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seee the state im in nooow

Bricks Had Been S**t: LEGO issues takedowns of custom-LEGO objects on Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory, incl those that don't exist in the LEGO partlist

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Posted · Original PosterOP

source: users everywhere (see reddit threads)

via: ... well, /r/3dprinting, but not many outlets have picked up on this yet. I'll update when there are.

UPDATE: via:

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printing-community-hit-by-lego-takedown-notices-162451/

https://www.stonewars.de/news/lego-geht-gegen-modelle-auf-3d-druck-plattformen-vor/

 

Reddit embed spoilerboxed to conserve vertical space

Spoiler

 

 

once again, this happened too quickly to get a sense of what was removed, but the different thing this round is there's a 2TB tarball of (almost) every single model in thingiverse prior to the sweep

which... isn't exactly space efficient, considering it's... 2TB of everything, and indexing the millions of uploads for a single term would take some time to say the least.

 

Quote

3D Printing Industry

When asked why the Lego Group has issued takedown notices, the company was less forthcoming. Ida Rosendahl, Associate Manager Corporate Communications at the Lego Group explained they have a high volume of queries. Rosendahl says it could be weeks before LEGO provides an explanation as to why it has issued trademark and copyright takedown notices against platforms and individuals sharing fan art.

there are mentions of a possibility that The LEGO Group has issued takedowns of every single listing with LEGO in the name, and while that's a discussion for trademark disputes, taking them down without recourse is a bit much. Especially when some parts aren't even designed by LEGO

 

uewolervutp31.jpg

e.g. this tank thread wheel here

 

 

 

The LEGO Group has had been in a legal battle with Lepin in China for cloning bricks and copying visual representation on boxes (extra reading). While there's no way to search for users IRL who 3D print existing official LEGO parts for offline personal use (the blueprints exist on the internet. also calipers exist), those who do share unique and non-generic parts (that's not made possible by LEGO) on thingiverse seems to have been painted by the same brush.

 

Quote

3D Printing Industry

There are many life-long LEGO fans in the 3D printing community and beyond who often find novel and entertaining ways to creatively express the pleasure the brand brings them. “I absolutely love the endless creativity that LEGO brings,” explains Wahlvåg, “As a 3D designer, I wanted to have fun and create human-scale versions of some of their iconic bricks where I also challenged myself by adding electronics.” The result was a series of videos including a 3D printable scaled-up LEGO Space Blaster and a “3D Printed Human Scale Working LEGO Parrot”.

 

 

Personally I'm against removing those completely unique parts, but if their reason for removal is because "LEGO" was in the entry, i guess they have their right to exercise trademark protection.

Although they risk being viewed as the company who encouraged creativity in their parts and not with other creators ._.

 

maybe come up with a specific-generic term, LEGO Group?

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6 minutes ago, Twilight said:

this is BS. it's basically a how to alienate your entire loyal fanbase and get everyone angry move.

And from the other POV these things were almost certainly infringing on copyright and/or trademark and TLG are within their rights to put a stop to it.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
15 minutes ago, Twilight said:

this is BS. it's basically a how to alienate your entire loyal fanbase and get everyone angry move.

only against the fanbase of 3D printer makers though ._. I don't think vanilla LEGO enthusiasts are being swayed by this

personally if they're naming it something else, LEGO would be closing both eyes, but that comes with the search penalty since everyone calls those connections in that shape "LEGOs".

 

I guess there's that balance. you want super niche people to associate with your brand, but not competitors or pirates to do this in full production scale.

 

also TIL Banacules got a DMCA for his 3D printed LEGO video, but they let him go for renaming the term to "LEGO-compatible" in the description ._.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Arika S said:

to be honest i'm surprised it took this long.

 

3d printing does not allow you to infringe on IP, it's not a free and open license to do what ever you like.

so far this is just concerning the use of the name in listings (unless there's more info about this takedown later), but I don't believe (on another aspect) that LEGO should take down parts that are mechanically different to what they've been producing since the first brick

 

if the parts are plain 2x4 bricks and 2x2 slopes and 32-teeth gears etc etc etc etc etc then yeah those should be taken down, since LEGO is still selling them.

 

i don't think I've covered the entire scope of things here, so i'm still open to have my mind changed. just that i see the fun and utility in making a lot of not-LEGOs connect to actual LEGO parts

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1 hour ago, KarathKasun said:

This is not BS, Lego patented the system in addition to the parts.  In fact, this lawsuit is just a re-run of many that came before it.

 

1 hour ago, Master Disaster said:

And from the other POV these things were almost certainly infringing on copyright and/or trademark and TLG are within their rights to put a stop to it.

they took down parts that LEGO themselves does not make. how is that fair? 


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14 minutes ago, Twilight said:

 

they took down parts that LEGO themselves does not make. how is that fair? 

Because if they are being advertised as LEGO pieces, that's where you start to fall into the trademark rabbit hole, a Trademark needs to be very carefully handled.

Because it's written so well, here it is from an official announcement from TLG from a similar situation a while ago

 

A trademark must be able to distinguish the goods of one company from those of another. If a trademark loses this ability, the owner may find that it can no longer prevent others from using the trademark. An owner must prevent the improper use of its trademarks to prevent the public from being deceived. This is why the LEGO Group is very active around the world in making sure that its trademarks are not misused.

 

If they don't enforce their rights, they could easily lose their ability to prevent anyone from using the name "LEGO" when referring to any similar plastic bricks. they are essentially avoiding the name "LEGO" from becoming a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym.

 

If they were directly being listed as LEGO bricks/pieces then TLG wouldn't be able to do much, making something compatible with an existing product is not against trademark rules, but marking it specifically with "LEGO" does mean they have to protect their trademark or risk losing it.

 

To be clear, they are not against people 3d printing things for themselves, besides the fact they cannot actually stop people, it's the sharing it online that they don't approve of.


Judge the product by it's own merits, not by the Company that created it.

 

 

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Well... If it's infringing their copyright, they have every rights to do so... 
Though going after parts that are not clones of existing LEGO blocks, is scummy... But I guess it's because it's "compatible" with LEGO meaning it goes against their copyright as well? I dunno how this whole thing would work.


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39 minutes ago, Twilight said:

 

they took down parts that LEGO themselves does not make. how is that fair? 

Because Lego own the intellectual property rights, copyright and trademark rights to Lego Bricks. The fact Lego didn't make them themselves is EXACTLY why they took them down.


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1 hour ago, KarathKasun said:

This is not BS, Lego patented the system in addition to the parts.  In fact, this lawsuit is just a re-run of many that came before it.

AFAIK The Lego Patents ended, thats why Mega blocks are lego compatible and are even on the market.

https://www.megaconstrux.com/en-us/

I remember it was a big deal that Lego failed to extend the patent which allowed Third Party companies to make Lego compatible blocks.

http://www.beemlaw.com/billion-dollar-lego-patent/

 

So AFAIK Lego can't take down standard Bricks or Custom pieces as long as it does not have Logos on them. but the Unique lego brick designs have there own copyrights.


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2 hours ago, The Benjamins said:

AFAIK The Lego Patents ended, thats why Mega blocks are lego compatible and are even on the market.

https://www.megaconstrux.com/en-us/

I remember it was a big deal that Lego failed to extend the patent which allowed Third Party companies to make Lego compatible blocks.

http://www.beemlaw.com/billion-dollar-lego-patent/

 

So AFAIK Lego can't take down standard Bricks or Custom pieces as long as it does not have Logos on them. but the Unique lego brick designs have there own copyrights.

Pretty much this, but there is one other problem.
I believe Mega Bloks, and other brick toys can't directly say "Compatible with Lego!" or mention Lego. They can skirt around this by saying "Compatible with other major brands" and such. These things on the Thingverse probably directly said "Lego" which would be a trademark infringement.

And of course they mentioned Lego because the public in general uses it as a word to describe that certain kind of building brick rather then the actual brand.
Lego for YEARS has been fighting against being "Genericized". Back in the 70s and 80s in the manuals they put requests to call the bricks "Lego Bricks" rather then just "Legos". And I don't doubt ever since their patent expired they have gotten more worried about that.

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i am fine with them taking down direct copies, i'm not fine with them taking down original things.

 

i can see why they wanted anything with LEGO in the name taken down, but i've seen many other brick things that say lego and are selling like crazy in some areas


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Just call them something other than LEGO and re-upload the designs as long as they're custom made pieces. I'm sure the community can come up with a name that doesn't infringe on LEGO's trademark and as long as they don't make direct copies of currently available pieces there shouldn't be an issue.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 minutes ago, imreloadin said:

Just call them something other than LEGO and re-upload the designs as long as they're custom made pieces. I'm sure the community can come up with a name that doesn't infringe on LEGO's trademark and as long as they don't make direct copies of currently available pieces there shouldn't be an issue.

problem is how to get everyone on board with an agreed-upon term instead of many. especially with newcomers who don't know what to search for

 

although.... 3DGO? L3PO? 3EGO? CustomGO? Blockies? Tekxs? ?

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Just now, VegetableStu said:

problem is how to get everyone on board with a term instead of many. especially with newcomers who don't know what to search for

 

although.... 3DGO? CustomGO? Blockies? Tekxs? ?

I prefer LfuckEyouGguysO

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5 hours ago, KarathKasun said:

This is not BS, Lego patented the system in addition to the parts.  In fact, this lawsuit is just a re-run of many that came before it.

Which means you can't sell parts using that system if you're not LEGO - but that's not what's going on here.


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5 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

LAWGO Litigation action pack. Image via JSS Barristers.

 

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Sooooo...

 

Is LEGO becoming nintendo?

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6 hours ago, KarathKasun said:

This is not BS, Lego patented the system in addition to the parts.  In fact, this lawsuit is just a re-run of many that came before it.

Then Lego is dead to me. The road runs both ways. Burn down the bridge, you can live alone on your island.

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5 hours ago, Arika S said:

Because if they are being advertised as LEGO pieces, that's where you start to fall into the trademark rabbit hole, a Trademark needs to be very carefully handled.

Because it's written so well, here it is from an official announcement from TLG from a similar situation a while ago

 

A trademark must be able to distinguish the goods of one company from those of another. If a trademark loses this ability, the owner may find that it can no longer prevent others from using the trademark. An owner must prevent the improper use of its trademarks to prevent the public from being deceived. This is why the LEGO Group is very active around the world in making sure that its trademarks are not misused.

 

If they don't enforce their rights, they could easily lose their ability to prevent anyone from using the name "LEGO" when referring to any similar plastic bricks. they are essentially avoiding the name "LEGO" from becoming a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym.

 

If they were directly being listed as LEGO bricks/pieces then TLG wouldn't be able to do much, making something compatible with an existing product is not against trademark rules, but marking it specifically with "LEGO" does mean they have to protect their trademark or risk losing it.

 

To be clear, they are not against people 3d printing things for themselves, besides the fact they cannot actually stop people, it's the sharing it online that they don't approve of.

OK. We will ban your account if you mention Intel or AMD, as those are trademarks. Oh, and every LTT video that uses those 2 words.

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