For over half a century, kits have been sold that enable military history
buffs to assemble scale models of military ships, aircraft and vehicles. But
that era is coming to an end, as the manufacturers of the original equipment,
especially aircraft, are demanding high royalties (up to $40 per kit) from the
kit makers….Models of a company’s products are considered the
intellectual property of the owner of a vehicle design. Some intellectual
property lawyers have pointed out that many of these demands are on weak legal
ground, but the kit manufacturers are often small companies that cannot afford
years of litigation to settle this contention.
That’s from James Dunnigan. Dunnigan points to an ironic unintended consequence of this use of intellectual property law. To avoid the levies kit manufacturers are turning to items for which there is no royalty – items like aircraft from Nazi Germany.
Thanks to Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing for the pointer.