Legal questions

Legal questions
How come Lego is okay with programs that so closely depicts their bricks?

Would it be different if the programs which lets you build with Lego cost money?

Has LDraw been in contact with Lego and got their consent to use the design of their bricks?

I am asking because I want to make an app which lets you build with bricks.
Re: Legal questions
Hi Flexon,

I guess you have to ask LEGO itself to get a proper answer - and let us know ;-). James Jessiman the creator of the original program and the LDraw File Format feared to be asked to shut down his site back in the 90s but it newer happened. I guess there are several reasons for it:

* At the time LEGO had no software to build digital. LDraw filled a niche. The group even consulted with LDraw folks in a conference held in February 2001 in New York to gather input for the upcoming LDD.
* The geometry of the LDraw parts, especially all round shapes are rough compared to today's state-of-the-art CAD data and does not qualify for reproducing clones
* It uses it's own measuring system - the LDU or LDraw Unit which makes it harder engaging for example a 3D-printer to get real bricks out of the data.
* As you've already pointed out it is free - we do not comped or make a profit out of their creations

There has occasionally been some contact with the group. They used LDraw for example on LU because the parts where light-weight compared to their LDD data and we got part shapes in return. Sure there is the LDraw exporter in LDD but I guess in the end it boils down to a statement by a LEGO executive when talking about LDD-LDraw conversion: What is LDraw? :-)

LEGO ergo sum
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