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Bricklink Copyright laws?
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 Group admin 
Alright, guys. The plan was for me to look through the previous treads, and see what you all requested, but then I checked the Brothers brick, and found some, troubling, things.

Apparently, Bricklink is threatening legal action against Brick Owl (which is sorta like BL, and is apparently offering some competition). Why, you may ask, is Bricklink doing this? Because they claim that the classification system they use to categorize parts, belongs to them, and only them. Brick Owl currently uses that system to organize IT'S parts selection.

I'll include some extra links in a following comment.

So, what do you think of this? Is BL doing the right thing? What do you think of Brick Owl? And, while all this is happening, what do you think The Lego Group is going to do?


DEBATE!
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 6:43 pm
 Group admin 
Links to important sites in this debate:

The Brothers Brick: http://www.brothers-brick.com

The article they reference: http://www.newelementary.com/2013/09/bricks-inc.html

Bricklink: http://www.bricklink.com

And finally, Brick Owl: http://brickowl.com
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 6:45 pm
I have read some articles on this topic, but not the Bricklink's T.O. itself. As far as I have heard, it seems kind of arrogant and needless.

The biggest question is, what does Danny's family think about it. I mean, they still have a word in what goes and what not, so I wonder how they see Bricklink going corporal.

Considering boycot.
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 7:58 pm
The threats of legal action against BO is the only reasonable part. From the looks of it, they basically copied BL's website with a different format and are trying to profit off it.
The rest is absolutely rídiculous.
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:04 pm
Quoting Halhi 141
The threats of legal action against BO is the only reasonable part. From the looks of it, they basically copied BL's website with a different format and are trying to profit off it.
The rest is absolutely rídiculous.

The point is, they want to copyright words - like plate and headlight and whatnot.

What they are trying to do is a full market lockdown, because nobody will attempt to make a brick-selling site with a whole new language. It does not stick. Monopole!
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:22 pm
 Group admin 
Alright, let me breakdown my thoughts, before I begin.


Why does Bricklink feel as if it has the exclusive rights to the classification system? As far as I can work out, its all based on color, part number, and the shape. All of these things are determined by LEGO, not Bricklink. And also, BL's massive catalog has created by members, not the actual site. So where is their lawsuit?

Even if the system belongs solely to Bricklink, they have had for a long time, released to to the public. You can't just do a 180 like this, and try to pull people into court over this; you'd never win such a lawsuit.

I really don't like this. I love Bricklink. Its the best marketplace for parts. Maybe the Jazek family shouldn't have sold it. As far as I can work out, this will paint a negative picture of the entire LEGO community; as people who ruthlessly trade with wild abandon, and don't give a crap about the competition. Also, competition brings out the best of two or more rivaling parties. Had Brick Owl NOT shown up, then Bricklink would not have had the sense of urgency to change up the site.

I've looked around Brick Owl, and honestly, I probably won't buy from that site. Its too, different, in my opinion, and I'm used to the old Bricklink site. But really, if this is the new Bricklink, there is no way they will survive....
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:24 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
The point is, they want to copyright words - like plate and headlight and whatnot.

What they are trying to do is a full market lockdown, because nobody will attempt to make a brick-selling site with a whole new language. It does not stick. Monopole!

IKR. How can they claim a stake on, say, "cheese slope" or "2x2 tile"? You'd have to fine every single FOL for just using that word.....
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:25 pm
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
The point is, they want to copyright words - like plate and headlight and whatnot.

Which is why I said that it's rídiculous. But BO basically advertised that it copy/pasted all of the site info from BL.

Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:25 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
IKR. How can they claim a stake on, say, "cheese slope" or "2x2 tile"? You'd have to fine every single FOL for just using that word.....

This is how neo-liberal turbo-capitalism works. No matter what it is or who made it, the first to copyright it becomes the owner.
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 8:41 pm
Yeah, this worries me. I'd be fine if they made it so other sites couldn't directly take all their data to use against them. However, the vague wording makes me wonder if people who use Bricklink pictures for trade posters, write articles using Bricklink terminology, or do any other normal FOL things involving Bricklink data will risk legal action. However, it seems that Bricklink has non-exclusive rights to FOL contributed data. So, if Bricklink wants to sue someone for using one of their images, but the actual contributor says he's fine with that usage, can Bricklink sue? Who's in charge?
Also, if Bricklink can enforce legal action for the use of their naming system, LEGO could easily sue them for using their piece identification codes.

Bah, I wish I could just buy up all the pieces I'll ever need now before all xell breaks loose.
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 9:52 pm
 Group admin 
(rolls eyes) It's not like they invented entirely new words. They don't own the word "brick" or "plate". St upid lawsuits like this get on my nerves. Competition is good for everyone. I guess it'll be worth it if we get a UI overhaul.
Permalink
| September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
This is how neo-liberal turbo-capitalism works. No matter what it is or who made it, the first to copyright it becomes the owner.

Ehhhhh, not so sure on that. The thing is that BL hasn't created this, so they have no grounds to copyright.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 6:19 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting LukeClarenceVan The Revanchist
Yeah, this worries me. I'd be fine if they made it so other sites couldn't directly take all their data to use against them. However, the vague wording makes me wonder if people who use Bricklink pictures for trade posters, write articles using Bricklink terminology, or do any other normal FOL things involving Bricklink data will risk legal action. However, it seems that Bricklink has non-exclusive rights to FOL contributed data. So, if Bricklink wants to sue someone for using one of their images, but the actual contributor says he's fine with that usage, can Bricklink sue? Who's in charge?
Also, if Bricklink can enforce legal action for the use of their naming system, LEGO could easily sue them for using their piece identification codes.

Bah, I wish I could just buy up all the pieces I'll ever need now before all xell breaks loose.

I dunno, really. Does BL use the LEGO coding system? I thought that was restricted from the public....

I think the one thing we are seeing now is that the innocent hobby of LEGO is being swept by profit. I mean, lets be honest here; buying parts is very expensive, and its a high stakes game. People make a living off of it, over on Bricklink.

But even so, its kinda like Amazon saying that it'll sue, I dunno, Craigslist or eBay because of how they sort their items.

The scary thing is what will happen. If you ask me, BrickLink is single-handedly the largest influence in the FOL community (no, not MOCpages, or Flickr, or even the LEGO group itself). I'd say that about 95% of all LEGO trade in the established FOL community transfers through BrickLink. If sellers pull out, god, it'd be like anarchy....
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 6:23 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Michael K.
(rolls eyes) It's not like they invented entirely new words. They don't own the word "brick" or "plate". St upid lawsuits like this get on my nerves. Competition is good for everyone. I guess it'll be worth it if we get a UI overhaul.

Agreed. But then again, what, honestly, can we do here? I mean, we are all the consumers, and BrickLink is the large corporation. Whatever they say kinda goes; fighting it would, in the long run, hurt us.

I say go back to the Jezek family, and let THEM figure out BrickLink. All they need is a higher profit margin (which they were going to get if they hung on) and more time. That, and maybe MOCpages and BrickLink should merge. (But not under this new owner).
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 6:25 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
Ehhhhh, not so sure on that. The thing is that BL hasn't created this, so they have no grounds to copyright.

Laws are made by cretins. There are holes in laws that make the whole thing absolutely coo-coo crazy and nobody can do anything about it because that could harm us even more.

Laws can not work because you would have to cover absolutely every posible action and tell what is its consequence and all. Or if you had a universal/structured value system in which people would know that holes in the law were not supposed to be there. And accept that.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 7:39 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
Laws are made by cretins. There are holes in laws that make the whole thing absolutely coo-coo crazy and nobody can do anything about it because that could harm us even more.

Laws can not work because you would have to cover absolutely every posible action and tell what is its consequence and all. Or if you had a universal/structured value system in which people would know that holes in the law were not supposed to be there. And accept that.

Hmm-k, well, here in the United States, laws work really well.


Anyways, another thing you have to consider is, if it gets there, where will the trial be held? Hong Kong? China? The US? Laws vary in all these places. If its China, then we can laugh ourselves to our favorite seller, as, apparently, copying products on even the smallest of details is the norm there. Here in the States, well, I dunno really.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 7:47 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
Hmm-k, well, here in the United States, laws work really well.


Anyways, another thing you have to consider is, if it gets there, where will the trial be held? Hong Kong? China? The US? Laws vary in all these places. If its China, then we can laugh ourselves to our favorite seller, as, apparently, copying products on even the smallest of details is the norm there. Here in the States, well, I dunno really.

Your system works as poorly as all others. Not counting hopeless anarchic semi-warzones.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 7:53 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
Your system works as poorly as all others. Not counting hopeless anarchic semi-warzones.

It...okay, Deus, in your world, Communism rules, and everything is great with no laws. Sadly its the one that brings about anarchy. Please read the history of the US constitution, as well as its contents (with an open mind) before trying say that is works not as well as Stalin's "point out that random guy and shoot him or send him to a life of hard labor".

Anyways, thats sidetracking. Wherever BL goes, I doubt they will win their court case.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:02 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
It...okay, Deus, in your world, Communism rules, and everything is great with no laws. Sadly its the one that brings about anarchy. Please read the history of the US constitution, as well as its contents (with an open mind) before trying say that is works not as well as Stalin's "point out that random guy and shoot him or send him to a life of hard labor".

Anyways, thats sidetracking. Wherever BL goes, I doubt they will win their court case.

The fact that I am a communist has nothing to do with anything here.

What I am saying that all laws have loopholes. Fact. That is why Bricklink had a "legitimate" claim.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:11 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
The fact that I am a communist has nothing to do with anything here.

What I am saying that all laws have loopholes. Fact. That is why Bricklink had a "legitimate" claim.

Yes, many do.

But here, I don't see one that they can claim. Technically, Bricklink didn't even contribute any to the sorting system; virtually all parts were added by users, so, the intellectual property belongs to the community.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:13 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
Yes, many do.

But here, I don't see one that they can claim. Technically, Bricklink didn't even contribute any to the sorting system; virtually all parts were added by users, so, the intellectual property belongs to the community.

And were used by Bricklink for a long period of time and were never explicitly stated to be kept by community after being contributed to Bricklink.

Bricklink 2.0 may win, but that would be a suicide. I predict that in case of successful lawzuit, mass boycot would follow. I am not a Brick-Owl sympathizer, but I do have enough bricks to survive without Bricklink.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:32 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
I dunno, really. Does BL use the LEGO coding system? I thought that was restricted from the public....

Bricklink initially took the LEGO identities from LDraw, and on pieces that have their identity moulded on. Basically the only original classifications are colours and piece nick-names.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:36 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
And were used by Bricklink for a long period of time and were never explicitly stated to be kept by community after being contributed to Bricklink.

Bricklink 2.0 may win, but that would be a suicide. I predict that in case of successful lawzuit, mass boycot would follow. I am not a Brick-Owl sympathizer, but I do have enough bricks to survive without Bricklink.

If BL collapses, then the entire hobby falls with it. If BL wins, then Brick Owl dies, and we all boycott BL. You may be able to sustain yourself on your parts, but many of us can't. BrickLink is the best source for parts. This could very much rock the entire FOL community....
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:44 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting LukeClarenceVan The Revanchist
Bricklink initially took the LEGO identities from LDraw, and on pieces that have their identity moulded on. Basically the only original classifications are colours and piece nick-names.

I see. But then, with that logic, can't they sue LEGO on counts of them and Pick a Brick?
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:45 pm
Quoting Achintya Prasad
If BL collapses, then the entire hobby falls with it. If BL wins, then Brick Owl dies, and we all boycott BL. You may be able to sustain yourself on your parts, but many of us can't. BrickLink is the best source for parts. This could very much rock the entire FOL community....

BL would not "fall". It would bend to the demands. If the boycot WAS large and seller-supported.
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:49 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
BL would not "fall". It would bend to the demands. If the boycot WAS large and seller-supported.

Maybe, but it all hinges on the LARGE sellers (like Plastic Bricks Direct). As far they are concerned, leaving BL would ruin them more than BL itself.....
Permalink
| September 29, 2013, 8:51 pm
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