Print 3D models to sell

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Print 3D models to sell

Post by artemisclark »

Hi everyone,

I am based in the UK and was wondering if it is legal to print 3D models of famous people, dead or alive, to sell on?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Print 3D models to sell

Post by AndyJ »

Hi artemisclark,

Assuming that you produce the designs yourself or have permission to use someone else's work, this should be OK. However be careful to base your designs on a number of source materials, as copying a single photograph, for instance, would infringe the copyright of the photographer. There is a specific reference in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act about making a 3D model from a 2D source (section 17(3)).

There is no legal protection in UK law for a person's likeness, although you do need to be careful not to imply that the person portrayed has endorsed or authorised the product. Although the Data Protection Act 2018 and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) cover many personal characteristics, including physical appearance, photographs and 3D renditions of a person have not so far been included, specifically, as personal data. That said, the law in this area is developing fairly rapidly, and so if someone wanted to object to the way that you had portrayed them, that might lead to a test claim. However that aspect of the law falls well outside the purpose of this forum and so I wouldn't want to comment further on that.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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