Disney's Anti-3D-Scanning Patent / Is scanning/copying theft?

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by ConeyLighthouse, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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    Related to the news story mentioned on the Dis Unplugged podcast for this week, linked to below, Disney has filed a patent for anti-3D-scanning material so they can protect their intellectual property (like action figures) from being 3D scanned and duplicated.

    https://3dprintingindustry.com/news...-scanning-filament-3d-printing-method-115659/

    Is it theft? Is copying something without hurting the original item theft? If you would not have ever purchased the original item, then is Disney actually losing money? It's an interesting question. Also, would this stop people or would they be able to just paint over the material and still be able to 3D scan it?
     
  2. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the internet. But if a person was to copy something and then turn around and sell it, yes that is theft of intellectual property.
     
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  4. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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    Agreed! But what if they are not selling it? What if they share the design publicly and people just download it and print it at home?
     
  5. mnamna

    mnamna Mouseketeer

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    What you just described is equal to pirating movies or music. Same thing. People buy them, rip them, then put them out for free for others to download and use without paying.

    Same concept. Therefore, illegal.
     
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  6. jcb

    jcb always emerging from hibernation

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    Those my age and older will recall a time before iPhones, iPods, and even CDs where the only effective way to listen to "albums" in your car was to copy the album to a cassette tape. That wide-spread practice still constituted copyright infringement. It wasn't criminal, but it was still infringement. Technically, if you wanted the album on tape, you were supposed to buy both the album and the cassette tape. Later on, if memory serves, music publishers changed the license terms for the albums/CDs to permit "archival" duplication (they most likely changed the terms to avoid the argument that they waived their rights).

    For all its reputation for being heavy handed, Disney is actually quite liberal in tolerating personal use of its trademarks and, to a degree, its copyrighted material.

    When we were in the parks a couple of weeks ago, there were numerous home made shirts (the kind made for families that travel together) with some type of protected design (usually Mickey ears). Several folks wore wire Mickey ears with flowers in them (ala Flower and Garden topiaries) which, when my daughter asked where they were purchased, were bought off of the internet (i.e., not from Disney). Disney tolerates, and to a degree, promotes this practice because it is free marketing for them. People who make things to wear to the Parks are, by definition, coming to the Parks. And even if worn outside of the parks, its still free marketing.

    Where Disney draws the line is commercial use that promotes other companies instead of Disney events. So, if you want to run Fun Vacation Network, LLC (from your home in Michigan) to sell vacation related gift cards and use your company name and "Walt Disney World," "Disneyland," and "Disney Cruise Line" on the cards (without permission) Disney Enterprises is going to sue you in a Los Angeles federal court and you will end up settling the lawsuit. (Real case from 2016).
     
  7. SorcererHeidi

    SorcererHeidi Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me

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    @jcb - Have I told you recently "I love it when you explain the law?". Like I've always said, you do it in such a way that even a numbskull like me can understand, but don't make me feel stupid at all. Thank you!

    I have to admit - I wouldn't download stuff on Napster, etc., because I knew that was illegal, but used to copy stuff from albums to cassettes so I could listen to them in my Walkman, and also make "mix tapes" for myself. Never gave it a thought those were all illegal.
     
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  8. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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    The interesting point here though, is that we are talking about U.S. law, and not the law of China or other places where Disney action figures, etc might be being scanned and easily reproduced. This sounded like what Disney was trying to crack down on, although it is debatable whether just spray-painting over the anti-3D-scanning coating would negate it.

    Here in the US we already have websites like Thingiverse where you can download 3D designs and print out your own 3D printed items like chess sets, utensils, desk organizers, etc. If you design your own Mickey Mouse toy, but don't actually copy anything, are you infringing on copyright? What if it is a parody?

    If you get a Mickey toy and scan it, and then it breaks and you are able to print out a part for it, is that a good thing?
     
  9. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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    If you design your own "Mickey Mouse" toy, by definition, you ARE copying something. Mickey Mouse is a protected trademarked/copyrighted character. You can't design your own Mickey Mouse anything without infringing on Disney's legal rights.
     
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  10. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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    Hah, okay, but what if you call it "Rodent Ralph" or something? You get what I'm saying - you don't have to use the exact wording.
     
  11. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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    It doesn't matter what you call it. If it copies the appearance of Mickey Mouse, you are infringing on Disney's rights.
     
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  12. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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  13. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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  14. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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  15. ConeyLighthouse

    ConeyLighthouse Brooklyn Boy

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    Thingiverse is a well-known 3D scanning/printing website repository - I am surprised that, assuming there is a legal basis for legal action, that Disney has not already taken steps beyond patenting a scan-resistant material.
     
  16. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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    Technology often moves faster than the law can keep up with.
     
  17. pjweaver

    pjweaver just happy to be here

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    My wife tried getting custom shirts made that used the Mickey head design, and the shirt printing companies we contacted refused. I assume they don't want to risk being sued even if I was not planning to sell them. Still other online companies are willing to make shirts using the Disney font and very similar images. Look at senior class trip tees that always turn the '0' in the date into mouse ears.

    This extends to many areas. You know you can get free music online, but notice on the Dis podcasts they mention "that's all we can play of the song without paying royalties". Pete may care about it because The Dis may be big enough to get noticed, but even if someone posts a video on youtube that uses a copyrighted song for something no one will watch is still theft.

    Whether a company like Disney spends hours hunting them down or not, there is intellectual theft going on. A paten on a tool that can prevent theft, or make it more challenging and costly to steal intellectual theft sounds much more cost effective than sending 100's of cease and desist letters every day.
     
  18. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like something Disney wishes that they had been more of an industry leader on!
     
  19. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

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    Yep, because a legit business knows doing so is illegal and isn't willing to risk their business and reputation just to make a buck.

    YouTube is pretty aggressive in this area. If you post a video that includes copyrighted music, there is a high probability it will get taken down. My daughter has run into that a couple of times. I've also seen DISers who posted videos of the parades or fireworks at Disney and had the videos taken down for copyright violations.
     
  20. pjweaver

    pjweaver just happy to be here

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    I just googled to find which companies sue the most, wondering if Disney is in the top 10 based on how much of their property is used illegally. Maybe @jcb would have a better way to find this information, because googles top search results were individuals suing companies, top frivolous lawsuits, and one individual who I won't name here that gets sued weekly.
     
  21. NeuroCindy

    NeuroCindy DIS Veteran

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    I don't think Disney always resorts to suing. A strongly worded cease and desist letter probably often does the job.
     
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