Can I sell my Star Wars models?

Hey Guys,
a few months ago I finished modelling the Venator-class Star Destroyer from Revenge of the Sith. I never planned on selling it, because I’m probably not allowed to do it, because the design, etc. is owned by Lucasfilms. Yesterday, someone contacted me on Artstation wanting to buy my model for a fan film. This is not the first time someone asked me that. A month after publishing it, I got contacted by a guy, that works on a Star Wars Fan Film (https://twitter.com/MovieVader), asking to use my Venator. At the time I thought, If I can’t sell it, I just give it to him for free. But now I don’t know if I want to just give out all my models for free. I really could use some extra money.
I don’t want to put it on the Blendermarket or someplace else, but If someone contacts me, is there a way I can sell it to him? There are so many Star Wars models online, and many of them cost money. Is really every one of them doing something illegal?
And if I could sell it, how much would you sell it for?

The Venator on Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Qzqez3
A turntable Animation on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl5xT9SHbUM

With best regards, Malte

Legally speaking, no. Do some people get away with it? Sometimes. However, as Star Wars is now Disney owned, I wouldn’t even think about it. Disney is known for coming after even the smallest of vendors like storm troopers themselves. Them and the NFL; Stay far away from their IP.

3 Likes

Yeaa, thanks for the reply. I thought so myself, but hoped maybe I was wrong.

Don’t sell the model. Just take money for the service fee for transferring the model to him, like other companies do :wink:

1 Like

Got it. I won’t see a single movie from them again.

3 Likes

Good luck with that… Disney owns just about everything these days…

Yes, you just do it. People sell models they don’t own the license to all the time. Think about cars, planes, guns all that stuff. If you don’t advertise your stuff or put it on marketplaces where it is obvious that you sell them, then it is practically impossible to track down that deal that you made with your customer.
Sell your models, but leave no paper trail and tell your customer that he/she should be silent about where he got that model and to what conditions.

1 Like

In that case, here’s a map of everything you’d have to avoid. Hopefully you’re not a big movie buff. :grin:

3 Likes

Not quite, but they now control one quarter of Hollywood and nearly all of the largest IP’s. This will eventually mean higher ticket and concession prices as they can exert increasingly tough demands on the theater chains. However, even their skyrocketing theme park prices do not stop millions of families from throwing large chunks of money at them (so people will still buy tickets and they will continue to grow).

And yes, Disney is probably with Nintendo and a couple of other companies in the upper ranks of how aggressive they are in controlling their IP.

Here’s what I’d do next: “contact LucasFilm/Disney.” Make a good-faith effort to contact them, describe your situation, and ask permission.

Now, you have exercised “due diligence.” You have shown that you respect their intellectual-property position and that you have therefore in good faith asked them for their blessing. Keep very specific records of the entire exchange: exactly when did you ask, exactly what did you ask, exactly what did they say and when did they say it, and so on.

1 Like

Nope. If you had called it something other than A Venator Class Star Destroyer from Star Wars and changed it enough so it wasn’t exactly the same ship but “inspired” by the ship you could probably get away with it. Disney Doesn’t seem to care what you do as long as your not making money off of it. And Yes they will go After you no matter how small you are.
I knew a guy that made a really nice 1/6th scale model of Luke on a Tauntaun. He was going to make molds and sell resin kits. They shut him down. Other people seem to get away with it as long as it’s a small one time thing.
I used to live down the street from Disney. A few horror stories I’ve heard. They went after a small 10 person Midwest exterminator company because they used Mickey mouse on their logo. A rather famous science fiction writer, with a horrible sense of humor, was hired by Disney. He got his own office, reserved parking spot with his name on it etc. The first day on the job he was in the lunchroom and made an off color joke about Mickey and Minnie Mouse. He got back from lunch and his office was cleaned out and packed into a box. He was escorted out of the building and they were already removing his name from the parking spot. Not sure if that’s true but knowing the writer I can believe it.
Ever since the Axanar train wreck fan films have come under closer scrutiny. I don’t think Disney cares as long as money isn’t being exchanged and it’s not making the characters look bad. IE. porn etc. Or the writing is better than theirs, Which would not be too hard to do after the last few films. If you want to get paid ask the film maker to pay you for making background models or props that are “Star Wars” Inspired but not exact copies.
The kick in the pants is that Disney steals stuff all the time from artists and creative people. It’s just they have lawyers and we don’t.

Hey Malte really good work on your model,
Regardless to what everyone is saying, you can sell your model. As long as you made everything on your model including the textures, or if they were public domain. (CC0)
If you look around, people sell models of all varieties from cars to furniture - and some of it is name brand too like these Ford Mustang GT’s on Turbosquid and that’s only one example. (Here’s also some Star Wars models)

Regardless of whether you sell your model or not, the fact someone wants to buy your model is awesome and I wish you the best! :slightly_smiling_face:

Intellectual property is the backbone of what we do. And you can not be selective about it because of convenience, bias or personal gain. Much less your opinion.

Even if you have no personal interest in ever capitalizing on your own IP, respect the right for others.

And you can’t be selective. So anyone attacking any aspect of anyone protecting that right big or small is an attack on the little guy trying to eek out a living. It is attack on any small to mid-sized studio.

It is an attack on all artists. And it undermines all of our ability to make a living.

It is also how George Lukas was able to build an empire and go from small time struggling screen writer and filmmaker to production mogul. And also the source of much of the technology we all use. Some of it open source.

None of that would have happened had he not got the right to merchandise his IP.

So this is rather a twisted full-circle.

Generally speaking, you can. It is breaking copyright laws, but all Disney or Lucasfilm would do is issue a cease and desist, and as long as you complied with that when or if it happened, generally, that would be it over. It happens all the time - generally, people aren’t prosecuted or anything like that, unless you are doing something with the Star Wars brand (or any other brand) that they don’t like.

They are pretty relaxed these days, unless something directly clashes with their own marketing campaigns - Baby Yoda is an excellent example; Disney had a bunch of stuff planned, but the community were faster, and so they shut some of them down - mostly those which were selling merch.

Free files, they don’t seem to come after that often, if at-all these days, especially for things which they themselves have no market for.

So conclusion, you can - but you might get a polite, yet very legal request to stop.

I definitely see plenty of people selling star wars things. It seems like if someone contacts you and offers you money for it, you’d be fine selling it to them, as long as you aren’t starting a store and advertising whats going on.

But like peter18 said, you would be warned to stop if they got wind of it, before they actually did anything. Its not like Swat officers with mickey mouse ears are going to bust down your door and execute you without any warning.

Maybe if you live outside of America I would maybe go for it. Like Turkey, Iran, Syria etc. I seem to remember some global copyright agreements though, like where all the countries were in agreement about certain penalties.