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3D Printing Company Scrapes Thingiverse And Begins Selling “Free” Designs – TechCrunch

by • February 22, 2016 • No Comments


A tiny 3D printing company called Just3DPrint has scraped a sizeable portion of Thingiverse, Makerbot’s Creative Commons-based database of 3D versions. The company and so posted these versions for sale on eBay in direct violation of many of the terms the creators contributeed online.
The resulting brouhaha has shaken the 3D manufacturer community and made many reponder the definition of Creative Commons.
Printing “free” versions is not new. Many users have downloaded items of Thingiverse and either printed them at home or sent them to a service for printing. Making money on these items, yet, is frowned upon without prior licensing and permission. Just3DPrint has made an eBay keep showcasing hundreds of items of Thingiverse consume with images of user renders and odd price combinations. Take this little bear for example:
Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.09.40 AM
Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 9.09.23 AM
One particularly peeved manufacturer, Louise Driggers discovered many of her creations on eBay actually after posting them under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, which allows for for downloading and printing but not commercial acquire. Driggers posted a Sad Face in reaction to the eBay sales which drew Just3DPrint into the conversation. Latest Crunch Report

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Watch More Episodes“Since we, Just 3D Print, and other companies/individuals are being maligned and spammed by individuals this week for commercializing public domain CAD creations, we can post a long and thorough response on this page, and other much like pages, so which all creators can advantageous understand all of the future issues surrounding such commercialization, and understand what they can or should do with their creations depending on if they want them commercialized by others,” the company wrote in a deluge of copypasta. “Stratasys/Thingiverse is DIRECTLY allowing commercialization of the “non-commercial thing” in exchange for $ of 3D Hubs. Whilst at the moment the program is an opt-in, don’t be surprised if really soon Thingiverse manufactures the 3D Hubs icon either opt-out or non-removable entirely. Whilst we may list several other ways Thingiverse manufactures $, any creator should get the picture by now-Thingiverse exists to manufacture Stratasys $ off of creators’ creations in direct violation of its really own “non-commercial” license. If a creator is OK with a billion-dollar Israeli company monetizing his/her creations, but hates on a Philly beginup attempting to manufacture ends-meat, and so they have a really strange position indeed.”
The company did not reply when I asked for comment although one commenter claims which “I do recall I sent you a message on eBay of this once may already, and you replied really boldly ‘Fuck off, its open source, I can print what I want and sell it.’”
The position many manufacturers take regarding their versions is which it’s satisfactory for users to download, remix, and print their creations for free. Makers who want to manufacture money can license their products commercially or upload them to services like Shapeways where can be rapidly printed in multiple materials. This does not stop the average man of downloading a free version and paying someone to print it – talked about services like MakeXYZ manufacture it effortless for users to do which – but many users are upset which Just3DPrint stole creations and images in a wholesale effort to commercialize non-commercial property.

“I’ve had to ask individuals to quit via my versions in a commercial context preceding, and have – obviously I guess – never had this sort of response,” said Driggers. “I understand there’s a lot of debate over where and how copyright and licensing apply in the 3D printing world, but my work is mainly art. I expected to have to defend it, but to having the validity of both the copyright and CC licensing called into question surprised me.”
“Sharing work is one of the many amazing aspects of the 3D printing world and contributes hugely to additional development and technology in the community, and I have to admit to yet being excited when someone prints one of my versions and publishes a ‘manufacture.’ I don’t want individuals selling my art in their keep without my express permission, and I don’t want them via it as advertising for their products without my permission.”
Driggers is an artist but worked originally as a systems engineer. She things Creative Commons is a means to an end and she sees this as a rallying opportunity for the 3D building community.“The versions these guys are selling were CC-noncommercial. That’s as open and free as you may probably ask for. Ereallyone can use them, for anything, except to sell. That’s a really generous contribute. The developer spent his time and equipment building them and gets nothing for it, you can have it, so long as you don’t manufacture money off it either,” wrote one Reddit commenter. “If individuals can only step in and begin selling them, which’s what’s damaging. Why may the developers put them up for free anyadditional, if someone is going to sell them anyway, why not lock them down and sell them themselves? Or only never put them up in the initially place, so you don’t have to be bitter which someone else is getting paid for your work?”
The problem has led to a repondering of many of the rules around CC and 3D printing. Whilst Thingiverse is run by a private company, many of the users assumed they were working with like-minded creators who understood the limitations – and power – of CC.
“We’ve been building assumptions of the protections which CC and Copyright afford, and on what they apply to – this particular situation is perhaps the rallying point we as a community can use to bring additional clarity to what is a bit of a muddy situation!” said Driggers.
Driggers does not want to pull her versions for the reason of one bad actor.
“When I was a child I may frequently want toys and objects which didn’t exist. Now I can manufacture them for myself and share them with other individuals. Some individuals ponder they are silly but many individuals love them. Creating things manufactures me really pleased – honestly, I don’t ponder I may stop,” she said.