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Space Rocks Cease & Desist

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So I'm surprised no one has brought it up here or maybe its been kept low key but it looks like Space Rocks have been given a C&D notice bu Disney for using their IP without authorisation.

 

When you try to go to the website http://www.space-rocks.co.uk/it comes up with the letter from Disney.

 

What does this mean for all the custom card and custom 3D printed ship makers out there?

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I've heard a lot of people who've ordered rocks, debris and that lovely Nebulon-B hadn't received their orders and that they were taking a long time. I hope everyone got what they wanted or got their money back nowthat the axe has fallen.

Edited by Crawfskeezen

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I've had such good customer service from them and I know they were in the process of moving to the USA in order to use the UPS system as a lot of their orders were being lost through Royal Mail and to be hit with this during the move is very untimely for them!

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Yikes, I see Disney is taking lesson from the Empire. That's not just a C&D letter, they also want all the money Space Rocks has made to date.

 

This is what we call 'bad PR'.

 

All the money Space Rocks made to date recasting Disney models and creating Disney merchandise based on Disney IP without obtaining a license.  The only 100% original model in their web store was the Space Station itself.

This wasn't fair use.  This was out and out theft.  The only thing surprising is that they weren't stopped even sooner. 

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Yikes, I see Disney is taking lesson from the Empire. That's not just a C&D letter, they also want all the money Space Rocks has made to date.

This is what we call 'bad PR'.

Why is this bad PR?

A entity (company or person) owns an IP, either through purchase from it's creator or because they themselves created it, why exactly should another entity be free to use that IP in order to make money without permission from the owner of it?

FFG payed for the right to make Star Wars miniatures from Lucas Films (now Disney), Space Rocks did not. Space Rocks even went so far as to use molds created from ships the FFG designed and produced to create thier product, in essence stealing FFGs ship designs. Had they just used purchased FFG models to create thier wrecks, they likely would have been protected from this type of action.

Furthermore, Space Rocks has had outstanding orders with many players for months. What little communication they have offered to those players has been reassurance that the purchased products would be shipping shortly, which never happened. All the while they have continued to solicit additional orders for products, up until this week when they deleted all contact information and placed the C&D up on thier website. What is the one thing that is blacked out on this C&D? The dates. It very much seems as if Space Rocks continued to solicit and take orders from thier products from players, with no intention of ever fulfilling those orders.

Just because it's a big company vs little company thing doesn't mean the big company isn't in the right. The same IP laws that protect Disney are what would protect the creator of any IP from just having someone steal what they have created and profit from it.

Edited by ScottieATF

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Yikes! I had wondered if they had gotten permission to use those models.  I suppose I've gotten my answer.  Too bad, they were doing great work.  

 

As one who sells resin models for gaming, I've been aware that crossing certain lines could get me into trouble. I looked into getting a licence to produce Star Wars stuff at one point, it would have been very expensive and if my memory serves me only for a single year.

 

The wording of that letter makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!  

 

I hope Disney will give them a stern talking too and nothing more.  

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It's the actual ships that are the problem. There have been precedents from games workshop sueing small companies and loosing that were selling things like alternative weapons/shoulderpads for their models. The wrecked ships, asteroids and spacestation would fall under similar third party accessories. This will probably work out for them and I expect them back in business eventually.

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Yeah like this is a lot different than some of the stuff Games Workshop has pulled.

 

Games Workshop would attempt to copyright "Space Marine" and sue online sellers they didn't like for using their intellectual property for simple infractions like using the image of their product on their store website.

This is a case of a company clearly using intellectual property they didn't own for their own profit, and frankly being pretty shady about it as well.

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It's the actual ships that are the problem. There have been precedents from games workshop sueing small companies and loosing that were selling things like alternative weapons/shoulderpads for their models. The wrecked ships, asteroids and spacestation would fall under similar third party accessories. This will probably work out for them and I expect them back in business eventually.

The wrecked ships were created from molds of FFG models, no way that is going to fall under fair use. They are piggybacking on models FFG spent money to develop, while circumventing paying FFG for the product. Had each wreck simply been a repurposed FFG model, it likely wouldn't have been an issue.

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Yeah like this is a lot different than some of the stuff Games Workshop has pulled.

 

Games Workshop would attempt to copyright "Space Marine" and sue online sellers they didn't like for using their intellectual property for simple infractions like using the image of their product on their store website.

This is a case of a company clearly using intellectual property they didn't own for their own profit, and frankly being pretty shady about it as well.

 

Not only that, also companies that were very blatantly ripping off their designs putting 'space marine' accesories on the market that were remarkable similar to GW; s, fit on their models and had the same names. And they got away with it. In any case the Space Station is clearly based on FF's but is not identical so would fall under 'inspired by' and should be legal. The asteroids are definitely legal. The wrecked ships I'm not 100% certain about. Since they are wrecked they are significantly different to the original 'complete' models which is good, but they also gave them the same names which is bad which combined with the familiar shapes is bad. The large size Nebulon-B is the only thing they are guaranteed to get ruled against by a judge.

 

I do hope they get legal council and fight Disney on the accesoiries part. For the Nebulon-B they should definitely work with Disney though, no chance.

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If you have an outstanding order with this company, file a claim with whatever you used to pay them. You aren't going to get what you ordered, and it very much looks like they took your money and skipped town with it.

That's a pretty strong accusation. My dealings with them (even when my first order went astray) were all positive. In the first instance I'd assume they will try to do the right thing if they possibly can.

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If you have an outstanding order with this company, file a claim with whatever you used to pay them. You aren't going to get what you ordered, and it very much looks like they took your money and skipped town with it.

That's a pretty strong accusation. My dealings with them (even when my first order went astray) were all positive. In the first instance I'd assume they will try to do the right thing if they possibly can.

It's an accusation backed by a number of accounts that have been popping up on these boards since back in September of lack of delivery of ordered product and no response to inquiries about the outstanding order. In the instances where they did communicate with customers about outstanding orders, they expressed that things would be shipping out shortly. During this time they were continuing to take orders for the same items that they were months behind on shipping out. Many players still have not received those items they were assured were on thier way. Now the company has posted a C&D in place of thier website, the only items redacted on that notice are the dates. They have also deleted other online presences leaving players no way to contact them.

So you have a company that has taken an order, and payment. Not fulfilled that order. Not communicated with it's customers about those outstanding orders in a timely fashion. Any communication included assurances that the order was about to be fulfilled, but again it was not along with a return of the communications black out. Now this and a removal of modes of contact.

Can you honestly say you expect people with months old outstanding orders to get what they have already payed for at this point? I think it foolish to not pursue whatever charge back option the have available.

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Can you honestly say you expect people with months old outstanding orders to get what they have already payed for at this point? I think it foolish to not pursue whatever charge back option the have available.

 

I used to work in the credit card department at a bank.

 

Issue a chargeback for your goods, you will get the money back with only one phonecall.  If you paid with Paypal, then chargeback are even easier - it is literally 5 minutes work, just follow the instructions on their website.  

 

Paypal almost always protects the customer in any dispute, too.  I had e-bay items I knew were delivered, and because they weren't registered post the recipient just charged it back and I couldn't do squat.

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I am honestly wondering how far it will go. I/e: I remember the GW c&d letters that cropped up. Hopefully they don't just send one to ALL creators of accessories. I say this because of the trays etc that I sell. Should I change the names? Etc.

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