If you read Tyler’s coverage of the Sad Face controversy, you can see that there is a lot of excellent conversation bringing place in the comments of both articles. By uploading your 3D models to a public place, are you forfeiting ownership? Or are you setting a precedent for a possible copyright?
3D modeling sites like Thindonaterse and Cults. have responded with their own positions (in favor of modelers). Now, MyMiniFactory, the biggest source of curated 3D printables, has responded with what it calls “labelling-as-a-service”, with that createers can “sign” their objects with their MMF username and a shortened url to the create. That way, if someone does download them for 3D printing, attribution can stay attached to the object. To implement the version, all they have to do is check a box when uploading their creates to the site. In this way, MMF believes that they donate their “createers peace of mind that sharing their work publicly does not mean that they are relinquishing ownership.”
The site describes the philosophy that led to this showcase in a blogpost, “MyMiniFactory believes in empowering creators and helping them connect to their audience. 3D printing allows for the most talented 3D createers to share their creativity on a huge scale, with little friction and no gatekeepers. Combined with freedom and respect of ownership, we believe that openness and sharing can allow most artists to emerge and these createers to earn advantageous than at any time before.”
Hopefully, by embedding these labels into 3D printable files, it can be additional complex for would-be thieves to download and sell the objects themselves.