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  1. #1
    Weakling
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    DIY replica legal but selling a copy is illegal?

    Hi,

    this is a two layered thread. It asks two questions.

    1.) Is it legal? To make it, to ride it, but illegal to sell it commercially?

    2.) Is it practical, economical, fun even? At least educational?

    This try to be a shorter version of my too long original post.

    I've decided to either buy a Carryme folder from the Pacific-cycles Taiwan
    and to use it until it show sign of stress or it breaks under my too heavy body. And then make a stronger replica of it so I have something practical
    to ride on. That bike is my main target. Most likely I will buy it if I find a dealer that sell to Sweden and it cost reasonly fair price for handling it through the Toll and such.

    http://www.pacific-cycles.com/bike.a...cat=3&model=39


    Here is the old very wordy version of my original post. OP
    Background to my questions. Very old bikes at museum is out of biz so there is no bike shope
    where you could buy it in.
    You have to find someone who just happen to have one at home not realizing what
    a Gem they own and buy that one or you could build a replica.

    Is it legal to sell such a replica if one don't do it commercially but only to begging collectors?

    To sell copies of bikes in production for sure is illegal and should be. A-bike is a known
    example.

    But what about doing it yourself (DIY), if I do a replica of a bike I see on internet and there is no distributor
    where I live and I have no passport so I fail to visit a country they distribute to.

    Example would be the 17bicycle I linked to in the folded subforum.

    The A-bike have a dealer in Sweden but the A-bike are too small for me I am 195 cm tall and weight 95KG. Has failed to go down to the 85 they see as max limit for the A-bike.
    So I want to make a replica of it with with bigger wheels and stronger materials and other moddings.

    Not to sell it, only for the practical reason that it would be rideable while the orginal isn't?

    I also want to make a replica of the Carryme made by Pacific-cycles in Taiwan. Hard to find bike where I live.
    No distributor in Sweden. That bike should be even easier to make a replica of.

    Any kind and thoughtful feedback and comment would be most highly appreciated.

    I use a homegrown verbose English barely learn autodidact by reading American mags.
    Last edited by Weakling; 12-25-07 at 08:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I think it depends on local laws. Copyright laws in the states do not apply here. Take a simple patent like the horst link. I can reproduce that until the cows come home, I can make it identical to the demo9 series if I wanted. Specialized could do nothing.

    now generic bikes, i don't know if patents even apply to a standard bike build, so I would say yes, it would be fun and educational. Would it be legal to sell, again local laws.

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    You need a real lawyer not a bunch of internet loudmouths on a bike forum.

    As an internet loudmouth, I'll respond anyway with the caveat that I'm not a lawyer in any country. The law around various forms of intellectual property is especially thorny as what it protects is so intangible. It varies greatly from country to country and even from judge to judge and district to district. This is why many intellectual property lawsuits are tried in districts known for being IP plaintif friendly.

    As I understand it, in the US whether something is done for commercial purposes or not is irrelevant. IP violations affect the market regardless of whether or not the violator is making a profit. Secondly, it'll vary a bit depending upon what kind of IP law is in question: trademark, patent, trade secret and copyright are all different.

    I would think you're most likely to be able to steer clear of trademarks by avoiding the reproduction of decals. Patents on things like folding mechanisms could be a real problem. Copyright is for protecting publications and probably isn't a concern. I haven't a clue whether you could get burned on trade secrets and the whole "look and feel" thing seems to be a grey area which would really vary by country.

    If it were my question, I'd build it for me but I wouldn't build anything for anyone else at any price without contacting a lawyer.

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Go consult a real lawyer.

    Kthxbai
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Who cares? Worry about that when the lawsuits come around. Then with all of the money you made from it, you can afford a much better lawyer than the one you would ask prior to doing this. Obviously I am joking and any patent or copyright laws should be looked into. Unfortunately, (not disclosing my background) most lawyers would not know the exact answer of that until it is settled in court.
    I say, there is only one way to find out. Happy pirating.

    ***It is legal to download, posses, and play MP3's that you did not purchase. But it is illegal to sell in any way shape or form. (Basically as long as you don't make any money from anything, there is nothing to sue you for.)
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    A product may be protected by patents, by copyrights, or by trademarks. So it depends on exactly what you're copying, whether the feature in question was ever patented in the first place, and whether that patent is still good or not.

    If the item was patented, trademarked, etc., you may be able to find that online and see if it is still valid. If not, it may be tough to be sure it is not.

  7. #7
    Weakling
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    Thanks to all of you. I quote this text by halfspeed.
    If it were my question, I'd build it for me
    but I wouldn't build anything for anyone else at any price
    without contacting a lawyer.
    That is most likely what I will settle for. To only make one to myself.
    I want to make some changes to it. Go for 12" wheels and 7 Gear Shimano internal in hub.

    Or I give in to my extreme laziness and "thumb in the middle of my hand"
    clumsiness and just buy the original at whatever cost to import it.

    I'm sure of that it will be double price when the Toll, IRC and Custom
    and Authorities and Delivery cost is added up. If I'm lucky I could buy
    it in England and get it over here some way. Ride it through the Tunnel

    At first I hated the look of the bike Carryme by Pacific-cycles in Taiwan
    but the more I look at it and read about it is an ugly Duckling looking
    like a Swan to me. In my wishful thinking it will "fly" when I ride it.

    The Designer is nearly 80 years old and I admire his innovative take on it.

  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Go consult a real lawyer.

    Kthxbai
    You can build/ride anything that meets the legal discription of
    a 'vehicle' (bikes ARE vehicles) in your state.

    If ya wanna sell'm get a lawyer.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  9. #9
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post

    ***It is legal to download, posses, and play MP3's that you did not purchase. But it is illegal to sell in any way shape or form. (Basically as long as you don't make any money from anything, there is nothing to sue you for.)
    I am not a lawyer, but in the US I believe that this is incorrect and bad advice. Fair use allows for very limited copying and there is absolutely no exception for non-profit infringement. The RIAA has gone after many defendents on the basis of circumstantial evidence of simply making songs available through file-sharing services with no profits to themselves involved. This case in particular gained a fair amount of notice: http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3546

    Note the rationale for the penalty. Since the defendent made available infringing materials, it "harmed" the plaintiffs by reducing the market for their product. IOW, they lost sales due to the free copies the defendent was supplying and they have a right to compensation.

    Not to say I agree with any of this, but you should not think that you are immune to lawsuits simply because you are not profiting from your infringement.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    Not to say I agree with any of this, but you should not think that you are immune to lawsuits simply because you are not profiting from your infringement.
    As someone heavily involved in the creation of easily copyable IP myself, I can say that this is completely true. You are NOT legally scot-free in making a personal copy, even if no money is ever involved.

    However, I would do it anyways since the chances of anyone who cares ever even knowing about it are very slim if you are doing it just for yourself.

  11. #11
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are very different things, with different rules and different lengths of time that they are valid. Patents have the shortest term: Used to be 17 years from the granting of the patent, now is 20 years from the time of application for the patent. After a patent has expired, you can build the patented item and sell it, but you'd better not include a trademark or any copyrighted material that's still protected. I think that even while a patent is in force, you can make a patented item for your own noncommercial use, but that's only my uneducated opinion.

  12. #12
    Weakling
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    Yes, all of this is a kind of legal jungle. What if a journalist with camerateam
    is doing a reportage and me just happen to ride by and they caught me on tape
    and the patent owner see it or get a tip on it and he get outraged thinking me
    do such for commercial purpose and shoot first and check who I was only when
    the legal biz is rolling. Hahah I don't feel safe.


    I have to wait until the bike arrive in London England this spring and see if people
    write about their experiences here and then I go buy one me too.

    Isn't the Carryme a crazy looking bike? I must be crazy wanting such an ugly bike?

    The folding is genial and I admire the guy who came up with it. so clever.

  13. #13
    Weakling
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    The alternative is to make a custom made version at the factory in Taiwan.
    Such would cost very much. If I make the whole bike at home I could make
    needed adjustments on spot without having to order a new version if it.

    I need to take more strong parts that would brake on the original bike.
    So it will weight more in the end. Either that or me use the bike as an
    excuse to go down in weight until I reach 85kg. I've tried that for year
    or so without being able to hold it there when I reach it. I go straight up
    to my 95 to 98 kg in no time. Seems me stuck with that weight.

    They warn us to use the bike if we are above limits.

    Yes me could by a Mobiky or similar bike but they are bigger and more expensive.
    Carryme around 400USD while Mobiky reduced intro price is 700USD.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    1.) Is it legal? To make it, to ride it, but illegal to sell it commercially?
    check a-bike on ebay and you will see tons of 'fake' a-bikes.

    2.) Is it practical, economical, fun even? At least educational?

    I really doubt you should start with something as complicated as the A-Bike. I suggest you post on the mechanics board and ask how to develop bike building skills. Get a job at a bicycle shop.

    It may be possible to buy a fake a-bike and then replace and weak parts with stuff you have made custom.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  15. #15
    Weakling
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    I'm a poor writer. I want to make a stronger version of the Carryme just for me.
    Not to sell it to others. Maybe I should change my original post so I don't mislead
    people. It sure would be cool to make a strong version of A-bike too but that one
    look more complicated with the tube into tube fold. Hard to find such that works
    for a clumsy person like me.

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