Copied Hull - no copyright violation?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Claus Riepe, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. sbsboats
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    sbsboats Junior Member

    if the new " designer" has changed at least one feature of it ...in this case freeboard doesn't that qualify as a new(er) design ?
    ...if someone did that to mine I would still give them a " blanket party"
     
  2. RAY TOSTADO
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    RAY TOSTADO Junior Member

    The arguements are open as is the design forum of hull forms. Most sailing hull forms claim an advantage based on performance. Certainly a newer design would not claim a lesser value of performance. (Generally they avoid any such reference and offer better looks, more room, etc.) Then again, a near perfect copy that out performs the original, who can claim to have made a subtle change that indisputably resulted in better performanace might win their case. The change might be as suble as one degree in some dimension. A shift of balance point, etc..

    With sail craft the potential variations are so numerous that an arguement would be difficult to pursue, for either party. Again, only the lawyers would walk away with any benefit. $$$$
     
  3. Basjan
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    Basjan Basjan

    By adding or removing something from the hull does not make it a new design. Common law dictates that if a certain brand / trademark / patent is well known whether or not registered, copying it for personal gain (read profit) will be an infringement on the owners rights.

    Therefore you will have to alter your product to such an extend that it does not resemble the original patent.

    Proving that your patent was stolen or used illegally, you have to provide extensive proof that the other person actually used your patent/design. This will be costly even if you had gone and patented it because you must still proof that you actually did design it, eg. evidence like plug used in making your moulds, design drawings, etc.
    On the otherhand, if somebody splashed a hull, he would not be able to proof that he actually designed it because he would lack all those burdensome paper work, calculations, etc, etc.
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Builders take it personally

    I have invested thousands of hours in tooling, plug production- sanding-polishing, mold production plus material cost, tools & equipment costs plus premises to protect, house & use these in. Molds cost serious money to produce, for someone to short circuit these costs by flop molding anothers hard won fairness & surface finish is indeed theft, let alone the probable non payment to designers of a fair fee, the whole splash a hull caper is really wrong- how can these people sleep at night or even look at thier miserable selves in the mirror- they are not worthy of being boatbuilders. Having invested in tooling to earn a modest living , to house & feed my family, these flop molding theives of effort steal the very food from the craftsmans table, in short they are scum. The honest work of boatbuilding whether by ameteur or professional is in my belief a very worthy occupation & whilst not equal to say the trust put upon those involved in medical science, the requirement of integrity in construction & ethics should be of the highest order, to finish a job right you must start the job right & the sleazy flop molder has no intention of starting right & therefore has no standing, the only excuse for a flop is with the permission of the tools owner in the repair of an existing rightfully paid for vessel. Regards from Jeff.
     
  5. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    The original questions was is it illegal in the UK? I don't know.

    In the USA it depends. Some states such as Florida have anti splashing laws. So in those states it is illegal. At the Federal level it is only illegal if the design is patented, or registered under the Hull Design Protection Act.

    That said, if you splash a hull with the intent of building and selling them you more than likely get sued. Then it is up to the person suing you to prove that you copied their boat. If the court agrees you're up sh-- creek. It will probably cost you big bucks.

    If they can't prove it then you're out a few bucks for a lawyer.

    That doesn't mean you aren't a low down no-good thief (I could have used stronger terms) for stealing some one else's hard work.

    But that still begs the question, is it illegal in the UK? I suggest you ask a solicitor in the UK.
     
  6. french44
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    french44 Junior Member

    my opinion

    Hi all,

    In order to stop this kind of copy the best way is to stop making ships in GRP. It's very bad for the earth (chemical products and unrecyclable) and it's too easy to splash. If people don't want others to copy their hard work they must change the materials (steel, alu,...).Sure they gain less money but it is harder to copy.
    Concerning the design we all use nearly the same softwares, the same shape( U or V) so who can pretend that he has the total paternity of a hull? For example, 2 people using the same software (shipflow) and designing a hull with the same input parameters will have nearly the same results.
    So where are the limits between innovation and splashing or copying? The only one who could pretend a total paternity of a hull, will be the first one to build a boat in 8 or S or......form.
    For myself, I do not consider that I'm copying others work but I work with softwares and data basis (publications, previous boats that I've done,...). It may occur that sometimes my hull looks like an other one, but am I a copyer? I don't think so.
    I think that there is no real solution because for me, there is no total copy.
     
  7. RAY TOSTADO
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    RAY TOSTADO Junior Member

    Being familiar with custom and limited production techniques from a local boat builder, the first generation is often a plug which in turn is used to splash on and extract from it a female mold, very often in two sides. This depends on the size of the hull.

    The other way is to lay up an armature with lofting stations and build a throw away plug. This plug is used to laminate a cored hull upon that will be the finished product. When the hull can be deemed self supporting it is pulled off the plug and faired, then flipped and work begun on the deck and interior. The deck is generally a similiar process and is attached to the hull after preliminary interior is started. There is a very heavy man-hour cost for such a process.

    It would take rather large machinery to flip a 40' splashed hull and use it as a mold. And that is where the problem lay. It would have to be a mold. As how if it is used as a new hull structure the actual finished dimensions would not match that of the original. When done as a throw away plug the dimensions are scaled so as to conform to the designer's intentions.

    I have seen where Taiwan boat builders would splash existing W. Garden designs and wind up with hideous finish hulls.

    One has to know how to control the heat in a lay up of that sort. I guess they never did learn.

    Anyway, if you plan to do any extensive glass work better buy your resin today. In 6 months it'll be 2X more costly. This oil spike had a distant cousin in 1987 when my IOR racer was being built. The builder advised me to come up with the resin cost or suffer the increase as his costs went up. I saved several thousand dollars.


    Ray
     
  8. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    How long does any protection granted last? Where could one find details of the legislation?
     
  9. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    According to the US Copyright Office, there are US Code provisions for both copyright registration of hull designs and patent issuance. They are 2 separate procedures.

    http://www.copyright.gov/vessels/

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/copyright/vesselhulldesigns.htm

    Whether patented or registered as a copyrighted design, the legal protection is under civil law, which means that the owner must file suit and provide a preponderence of evidence that the alleged infringement is both an actual infringement and was done for commercial purposes, i.e. financial gain.

    In practice, civil law actions are lengthy and expensive. One might recover all costs from the offender, but that is by no means guaranteed. As Ike pointed out, enforcement is difficult and usually possible only by a Boston Whaler or similar large company. So much for the legal niceties.
     
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  10. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Bottom line, regardless of the difficulty of obtaining legal redress, making a mold from an existing design without obtaining permission, paying a licensing fee, etc. is stealing from the designer and the builder who paid for the original mold. Period.
     
  11. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

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  12. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  13. chandler
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    chandler Senior Member

    I think taking a mould off might be illegal, but there are very few designs that are not inspired, if not copied and slightly altered to serve the desired purpose in existance.
     
  14. RAY TOSTADO
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    RAY TOSTADO Junior Member

    Well, if you go back in building, to modern history to the '20s and '30s designers would rather cast themselves adrift than have anyone suspect they copied another design.

    It was an age of pride and egos, not profit and glamore.

    Ethics left half a centry ago. Why bother to pretend we have any to negotiate with?


    Cheers,

    Ray
     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    "Unscrupulous". That's the word. Thanks for posting the sites. From what I could tell, design protection lasts 10 years and carries a $50,000 fine for unscrupulous sob's.
     
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