Re: Custom Decals


This is all pretty much a moot point as to directly copy Champ's decals would not be a good thing to do. Although I agree that Champs had probably the best there was to be had back in "the day", their stuff is not up to todays standards.

What they have that is good is the content of their products; i.e. all the data and designs that were included on their sets.

I often "copy" old sets of decals for reproduction. What that means is doing a high res scan of the set and then drawing all new, vector artwork using the old sets as a guide. While going about it I generally search out any prototype photos I can find to ensure that the fonts and designs I am drawing are accurate. Champ was were the best researched, in my opinion, sets available but many others were not all the good. Several used printer fonts that were "close enough" but in fact, were not all that close. Also the older printers cannot match the definition of modern printers. I once took a magnifying class to some commercial GB&W diesel decals with the "checker board" frame stripes and those individual little blocks went more directions than there are points on a compass. While not noticable on the typical HO model without close inspection, what if these were enlarged to O scale? What if this was to be a judged contest model where close inspection is the norm?

Besides, when redrawing the sets can be modified to more specifically meet the end users needs.

So we have an old set used as a pattern. it has all new artwork and probably has several changes to up-date and individualize them. So just how much of a copyrights infringement are we talking here? Taking an ols set, scanning it and using that scan to reprint may indeed be an infringement but then, other than say, Microscale, who is going to go through the trouble to sue? And besides, all the infringement cases I've heard of (this is going way beyond just decals) the injured party begins with a strong letter threatening legal action if teh person doing the copying/selling does not desist. So there generally is fair warning if one gets nabbed copying copyrighted material.

John Hagen

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