Copying Others Work – Is It OK?

Copying others work is a topic I’ve seen working its way through the modeling world since I returned to the hobby in 2006. And it can quite often be quite the heated debate.

I think part of the reason for that is many often define what they mean by copying. The result can be two people are arguing over the same word, but completely different concepts.

Copying Others Work

When it comes to copying copyrighted material, certainly there is a lot of nuance there. Some cases of copying are blatantly illegal. For example, if a company releases a model, and another copies the model and sells it under its own brand, that’s just wrong.

So as you watch this video, please don’t make the argument that I’m giving an OK to illegal activity. Because I’m not.

You probably knew that going in anyway.

However, when it comes to copying that doesn’t break laws… that is a different matter. Because I’d make the argument that copying is absolutely essential for almost everything we do. (The silly little bit at the start of the video illustrates that. And why it’s difficult to maintain a hardline “no” about anything that sniffs of “copying”.

We copy every day. It’s how we learn. It’s what drives fashion. Our kids learn by copying us – and others. (So be careful…) It is what makes up the learning process, and in many ways, the discovery process.

And without copying, there’d be zero market for historical models, sci models, or any other modeling genre. With some obvious exceptions, the vast majority of model making is rooted in copying. Copying with a twist, perhaps. Perhaps adding your own touches to it.

But if you want to model an RX-78-2, or Luke’s X-Wing Fighter, or any number of World War II aircraft…. you get the point… you can only arrive at one conclusion.

You’re going to have to copy them.

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