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VegetableStu

[Update x2: reversed with statement] Shell Shock as Wargaming DMCAs Thingiverse users' tank model submissions

https://ritastatusreport.live/2019/04/15/wargaming-sloppy-dmca-takedowns-against-3d-tank-modellers/

 

Apparently WG has already withdrawn their claim and all of the models should be back but they will continue to track down and DMCA models that actually infringe their IPs like models directly ripped off from the game, models using images from the game and models infringing their trademarks (which all can be found from Thingiverse right now). Someone apparently wanted to make their job a lot easier and send way too broad takedown notice.

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I personally think if it was challenged it wouldn't hold up unless 1. the tanks were custom designs or 2. the files were ripped straight from the game and clearly unaltered (or only minimally altered).  Because I am pretty sure the only people who have any legal recourse to a copyright design on old war tanks would be the company that owns the the original designs.  And even then that is a whole different legal case with time and monetary loss (or lack thereof etc).


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A tank model is a tank model, while some tanks like the M4 and Panzer 4 have a lot of variations to them, tanks like the Chi-Ha and Chi-He are not that varied and there are limited existing examples to model off of. If they were DMCA'd for this, it's incredibly unethical in the least and probably illegal at the worst (since WG doesn't hold any rights to the tank designs themselves).

 

The difference here would be the surface textures of the tanks. Each artist would texture their tanks a little differently. Certain things would be the same such as decal placement and overall color as these are historic references. Fine details such as dirt applied to the tank, scratches dents and other patina on the model, grunge around the muzzle break and exhaust would all be unique and would be the only thing that sets them apart.

 

IMO, Wargaming should be actually fixing their game balancing issue and their dying player base instead of worrying about someone uploading their models to a site for model hosting (that as far as I can tell were free to download, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong).


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1 minute ago, DragonTamer1 said:

IMO, Wargaming should be actually fixing their game balancing issue and their dying player base instead of worrying about someone uploading their models to a site for model hosting

comments like this annoy me. This would be completely different teams of people.

 

happens all the time in the DCS world community, "Why is RAZBAM doing texture work on the Harrier when they should be working on adding the missing systems?" 

 

As if the texture artists are also skilled in coding the systems of complex aircraft.

 

Same here, the people that work on gameplay changes would not have the knowledge to go around thingyverse and issue DMCAs on models, there are over 4000 people that work at WG, the people that work on gameplay may not even have seen the actual finished models

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I don't know.


On one hand I know how much Effort Wargaming takes to make those models - they even have a guy running around looking for Infos about Tanks - in the US that job is made by Nick Moran.

Here his Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheChieftainWoT

 

On the other hand I do not like Copyright too much. But I get where they're coming from...

Its not an easy solution and someone stealing the work of someone else is also not nice...

 

Maybe there should be some possiblity of licensing the Tank Models??


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3 hours ago, Arika S said:

comments like this annoy me. This would be completely different teams of people.

 

happens all the time in the DCS world community, "Why is RAZBAM doing texture work on the Harrier when they should be working on adding the missing systems?" 

 

As if the texture artists are also skilled in coding the systems of complex aircraft.

 

Same here, the people that work on gameplay changes would not have the knowledge to go around thingyverse and issue DMCAs on models, there are over 4000 people that work at WG, the people that work on gameplay may not even have seen the actual finished models

What I was referring to was company focus, the driving force for what what gets worked on and is decided by the higher ups. As of right now, Wargaming's company focus is on marketing the hell out of the game in an attempt to bring in new players rather than putting the money towards fixing their broken mm, fixing the horrible balancing issue (looking at you E-25) or addressing any of the communities concerns regarding the game. They've been pushing out progressively more overpowered premium vehicles for years and it has negatively impacted the game play aspect, which is by far the most important aspect of a game for a quick buck. Their focus should be on that instead of marketing, if their focus is on marketing then they should not be causing potential problems by issuing DMCA take-downs that (probably) are false.


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As far as I'm aware, most of those models (speaking of the real-world entities) are public domain. The only models that WG would have protections for would be their own fictitious models. 


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14 hours ago, WereCatf said:

You wouldn't download RAM, either!

 

 

...what, you would? Well, shit.

But you would download Internet speed right?


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20 hours ago, DragonTamer1 said:

IMO, Wargaming should be actually fixing their game balancing issue and their dying player base instead of worrying about someone uploading their models to a site for model hosting (that as far as I can tell were free to download, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

Hah! Wargaming fixing WoT? Not gonna happen, the game is basicly in it's lasts breaths and even stupider developer would know that there really isn't anyway to save WoT. There has already been ~30-40% playerbase decrease over 2 years and mostly that has been periodic when WG has tried "fixing" WoT, ie. change the game to be more profitable because game is only successful as long as it makes money. Not to even mention their tries to get WoT eSports game, I don't even want to know how much they burned money to make those WoT Grand Finals when they heard no bigger eSports communities/leagues would take WoT in them because pay-to-win, and apparently they have ditched that already (in the most recent Developer FAQ).

 

Most of the things they could do to fix WoT are things that would undermine their profits in short term and would require a lot of manhours. Like balancing the whole game so that every tank would have some chances to be competitive would take a lot of time and would require nerfing the most wanted OP premium tanks that they can but on sale in special events and make a fat payday (not to even mention the whale tanks which are OP as long as you use more expensive rounds which more or less means buying one of the money maker premiums or opening your wallet). And their backlog of mistakes and errors that have driven players away is so long and full of big changes that in business mind it's not worth it, better to milk what is still to be milked and ditch the rest. And even if they were to make those changes, there's no promises the playerbase would start to grow when old players would come back and the big issue with WoT is that WG burned their candle from the both ends; Same as Rovio did with Angry Birds, everybody has heard about both of them and those who have been interested are either already players or have at least tried the game, the pool of potential new players is so small that the only big pool would be the ex-players; And with WoT, it's complicated, quite many have left for reasons that are rooted in WG and probably many have left because of WG (everytime shit hits the fan for WG they have tendency to burn every bridge possible and to make a list of promises they don't even try to keep) and changing that is almost impossible.

Offtopic in spoilers.

 

This is quite hard case. Taking a look at the Thingiverse what they still have up and it's very hard to say have they ripped off from WoT or not. Like the E-25 from TigerAce1945s E Series collection (the 5th image) and comparing it to WoTs model from tanks.gg and the main differences are the roadwheels and spare tracks in the right side of the tank. If the removed models are that close (or even closer) it's almost impossible to say wether or not they are ripped off. Modeling a tank from blueprints or from images results usually quite same looking tanks, but when even the extra things (spare parts, tools and other accessories outside of the tank) are almost identical, it goes fast to the county of maybe. Either way if they haven't ripped off WoT they should challenge that DMCA, otherwise they got what they deserve.

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My two cents on this:

IF you take available public domain data and make your own model, all fine and good. For example: Dimension drawings, pictures, technical data pack that is released for public consumption.

IF you ripped a 3D model from game data, no mater how you transform it, it is still stealing. Modifying closed source data and making it yours without permission? You will be in heap of trouble.


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On 4/8/2019 at 4:39 PM, dalekphalm said:

 

In either case, if you took, say, WoT's design specifically, and just ripped it off? That's not legal pretty much regardless. 3D printing a design you stole isn't fair use.

The problem is you cannot 3D print game models. The best example would be r.ipping the 3D models, then adding them to your own game or something. But for them to be 3D printable, there has to be a transformation.

I think the closest alternative would be taking, say, footage from Star Wars and creating a 3D printer model of the Millennium Falcon. But in that case the copyright claim would come from the design of the spaceship itself (you can't make your own unlicensed merchandise), while in this case WoT can't claim ownership of the idea of the tank, only of their specific rendition, which isn't 3D printable. In other words, preparing the 3D printer files by these users was as transformative as preparing the game models by WoT was.

Personally, I find it hard to argue that WoT can take downs these 3D models because they used their game assets at some point of the process, yet WoT can't be taken down by, let's say, anyone who took a tank photo they looked at during the creation of said game assets.

 

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58 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

The problem is you cannot 3D print game models. The best example would be r.ipping the 3D models, then adding them to your own game or something. But for them to be 3D printable, there has to be a transformation.

I think the closest alternative would be taking, say, footage from Star Wars and creating a 3D printer model of the Millennium Falcon. But in that case the copyright claim would come from the design of the spaceship itself (you can't make your own unlicensed merchandise), while in this case WoT can't claim ownership of the idea of the tank, only of their specific rendition, which isn't 3D printable. In other words, preparing the 3D printer files by these users was as transformative as preparing the game models by WoT was.

Personally, I find it hard to argue that WoT can take downs these 3D models because they used their game assets at some point of the process, yet WoT can't be taken down by, let's say, anyone who took a tank photo they looked at during the creation of said game assets.

 

What you describe is still considered only format change which is not covered under transformative. If you take a digital photo out of painting of bottle and try to claim that you have right to publish that photo out to public as yours because it's transformative art from the original painting, you get fucked in the court faster than you can say "objection" because you haven't created transformative art, you have just digitalized the painting even if it would have included color correction and other use of editing.

Only thing that would change that would be if WG was using only 100% blueprint dimensions and wouldn't add anything of their own design to it. As I used the E-25 model as an example where we go legally very dark gray area of ripping off because those additional stuff outside of the tank are quite definetly added by the artist(s) (some historical concept art might have tools in them, but usually they are very rough outlines of the tank and no one would use so much time as drawing tools and spare parts on the tank when the main thing is to draw the tank to show the design and at least I haven't seen any historical (claimed) drawings of the E-25 with tools, spare tracks, towcable and other stuff hanging around it) and with that we could start argue has WG ripped off TigerAce1945 or vice versa because both have added almost identically stuff to the E-25.

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1 hour ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

The problem is you cannot 3D print game models. The best example would be r.ipping the 3D models, then adding them to your own game or something. But for them to be 3D printable, there has to be a transformation.

I don't think the technical transformation from 3D game model to printable object would be considered transformative work under fair use, though. The design is still the same, especially the exterior design.

 

That would be like saying it's okay for me to rip off a Tesla Model S, and sell the rip off as a toy. No... I'd still need a license in order to legally sell it, even though I've "transformed" the design to make it a toy.

 

You have to transform it so much that it is distinct, visually, from the original. And even then, if certain distinct parts of the model are still visually the same as the original design, that'd still be copyright infringement.

1 hour ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

I think the closest alternative would be taking, say, footage from Star Wars and creating a 3D printer model of the Millennium Falcon.

That would be illegal.

1 hour ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

But in that case the copyright claim would come from the design of the spaceship itself (you can't make your own unlicensed merchandise), while in this case WoT can't claim ownership of the idea of the tank, only of their specific rendition, which isn't 3D printable. In other words, preparing the 3D printer files by these users was as transformative as preparing the game models by WoT was.

WoT isn't claiming ownership of the idea of a tank - that's a false equivalency.

 

They are taking ownership over specific tank models and designs. Transforming it into a 3D printable design would only be fair use if:

1. You were copying the original tank design (not specifically the WoT design)

2. And the original design is old enough to be public domain

 

3. Or you take inspiration from the original tank design but modify it such that it no longer substantially copies any real world designs or copyrighted models.

1 hour ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Personally, I find it hard to argue that WoT can take downs these 3D models because they used their game assets at some point of the process, yet WoT can't be taken down by, let's say, anyone who took a tank photo they looked at during the creation of said game assets.

It depends. We don't have enough information to make any clear cut judgement.

 

If all of the models that were taken down were indeed based substantially on the specific WoT in-game models (visually), then yes. They fully well can indeed take them down.

 

If, however, some of the models had nothing to do with WoT, but by coincidence happened to be Tanks that were featured in the game (meaning WoT made a 3D model of the same tank, but the model itself is visually different from the 3D printable model taken down), that would not be a valid take down.

 

There are a lot of variables, so without further information, it's impossible to say whether WoT is right or wrong here.


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Back when I played WoT I remember there were a lot of concept, prototype, and blueprint tanks.
Im not just talking about things like the 'Porsche Tiger'. (Which for the uninitiated, Yes, its that Porsche. The car company, and it was a competing design to what we know as the Tiger 1 Tank.) That actually were fully manufactured but may have never been fielded, or were in very limited numbers.

But there were a lot of Tanks that... Never even got a prototype, or never left the drawing board like the 'O-I', a Japanese super heavy tank, that only exists as drawings.
I wouldn't doubt at minimum if people were creating 3D printable models of these 'prototype' tanks, they were using the models from the game as a reference, because... well there is just flat out no other references. Its not like you can go to a museum taking or finding pictures at any angle you want of the real thing.

EDIT: I have no idea what tanks these people made, but I could totally imagine a Table top game using prototype tanks, or things that never made it onto the field, in order to balance out certain factions, or to have a hypothetical "What if:" setting.

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6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

I don't think the technical transformation from 3D game model to printable object would be considered transformative work under fair use, though. The design is still the same, especially the exterior design.

But the design isn't WoT's, that's the difference with the Star Wars example. The design belongs to whoever designed the actual tanks, WoT only made the in-game models, not the design.

 

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

 

That would be like saying it's okay for me to rip off a Tesla Model S, and sell the rip off as a toy. No... I'd still need a license in order to legally sell it, even though I've "transformed" the design to make it a toy.

That would be exactly like the Millenium Falcon case, because Tesla owns the design, not just a particular rendition. What's different here is that both the game model and the 3D printable model are renditions of a design WoT doesn't own. Hence why I make the photo comparison, since the way in which the 3D printable version and the in-game model are linked is through the use of the in-game model as an input in the process of designing the printable tank. The final product, however, is not the exact same object nor the exact same design, at which point both the game asset and the 3D printable file are implementations of a design not owned by WoT.

 

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

 

You have to transform it so much that it is distinct, visually, from the original. And even then, if certain distinct parts of the model are still visually the same as the original design, that'd still be copyright infringement.

Again, WoT cannot copyright the T-34 design, only what's specific to their in-game asset. You may record a Mozart piece, but you cannot copyright strike me for making another version of the same piece, no matter how much I was inspired by yours. You can, however, strike me for using (large enough bits of) your record in my own. That's where the heart of the matter is here: are these "3D-ripped" based models akin to unauthorized/excessive sampling in music? Or are they more like the "inspiration" example, in that it doesn't matter how much the WoT's models intervened in the intermediate steps, the final product is fundamentally different? (and remember, WoT can only claim the specific product, not the design since it isn't theirs.

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

That would be illegal.

Exactly, but WoT doesn't have the same clear-cut case, as discussed above.

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

WoT isn't claiming ownership of the idea of a tank - that's a false equivalency.

Never said that. But for the Falcon analogy to apply they would need to own the designs for the specific tank models,

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

 

They are taking ownership over specific tank models and designs.

Which arguably aren't theirs either - the key is whether the final product is a 3D printable model of a T-34, or a 3D printable model of a WoT-specific and copyrighted design based on the original design of the T-34, hence my Mozart analogy. It's far from obvious to me that the latter is the "correct" way to look at it, since the call has to be made on whether the final product is copying the other final product above and beyond both being copies of a third-party design. I don't think that whether the WoT game asset was used in the process of coming up with the 3D printable has to make a difference any more than how many times I heard your record, or whether I used tablatures from your version, would matter for a plagiarism case, as opposed to just how similar the final records are.

 

To clarify, I don't think it has to do with fair use in the first place, in my view it goes beyond that.

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

Transforming it into a 3D printable design would only be fair use if:

1. You were copying the original tank design (not specifically the WoT design)

2. And the original design is old enough to be public domain

Well, that's exactly what I'm arguing, except I don't see that as fair use :P They key to me is that ripping the design from the game in order to use it as an input to eventually create the 3D printable design doesn't automatically mean the 3D printable design falls into 1. If the 3D printable is different enough (and here "enough" has to take into account that both products try to be similar to a third design, so they could still be extremely similar) from the in-game design, then how the designers arrived to it does not matter.

 

6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

 

If all of the models that were taken down were indeed based substantially on the specific WoT in-game models (visually), then yes. They fully well can indeed take them down.

 

If, however, some of the models had nothing to do with WoT, but by coincidence happened to be Tanks that were featured in the game (meaning WoT made a 3D model of the same tank, but the model itself is visually different from the 3D printable model taken down), that would not be a valid take down.

 

That's where I disagree - I don't think that ripping or by coincidence matter, it's only the latter part of your statement ("the model is visually different", subject to the caveat that they are bound to be similar to a large extent in all cases) that I think would matter.

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On 4/8/2019 at 3:34 PM, Serin said:

Interesting!

Way back when, Cryptic(studio behind Star Trek Online) was pretty DMCA happy, but only to a point.
It seemed that once a model had been renamed and the edgeflow/general topo of the model was changed, they wouldn't nuke it.
Of course none of that matters now that they've partnered with a stable print manufacturer for their ships.

343i and Microsoft, on the other hand, have been fantastic about the various game-model-based Halo props floating around open source land, and even those reproductions by prop makers.

In any case, if you're doing this: Making the model manifold is just the last step. Subdiv that shit. kids. Learn about edge creasing(or software equiv) and clean then smooth out your parts before thinking about bool'ing everything together.
 

At the point where general topology has been reworked enough to be visually and distinctly different, it's your own work.

Wargaming can only legally claim copyright violations and DMCA's if they can definitely prove that A. It is in fact their model, and B. a sufficient amount of reworking (Such as required for 3D printing ironically. I'm assuming you can't just straight print the game rips) hasn't taken place to essentially make it their own new models.

 

I can very easily go on Google and find a bunch of pictures of tanks and make a model and set it up for whatever and give it out for free. It's mine, I created it. Wargaming can **** off the edge of my **** at that point. They have zero claim to it. Even if I take pictures of their fictitious models and make my own based off of it, it's still mine and I still own it.

The biggest grey area is in the instance where it was initially a rip, but reworked. You don't have their permission in the first place to the base model, and it may just boil down to that, but you also have to do a pretty considerable amount of rework on it.

 

If you think of it in another way, look at Andy Warhol in art, painting Campbells soup cans, Brillo scrubbing pad boxes, and just straight up "rips" from comic book panels. He still technically created those himself, and the courts agree with him.

There's also music. Generally speaking, you can cover a song and put it up on Youtube. You can even make money off of it. What you can't do is just strip the vocals and do karaoke and make money off someone else's instruments etc. This more accurately represents the current situation, because there's also song remixes which get into heated debate. There's actually a lot of people that just take straight up 10 second clips of songs and mash them together to sell. the original creator (And the record label) don't approve of their use, and they change literally nothing about the songs. They're still kind of working on that, but it seems to lean more in favor of the remixer.

 

 

If I had made models on the site that Wargaming DMCAd I'd fight the hell out of it because they don't own ****.

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19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

But the design isn't WoT's, that's the difference with the Star Wars example. The design belongs to whoever designed the actual tanks, WoT only made the in-game models, not the design.

WoT only made in-game models, but from my understanding, they tweaked certain proportions to be unique to their models, so as to not perfectly reflect the real world equivalent. This means that if anyone has made a 3D printable model with the same proportions as the WoT in-game model, that they are directly infringing upon WoT's copyright.

 

Granted, this is made on the assumption that what I was told is true - which it may not be.

 

Regardless, there's also the question of licensing for the real-world designs. Does WoT have exclusive digital rights to the designs? If yes, then any of those designs would also be copyright infringement. In this case, WoT's DMCA takedown requests would be valid.

 

If WoT does not have exclusive licensing for the designs, then any 3D printable designs for tanks still under copyright would still be infringement, just by the original manufacturer (or whoever owns the copyright now) instead of WoT. This would mean WoT's DMCA takedown requests are invalid.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

That would be exactly like the Millenium Falcon case, because Tesla owns the design, not just a particular rendition. What's different here is that both the game model and the 3D printable model are renditions of a design WoT doesn't own. Hence why I make the photo comparison, since the way in which the 3D printable version and the in-game model are linked is through the use of the in-game model as an input in the process of designing the printable tank. The final product, however, is not the exact same object nor the exact same design, at which point both the game asset and the 3D printable file are implementations of a design not owned by WoT.

It doesn't matter if they are exactly the same or not. If the 3D printable designs are substantially based specifically off of the WoT in-game model, then it's infringement.

 

If, on the other hand, the designs are not substantially based off of the WoT in-game model, this is not infringement.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Again, WoT cannot copyright the T-34 design, only what's specific to their in-game asset. You may record a Mozart piece, but you cannot copyright strike me for making another version of the same piece, no matter how much I was inspired by yours. You can, however, strike me for using (large enough bits of) your record in my own. That's where the heart of the matter is here: are these "3D-ripped" based models akin to unauthorized/excessive sampling in music? Or are they more like the "inspiration" example, in that it doesn't matter how much the WoT's models intervened in the intermediate steps, the final product is fundamentally different? (and remember, WoT can only claim the specific product, not the design since it isn't theirs.

This is basically my argument. You are correct, anyone can make a new recording of a Mozart piece, since the original work is public domain.

 

With that in mind, yes it does matter if you were inspired by an existing recording that is still under copyright. It matters specifically how much of their content you simply copied. Inspiration can be both infringement and not infringement. We'd need to examine on a case-by-case basis.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Exactly, but WoT doesn't have the same clear-cut case, as discussed above.

Yes, this is my argument the entire time. We do not have enough information to say whether their claims are legitimate or illegitimate.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Never said that. But for the Falcon analogy to apply they would need to own the designs for the specific tank models,

Not necessarily. Copyright law is complex. If they own an exclusive license to a digital model of the tank design, then it would indeed apply. We do not know if this is true or not. Many car games in the past had exclusive rights, for example.

 

We can only assume they have some sort of license to use the designs (for newer tanks still under copyright), since they would need such a license in order to even make the in-game model.

 

As such, any tank design still under copyright would also need licensing in order to create a 3D printable model. So, whether or not WoT's specific claims are valid, infringement almost certainly still took place.

 

With that in mind, many of the copyright holders probably don't care, and therefore give an implicit license.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Which arguably aren't theirs either - the key is whether the final product is a 3D printable model of a T-34, or a 3D printable model of a WoT-specific and copyrighted design based on the original design of the T-34, hence my Mozart analogy. It's far from obvious to me that the latter is the "correct" way to look at it, since the call has to be made on whether the final product is copying the other final product above and beyond both being copies of a third-party design. I don't think that whether the WoT game asset was used in the process of coming up with the 3D printable has to make a difference any more than how many times I heard your record, or whether I used tablatures from your version, would matter for a plagiarism case, as opposed to just how similar the final records are.

It does make a difference. It depends on how much (if any) of the design of the 3D printable model is specifically referencing the WoT design (most specifically any unique aspects made by WoT that aren't featured on the real world design).

 

If the model is based off of the original real world design, and any similarities are just because they're both based on the same real-world design, then it's not WoT infringement (though it still could be infringement from the original copyright/patent holder).

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

To clarify, I don't think it has to do with fair use in the first place, in my view it goes beyond that.

I don't think fair use has anything to do with this. Period. It's quite simply just not fair use. The question is instead, were the 3D printable designs copied from the specific WoT in-game models.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

Well, that's exactly what I'm arguing, except I don't see that as fair use :P They key to me is that ripping the design from the game in order to use it as an input to eventually create the 3D printable design doesn't automatically mean the 3D printable design falls into 1. If the 3D printable is different enough (and here "enough" has to take into account that both products try to be similar to a third design, so they could still be extremely similar) from the in-game design, then how the designers arrived to it does not matter.

They can certainly use the WoT in-game model as a reference, as long as they're not copying it directly. They have to make it distinct.

19 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

That's where I disagree - I don't think that ripping or by coincidence matter, it's only the latter part of your statement ("the model is visually different", subject to the caveat that they are bound to be similar to a large extent in all cases) that I think would matter.

As I said earlier, it's a complex subject.

 

***Please note: I'm not a lawyer. Terms like copyright and patent may have been used incorrectly (such as saying copyright when patent applies, and vice versa).


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6 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

If, on the other hand, the designs are not substantially based off of the WoT in-game model, this is not infringement.

(...)

With that in mind, yes it does matter if you were inspired by an existing recording that is still under copyright. It matters specifically how much of their content you simply copied. Inspiration can be both infringement and not infringement. We'd need to examine on a case-by-case basis.

I think this narrows it sufficiently: the question I posit (for which I have only a belief-based tentative answer) is, the decision about which of the cases this is should be judged based on comparing the final products only (I lean towards this one), or should the process of obtaining the final products play a role too?

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On 4/11/2019 at 2:20 PM, JZStudios said:

I'm assuming you can't just straight print the game rips) hasn't taken place to essentially make it their own new models.

 


Kinda depends on what you're printing with. Different software will let you get away with different levels of f*ckery.
Shapeways's print software for instance is pretty happy to deal with non-manifold models, I think because part of their workflow is to put everything through some version of netfabb before sending it off to print.
Most of the cheaper home-based FDM slicers generally less so.
Its best practice to take the game model and ensure its good to go, rather than just trying to throw it through a slicer.

Just a note on my use of 'topology' - unno if you're in the field, but something to note is that in this case, topology refers to the flow of verts, edges and faces on a model, not the overall shape of the model itself. Its underlying, I guess. A good example to google is facial topology - just take a look at the differing flows of lines that are possible, and sometimes necessary, on the same shape.
This is where it gets a little complex.
You could have two visually identical models with vastly different topology.
Wat Do with that from an IP perspective? Who knows. I certainly don't.

There are a bunch of ways to bake the same cake, I guess.
 


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30 minutes ago, Serin said:

Shapeways's print software for instance is pretty happy to deal with non-manifold models, I think because part of their workflow is to put everything through some version of netfabb before sending it off to print.

eh? I've had all non-manifold models rejected from sending to print using their online preview model processor ._. you have a screenshot of a non-manifold model passing?

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58 minutes ago, Serin said:

-snip-
You could have two visually identical models with vastly different topology.
Wat Do with that from an IP perspective? Who knows. I certainly don't.

There are a bunch of ways to bake the same cake, I guess.
 

The topology doesn't matter. For copyright infringement a visual indenticality is enough, it doesn't matter how you attained it.

Like if there was a bronze sculpture somewhere and you were to make identical 3D print out of it and claim it's yours, you would be commiting copyright infringement. If we move to this case there would be a old bronze sculpture from which someone else had made a 3D model and added a tophat on it and you were to make a 3D printable version out of that 3D model with the tophat and all, even if the original bronze sculpture would be in public domain you would still commit copyright infringement. Also it doesn't matter if you were to make that sculpture out of clay instead of 3D printing it, you would still commit copyright infringement.

No matter how much work and what materials you used to make a copy out of someone elses work, you are still commiting copyright infringement if that work isn't in public domain or you have permission. Even if that other persons work was based on something that is in public domain, if that person has altered the original for their work (changed proportions, added details, generally made something that differenciates their work from the original) and you were to copy their work with their changes to the original, you are commiting copyright infringement because that other persons work isn't in public domain even if the original is.

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10 hours ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

I think this narrows it sufficiently: the question I posit (for which I have only a belief-based tentative answer) is, the decision about which of the cases this is should be judged based on comparing the final products only (I lean towards this one), or should the process of obtaining the final products play a role too?

I would suggest that largely, yes, you're correct.

 

Unless the only way you were able to obtain a model was to steal one not yet released to the public. But I think we can safely say that's outside of the scope.


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Where WG might have a point:

If the models are directly ripped from their game, they hold the copyright on them.

Here's why they are still wrong (at least morally, imo):

Even in that case, these people aren't competing with WG's product in any way. They don't sell these models for money and they are placing them in a completely different market. Nobody in their right mind can claim that a tank model for 3d printing is a product competing with World of Tanks.

 

WG wasn't missing out on any money due to this, they just decided they didn't want hobbyists to 3d print tanks because... reasons.

 

Of course, if these weren't actually their models they'd also be legally wrong.


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13 hours ago, VegetableStu said:

eh? I've had all non-manifold models rejected from sending to print using their online preview model processor ._. you have a screenshot of a non-manifold model passing?


Piles, but not with like... big gaping holes in em.
Just files that've not been booled into one lump.
Was a while ago though since I uploaded anything so lazily. And gods know SW has gotten a lot less helpful lately.


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19 hours ago, Serin said:


Kinda depends on what you're printing with. Different software will let you get away with different levels of f*ckery.
Shapeways's print software for instance is pretty happy to deal with non-manifold models, I think because part of their workflow is to put everything through some version of netfabb before sending it off to print.
Most of the cheaper home-based FDM slicers generally less so.
Its best practice to take the game model and ensure its good to go, rather than just trying to throw it through a slicer.

Just a note on my use of 'topology' - unno if you're in the field, but something to note is that in this case, topology refers to the flow of verts, edges and faces on a model, not the overall shape of the model itself. Its underlying, I guess. A good example to google is facial topology - just take a look at the differing flows of lines that are possible, and sometimes necessary, on the same shape.
This is where it gets a little complex.
You could have two visually identical models with vastly different topology.
Wat Do with that from an IP perspective? Who knows. I certainly don't.

There are a bunch of ways to bake the same cake, I guess.
 

The problem with using topology flow as a basis is that there's some fairly set standards. Everyone makes faces in pretty much the same way. Not to mention that there's tools for retopology, so. In terms of things like tanks in this instance, they're typically a bunch of flat surfaces, although yeah, arbitrary vertices in space making those faces being the same 3d location is unlikely.

 

Now that I think about it, the retopology thing is kind of interesting, because if you rip a model from a game it'll be triangulated, and then if you want to render it or make changes it's easier to work with quads, and the retopology tools do that almost automatically. Still think it would qualify as reworked though.

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