Using the LDraw name


Using the LDraw name
#1
Hi, I am contributing to a Blender LDraw Import script, and I was wondering if we could call it "Blender LDraw Importer". I know it has the name LDraw in it, but after all, it imports LDraw files, and if we called it anything else, nobody would know what it is.

Thanks!

-rioforce
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#2
This is that "business" I was referring to in my intro topic. I need someone who can guide me in properly following the LDraw bylaws in proper use of the name, and what is officially classified as a program that uses the LDraw library.

I am the maintainer of a Blender 3D import script that imports .ldr and .dat models import Blender for use in renders. This bypasses the requirement to convert it to 3DS or OBJ before hand. I did not create it, rather someone else did and I plus a few others (mainly in the two months) have been drastically improving, and are soon releasing a v1.1 release. This is not an advertisement, I simply have to give background to explain my issue. Also, rioforce is a fellow collaborator on the script, and since he beat me to asking this question, I'll provide extra details.

Because the script was created when Blender was in version 2.5 and I picked it up in version 2.6.x, I renamed it to Blender 2.6 LDraw Importer. However, Blender is soon entering version 2.7, and after looking at the LDraw bylaws, I can tell it violates the bylaws. We are currently brainstorming new names, but we are running into issues into properly following the bylaws.

First, what is the official definition of a program that uses the LDraw library? The script in a nutshell reads a model, gets the bricks uses, reads them, applies the colors, and constructs the model. It does not include the Brick library, you have to have it already.

Second, and I guess it is based on the first, how do I go about properly renaming it to comply with the bylaws? According to http://www.ldraw.org/article/281.html#2_...d_programs:

Quote:LDraw.org uses the LDraw trademark with permission from the Jessiman Estate, therefore we cannot grant permission to third parties to use it. It is also our definition that the LDraw trademark represents the LDraw System of Tools and the LDraw Parts Library, so it is our policy that LDraw should not appear in a program's title and/or URL to protect the uniqueness of the LDraw trademark.

We recommend that programs/websites wishing to identify with LDraw choose titles that add "LD" in front of the name as a way to associate the program as part of the LDraw software family.

So it seems I need to append "LD" to the beginning of the project name, correct? Also keep in mind that there kinda has to be "LDraw" stated somewhere. The import menu where you invoke it is one, and some of the script messages, so I can't cut it out completely. It's the nature of an import script.

I welcome all anyone can help me out here. The "thread" where we are discussing this is here, and the project is hosted on GitHub. Also, if you see any other violations in the script, please point them out, noting the script messages.

(Off-topic: does this prove I am not a "very elaborate spammer", Tim? Tongue)
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#3
Any program that implements the LDraw.org File Format is considered "LDraw compatible". This is a little bit fungible since we don't really enforce this in any way (nor could we).

As for the LDraw name, we don't have any control. We are graciously allowed to use the name by the estate of James Jessiman. That said, as long as your program/converter/whatever has something to do with LDraw and you are not passing yourself off as officially endorsed by LDraw.org then you'll probably be fine.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#4
Triangle717 Wrote:So it seems I need to append "LD" to the beginning of the project name, correct? Also keep in mind that there kinda has to be "LDraw" stated somewhere. The import menu where you invoke it is one, and some of the script messages, so I can't cut it out completely. It's the nature of an import script.

I'd like to add to Orion's statement that you might use the term "LDraw" in dialogs or menus such as "Path to the LDraw Parts Library" or "Import LDraw model" or on a web page describing what's all about, but you cannot use the Word "LDraw" in a programs title. Therefore LDR2Blender or LDBlenderImporter or any other combination would be fine.

w.
LEGO ergo sum
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#5
What about COLLADA, LightWave, or Wavefront OBJ? They all use trademarked names, and they are very popular. They do not say that they are officially developed by the companies, but they import them. Since we are not distributing the LDraw Library with the script, I think we should use the LDraw name (and put a disclaimer saying it's not actully by LDraw.org) for clearity, and people to find it easily.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#6
If you read through the rules about the use of the name, you will see that it clearly states that LDraw has no right to allow others to use the name. So what you think, or we think, is moot. What the Jessiman estate thinks is what's important.

I agree your name makes sense. If you call it "Blender LDR/MPD Importer" all would be fine. You can then refer to the LDraw parts, and LDraw everywhere else.

Tim
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#7
Is this script a stand-alone prog of something that is called from within Blender?

w.
LEGO ergo sum
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#8
From within Blender, that's how all import scripts work. I made a demo video of the script last year (way out of date now and has incorrect information), but the method of installing and invoking it is still the same. It also displays some of those UI messages I was talking about (more has been added since).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la_McWUTPKE&t=1m26s
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#9
Just a few comments for you guys about trademark laws (following on from comments you made at GitHub):

1) Trademark counts whether or not something is free or not. Some companies have a policy of allowing free use, some don't. Try using the word LEGO in the name of your script and you'll see what I mean. They will have their lawyers send you a cease and desist, like they've done for countless websites.

2) As you rightly point out, LDraw is not a registered trademarked. However, Australia (where the trademark originates) has the concept of "use-based rights" which do not require registration. They are conferred by building a reputation in a marketplace, and it can be safely argued that in the marketplace of LEGO compatible modelling formats, LDraw has a very strong reputation.

3) As such, if the Jessiman's decided to get a lawyer onto you, they could. They probably won't, but they could. You need to ask yourself if you'd be willing to deal with that risk.

4) Also, do you realise you actually can distribute the library with your code? It's open source.

Tim
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#10
1) LEGO has a fair-play policy. If you clearly say it's not official, it won't matter. Plus, if they got lawyers, we could gladly change the name.

2) I don't understand about that, but don't you need an internationaly registered trademark to say if we can use a name or not?

3) If they sent lawyers, sure, we would change the name. But if it's open source and LDraw is open source, why can we not affiliate it with LDraw via the name?

4) We don't want to distribute the library. Our script is a plugin for Blender, not a stand-alone program. We have no need to distribute the library.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#11
You guys are going to have to get a bit more clued in to real life if you want to keep making software (eg. see what happens to open-source perl project that use camels in their logo). I like your work, I even think you should be able to use the name LDraw, but sitting around making bullshit, anti-factual arguments is not the way to go about using it. Your friend "Banbury" is particularly dangerous with his misinformation about trademark laws. The truth is not hard to find on google and should be read carefully.

"1) LEGO has a fair-play policy. If you clearly say it's not official, it won't matter. Plus, if they got lawyers, we could gladly change the name."

I can assure you they would do it if you used LEGO in the URL or project title. Because they have. Repeatedly.

"2) I don't understand about that, but don't you need an internationaly registered trademark to say if we can use a name or not?"

No. Trademark law is, for the most part, internationally compatible.

"3) If they sent lawyers, sure, we would change the name. But if it's open source and LDraw is open source, why can we not affiliate it with LDraw via the name?"

I'm not sure why James Jessiman's parents kept the trademark after he died, but I assume it was to stop people misusing it. The trademark on the name is a completely different issue to the open source nature of the LDraw language and parts. Stop conflating the two.

"4) We don't want to distribute the library. Our script is a plugin for Blender, not a stand-alone program. We have no need to distribute the library."

I'm not forcing you to do it.

Tim
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#13
OK, I am the lead programmer here. I am going to college for programming, and I am the one who started the name change idea.

"1) Trademark counts whether or not something is free or not. Some companies have a policy of allowing free use, some don't. Try using the word LEGO in the name of your script and you'll see what I mean. They will have their lawyers send you a cease and desist, like they've done for countless websites."

I have heard of these events, and trust me I do not want that to happen, either will LEGO or the Jessiman Estate. That is why I began this process.

"2) As you rightly point out, LDraw is not a registered trademarked. However, Australia (where the trademark originates) has the concept of "use-based rights" which do not require registration. They are conferred by building a reputation in a marketplace, and it can be safely argued that in the marketplace of LEGO compatible modelling formats, LDraw has a very strong reputation."

I did not know that, thank you. I was already well aware of the praise LDraw has, but did not know the name was founded in Australia. I do not want to encroach upon your rights as much as the next guy, so I am trying to change the name.

"3) As such, if the Jessiman's decided to get a lawyer onto you, they could. They probably won't, but they could. You need to ask yourself if you'd be willing to deal with that risk."

See 1).

"4) Also, do you realise you actually can distribute the library with your code? It's open source."

"4) We don't want to distribute the library. Our script is a plugin for Blender, not a stand-alone program. We have no need to distribute the library."

Yes, I am clearly aware. However, that is not in my best interest for the project.


"(S)ee what happens to open-source perl project that use camels in their logo"

Yet again another reason I want to rename to conform with the bylaws.


"3) If they sent lawyers, sure, we would change the name. But if it's open source and LDraw is open source, why can we not affiliate it with LDraw via the name?"

I'm not sure why James Jessiman's parents kept the trademark after he died, but I assume it was to stop people misusing it. The trademark on the name is a completely different issue to the open source nature of the LDraw language and parts. Stop conflating the two."

Misuse of the name is a big deal in any market. That may be why they kept it. I understand that name =/= open-source nature (see VLC or Audacity, both of them deal with the issue).

The main reason rioforce wants to keep LDraw in the name is so people can find it and understand what it is without trying to figure out what "LDBlender" means, for example. His justification is there is one (actually, about 5) old importer scripts for Blender 2.3 (all but two have been lost), and they had LDraw in their name, and people could find them. You can look them up. However, (and not to say this in a mean way), they may have not know about or was ignorant of the LDraw bylaws and chose to use them in the name. I know about them, I am not ignorant, and I want to obey them all the way. But having it in the name =/= easier to find. Bricksmth, LeoCAD, MLCad, LDView, all these are well known software, and they comply. I see no reason why we, knowledgeable people, cannot change to conform and not become a well-known addon, that the only way to be sucessful is to disobey and rebel.

I'm sorry for this somewhat heated topic, but I had no idea it would cause this much trouble. I am currently going back at looking at possible names that fully comply with the bylaws.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#14
Hi,

For the record I've found you to be extremely polite and collegial. I totally understand your desire to use the name, and support it (albeit with no power to do anything about it). My comment above about getting "clued in" was directed at rioforce and Banbury, not you who clearly is clued in Smile

I think I can speak on behalf of the other LDraw webmasters in saying we will do what we can to support your project, whatever the final name.

Tim
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#12
Ok, forget it. We will figure it out.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#15
I should have said this already, but thank you very much for your support and understanding in this matter, and even more during this unexpected fiasco. Smile If you know any Python coders who are familiar with the Blender API, send them over. It has been identified that it needs a huge rewrite, and three people (counting me, who has the least knowledge of the Blender API) may not be able to do in the best way possible.

I have chosen a new name for the project, and will try to announce it this afternoon.
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#16
OK, the new name for the project has been has been chosen and it is...

LDR Importer

The reasoning behind it is simple. Both Blender users and/or brick builders who use LDraw will understand what it is. If a Blender user wants to build a model in LeoCAD or MLCad, they will learn what an LDR file is and from reading about the project, they will see it imports LDR models. Same goes for builders who know what Blender is. I wanted to keep "BL" or any references to Blender out because I could not find any usage rules on it (only the logo). "LDR" comes from http://www.ldraw.org/article/218.html#extension

Quote:All LDraw files carry the LDR (default), DAT or MPD extension.

MPD models are not yet supported, but LDR and DAT is. I chose LDR 1. because that is the most common and default extension for models and is unlikely to change, and 2. I do really like names that state what files it supports exactly (and once MPD support is here, what do I do then, rename it again?).

This all reflects what Arthur said on GitHub (unsure who you are on here):

Quote:What you are importing could not be "LDraw", it is the product of a CAD tool which is using the part library to build virtual Lego models, simply a LDR file. With what kind of tool such a LDR file has been created is not relevant. System requirements are, together with Blender and your Script, LDraw's Part Library (structured collection of .DAT files, not less but not more) and a LDraw file .LDR. Not sure if your Script can handle .MPD files too. From my point of view there is no need for using "LDraw" as part of the script name. People who are familiar with LDraw using your script know about the meaning of LDR.

There it is. For good measure, I will ask if this "meets your approval". Wink
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#17
I think, this is a good choice.
Nevertheless you should really add a mpd support, because most of the models, I know, are made with this extension.

/Max
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#18
+1
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#19
Max Martin Richter Wrote:Nevertheless you should really add a mpd support, because most of the models, I know, are made with this extension.

We are fully aware of this limit and do plan on fixing it (Banbury has already opened an issue and assigned himself to work on it). It it currently set for v1.2, but I am going to propose pushing that back for a pretty much required rewrite of the script that will better allow future expantions such as MPD and Bricksmith LDR support but also ease the process of coding, as it will be properly documented and work a lot better. Wink
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Re: Using the LDraw name
#20
Hmmm....
I just had a look at LDD and there you can do "Model Export" or "Model Import" -> "LDraw-files (*.ldr)"...
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