Adam Savage On Topic Of Recasting

wonko

Hunter
I believe the "meat and potatoes" of this topic are simple.  Knowingly purchasing a recast, or recasting others work for profit or gain is wrong.  To me there's no gray area there.  I would also add that for me personally, to purchase an item (bio for example) for my own personal use, recast it for my own personal use (no selling or distributing) just so I can make multiple copies for myself, is something I would never do.  I wouldn't feel right about it.  I bought the piece from someone in good faith with the "unspoken" understanding that I wouldn't copy it for any reason.  Again, that's just me.  I could give a rats ass how anyone else feels about themselves laying in bed at night, but I have to feel good about me.  I also don't want to be the guy that no one will sell to because "his actions are questionable".  That's where I stand on things, but to each his own.

Brian
 

lflank

Hunter
wonko said:
I believe the "meat and potatoes" of this topic are simple.  Knowingly purchasing a recast, or recasting others work for profit or gain is wrong.  To me there's no gray area there.
I quite agree, and I don't think many people would disagree. That's not where the grey area seems to be.
wonko said:
 I would also add that for me personally, to purchase an item (bio for example) for my own personal use, recast it for my own personal use (no selling or distributing) just so I can make multiple copies for myself, is something I would never do.  I wouldn't feel right about it.  I bought the piece from someone in good faith with the "unspoken" understanding that I wouldn't copy it for any reason.  
 
So where would your moral stand be on my examples of recasting a ceramic aquarium ornament to make a lighter version to wear with my suit, or recasting a lightsaber prop in wax so I could destroy it in a fan film?
 
Also, would it make a moral difference if I am copying something made by a prop community member (such as a lightsaber prop) rather than something "found" (such as the aquarium ornament--which of course was designed by someone just like the lightsaber prop was). How do the morals change if I'm copying something made by someone in our community versus something made by an anonymous someone outside our community?
 
wonko said:
Again, that's just me.
That's the thing with "morality"---it's ALL "just me".   :D

I'm just interested to see where we as a community and as individuals draw our moral line.
 
The Adam Savage conversation died on page one and we have since been talking lair/sideshow recasts.  Not big picture issues.  I understand your argument and it's exactly why it becomes a moral issue and not just a financial one.  Whether people like it or not it is morally wrong to recast an item without permission from it's maker in any degree.  As both lee, wonko, and I have pointed out, it is only a case by case scenario when it comes down to the individual.  Once again it is the individual who muddies the issue to justify the act.  They can and will do exactly what they want to despite the overall consensus.  "Thou shalt not steal."  Now whether you agree in a religious sense or not doesn't really matter.  Our moral code is based upon it and it doesn't say "Thou shalt not steal expect for this laundry list of reasons."   Posing questions and scenarios repeatedly is like throwing a rubber ball at a brick wall here.  It's only going to come flying right back into your face.  Make morality as pliable as you like.  It wont make wrong and less wrong.  At the very root of the problem there is no gray.  Stealing is stealing.  Theft is theft.   So on and so forth.  It's as simple as that.  Take it or leave it.


The appropriate answer to your lightsaber/skull question is to ask the makers for permission to do a one time cast of the item.  Explain your reasons for doing it and you may be surprised at the answers you get.  If they say no then at least you'll tired and no harm will have been done.
 

lflank

Hunter
A Hunter's Moon said:
 Make morality as pliable as you like.  It wont make wrong and less wrong.  At the very root of the problem there is no gray.  Stealing is stealing.  Theft is theft.   So on and so forth.  It's as simple as that.  Take it or leave it.
I find that ironic, since all of us, every single one of us without exception, is therefore "stealing" 20th Century Fox's "Predator" intellectual property.

It's just not black and white.
 
You've done nothing but argue semantics from the beginning and it's pointless.  You're side stepping the real issue and barreling forth to make a needless point.  We make like items based on their creations and they allow it.  Recasters do not.  It's an unspoken permission but a permission none the less.  It's no different for those who make Startrek or Starwars props.  End of discussion.


 
 

lflank

Hunter
A Hunter's Moon said:
You're again side stepping the issue and barreling forth to make a needless point.  We make like items based on their creations and they allow it.  Recasters do not.  It's an unspoken permission but a permission none the less.  It's no different for those who make Startrek or Starwars props.  End of discussion.
You confirm my point entirely. The movie companies take the quite sensible attitude that it's OK for us to copy their stuff as long as we aren't unfairly making money off their work. I suspect most of us on the Lair have the same attitude (the reason we condemn recasters is because they make money off someone else's work, not because they physically copy other people's stuff--which is after all exactly what WE do with 20th Century Fox's stuff).

If 20th Century Fox took the strict "any copying is stealing" policy, the entire prop/costuming community would cease to exist. After all, virtually none of us here ever took your advice and asked permission from 20th Century Fox to make a bio or a lightsaber based on their intellectual property--which, in the strict sense, makes us all thieves and stealers. (Especially those of us who are making "screen-accurate" versions.)

BTW, if you have an "unspoken permission" to copy 20th Century Fox's stuff, why doesn't someone else have "unspoken permission" to copy the aquarium company's skull ornament? What, morally, is the difference between the two cases?
 

wonko

Hunter
Lflank said:
That's the thing with "morality"---it's ALL "just me".   :D

I'm just interested to see where we as a community and as individuals draw our moral line.
Throughout all my posts I have avoided "gray areas", and will continue to do so.  The only part of it I will touch goes hand in hand with what Tom said.  I would ask, or make an honest attempt to get permission before I did it.  The mentality of "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission" makes my blood boil.  I've worked in places that had that mentality.  Notice I said "worked", as in past tense.  I respect everyone's opinion, and I am no better than anyone else.  As one of my all time favorite cartoon characters said... "I am what I am".  I have no desire to change anyone's mind, or make myself out to be "Holier than Thou".  "Nuf Ced" McGreevy shouted!

Brian
 

lflank

Hunter
A Hunter's Moon said:
You've done nothing but argue semantics from the beginning and it's pointless. 
Um, I'm arguing nothing.  I have no dog in this fight---I can't cast anything even if I wanted to (I tried a few times, failed, and gave it up as hopeless).

I'm just interested in where we as individuals and as a group draw the moral line--the issues that Adam Savage raised in his talk.

So take a deep breath and calm yourself. Your hostility is wasted on me.
 

lflank

Hunter
wonko said:
 
Throughout all my posts I have avoided "gray areas", and will continue to do so.
I understand that and respect it. I'm interested precisely in seeing where we all draw the moral line. Others here have drawn their moral line in different places. What I'm curious about is how we each draw our line and why we put it where we put it. 
wonko said:
 The only part of it I will touch goes hand in hand with what Tom said.  I would ask, or make an honest attempt to get permission before I did it.
I understand that too, and no disagreement with it.  

I do note, though, that virtually none of us have ever followed that advice (including, I suspect, the people who have offered it)--none of us has asked 20th Century Fox for permission to make any "screen accurate" copies of their intellectual property, or to make our own derivative versions of their intellectual property. Which raises the moral question of why it's OK for the prop/costuming community as a whole to copy someone else's intellectual property in the first place. The movie companies, of course, leaves us alone as long as we don't unfairly make money off it. But that is a pragmatic and practical decision for them, not a moral one.

Indeed, I expect that is what most companies would do.  I doubt any company anywhere would raise a fuss with you if you cast (or 3d-printed, or whatever) one of their flower vases or teacups or whatever for your own use.  They'd only step in if you started SELLING them. 

As the owner of a publishing company, I too am acutely aware of intellectual property rights, and I too wouldn't care a rat's patootie if someone photocopies my books--as long as they aren't unfairly making money off of them. My attitude is the same as the movie companies, and I suspect for much the same reasons.

But what I am more interested in here is where we all draw our moral line, and why we draw it at that particular point.
 
If you're not arguing to get a point across then why bother to play devils advocate throughout this thread?  It just makes no sense to me.  I'm not particularly mad but I guess, like you, I want you to see my point and not just your own.  You claiming that we're all recasting whether it's an idea or a physical item is pretty insulting to the many great artists here.  There are differences between the two but it's up to you to accept those difference, Call them "gray areas" or just keep fighting about it.  I don't care.


You do however have to realize we pay homage to an idea by sculpting, painting, or drawing it ourselvesWe don't cast up studio items and try to pass it off as something it's not.  We all clearly make fan made props.  Therein lies the difference between us and recasters.  You don't see us taking physical items off foxes lot or from sideshows site and making direct duplicates scratch for scrath, dimple for dimple, to sell in mas quantities.  One is blatant theft while the other is not.  That's why even fox and the other companies involved frown upon recasting but see us as harmless fanfare.


I'm not going to spend my Christmas weekend arguing my case.  As far as I'm concerned you're on one side of the fence and I'm on the other.  I'm just happy to be on my side and not yours.
 

lflank

Hunter
A Hunter's Moon said:
If you're not arguing to get a point across then why bother to play devils advocate throughout this thread?  It just makes no sense to me. 
Sorry if I was unclear---my interest lies in seeing where we as a group and as individuals draw the moral line, and why we draw it where we do.
A Hunter's Moon said:
I'm not particularly mad but I guess, like you, I want you to see my point and not just your own. 
I not only want to see everyone's point, but want to understand why they accept that point and not the others. 
A Hunter's Moon said:
You claiming that we're all recasting whether it's an idea or a physical item is pretty insulting to the many great artists here. 
Whaaa . . . ?  I never said any such thing, and have no idea at all where you got that from.  What I said is that IF we accept the axiom that any copying without permission is, by definition, stealing or theft, then all of us are guilty of that, since none of us has any permission from 20th Century Fox. But then, that's not even 20th Century Fox's position. Nor is it mine.
A Hunter's Moon said:
There are differences between the two but it's up to you to accept those difference, Call them "gray areas" or just keep fighting about it.  I don't care.
I am trying to make it clear that I am not fighting about anything---as I said, I have no dog in this fight and nothing to fight about.  I just want to see where everyone draws the moral line and why they draw it in that particular place.
A Hunter's Moon said:
You don't see us taking physical items off foxes lot or from sideshows site and making direct duplicates scratch for scrath, dimple for dimple, to sell in mas quantities.  One is blatant theft while the other is not.  That's why even fox and the other companies involved frown upon recasting but see us as harmless fanfare.
As I have noted before, I don't think any sane person could argue that it's OK to counterfeit someone else's work and sell it.  Nor do I see anyone here supporting that position. What I am interested in is the grey area that Adam Savage talks about--the people who make copies and DON'T sell them. Some people see that as morally the same thing. Some people don't. I'm not really interested in arguing over who is "right" (a fruitless argument since morality has no objective laws)--I'm interested in why people hold the positions they do instead of some other position. 
A Hunter's Moon said:
I'm not going to spend my Christmas weekend arguing my case.  As far as I'm concerned you're on one side of the fence and I'm on the other.  I'm just happy to be on my side and not yours.
I am on the same side of the fence. I have no more love for recasters than you do. You just don't see that because you're hearing all the arguments others have made before, and not listening to ME. 
 

the eldest

Blooded
Like most debates, some people will come down on one side of the fence, and others on the other???
Think most have made their views clear. And in the end there's no cut and dried answer.
The lair has its rules which we abide by or get kicked off the forum. Fair enough and a merry Xmas to all
 
This allways happens on all the boards i'm a member of,  recasting talk allways ends in people argueing back and forth, its not worth falling out with anyone over, just follow the rules, leave it at that.
 

lflank

Hunter
monstermaker said:
This allways happens on all the boards i'm a member of,  recasting talk allways ends in people argueing back and forth, its not worth falling out with anyone over, just follow the rules, leave it at that.
"Always emotions get in the way"  --- Yoda

:D
 

Double H

Elite Hunter
Sorry what was the question? This has spun way off topic. People will always have different bier a on this but any budding artist that has taken the time, effort and dedication to sculpt, mould and cast what ever item that they happen to be working on would expect to be respected by the person in buying and not recasted and basically disrespected.

Fan made items, such as what we do, is not classed as recasting as there was no original item ( an item that has alrwadt been sculpt and cast by someone else) that was moulded and therefore copied line for line. When a fan made item is made for example a p1 bio, the fan made one may have lines and curves that near on match the original screen used but no one will ever make a perfect copy unless they where the person that originally sculpted said item. A fan made item will have evidence of there work by the sculpt progress shots for armature to completion. And if people really need something more evident then we will just have to start taking progress pictures with our mugshot in it to prove our point but I don't think will need to go there....

Anyway of this roundabout, a happy christmas to all.
 

lflank

Hunter
Double H said:
Sorry what was the question? This has spun way off topic.
Yes, we seem to be talking about two entirely different things here. The original topic was Adam Savage's view that there is a continuum when it comes to "recasting", and that it's not a black and white issue but has to be answered, morally, on a case-by-case basis. Then the discussion morphed into the list rules and how recasting for money is bad.
Double H said:
People will always have different bier a on this but any budding artist that has taken the time, effort and dedication to sculpt, mould and cast what ever item that they happen to be working on would expect to be respected by the person in buying and not recasted and basically disrespected.
Yes.  Counterfeiting someone else's work for money is morally wrong. The conversation keeps coming back to that, but I don't see anyone here disagreeing or arguing a different viewpoint.  What I am more interested is the same thing Adam Savage was talking about---the continuum of grey area after that and where each of us draws their moral line, and why we draw it there instead of elsewhere.  As examples , I cited my necklace skull, which is made from a ceramic aquarium ornament and is heavy so I make a cast resin version so it's lighter, or a fan film in which I need to destroy a lightsaber prop and therefore make a wax copy. In both cases,  the whole "selling counterfeits of someone else's work" doesn't apply, since nothing is being sold, no money is being made, and no money is being lost. Indeed, in the case of the wax lightsaber, there is not even any new prop left at the end of the process.

So the question is, is copying something to make it better suited for use in a costume, or to indeed destroy the copy completely, the moral equivalent of counterfeiting someone's work and selling it for a profit?

Monstermaker mentioned that he often makes resin copies of "found objects" for his works (and of course every one of those "found objects" was designed and made by someone somewhere whose work is being copied)---and that illustrates exactly what I am talking about. My view (and his too) is that this is not "re-casting", it is simply modifying what's available. Nothing is being sold, and no money is changing hands anywhere. Others have taken the view that ANY copying of ANYTHING without express permission is "stealing"--an ironic position, I think, since none of us has any permission from, say, 20th Century Fox to copy or derive any of their intellectual property. All of which was also discussed by Savage in his piece.

So that's what interests me--we all agree that selling copies of someone else's work is morally wrong. But what about all the other cases where nothing at all gets sold?  Where in that continuum do we draw the moral line, and why do we draw it where we draw it? Those are the questions Savage was interested in, and so am I. Me, my position is pretty much the same as the movie industry's position towards the prop community---they're OK with anything we do or make as long as we're not unfairly making money off their work. But I'm interested in where others draw the line and why.

Sadly, it seems to be a topic fraught with emotions, and difficult to have a rational discussion about. Sort of like politics and religion.   :)

So what do you think? Is copying a prop to make it better suited for one's personal use, or to make a copy that can be destroyed (for a fan film, for instance), the moral equivalent, to you, of counterfeiting someone's work and selling it for profit?  Why or why not?  Where do you draw the moral line, and why?
Double H said:
Anyway of this roundabout, a happy christmas to all.
And a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanzaa, Joyous Winter Solstice, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate, to you as well.   :) 
 

lflank

Hunter
For what it's worth, this same debate (or at least a very similar one) often takes place in the book publishing industry (I own a small publishing company) since we are acutely aware of intellectual property rights--we make our living at it.  There are always small publishers who agitate and condemn people who photocopy their books, or who donate their used books to libraries, or even those who lend or give their books to their friends or neighbors, arguing in each case that the company has thereby unfairly lost a sale, and the company has the right to profit on every transaction involving their intellectual property.  Most of the companies making that argument, i have noticed, are the very smallest, who are barely hanging on and who depend on every possible nickel for their very survival.

My attitude (and that of the larger publishing companies) is different.  I don't really care if people photocopy my books or give them away to others. The only time I would actually step in with lawyers would be if someone were producing copies of my books and SELLING them, thereby unfairly making money off of my work.  Until that point, my view is that when you buy a book it is yours, it becomes your property, and you can then do whatever you want with it for your own personal use. What you are NOT allowed to do is make copies to sell for a profit (the equivalent of "re-casting").

It should also be noted that every new technology that gets introduced (first photocopiers, then print-on-demand technology, and now ebooks) is ALWAYS condemned initially by some publishers as "tools for stealing our intellectual property" (the movie and music industry does the same thing). That is why there is currently a big debate within the publishing industry over copy-protection provisions on ebooks, with some companies attaching security code to every ebook they produce so buyers can't copy it or give it to someone else, and some companies arguing that it is a silly practice that just causes problems for the buyer.  Me, I never bothered with security codes.  If someone "steals" my ebooks, I consider it free advertising, since they'll probably buy another ebook from me at some future point.

So my view of intellectual property and "re-casting" is probably influenced by my experience as a publisher.
 
Well, I had thought I'd put an end to it by refusing to continue the debate but I guess there's always going to be someone foolish enough to throw more fuel onto the fire.
 
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