Copyright using shaping machines???

Hi guys - want your opinion and thoughts!!! I can get my hands on a seriously good shaping machine. Apparently it costs AUS$350,000 and can be used in a variety of forms. It’s main use is for the car industry to provide exact copies of clay moulds. A glassed board is scanned in, press a button and presto - there’s your shaped blank. Of course some touch up work needs to be done to finish the board off ready for glassing. My question is though - I can get my hands on a McTavish Noosa’66 model and want to put this thru the machine. Basically I will end up with an exact finished copy for 2/3rds of the price McTavish is selling these boards for. Do you guys see any copyright issues here??? I mean, possibilities are endless aren’t they - get your hands on any old mal (lets say a Greg Noll or Bing) scan it thru a computer and watch a machine take an exact copy of it. Whats your thoughts??? FREDO

in a word, “LAME”. most shaping machine services will not duplicate a master without consent from the person who shaped it. don’t be a melon. kirk

Of course, that is copying. And, you are liable for copyright violations. Now, the issue is muted some if you scan in five similar boards from different shapers of the same era, and design a board using their boards as input OR in some other way make a substantial alteration on it in a way that distinguishes your work from the original. I wouldn’t hesitate to scan old classic boards. Studying their similarities and differences could provide very valuable quantitative information to help with your own designs (note: studying CONCEPTS from someone else’s design, and using those CONCEPTS, is not a violation of copyright. Copyright applies to SPECIFIC EXPRESSION, and in some cases FUNCTION that is UNIQUELY derived from that expression). So as long as you only use these classic board scans to help form ideas about shapes, and use those ideas to make your own shapes, you are in good standing. It is already perfectly appropriate to try to make a board that performs similarly to someone else’s board. This is a classic custom order. Guy walks in with an X board, wants the shaper to make something very similar. Not illegal. But you might scan five 1970s singlefins to find out how much vee to use in different parts of the hull, or how far forward the wide point should be, and what range of curvatures to use between tail and wide point, etc. Once you go to using that scan as principal input for a shape, though, you cross the line.

kook. measure and shape it yourself.

You are all wrong. It is un-ethical to due that but it is not illegal. You can’t copyright the shape of a purse, the shape of an aloha shirt, you can’t copyright the shape of a snowboard. …melon heads is correct, all of you!

Stu, Take a deep breath. Although I don’t see the point of copying someone else’s shaped board exactly, let’s face it: nobody has an original design. Every shaper has learned something from another shaper by looking at his board or boards, or watching a video, or participating in a website forum. We all build on what we have learned by observation, what we’ve been taught by others, and by what we’ve discovered by the exploration of our own new ideas about shape and function. It’s not unethical to use ideas from others. In fact it’s necessary. Interesting illustrative story: In the late 1800’s a young inventor wanted to be completely free of the influence of others ideas so he could create something “pure”. He went away and lived in a cave far away from civilization and worked out his many ideas, looking for the One Big Invention. Finally, after 75 years of toil he emerged from the cave with an invention that he proclaimed would change mankind forever. He then unveiled his wonderously pure invention: a very primitive typewriter. Let’s all learn from, and be inspired by each other. We all benefit. That’s why Swaylock’s is here. Doug

Fredo, the cost of the machine is one thing. you’ll still need to buy a digitizer, point cloud software, a high-end computer and CAD software that contains an NC package. oh yeah, and you’ll need to take about three weeks off from your day job to attend training classes (for the CAD). you’d be better off using the $350K to build your own bad-ass shaping room, flying Bob McTavish and Greg Noll out in a private jet and have them make the boards for you personally! kirk

Stu’s got it…unless that particular board has been copyrighted or patented. It is, however, against the law (at least in the US) to sell your counterfit as a McTavish whatever…You are going to pay $350,000 (AUS) to buy a machine to copy a McTavish board so you don’t have to pay him $1,200 (AUS) for it? Copyrights are the least of your problems…

Kirk, I haven’t done anything wrong. I haven’t even put a board thru it yet, however it is operational and boards are being pumped out of it as we speak. It is not a dedicated “Surfboard Shaping Machine” - it is used for many purposes as I said, in particular the automotive industry. I am just querying everyone’s thoughts on the matter of “copyright”, although I don’t think there is a particular design out there that is actually copyrighted. However, a surfboard is basically a constant curve - you can’t copyright a constant curve. What I am after is a certain shape and style. The older boards are very hard for most present day shapers to replicate. The majority of present day shapers would make a mess of trying to achieve beautiful flowing curves and true 50/50 rails. I have got a nice 70’s single fin that is thick and has those nice chunky down rails - it goes really well with nice V thru the tail. A mate has ridden it and wants one for himself. The only way he’s really going to get one is to use the machine - again… most shapers wouldn’t know where to start with a board like this and they wouldn’t hit the nail on the head at their first attempt. In reality if I were to go ahead with using the machine to replicate an old board, I probably wouldn’t get the exact thing anyway. Sure the basics will be duplicated but the very fine details that a profound shaper keeps to themselves for years will never be… SHANE

… forgot to add - I’m not using any shapers logo or decal or sticker. What I will get is a very nice “old” board thats glassed how I want it glassed and finished how I want it finished with no decals, just some dimensions on the bottom of the board. To me that isn’t copyright… FREDO

sounds to me, sombody is afraid of a little sweat and foam dust

If I had AUS$350K I wouldn’t spend it on a shaping machine - when did I say I was buying a shaping machine??? I can get my hands on one - or should that be, have the use of one!!!

sorry Fredo, but in the USA when one states, “…getting my hands on…” that usually means “buying”. kirk

…ahh, small misunderstanding in cultural differences!!! By the way, can you guys lock up the Croc Hunter (Steve Irwin) and throw away the key so he doesn’t eventually find his way back to Oz. A huge majority of Aussies would appreciate this. I hear in the US he’s a mega-celebrity - in Oz he’s a tossa. And none of us speak like him - he’s definately a one-off. Although he does surf pretty well… FREDO

Throw it on the machine. Any shaper worth a shit can and would make a copy of it for you. Copyrights? What? You guys have to be kidding me. Steve Lis is owed a whole lot of money by a lot of people then. So is Simon Anderson and Tom Blake. Yeah, make me a copy while you’re at it. Carl

So if you can get it for two thirds of the price does that mean that the Mc T was worth $1.1 million, DAM l new l was selling my boards to cheap!!! gee for $350,000 it sounds like a bargin GO FOR IT. HaHaHaHaHaHa KR

Shit for a minute there l thought that you were going to say that he came up with the wheel, probably would have suited this industry better, because it always goes around in circles. HEheHEhE KR

If I had access to the machine like you do and wanted to copy a board for my personal use or just a friend, I’d just do it and not tell anyone. It seems a lot can be lost or gained in the finish sanding process of a scanned blank, by doing the finish process yourself, that would be your contribution to that shape. Now,if you copied a board, made a bunch of them to be sold for profit, I feel that is definitely unethical. Kinda like making a copy of a CD for yourself compared to making lots of copies and selling them. Let your conscience be your guide.

Copyright protects expression. Nautical hulls may be copyrighted by registration with the copyright office, which is even stronger protection. Just because they are not registered doesn’t mean they are not protected. This is all fairly new, too. Copyright governs the process of copying, which most surfboard shapers found hardly worth protecting until now. Even fairly skilled shapers couldn’t get a copy within 1 mm of the original board shape. Now, though, that is trivial with a shaping/scanning machine. Imagine taking a “Joel Tudor single fin” shape that sells for quite a bit in southern Cal now, and mass-producing it for profit at normal prices. You’d be doing exactly what copyright exists to protect against. You take someone else’s expression, copied it, and sold it as your own. You impacted the market for the original expression. I think the law on this would be pretty clear. With that said, I’d probably throw that board in, scan it, machine the blank, and not tell anyone. Selling anything as a knockoff or copy of someone else’s design is more blatantly illegal - by using their name you violate common law trademark in addition to copyright.

My intention is only to produce and surf these boards for myself. I am not a business man. No financial gain on my part - only the savings of making the boards myself. Your thoughts have been well digested - thanks!!! FREDO