Let’s get something clear: if you’re sharing other LEGO® fans’ work online, you should credit the original designer of the LEGO model properly.

It doesn’t matter where you’re posting it - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, your blog, etc. It doesn’t matter whether you’re posting publicly or privately: giving credit to the model’s original designer(s) is important, and should be your default behaviour.

Credit My Bricks is all about crediting the work of others properly (we’ll clarify that later on) which applies in many disciplines, but this post is specifically aimed at the LEGO fan community. It is great to be a part of such an active community, but we are largely not very good at crediting the original builders of models online.

  1. Why should I care?
  2. How to properly credit LEGO® models
  3. 3 rules for crediting LEGO® models
  4. The LEGO® Ideas conundrum
  5. Frequently asked questions

Why should I care?

Digital LEGO® models may not be actual, physical things, but time, energy, and thus money goes in to them. Physical LEGO models cost even more - you have to buy the parts, and pay for shipping of them.

If you’re sharing LEGO® models without proper credit, you’re cutting the original creator out of the circle, and denying them of their earned right to attribution of their works. That is disheartening, and can push people in to not sharing their models with the community.

Properly crediting Lego models online is key to improving the LEGO® fan community. I’m sure I’ve been sloppy myself at times - blindly retweeting an incredible LEGO® model without checking the original creator. We can all do better, and we should do better. It isn’t hard to do properly.

How to properly credit LEGO models

The first step in sharing LEGO models online is to ask the original creator’s permission. Sometimes, that isn’t possible, and as a rule, that means you shouldn’t share the model.

Not sure how to credit a LEGO model properly? Try our handy flow chart below:

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Sharing tools vary hugely by platform. As a rule, if you’re sharing someone else’s model and you save the photo without their permission, rather than retweeting or sharing their post, that’s not cool. You’re stealing the original designer’s thunder, and people looking at your post and thinking “oh, cool LEGO model” aren’t prominently guided to

Let’s get to more specific examples.

If you’re sharing a LEGO model from Facebook, share the creator’s original post, or try and tag the original creator’s Facebook page, or link to their website. Do not just save their images and share yourself - in most cases, that isn’t adequate credit!

On Twitter, if you’re sharing an image from a private account you can’t retweet: ask permission. There may be a reason the creator doesn’t have a public account!

As a rule, if you’re sharing the work of someone who isn’t on Instagram, you shouldn’t be sharing it. There is no good way to properly credit builders on Instagram otherwise.

3 Rules For Crediting LEGO® Models

This is my suggestion for the bare minimum style to credit the original builder of a LEGO model with:

  1. builder’s name / pseudonym
  2. At least one prominent link, as a way to find this builder on somewhere else from your account. If you can’t find the original builder from your account, you’re not crediting the builder.
  3. If you can’t credit the model builder, don’t share it

Without these, your crediting is essentially useless, and you aren’t helping the original creator of the LEGO model. All you’re doing is promoting you, to your audience. That’s not fair.

The LEGO® Ideas conundrum

As with everything, there is perhaps an exception to the rule with everything. What about crediting models on LEGO® Ideas? Surely the purpose of that platform is for people to share the project far and wide so that as many LEGO® fans as possible see it, and vote for it?

So, a simple rule for sharing projects on LEGO Ideas: prominently share the link of the LEGO Ideas project in your tweet / post / video description. That way, the people you’re sharing the model with are able to see more information about the model, and vote on the model if they want to.

FAQs on sharing LEGO® models

Myths dispelled

  • I’m not making money, so I don’t need to credit the designer.
  • The designer isn’t selling anything, so they’re not losing anything if I don’t credit them
  • I got called out for not crediting a model. What do I do?

How should I credit LEGO® models?

  • How do I credit LEGO® models on Instagram?
  • How do I credit LEGO® models on Twitter?
  • How do I credit LEGO® models on Instagram?
  • How do I credit LEGO® models on YouTube?
  • How do I credit LEGO® models on Reddit?

Help for model creators

  • Someone has shared my model without credit. What should I do?
  • What about official LEGO® sets?

Thanks

Many thanks to @cazphoto, @fourbrickstall, and a few others who don’t wish to be named, for their help, advice and proofreading skills!