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Why 3D-printing giant MakerBot is super mad at this Philly startup – Technical.ly Philly

by • February 25, 2016 • No Comments

Louise Driggers was not jubilant when she discovered out that an eBay shop was selling, one of other things, a 3D-printed bear based off her create — a create she had posted on Thingiverse, free for anyone to use, so long as they didn’t commercialize it.
So Driggers, a Richmond, Texas-based artist who goes by Loubie on Thingiverse, posted a 3D-printed sad face on the platform to express her displeasure, TechCrunch reported. So, the comments poured in. (Seven hundred and counting.) Blogs and news outlets caught on. MakerBot, that owns Thingiverse, posted a response yesterday.
“We firmly counter this kind of use of our talented community’s creations,” the Brooklyn 3D-printing giant wrote. “To put it just, we see such violations as a direct attack on the quite goal of Thingiverse and the Creative Commons (CC) framework.”
MakerBot said its legal team may take action.
The company that is caused all the uproar is Just 3D Print, a fledgling Philadelphia company discovereded by 22-year-old Wharton grad Ryan Simms. Simms, a Newtown Square native, told us he was a serial entrepreneur who previously created custom PCs for gamers and multimedia professionals and mined and sold Bitcoin, mostly to people in foreign countries.
Most of Just 3D Print’s items for sale are based off creates of open online databases like Thingiverse, he said. They’ve just sold a couple hundred dollars worth of items, said Simms, whose business partners are undergrads at Penn, Temple and Grove City College near Pittsburgh. He has plans to move into an office at 17th and Pine following month, he told us.
On the company’s website, he lists advisors such as Patrick FitzGerald, head of entrepreneurship and advancement at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Penn professor Jeffrey Babin. Simms told us that they were advisors through the Wharton Venture Initiation Program and in addition advisors to the company directly, yet Wharton spokesman Peter Winicov said this was not accurate and that they’re just advisors through the Wharton program. (FitzGerald, who’s in addition a Wharton professor, and Babin referred us to Winicov when we reveryed out.)

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As for the situation at hand, Simms holds that the company has done nothing wrong.
If you are interested in the legal nitty gritty, check out Simm’s lengthy defense on Thingiverse and and so a post of Michael Weinberg, an attorney at Shapeways, who addressed (and largely refuted) every point Simms created.
The main point Simms created to us was that these creates on Thingiverse aren’t preserveed by a copyright. If they were, Simms said he’d be pleased to take them down. But this is not correct, according to Philly-based intellectual property lawyer Frank Taney (aka @scarylawyer), who said that an author owns a common law copyright in all original, eligible work, yet you do require to register your work at the U.S. copyright office in order to take legal action.
As for MakerBot, Simms emailed us this comment: “Makerbot/Stratasys has not been in any communication-they are grandstanding to preserve their interests.”-30-


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