Bragallot wrote:As for the copyright, unless it's blatantly obvious I think the judge will usually decide against anyone trying to copyright a Lego design because if I were a judge, I wouldn't want to encourage law suits being made over irrelevant shit, and I wouldn't want to deny an entire generation and everyone past that point the 'right' to come up with the same design by themselves (which, with Lego, is very well possible because of the amount of people building and the limited amount of parts / options).
You realize that's not a judge's job, right? If you follow copyright cases in the real world rather than in your imagination you'll find that things work a lot differently than you think they do.
Bragallot wrote:Take my rifle design:
What are the odds of someone, at some point, putting exactly the same parts together? I'd say it's possible.
As the defendant, I would probably be able to find a similar, older design than his, of a person who isn't making trouble over it, thus refuting his point that he was 'first'. It doesn't even matter if he was aware of it, since he 'could be'. Otherwise you could bring copyright down to the smallest portion of your design ('I'm the first guy to flip visors around on helmets!'). Moving myself to the position of the judge, I'd be thinking 'Is this what it's come to? I studied for this? Let's put a stop to this by denying this guy's claim.' I'm not saying these laws don't exist, I'm saying 'he'd have a very hard time to prove it'. Just look at how much trouble even actual companies have to prove something when it's a clear steal: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/07 ... s-20120907
If you can find an older design exhibiting the points of identity under contention then you're done. You don't have to theorize about whether anybody "could have" seen it or not. If the guy claiming copyright isn't the first one to have done it, then he doesn't get the copyright. But these soldiers are a dumb example in any case because even an exact duplicate would fail the test of "substantial similarity." These soldiers have zero substantially original features, so there's no basis on which to build a copyright claim in the first place. Even if you did try to claim the particular rifle construction and no one could find a prior example, the "ordinary reasonable observer" test would still quickly eliminate any idea that this counted as a substantial feature.
Now an AC, on the other hand, is a very specific expression. If somebody duplicated that, no "ordinary reasonable observer" could think it was a coincidence.
The most important thing, though, is that if the judge makes decisions based on "is this what it's come to," then he can no longer serve as a judge. The judge's one job is to make sure decisions are made on the basis of legal procedure and not on somebody's opinion about the way things "should" be, especially his own.
My lawyer friends are laughing at me right now because I'm trying to explain your ideas about copyrights to them and they don't believe me.