Becoming a superhero is a lot easier and cheaper when you just head to your nearest 3D printer. A costume designer has perfected a pretty amazing 3D printed Spider-Man mask that can be made at home but will it lead to copyright infringement problems for him and people that want to create their own mask.
Yuri Schuurkes, is a costume designer from the Netherlands that really likes the *Spider-Man 2 *movie. In fact, he loves the movie so much that he wanted to recreate the most realistic replica costume. Schuurkes’ exploits can be seen at his website, SpideyPlanet.com, that detail his creation of the nifty looking costume that can been seen to the right. For years, Schuurkes couldnt create the right mask for the look until a 3D printing company came to the rescue. Schuurkes spent approximately 6 months designing the one piece shell of the mask with additional eye frames which were designed separately that magnetically locked into the shell . To 3D print the mask, Schuurkes used the website, Shapeways. Shapeways allows people to print and purchase 3D items or distribute code that permits other people to create the same image. Some of the assembly process can be seen in the video below.Schuurkes is now offering the masks for sale on Shapeways right [here](http://www.shapeways.com/shops/spideyplanet) for $184 and the eye inserts are another $25. That’s all good and fun but it is copyright infringement to reproduce another person’s copyrights without permission; therefore, it is copyright infringement to reproduce the Spider-Man design. So let’s look at what potential legal calamities can beset Schuurkes and interested customers.
*Making your own Spider-Man mask. * Technically for Schuurkes and cosplayers this is copyright infringement but the defense of Fair Use is available and since you aren’t a big target, you are not likely to get in trouble.
Buying a copyright infringing Spider-Man mask. No problem here as purchasing items that infringe a copyright is not a crime nor does it create liability for the purchaser.
Mass producing and selling a Spider-Man mask. This creates liability both for Shapeways and Schuurkes for copyright infringement. The bigger the target you are and the more money you are making, the more likely a cease and desist letter is on the way from Marvel.
It does not help Shuurkes cause that he is using the Spider-Man copyrights and even trademark on his website and a derivative in his domain name without any disclaimer that he is not affiliated with Marvel. Shuurkes might need to rethink this business model before the real Spider-Man shows up at his front door with a nasty letter or even a lawsuit.