The Monkey Goes Pop

So yesterday, I saw in my newsfeed that Pop Goes the Monkey has had some of his items pulled from his store on Shapeways. It seems that Games Workshop have made a complaint to shapeways due to Copyright infringement, Shapeways have subsequently removed a few hundred different designs from their website.

If you are a reader of my ramblings, then you might remember me sharing my thoughts on third party providers here and while I am still very much a fan of third party providers, I can understand why GW may have taken action against Pop. I’ve never ordered any of his stuff myself, but I’ve seen it on many hobbyists projects over the years, I particularly like the Combat shields with integral bolt pistols that he did, but it only takes a cursory scan of his store to see that a lot of his products are very close to and in a lot of cases exactly the same as GWs own designs, his Invictus Shields for example could be a scan of Forgeworld’s own.

Games Workshop is famously aggressive with regards to protecting it’s IP, so it’s odd that Pop is as surprised as he appears to be by their action. He’s made reference in a couple of his posts to them removing some of his original designs too, without knowing what these are it’s difficult to comment on that, but if he’s included a trademarked logo on something that he designed, then I could see why they’d take issue. It may be that the Chapterhouse case has made people think that they have free reign with IP, when that isn’t exactly the case. Copyright law is a complicated business, and not something I’m gonna get into here.

What do you guys think? Games Workshop stepping on the Little Guy, or simply protecting their IP from profiteering? We’d love to hear your thoughts.