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Discussion in 'General Engine Discussion' started by davidyat, Mar 1, 2019.
Ah have now read an earlier post by Dr Jo and he already said this was the case.
They certainly do, but the issue is whether the new copyright owner actually wants to do anything with the copyright or not (or if they even know it exists). If they just ignore it for whatever reason (don't think it's worth it, can't deal with it, just too hard, etc.) then access may well be lost. Some copyright holders, when they know the end is coming, make arrangements within the community to keep plans/castings available but in the case of an unexpected event it often falls to the family to sort it - and if they're anything like my family they may have absolutely no knowledge of the hobby or even about any copyrights they now own.
I find the copyright thing interesting as regards the model industry. For instance as a aircraft modeller I have built a number of scale aircraft over the years, so by definition I am constantly copying somebody else’s designs, just in a smaller size. As copyright as far as I understand also applies to form, i.e. shape, if I then sell the design of my model am I breaking copyright law.
In the case of this particular engine it’s a small copy of a VW Boxer engine, in fact in the article Brian states he sat down with the Haynes manual in front of him and drew this engine. And it is clearly probably 90% a small VW Boxer, copied from the Haynes manual. So at what point does it become your design with a right to copyright, when you clearly have copied somebody else’s design with just a few modifications.
So as I am now redrawing this engine and will probably make a few mods on the way can I rightfully or morally claim it now as my design with the right to copyright protection. I must stress I would not do this I would probably offer the drawings for free but it’s an interesting subject.
Crankcase of VW Boxer, Righthand finshed Left not quite bu
t I'm nursing a sore throat runny nose and spliting head for last day or two so not feeling like doing much at the moment.
Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I think it's certainly possible that if you were making and selling model aircraft that were good copies of actual aircraft, then technically the full-size aircraft manufacturers may have been able to pursue a copyright claim against you. Possibly that's why (at least when I was involved in RC aeromodelling) there were so few commercial scale kits available except for the really old designs (P51, Spitfire, Pitts Special, etc.). In practice though, I would guess a small operation would likely fly under the radar of an entity such as Boeing.
As far as the engines go, it may be a similar situation, where VW may have a case against the plan builder if the engine appears similar, if they desire to take action. Whether this would be successful or not is irrelevant to us. As far as we are concerned, the model plan designer has contributed a large amount of work, not just to sketch and dimension an existing design, but also incorporating the myriad of changes required to be able to produce a working model. Anyone simply drawing out a full-size engine and rescaling (say to 1/4 size) will run into all sorts of problems with material strengths/fastener sizes/feature sizing/etc. This design work is the hard bit and not many people have the ability or desire to undertake such a project. This is what their copyright protects and the rarity of these people in our community is why we need to respect those copyrights so they, and others in the future, will continue to make the effort to produce plans for us.
So, finally, if you're redrawing/designing from an original VW engine or a service manual or original blueprints or something like that, there should be no problem with you offering your drawings (as far as the model community goes). However, if you're simply redrawing an existing model engine plan set, then it's fine for your own use but would be breaching copyright if you distribute it. In this case, you have not added anything substantial to the body of work, and even if you were you are making a derivative work from an existing copyrighted work. Copyright certainly exists in this case and must be respected.
Thanks Cogsy this is my first ic engine but I have built a few gas turbines in the past and have been in engineering most of my life, both model and industrial, I’m well into my 70’s now. So choosing materials and fastenings etc. not to much of a problem. This will probably run alongside a couple of other projects I have at the moment so no hurry here. But as this will be based on Brian’s but with a few mods I shall respect the forums rules and post no further drawings of the engine. My mags were purchased from Model Engineer at the time of there publication, just didn’t see it as a project at the time.
So could you please remove the previous post thanks.
I seem to remember a case some years ago, probably about 10 or so, when a RC kit manufacturer released a scale kit of then quite a recent aircraft. A few weeks later another kit manufacturer released a kit of the same model in the same scale. Needless to say the first manufacturer immediately waved the copyright infringement flag. If I remember on the grounds that internally formers and wing ribs etc. appeared to be in the same locations as theirs. During the case the lawyer for the second manufacturer raised the question as to wether the first manufacturer had sought permission from the aircraft manufacturer to produce their kit if not how could they pursue for infringement when they themselves appear to have infringed copyright. What the outcome was I don’t know it all went quite after that.
That copyright fight sounds just like what I was thinking - the full-size manufacturer hadn't been bothered about a little company making a model but the modelling company was protecting their design work in the kit. These days though, I would expect the full-size companies to be a bit more defensive of their products as well. Seems to be a lot of money in licensing products.
As far as your drawings you posted - they're undimensioned renderings which doesn't violate any copyright at all and look to be quite interesting. You can continue to post shots like that no problem at all (and I'd be interested in seeing them) just stay away from dimensioned plans and you'll be fine.
At this point on this blog, I'm sorry I ever started it.
Don't be sorry you "started it". It's not only the bigger companies trying to protect their investments, but more importantly (IMHO) the smaller companies. Things like patents & copyrights protect "the little fish" from being eatin' by the "Bigger Fish". There are a lot of brilliant people out there (most of them on this site. ,
I feel the pain of losing old designs & it is sad. But..there are some dedicated modelers (rod46 & others) that will pursue these designs & probably improve on them.
So....it's good to talk this out & clear the air. & like I said, it's not all about the multi-million $ companies.
If there is an engine that is really hard for you to see go, be the guy that takes it on. Research the engine, even buy a scrap one and get out the tape measure. If you "do the work" then you become the protected little fish. You can then build one, prove it's a good design, and sell the drawings to others who would like to build one. No worries about copyrights, you can do whatever you want with the material. Just because someone does a drawing set for a big block chevy doesn't mean you can't also as long as it is truly done my you.
Here's another thing to think about. If there is a kit or drawing set that you like, don't wait. Buy the castings or get those drawings. Every engine that is offered today has an expiration date and nobody knows what that date is. When the author's time is up, it's up. Get them while you can.
Thanks for the positive reinforcement.
Done a bit more.
Just out of curiosity, why are you CAD drawing a VW engine? As Cogsy says, if you don't put dimensions in it, you're all right. I love your work. If you put in your own dimensions, aren't these drawings your own to do with as you please? I've gotten the first 4 issues of Model Engineer with Brian Perkins' VW engine plans. I'm a little underwhelmed at what I see. Not much there. Seems like each issue has about 1 1/2 pages of text and 1 1/2 pages of drawings. I'll evaluate my interest in making Brian's model. If I don't want to make it, I'll just put the issues up for sale here. If somehow, you end up with a legal set of plans for the VW, then I would see about getting a set from you.
Not sure if I’ll build it yet. I fancied building an ic engine because I have’nt built one before, done a few gas turbines, and I have a couple of other projects on the go so this wouldn’t be yet anyway. Also much of it would be on cnc, not all, so cad drawings are useful. Yes this part of it is relatively simple but there is quite a bit more to it with pistons conrods cams crankshaft etc. etc. These are taken from Brian’s drawings so no I wouldn’t just dimension them and pass them off as mine. 3D drawings help visualise things a bit better as well and to be honest don’t take that long to do these days. Just doing these when I get a bit of time now and again and thought some may be interested. I have all five issues the fifth is only the carburettor. I used to take ME regularly but not these days.
Thanks. And your CAD drawing, to me, are works of art. I love how you are using color as they make the drawings really stand out.
I have 4 of the 5 issues of Model Engineer related to this build and I agree, there was a lot if information left on the table. It really should have been described as a 4 cylinder boxer and not as a VW. That in itself would have eliminated the need for the previous copyright discussion. Those of us that want to build a scale VW engine will need to start from scratch if we want to include things like a distributor and cooling fan.
The real challange will be building a set of Weber 48IDA carbs in 1/4 scale.
Grasshopper if I was drawing these sectional views 30 or 40 years ago it would have been a few days work but these were done in a few hours at most that’s why I don’t mind doing them now. As far as colours on the sectional views are concerned the cad/cam program does this automatically no need for my intervention unless I want to of course. These are done in Fusion 360 which if you are a hobbiest is free to use, and includes up to 5 axis machining cam as well.
DPowell I agree with what you say it should have been called just a 4 cylinder boxer. I think Brian just called it that because that’s where his inspiration came from, but it really is just a basic boxer. To turn it into a scale VW engine would require a lot more design and work. But that’s why I considered building it because it wasn’t to complicated for a first I.C. engine, and at about 1/3 scale wasn’t to small. However I am considering a few alterations to make it look a bit more like a VW without over complicating it. But we’ll see how it goes. Edit oh you have to bare in mind Brian wanted this for a model aircraft so things like cooling fans weren’t relevant and as usual weight is always a consideration with aircraft, although I think quit a bit of weight could be shed from this engine.
Grasshopper I should perhaps add that I select the colours and material types for each of the components but when you create a sectional view you can leave the colour of the hatching to the cad if you wish, and it does it very well as you can see. And it takes just a few seconds to create a section of your model at any cross section or angle of cross section you choose all quick and very easy. But as always with 3D cad it can be a bit of a learning curve at first.
That's really nice work Rod. Will you continue with the rest of the design? Doesn't matter if it's VW, Porsche, whatever.
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