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  Banning sale of unlicensed spacecraft models

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Author Topic:   Banning sale of unlicensed spacecraft models
Retro Rocket
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Posts: 245
From: Santa Paula, Ca,. USA
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 09-02-2010 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Licensing is really tough on garage kit and small shops because of the money needed up front before you can even sell or advertise a model is substantial.

I'd like to see eBay work with Boeing, Lockheed, Virgin, to ban unlicensed models from their listings.

Editor's note: This topic was split off another thread.

drummond93
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From: Huntsville, AL United States
Registered: Jun 2010

posted 09-02-2010 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drummond93     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, etc., did try to claim licensing rights for all models of their military aircraft at one time (I followed this from the plastic model perspective - Monogram, Revell, etc.) but they lost when it was shown that the aircraft, ships, tanks, etc., when purchased by the U.S. government had released all rights to the U.S. government.

So if it's the military (and by extension, NASA) models you're wanting pulled from eBay - good luck...

Apollo Redux
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From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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posted 09-02-2010 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That makes perfect sense.

Retro Rocket
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From: Santa Paula, Ca,. USA
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posted 09-14-2010 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a common misunderstanding of commercial product licensing. I could give you the contact info for Vulcan (Virgin Galactic), Equity Management (Lock-Mart) and Boeing's licensing contacts and they can explain it better than I can.

If you look at any current model kits or the recent toys like the 1/18th BBI F-18 or F-16 you'll see this "Produced under a license with Boeing" printed on the box, or on the F-18 underbelly.

Since all of my models so far have been produced for NASA or the contractors directly I don't have to have the license, but I do for the commercially sold models.

A typical license fee is 5% per model and you have to carry a $2M average liability insurance bond that covers the contractor against any harm your product might cause, like one of the air to eyeball missiles the model comes with or any small choking parts.

Also your product needs to be approved by the contractor so the decal/logos are correct (ex. The X-33 looks like a racecar).

NASA even requires the correct use of its markings.

drummond93
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From: Huntsville, AL United States
Registered: Jun 2010

posted 09-14-2010 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drummond93     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Retro Rocket - do you have any insight into the licensing of commercially out-of-production (think WWII-era planes, ships, etc) items? - isn't there a period of time after which the trademark expires?

Also, do you also collect wind tunnel models? Where do one-of-a-kind items like those fit into the trademark/licensing issue?

MiliputMan
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posted 09-14-2010 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MiliputMan   Click Here to Email MiliputMan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So if I plan to sell figures of Neil Armstrong wearing an A7L suit, is it free of license issues?

Do I have to contact all these people?

  • Hamilton Sundstrand (previously Hamilton Standard)
  • ILC Dover (previously International Latex Corporation)
  • NASA
  • Neil Armstrong
I always thought that this stuff was okay-to-use since it append so long ago. Isn't there some patent-license rule making all this stuff part of the public domain after some 25 years?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-14-2010 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't speak (without doing some research) as to the companies you list, but if you plan to commercially market "Neil Armstrong" figures, then you most certainly do need to contact Neil Armstrong and receive permission to use his name if not also his likeness.

Retro Rocket
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From: Santa Paula, Ca,. USA
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 09-15-2010 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Retro Rocket   Click Here to Email Retro Rocket     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry for the late responses, I've been in the hospital.

The trademarks go as far back as the companies that produced them are part of either Evil Empire 1 (Boeing) who owns NAA so the WW2.0 Mustangs are licensed, trademarked items. And unfortunately for me, all the X-15's.

The same is true for Evil Empire 2 (Lock-Mart) and that includes all of Lockheed's projects including the P-38 Lightning.

I'm not sure who license's N-G, but I do know the lady who handles most of the moonwalkers. Good luck getting Armstrong's okay, he recently fired his barber who sold Neil's hair for $3,000! If Mono/Revell couldn't get him for their 40th Anniversary kits, I wonder if anyone has?

The main reason for licensing is not to get a few hundred or thousand from a garage kit modeler, the time the licenser spent costs more than what the contractors would make in royalty fees.

The key word here is: LIABILITY

Any products you make that could be tied in any way to the contractor will need to carry the Product Liability Insurance naming the contractor as one of the parties covered.

The reason for this is simple: LAWYERS in America. Anytime some gets hurt, the lawyers will only take cases with deep pocket defendants. So see it's Boeing's fault they approved the model that had the missile that had the sharp plastic nose that poked my kids eyeball, therefore Boeing needs to pay!!!!!

That's the real reason for licensing and it's requirements for legal protection.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3023
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-15-2010 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Retro Rocket:
The trademarks go as far back as the companies that produced them are part of either Evil Empire 1 (Boeing) who owns NAA so the WW2.0 Mustangs are licensed, trademarked items.
Subsequently sold to UTC/Pratt & Whitney...

MiliputMan
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posted 09-15-2010 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MiliputMan   Click Here to Email MiliputMan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to all for the answers. Sorry if I'm going in every direction with this, but this rubbing me the wrong way.

I have to say that this licensing thing just plain sucks. With all that how can anybody make any art relating to the 'real' world. Common sense must come back in the legal world ASAP. How can we promote something we love if we can be sued for printing its logo on our club's jacket?

Personally I think that the distinction should be between 'official art' and 'non-official art'. That way no creation is prevented but the consumer can still choose between official and non-official products.

I think I'm going to scrap my three current space projects:

  • Chris Hadfield on EVA, 1/12 scale
  • Canadarm2, 1/12 scale
  • Neil Armstrong suiting up, 1/10 scale
I was kind of afraid about the details of licensing and was always pushing to later. No I guess I was actually sticking my head in the sand instead of researching this in the first place.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-15-2010 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MiliputMan:
With all that how can anybody make any art relating to the 'real' world.
Let's be clear, you can make whatever you want -- for yourself. Art is not what is at risk here.

Profit is.

If you want to make a model of Neil Armstrong, Chris Hadfield or Canadarm2 for history's and art's sake, no one is going to stop you.

But if you want to make money off someone else's name, likeness or trademark, then shouldn't the person or right's holder have not just a say, but the say?

All times are CT (US)

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