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Modelling companies pay licence fees to use designs?

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Hi guys.

I am curious to learn how this all works. Does a comany such as Hasegawa have to pay Kawasaki for something like the design of the Ki-61? If so, what about companies such as Supermarine or Messerschmitt? 

Thanks.

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I know it is true for some if not most of the U.S. manufacturers, like Boeing. I guess it might come down to how each country views the handling of items that cross into several areas: being the property of the company that designed it; being the property of the government depending on where recovered; belonging to the public as an artifact of a historical event; etc. I think the thing with American companies became an issue more recently as somehow the companies realized they could squeeze kitmakers for a bigger piece of the action. Part of me wonders is a company such as Messerschmitt might not charge as high a fee as some in order to avoid being sen as trying to profit off their past. Or if they even care so long as they get credit for the original design somewhere in the instructions.

 

So, long story short: Probably.

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its not just the big companies like Boeing the respective forces are doing the same the RAF charges even decal makes for a licence to reproduce markings etc

 

dont Italeri have a deal with Boeing, im sure ive seen a Boeing sticker on a italeri box

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It sounds like mostly US companies wanting it.  The Italeri 1/32 F-104 box has the Lockmart logo on it, but their 1/32 Mirage doesn’t have a Dassault logo.  The Tamiya 1/32 P-51 has a logo on the box, but it’s the only P-51 that I’ve seen with it.

 

I think it depends on a number of factors .  First, are the companies involved.  Some model manufacturers won’t bother getting licensing permission, while others will.  On the other side, some real companies won’t bother suing a model manufacturer for a license because it’s not really with the cost.  Another issue is who “owns” the design.  I believe that in some cases, the government owns the rights for military aircraft made for them, not the manufacturer.  It’s all to complex for me to figure out, and I don’t worry about it.  My take on it is that it’s the model manufacturer’s job to get any necessary licenses.  If they don’t, it’s the real companies job to take action to protect their rights.  If neither side cares, that’s their choice.  I just buy kits, I’m not the copyright police.

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Some might, but I'm suspicious if they do or if they just slap a "licensed product" label on the box for marketing purposes. 

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I’m pretty sure Tamiya does it for real, and likely Italeri too.  Probably more likely to get a model company in trouble if they claim something is officially licensed when it isn’t, than to just not get a license at all and take a chance that the licenser won’t care enough to make an issue.  Besides, I’m not sure that people are buying a kit based on whether it has a license sticker on it or not.  It just means they are licensed to use trademarks and licensed designs and not get sued over it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that the company has gone over it the kit and ensured it’s accuracy.  It may just be that the model companies who choose to get the license have asked for data directly from the company, and getting the license is the cost of getting the manufacturer’s data.

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6 hours ago, BradG said:

Some might, but I'm suspicious if they do or if they just slap a "licensed product" label on the box for marketing purposes. 

They'd better have some very good lawyers if they do that!

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It's really down to the individual companies and their legal departments. It's common with car manufacturers - Ferrari are reknown for going after people selling unlicenced products, including models. Gulf Oil sent a 'Cease and Desist' letter to Zero Paints because they were selling paint for Ford GT40 kits and calling it 'Gulf Oil Blue and Orange' - they had to change the name to 'Similar to Gulf Oil...'

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The licence is needed when a trade mark is used. A model manufacturer can recreate a scale "representation" of a real thing without any restrictions. That is pretty much the same as making a sculpture, painting, photo, etc of a "real thing". Any such design is an original artwork, just like making a model of, let's say, the Eiffel Tower from scratch is the property of the artist who created it, not the Gustave Eiffel company. 

However, if the model manufacturer wants to use a trade mark such as Jeep, Boeing, Lockheed, they need permission. That explains why sometimes models do not have the name or type on the box. Tamiya has a "2 1/2 ton 6x6 Truck" that is in reality a GMC "Jimmy". Italeri has a "1/4 ton 4x4 Utility Truck" that anyone will instantly recognise as a Jeep. So, there can be ways around the licencing, but sometimes it is inpossible. How do you describe a "North American P-51 D-5NA Mustang" in other words?

In any case, sometimes the licence may not cost that much. I know of cases where the permission to use a trade mark was granted for free.  I also know of one case where the licence fee was a payment of 1 dollar. 

Radu

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Another issue, not so important for planes but quite problematic for cars is the use of the company's logo on the finished model. If you make a model of a Ferrari car and call it "Italian 1958 sport car" on the box you are ok but if you provide a decal with the Ferrari logo, then you're in trouble.

 

It is funny (in my opinion) how the manufacturers that were so happy to see their products reproduced as scale models, usually providing free assistance back in the days are now so reluctant. Not sure why

 

 

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2 hours ago, vince14 said:

They'd better have some very good lawyers if they do that!

 

Problem is that costs money, a lot of money. In most cases, it would cost more money than you might ever hope to recoup. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Squizzy said:

I think that some manufacturers are able to get around it by their models being nothing like the aircraft they trying to represent. :P

 

you can also add a letter to manufacturer's name

Edited by Vincent

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27 minutes ago, Radub said:

 

OONTINENTAL tyres? :)

 

That seems like usual one.....also seems like it's the easiest to correct for Continental with only having to chop out a small section of O.

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