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@AlanRail posted:

Thanks to Disney, determining the length of a copyright is a bit complex.  It was 70 years plus life of designer or author or artist. Registration not required. Now the copyright could expire in 2048 if created before 1978. 

So Bachmann may still have a copyright. The right thing to do was for TrainWorxs to give Bachmann credit for the design and obtain rights to the design.

Just because this is a building design being copied and not a locomotive does not make it right.

Get real.  There are only 10,000 churches in the US that look like that.  

I only play a lawyer on TV, but I'll bet I could take your case apart, counselor.  



You are missing the point. Coming out with a "new" product that is clear copy of someone else's interpretation of the idea of a church is simply wrong.

It constitutes an unlawful taking.

All Trainworx needed to do is pay homage to the plasticville design by added a notation. Instead they came out with it making it out as original when they clearly  relied on someone else's design.

You think that's acceptable.. fine. 

"You are missing the point."

I disagree. I think George gets the point. 

The Plasticville Church and the new Mike Reagan/TW Trainworx Church serve very different functions and markets. The design is relatively ancient and not particularly original in any case, certainly not the way Lionel's trade dress was, when it was brazenly copied by Jerry Williams, Mike Wolf and others.  If Lionel chose not to go after these two, why would Bachmann do so for something so trivial and obscure?

It's not like TW Trainworx will be compromising Bachmann's intellectual property (seriously?) or sales by selling a dozen or two of these very lovely, if pricey kits.  Anyone is entitled to feel differently of course, but I don't think Bachmann will be offended, nor would be it a good use of our civil courts to address this formally.

If someone at Bachmann is offended, I'm sure TW Trainworx would be happy to note that the 89 cent toy from three quarters of a century ago is a partial inspiration for their $200+ craftsman kit.

Landsteiner and George have it correct. The actual church design is apparently a fairly GENERIC, as it were, example of church architecture in the greater Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. Bachmann's model, in its day, was never meant to be an exact or particular model of any church. Ergo, the TrainWorx model is a MORE detailed model of a GENERIC Philadelphia church. There are NO grounds for ANY design appropriation except perhaps in the eyes of an overzealous attorney.

Last edited by Tinplate Art

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