Fair UseCaveat: I am not an attorney and intellectual property laws vary by jurisdiction.
This post is just for the purposes of explaining the general concept of fair use as it applies to copyright law. Seek professional advice in your local jurisdiction if you believe you have an potential legal problem.
Copyright law prohibits the manufacture of copies of the copyrighted material and any derivative works. However, there are some ways in which people may use materials copyrighted by others which are collectively referred to as "fair use."
With respect to the Tactical Command message boards, the main fair use applications that will apply would be education and research. Reasonable reproduction of copyrighted works are allowed for those purposes.
The following are fair uses for copyrighted materials (probably - again, check your jurisdiction):
- Reasonable and brief citations of copyrighted material for the purpose of discussion, e.g. quoting a rulebook.
- Determining how to create a CAD model of an object.
- Determining how to cast a problematic model.
- Determining the overall timeline and cost of production of an object, e.g. market research.
The following are not fair use:
- Any commercial pursuit such as sales or trading.
- Personal use that is not education or research, e.g. making copies of a model to play a game with.
- Making copies because the owner of the copyright is not producing the object commercially.
- Creation of a "derivative work" (see below)
A derivative work is something based on a pre-existing work. The legal determination of whether a work is derivative is complex and subject to fine points of legal theory. However, there are a number of clear cases that are relevant to discussions on Tactical Command. It is also worth noting that it is possible that the original copyright holder can end up with the copyright to the derivative work as well, effectively seizing the new creation and expanding the scope of the copyright.
Clear instances of derivative works:
- Creating a model in a different scale.
- Reproducing a work in a different medium, e.g. making a model of a copyrighted drawing.
- Incorporation of a substantial portion of the copyrighted material in the work, e.g. the classic song-sampling copyright violations.