"Certification" guidelines discussion

Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby j p » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:56 am

Bjoern,
no standards or guidelines have been set (yet). How could you know that they would be useless for you? I would like to know more about your standards if you can spare some time for that.
You don't have to call it certification, it is rather a sort of consistent review, a review done by the same people.
Everyone has his/her own standards and what is good for one is not good for other. Therefore, random reviews would be very subjective.
If the "standard review" level would be set up too low for you, you can still benefit from it because then whatever would fail in the "review" would be rubbish for you. If it would be set too high for you, you could just use some other value from the evaluation scale as your own threshold as a guideline.
Making own reviews is fine, I don't have any problem with it. But can you imagine how difficult it is to find the relevant info? Just take the Gold Coast boxcars as an example. They were and they are one of the best models IMHO. (I have one of each model made by Gold Coast, except for the first UP boxcars, + many more made out of kits)
That does not mean that I would not be able to see what could have been done better (at no additional cost). If I mention it, it is not to prevent people from buying those boxcars, but to let other manufacturers learn from it and avoid making the same mistakes. Would you have a problem with getting better models for the same money? Modelers can use that info too - for inspiration what to improve on the model.

It happened to me several times that I bought "models/kits of nothing". They were maybe OK in the manufacturer's eyes. Now I am more careful when buying new kits or models. Some of those could be fixed, some not. Those which cannot be fixed can be used for Chris' fantasy "Haphazard Creek Line" which is much more tolerant in terms of prototypical (in)correctness.

I am willing to spend my time on this because I believe that it could help to improve the quality. Better quality + better variety could possibly bring more people to TT. More people means more sales for the manufacturers and more new models for all of us.

Jan
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby dileTTante » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:38 pm

'Why Your Posts Will Be Deleted' by Conductor -implies that if a model does not meet standards, the standards committee can't say so because their posts will be deleted. Their reasons for withholding a TTNut seal of approval will have to be kept secret.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Tom Dempsey » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:54 pm

I guess two questions come to mind:

a). What would be the code for a good model that is the result of thievery of intellectual property rights due to the thinly veiled excuse of a scale change?

b). Who decides who is an expert?
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby areibel » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:11 pm

If I may, the "Why your posts will be deleted" is not an off shoot of the certification discussion at all. It was to address a frequent problem. When a new model was mentioned, pics posted, etc. some members immediately questioned the correctness of the prototype, the paint, whatever- it took a lot away from someone who was announcing a new product in TT. That kind of garbage is what we were trying to get rid of. If you want to start another topic on the proper attributes of an ABC boxcar built in 1948 by the General American Steel Car co, OK. Don't turn the original post into a mess. It has happened too many times already and I believe it's cost us at least one manufacturer already.
I know there are two mind sets- one thinks that anything new in TT is a good thing. Get some rolling stock out there, make TT better known. The others think that anything new should be perfect, match a prototype exactly. There are pluses and minuses to both, but all we're asking is to respect the original poster. You don't know why the maker decided to do what he did. If you want to know, ask him directly. Or vote with your wallet, if you don't like it don't buy it. Or better yet, make the correct one yourself and sell it, then you can see how much fun it is!
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Marquette » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:19 pm

Tom Dempsey wrote:a). What would be the code for a good model that is the result of thievery of intellectual property rights due to the thinly veiled excuse of a scale change?


One could argue that the original model is a "thievery" of "IP rights"... it's just a scale change, right?

For my part I would argue that there is no "thievery" where a scale change is involved, on the grounds that the new model is not in any way affecting the market the original was intended for.

The rescaled model would be considered a "derivative work" under copyright law, and the scale change itself would be a significant enough change from the original to fulfil the "transformativeness" requirement for "fair use" to apply.

I believe the answer to the question of justification turns primarily on whether, and to what extent, the challenged use is transformative. The use must be productive and must employ the quoted matter in a different manner or for a different purpose from the original.

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/claw//LevalFrUStd.htm
- Judge Pierre N. Leval, Toward a Fair Use Standard, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 1105 (1990)

(my emphasis, of course)


So, tl;dr, there is no "thievery" in the case of scaling down a pre-existing model, under copyright law. The TT scale model is for an entirely different purpose than the HO scale model, a purpose for which the HO scale model is neither intended nor suitable for, nor does the TT scale model affect sales of the original.

I am not a copyright lawyer, but as a musician I am perhaps a bit more familiar with the subject than the average person.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Tom Dempsey » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:45 pm

Well, as a manufacturer who has a trademark attorney on retainer, I'm merely going by my interpretation of his answer to my question. From a musical standpoint, I guess if he was still around, you could get an opinion based on experience from George Harrison.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Marquette » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:13 pm

Don't really need to do that for music, since there's plenty of legal precedent settling that issue, along with my personal experience in the industry and what I've been told by others in the industry (I'm not a dilettante in the field).

I'd be curious as to what he'd say on the matter. Rulings in various artistic fields would seem to me to back up what I said above,and Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation and Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. would seem to suggest that if a derivative work provides something not previously available that would otherwise remain unavailable (I highlighted that because I think that's the key point there). Note

Arriba's creation and use of the thumbnails [the derivative work] does not harm the market for or value of Kelly's images.


Since a TT scale model would in no way affect the market for the original HO model nor the value of the HO model, I'd think that that ruling would answer this question pretty clearly.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Tom Dempsey » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:59 pm

The point is, the theft is of the model, not of the original thing being modeled. If you do your own due diligence and make a TT Scale model of an actual boxcar, for example, it's your intellectual property. If you take the measurements from an HO Scale model and recreate it in a different scale, it's NOT a model of an actual boxcar, it's a TT Scale model of an HO Scale model. If you now create copies of your TT Scale model based on another companies intellectual property rights utilized to create an HO Scale model, it's copyright infringement. Now, you'll probably get away with it in the legal arena, because the cost of litigation would far outstrip the expected award. For example, if you took a Clover House dry transfer, copied and resized it to TT for your own use, that's OK, but if you now decide to sell more copies of TT scale artwork designed by use of my for example O Scale artwork, that is copyright infringement. In general, based on past experience, I win in court the whole judgement of US$0.04 per copy of your artwork sold (i.e., you sold ten decals elsewhere, you owe me US$0.40 in court ordered licensing fees) but it cost me several thousand US dollars to win. A pyrrhic victory only worthwhile if one is determined to prove a point at any cost. The real cost to TT Scale is that all those "big" manufacturers you guys are always talking about courting come to the conclusion that TT Scale adherents don't respect intellectual property rights, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth, and they don't ever consider doing anything in TT Scale. The reason for that is that when the big boys are considering a move, they talk to the cottage industry first, to get an idea of what sales may be like and where they might be headed. If the first two "not so big" manufacturers at the trade show they talk to speak with venom about the folks in any given minority scale, they may never talk about it again. And big manufacturers change course almost as well as aircraft carriers.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby Marquette » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:36 pm

I'm not sure I've got my point across, then.

The TT scale model of the HO original is a derivative work. Since there are various rulings that indicate that a derivative work that provides something not previously available and would otherwise remain unavailable and that the derivative work does not harm the market for the original, the TT scale model is perfectly legal.

Further, there are other rulings (from cases involving music, but I think they'd be applicable here too, and I'd be pretty confident there have been similar rulings in other fields, too) that say that there is nothing wrong with making profit from a derivative work.

So, to sum up, per the various rulings I've looked at, it is

A: perfectly fine to copy someone else's work, if the resulting work is significantly different and does not affect the market of the original work; and
B: perfectly fine to make money off the derivative work.

From music, again, I do know that you're right in the point that the owner of the original work is entitled to a royalty, although I'm not very familiar with the details of how that works, because under Canadian law, the *distributor* of the work has to deal with that, not the producer (that is, if I do a cover of "Here Comes the Sun" and release it on iTunes, iTunes is the one that has to settle the royalties question with George Harrison's estate, not me).

That's perhaps the only thing that could be questioned - is the manufacturer of the original model getting their due royalties, or have they made an agreement permitting the copying.

And even that could get more complicated, if the TT scale model, before being released, undergoes further changes (for accuracy or whatever), such that it is no longer a direct copy of the original model... at which point it might well be more a model of the 1:1 scale car, and less a model of the HO scale model.
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Re: "Certification" guidelines discussion

Postby CN-TT » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:38 pm

@Jan: Sorry, I don't wanna be rude or anything like that but I have nothing else useful to contribute to this discussion than my already stated opinion.

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