My views on copying, a.k.a pirating, kits and parts
You do not need to be a lawyer
to be able to figure out right from wrong.

Do Not Steal. It is as simple as that!

If you did not make an item,
do not make copies without permission.

Doing so is theft. There are no loopholes as much as
the false information all over the web says there are.
This does not fall under "fair use" at all.

All of our items are from original masters that we either make
or pay to have made and as such we consider them our
own intellectual property and as such are registered
with the US Copyright office as original works. 

Anyone we find who has pirated our products, we will have
prosecuted for copyright infringement to the fullest extent of the law.

Beyond it being illegal, it costs all modelers in
whichever scale, gauge, or genre in these ways:

Every manufacturer has a rough idea of the market before
they produce an item and adjust their MSRP accordingly.
Smaller numbers of sales will result in future items being
priced much higher so if your buddy made themselves
copies, they just cost YOU money or availability on future items.

Every manufacturer has the skill and equipment to make
products in most scale, gauge and genres.

If they find a lower than expected apparent demand,
they will get out of that area as unprofitable and YOU lose because
there will likely be fewer new offerings for YOU to enjoy either.

In every genre, I hear someone asking weekly "Why don't "they"
make an XYZ item. The answer may be that it was planned
and the manufacturer felt they would not make the profits they
expected for their time and effort so the items never get produced.

Some excuses / reasons I have heard for piracy:

1-The item is out of production.....
So what, the person who made it (and their heirs)
owns ALL rights to it well beyond their lifetime even.

2-Their website is one answers their phone or
e mail or snail mail...they were mean to me....
So what. Not yours in the first place. Learn the skills to make your own through practice, just as they did. That is what modelbuilding is about.

3-The company has been out of business for X years.
So what. Someone still owns the assets which include the molds,
patterns, and rights to reproduce. Just because they choose
not to at this time is not a valid reason to steal their rights.

There is NO excuse to steal model kits or parts.