Prop Wars: Can Paramount Prevent People From Offering Up Plans To 3D Print Movie Props?
from the freedom-to-build dept
However, Paramount Pictures, a subsidiary of Viacom, has taken this even further. The studio apparently sent a cease-and-desist to Todd Blatt, a mechanical engineer, who has been making 3D printable models of various movie props, sending them off to the popular 3D printing service Shapeways, and offering up the products. In this case, Paramount freaked out that he was offering a 3D printed version of the weird cube-like figure in the movie Super 8.
Obviously, the creator of such a product might run into trouble depending on how the technology is packaged. "Bring home a character from Transformers" might imply a false endorsement. "Look like Angelina Jolie" might constitute a violation of the actress' publicity rights. But copyright? Is a physical re-creation of an object on-screen a derivative?It definitely seems like a stretch, but if the entertainment industry is good at anything these days, it's stretching the meaning of copyright laws. While nothing more is likely to happen in this case, you can rest assured that this issue isn't going away, and there will almost certainly be court cases in the near future.