The Starship Fabrication Project


In my surfings I came across a number of very detailed drawing of various starships from the Star Trek franchise. The drawings are, in fact, detailed enough to reproduce those ships. And so, I decided to do so. I also happen to get a kick out of fabricating starships that are themselves the fabrications of someone's imagination.

So, I looked over the drawings and have chosen some based on their length and beam (width for all you landlubbers out there). Since I have a full region available, the limit is 256 meters. Since it is a full region, the draft (or height) is limited to 4,096 meters.

Oh! And I am building these ships in InWorldz, the DrakkonHolde Region. If you visit, look around for the ShipYard.

Second Life has too many limitations on building to make this project viable there. (I plan on adding a page that does a factual comparison of the various grids regarding building). The most significant limitations is how many prims I have available, linking distance, linking total and prim dimensions.

In Second Life you have a maximum of 15,000 prims in a region versus 45,000 in InWorldz. SL has a link distance of 40m, in IW it is 256 meters. In SL you can link only 256 prims together (), I do not know for certain what the limit is, but I have heard that it is more than 1,000. In SL you are limited to prims that are no larger than 10m x 10m x 10m. In IW that is 128m x 128m x 128m.

Just to clarify, according to the SL Wiki, prims are limited to a maximum size of 10m x 10m x 10m and a minimum of .01m x .01m x .01m; you can link a maximum of 256 prims together, 32 if the object is made Physical, and a maximum link distance of any 2 prims, according to the Linkability Rules is dependent on three formulas:

SQRT(x^2 + y^2 + z^2)/2
Minimum of (3 * (radius_A + radius_B) + LINK_BONUS) and 54
SQRT(Xa^2 + Ya^2 + Za^2) + SQRT(Xb^2 + Yb^2 + Zb^2) + LINK_BONUS

Anyway, in IW the maximum prim size is 128m x 128m x 128m and the smallest .001m x .001m x .001m. I read in one of the IW forums where someone said they have linked over 1,000 prims together (As an update, Jan 26, I recently had 932 prims linked into one object. I have also linked prims that are 256m apart, center to center). And without needing a college degree in Mathematics to figure it all out.

And so, in IW I have a much greater ability to build things. Like fictional starships.

The first starship I have chosen, due to its relatively simple design and layout is the Botany Bay. Rather than continually adding to this page over time describing each ship, I will provide links so you can pick and choose which ones you want to check out.

If you want to check out the Starship Fabrication Project virtually in person, you will have to visit InWorldz and then come to DrakkonHolde. Once there, look around for the ShipYard.

And here's the first, The Botany Bay Build

For now, I am going to be working on Star Trek vessels and starbases. I do plan on branching out to do ships from other shows and movies, including Star Wars, Stargate, Babylon 5 and others.

At this point I will address some issues regarding copyright.

First of all, there is the matter of jurisdiction. I am Canadian, but InWorldz, the company, owns InWorldz, the virtual world. And they are US based, so it is US Copyright Law that has jurisdiction. This does not mean that I cannot argue the matter of jurisdiction if things were to come to the point of requiring the intervention of a court. But, Canadian law closely parallels US law so that is what to look at.

The US Copyright Act defines what copyright is and what is protected by copyright. It also provides exceptions to the what copy right is and exceptions to what is protected by copyright law.

So, I have been doing some basic research on this matter. After all, there is one very important question to be answered here. Am I legally allowed to build these ships? So, I went to Wikipedia and started with Fair Use (which doesn't apply, by the way) and went from there.

Still in Wikipedia, I eventually found the definition of Derivative Work. Not to say that I will take Wikipedia as being completely accurate, but that can also be judged through any citations in the article.

So, "a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work". Does that mean that the blueprints I used are themselves derivative works? And does that mean that my builds will be derivative works from those works?

Well, following one of those citations in the Wikipedia article takes you to the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute site, specifically to 17 USC Chapter 1 § 101 Definitions, which defines a derivative work to be "a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a 'derivative work' ". At this point, those drawings are a derivative work that is based on a preexisting work, those preexisting works being fictionalizations and motion picture version. And therefore, my own builds would be a derivative work of those same fictionalizations and motion picture versions as well as those derivative works, would they not?

I am not going to take up your time by rehashing what is already said in the Wikipedia article. The citations in that article are valid. What it all comes down to is this. If CBS chooses to file a DMCA take down notice on me, that is their right, under the law. However, even the most basic research shows that I have a good solid case to challenge their claim as being a derivative work. I can only hope that CBS's legal department considers the return on value if I do challenge any such notice and considers me to be too small to bother with.

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