The past day or so, I’ve gotten a lot of emails regarding this piece of “news.” I saw some images on Facebook yesterday morning about it but brushed it off because I didn’t want to advertise it. A lot of people who saw the same images are outraged that this is going on and wanted me to write about it and maybe LEGO can see what’s happening.
If you didn’t read about it a few weeks ago, LEGO filed a civil action against LEGO bootleg company Lepin and the cases have been accepted in Chinese courts for further judgment. Well since Lepin is having some legal issues copying official LEGO sets, they’ve now turned to LEGO fans for inspiration for their next sets.
As you can see above, they’ve launched their Creators line and pretty much copied the Barnes & Noble and Starbucks Store project by wooootles on LEGO Ideas. Not only that, they have more sets copied shown on the back of the box such as the International Hotel by lgorlando and the Apple Square University by Pete Stege.
One thing to note is that when you submit your project to LEGO Ideas, you “give rise to any intellectual property right interest, hereunder copyright, patent rights, design rights etc., you hereby assign all rights worldwide to the content generated by you to LEGO” as stated in the Terms of Service so basically LEGO owns the designs of the projects for three years after it is no longer considered for production.
We all know what’s shared on the internet is on there pretty much forever and if a builder decides to share their instructions on a project, that’s one thing but if Lepin is just producing LEGO fans’ builds they share online, even without instructions, there’s really no way to combat that. So be careful what you post online as you may see your design becoming a Lepin set one day. It looks like we won’t be hearing the end of them any time soon.
**Also seen on Brickset**