09 February 2005


In a move that will surely drive guys like Starfighter nuts (and I'm not exactly happy about it, either!), it seems that new releases of model aeroplane kits are being delayed or stopped altogether by issues over intellectual copyright;

These royalty demands grew out of the idea that corporations should maximize “intellectual property” income. Models of a companys products are considered the intellectual property of the owner of a vehicle design. Some intellectual property lawyers have pointed out that many of these demands are on weak legal ground, but the kit manufacturers are often small companies that cannot afford years of litigation to settle this contention.

These sorts of legal problems are affecting real aeroplanes as well. The magnificent Flug Werk FW190 reproductions had to call themselves "FW190s" rather than Fw190s in order to avoid legal wrangling, according to an excellent recent article in the January edition of Flypast magazine. None of this sounds sensible at all.