Square Enix takes down shop illegally selling 3D-printed Final Fantasy VII figures

Saturday, 17th August 2013 21:47 GMT By Phil Owen

So this guy, Joquin Baldwin, has been making 3D-printed figures based on Final Fantasy VII characters, called them by name, and sold them on the Shapeways marketplace. These figures are pretty cool looking, and lots of folks bought them. Then, CNET says, Square Enix found out about the operation and sent Shapeways a takedown notice on figures as their sale represented a very obvious copyright violation since Baldwin didn’t get permission from the publisher. Pic below.

This is a a little sad, but that doesn’t mean the takedown was a questionable move.



  1. Erthazus


    #1 1 year ago
  2. Zohar

    I guess at the risk of attracting pitchforks, torches, etc… why is this surprising, or if not surprising, attracting negativity to SE?

    You can’t capitalize off of someone elses’ IP or characters. The guy had no right to manufacture, sell and profit from these things. It’s not like this is some kind of long-dead character/franchise that hasn’t been touched in 30 years. It’s SE’s most recognized franchise and their most popular characters by a mile.

    The work is exceptionally cool and he did a good job, but selling them crossed the line.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Blackened Halo

    #1 why assholes? Square Enix has full rights to do such a thing. Everything about Final Fantasy is their own property and thats why nobody except them cant earn money selling it …

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Cobra951

    I agree that Squeenix had every right to protect its IP. But I wonder if some better, creative settlement might have been reached, assuming the figures all look as cool as that one. It’s a shame to to make it all disappear.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Zohar

    @4 Not all companies can accommodate something like this. They aren’t going to devote the man hours and legal resources it would take work out a deal with a bunch of strangers thousands of miles away in a foreign country who up and decided to infringe their copyrights. Plus they wouldn’t have any control over the manufacturing process and finally, if they got on board, the demand would probably go way up due to the publicity forcing them to commit even more resources to keep up. Not worth all that to win a few brownie points.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Cobra951

    @5: Yeah, I can’t argue with that. It would take some sort of personal interest from someone with authority at the company to surmount such hurdles. Wishful thinking, though stranger things have happened.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. shogunknight

    Not surprising, at least he wasnt sued.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. salarta

    For once I actually agree with something Squeenix has done. The guy wasn’t just creating a 3D design and sharing it to the masses, he was making money off of it. It might be a different case if it was entirely free, but it wasn’t.

    Not to mention, that unlike the concept of fan sequels that were being made for Chrono Trigger, Squeenix actually has a pretty big division involved in things like figurines.

    No matter how it’s looked at, Baldwin was in the wrong. Did he try to contact Squeenix? Did he do so but get no answer? Was his plan rejected? None of those answers matter; he doesn’t own the copyright, yet he expected to get paid for making what was essentially fan work without reimbursing the copyright holder.

    If he couldn’t make a deal with the company, then the most he could have and should have done was put it out there for free. At no point should he have gone into making these things figuring he could make money off of them without Squeenix’s approval.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. silkvg247

    Don’t blame them for taking it down because we sadly live in an ere of tight fisted money grabbing corporations. Wish they’d take a leaf out of Tesla’s book.

    Anyway worst thing about this is SE won’t make their own versions, so now anyone who wanted one of these can’t have one.

    Way to utterly shaft all your fans SE, again.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Gekidami

    I once read a story about a guy who wanted to play FF music with his school orchestra, so he decided to ask Square if he could… They said no and that if he did they’d sue him. Square are cool like that.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. dizzygear

    @9 “Anyway worst thing about this is SE won’t make their own versions, so now anyone who wanted one of these can’t have one.”

    They prolly will make their own versions someday if enough people ask for them. Like the guy above me said, Squeenix has its own figure devision. iirc its called Play Arts.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Timurse


    #12 1 year ago
  13. Joe Musashi

    @4 Agreed entirely. Square are totally within their rights. If you’re profiting of another’s IP without their consent then you’re in the wrong by default. They’re not being ‘tight fisted’ and ‘money grabbing’ – they’re protecting something they invented, something that belongs to them and the revenue it generates. Why else would they have created it in the first place?

    I’ve always been kind of impressed with Lucasfilm on this sort of thing. Star Wars has an immense following and countless licenced spin-offs. It also has a crazy amount of fan-produced material. And a large quantity of it is less than entirely flattering. But it all seems to be out there and without any take-down notices coming from Lucasfilm. (I’m sure they’ve acted on some stuff of course). They probably don’t need the publicity but I guess they figure that the brand is so strong it can stand up to being poked at a bit.


    #13 1 year ago
  14. DarkElfa

    Being within your rights and being right are two different things.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. monkeygourmet

    This sucks.

    It’s publicity and its not like the product is being run into the ground in this case…

    It’s like Nintendo complaining at people uploading video… It’s free advertising?!

    At this length, you might as well just close down and ban Etsy:

    This is just a bullshit Corporate style to help protect a brand that has been run into the ground by the company that owns it…

    The most damage to the FF brand has been through Square themselves.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Joe Musashi

    @14 I’m curious. In what way is it right to profit off the protected creation of another without their knowledge or agreement?

    People, especially gamers, make very passionate arguments about what is right using ‘ownership’ as the cornerstone of their thinking. There is no mistaking who owns what in this case.


    #16 1 year ago

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