel centers, black tires and some very interesting colors in the lettering on the tender. The builder is a researcher of old locomotive color schemes.
If you are a builder of any prototype and use the railroads logos and lettering it is OK. If you sell multiples of it you may be asked to pay tribute to the original RR for a commercial use. I don't think this has happened yet. One positive thing about our hobby is that we offer free advertising to the RRs.
Best, Cary Stewart

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