David K Smith G&D blog

JoeS Jul 13, 2011

  1. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    2,790
    430
    49
    You ought to read that blog. Just goes to show why so many of us think that the NMRA is a joke. Keep up the good work David. Those that don't recongnize what you do for the hobby are clueless. http://ganddinz.blogspot.com/
     
  2. Mr. White

    Mr. White TrainBoard Member

    24
    0
    7
    I agree 100% his James River branch was one of the layouts that was a great inspiration to me when I was first starting. When he started the " Geordie and Daphne" I was excited to see him tackle something from scratch. I loved reading the daily updates it was a great insight into a great modellers mind. I don't think the NMRA really has a leg to stand on with this, but I can understand that somethings really aren't worth fighting. I have decided though that is not worth my time to join the NMRA. I'm in this hobby to have fun, not worry about beauracracy.

    Zac
     
  3. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

    771
    7
    19
    For years Mr Dave [Dave George and the Golden-Blackhawk layout] was winning First and other awards for his layout at the NMRA shows. Several years ago, I think it was Detroit [ if not Detroit it doesn't matter as it seems to be the same judges ], he received a terrible rating. Upon approaching the Judges to find out what had gone wrong he was told the layout, especially the Gorge Area, wasn't "Prototypical". You have to be kidding ... it is modeled after an area of the country that Dave has photos. That did it. The layout has not been entered for Judging since. NMRA makes no effort what-so-ever to see if they can assist the group displaying a layout. OTOH, at the Louisville National N Scale convention several years ago, the organizers asked Dave to bring the Z Scale layout. They were around EVERY day to see if they could help and even gave Dave a nice plaque plus small monetary amount to be used toward gasoline in getting the layout to/from Texas. NMRA, however doesn't even give you a piece of paper thanking you for your effort. ..and they wonder why membership is down.
     
  4. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

    1,181
    80
    24
    Ok, I'll take the bait. Yesterday a thread was started COMMENDING Atlas for enforcing the rules on their message boards regarding manufacturer announcements, and several people here thought that was OK. At the same time, a (supposed, I have no idea if it's true) copyright holder takes action to protect their copyright, and that's considered WRONG? Or is it just because it was the NMRA? Yeah, thought so...
     
  5. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

    1,211
    0
    22
    There is no evidence that the NMRA holds the copyright. At such time as they can provide evidence, I will be the first to offer public apology.
     
  6. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

    1,561
    370
    37
    I was resting my tired back not 6' from where this NMRA testosterone fit took place on Saturday! It threw an un-necessary panic for some and created a large negative acceptance for the rest of us Z scalers. And here I was, thinking of joining the Atlanta Piedmont division NMRA.

    Apparantly, the NMRA knows not how close a mass majority of us are that sail the Zea for when they decided to create what they thought would be a ripple looks to be indeed causing a stormy Zea. When the Zeas start rolling, tossing all of us around, it doesn't make them look good, especially since the Zea is growing and the NMRA memberships are said to be down.

    I was so serious in thinking of joining, I have allowed these waves to toss my decision to the back of the mind. Not going to happen now and, we'll Zea about the future!

    Hobo Tim

    p.s. David, you have my support!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  7. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

    1,734
    275
    36
    Your right, goonish behavior all around. :) There were a number GD products being sold by other mfgs at the show and since I have a keen interest in the subject, asked about retaining rights. None of them did. I'm less offended by what NMRA storm troopers did and more by the (insert favorite barn yard animal here) that turned Dave in. I also have a problem with NMRA holding rights or inforcing them at all. They are not an arm of the law nor should be in the business of policing product. Where are the lawyers and officals when a layout has a number of depictions of sexual contact between two concenting pieces of plastic? Standing around giggling about it. How about all the other products that were offered that violated obvious copyright laws...standing in line to buy it. I've seen it. It's bad enough that these hobby organizations are populated by a few folks who are on power trips or are meglomaniacs terrified of a little competition or exclusive ownerships. Most are good people who have a sincere attitude and want to see things change. I only hope that NMRA is not in such bad shape that they have to pay a lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour to go after $8 of royalty. If they need it that bad, the check is in the mail.

    Joe

     
  8. BestSnowman

    BestSnowman TrainBoard Member

    35
    0
    7
    I'm not going to comment on the Atlas bit at all but let's assume that the NMRA does hold the copyright. Does it serve the hobby to prevent hobbyists from using the name? I mean what damage is it to the NMRA to for someone to recreate a legendary model railroad? What preserves the memory of this railroad better, locking it up at the NMRA or modelers attempting to remake it in homage to the original?

    To me it feels like the NMRA is more about locking up modeling information from those that haven't paid their dues.
     
  9. karnydoc

    karnydoc TrainBoard Member

    136
    0
    11
    Under US copyright law, John Allen's estate would retain ownership of the copyright following his death. Unless, of course, its ownership was transferred in writing to someone else.

    I'm not an attorney, so I may be unintentionally adversely affecting my interpretation of the copyright laws here in the US.

    Dieter Zakas
     
  10. ryuen

    ryuen New Member

    2
    0
    9
    Being from the other side of the great pond I will not comment on what happened or the organisation involved, it is not my place to do so, I would however like to thank Mr Smith for keeping the blog up.
    I can only speak for myself but this blog has been both inspirational and an education so far, I consider myself a novice at model railroading and I found this blog to be a valuable resource along with his other blogs and websites.

    So thank you Mr Smith, to have kept this great resource online.

    Kurt Segers
     
  11. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

    771
    7
    19
    I can see where the estate could keep either the name <OR> plans <<IF>> it had been registered. In poking around out of curiosity I've not found that that it was either registered nor copyrighted by anyone. Does anyone have a good pointer to be SURE one way or the other of the copyright status? It is interesting that there are books out there that are copyrighted by the author who seem to have no connection to Allen or his estate.

    ...don
     
  12. BestSnowman

    BestSnowman TrainBoard Member

    35
    0
    7
    There are three ways the NMRA would have them, 1) John signed them over before his death, 2) John included the transfer in his will 3) his estate transfered them after his passing.

    Even then a name is not copyrightable (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html) so I'm not sure what copyright they are using in this case. A name would have to be trademarked, even then since the original no longer exists if it were trademarked I'm not sure it'd still be valid (not a lawyer)
     
  13. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

    1,532
    80
    32
    Tim,
    While you were the one resting your back, I was the lucky? fellow that was directly approached by the NMRA lawyer and asked about the sale items.
    I will admit he was polite and non threatening during our conversation, and while I know nothing of legal matters, (nor care.......I never studied law or give a hoot that most lawyers live in Sue City, Iowa.....a joke folks) I none the less felt compelled to abide by the lawyer's directions to cease and desist selling the products using the forbidden name. He did say that if we crossed out the name, (we did), we could continue selling David's line of products. He also talked in length to Karin regarding the situation. She was visibly upset and that did raise my hackles a bit. Rick Spano, Dave's good friend and Karin attempted to contact David and encourage him to not give up the ship regarding this project. All in all, a lot of folks were upset by this situation and I hope the guy who turned us in for selling the products is pleased with himself.

    He could have directly approached me and asked about the situation before he turned to the NMRA staff. I am a very accommodating guy and would have personally contacted the NMRA staff to inquire more thoroughly into this situation.

    If indeed the NMRA is correct in their stance and position they took, then this is just a case of David not knowing of the copyright. David would not willingly do something that was against the law. David certainly meant no harm nor was he trying to pull one over on anyone.

    David's modeling skills are beyond question and his business practices are as professional as they come. I'm glad that David is continuing with his blog and layout and we will find a way to promote his excellent products without offending anyone. There is certainly more than one way to skin a cat........(oops, sorry Karin, nothing personal.)

    David, we stand behind you and look forward to continued excellent product development and release by your company.
     
  14. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

    771
    7
    19
    Well, here is a probable "gotcha".

    ...don
     

    Attached Files:

  15. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    6,007
    5,068
    104
    wow...guess I will not join the NMRA...after all, they are just a bunch of........, look at their...... logo
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  16. BestSnowman

    BestSnowman TrainBoard Member

    35
    0
    7
    Trademark makes a little more sense that copyright. That said it's interesting that the original was destroyed in 1973 but the trademark is marked as first used in 2006. I'm not sure what circumstances lead the NMRA to trademarking it but it seems disingenuous for them to trademark the name of a popular freelanced layout.
     
  17. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    6,007
    5,068
    104
    Will they do the same with the V&O? The F&SM? The AM? They decided to go after anyone that uses the name, will they do the same for the timesaver?
     
  18. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

    1,211
    0
    22
    In light of this information, I hereby offer my sincere apologies to the NMRA for having infringed on their trademark. All references have been removed from my products, website and blogs.

    For what it's worth, I used the phrase "Z Scale Gorre and Daphetid" as a means to distinguish it from the original. Likely not enough for a legal distinction.

    As to the legitimacy of the trademark, I leave that to others to debate.
     
  19. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

    1,734
    275
    36
    Interesting situation. I wonder why NMRA feels the need to own fallen flags so to speak. I'm working on...dare I say it, the Jerome and Southwestern in N scale and have the blessing of John Olson. Wonder if NMRA will shut me down as well? Are they going after the various special interest groups built around those flags? Tired of Jack Booting to be honest, we had it in the IPMS...un-nessary, un-productive, and only serves to drive away members.

    Dave, my fiancee does a little channeling, I'll see if she can get John Allen to sign off on your project :eek:)

    Joe
     
  20. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    795
    232
    20
    The trademark registration is interesting in that there is a large body of copyrighted material that predates the trademark registration by decades and a number of physical, for-sale products that also predate the trademark. The trademark is most likely invalid and lawyers are looking for someone who can't afford to fight the NMRA to license the D&G in order to "validate" the trademark.
    While I support anyone that is protecting a valid copyright, trademark or patent registration, I question the validity here.

    BTW: there exists a botched attempt by the NMRA to trademark DCC...anyone want to buy it?
     

Share This Page