Aug. 19, 2014 | By Alec

Youmagine, a 3D printing communities where people can find, share and contribute to 3D designs, has announced the launch of Share3D: an open source license aimed at supporting its current community and laying the foundations for its future. Furthermore, they have opened discussions on their own Terms of Service to help realise these goals. As the website's Community Manager Joris Peels explained in his blog post: We've been thinking about how we can act as a force multiplier by helping our competitors and companies in the same field. If we can make things cheaper, easier or better for them the chance that one of us succeeds will be higher. […] We see our task as that of creating the necessary infrastructure on top of which others can build.'

Their solution: 'Share3D', an open part of the YouMagine community consisting of 'a set of tools to help [3D printing communities] accelerate their development. 'We looked at obstacles to a 3D printed world, costs that others would have to incur & problems other people were not solving.' First and foremost, Peels argues, these manifests itself in the legal realm, where copyright and liability implications create numerous risks, concerns and limitations for 3D enthusiasts: 'a lot of the people involved […] are persons but may be faced with severe measures usually reserved for companies (eg. infringement, product liability, wrongful death). Also a single tort case in the US for example would be enough to sink any one of the platforms in the Sharing of Things market.'

To combat this, YouMagine seeks to develop an open source license and their own Terms of Service that not only protects the property rights of designers but also creates an environment wherein they can share and collaborate. Crucially, Peels sends an open invitation to the 3D community to contribute and discuss this legal framework: 'We've decided to let our community influence and guide all the major decisions and directions we take. So we want you to tell us where we need to go and what we should be doing.'

Of course, YouMagine did release a series of goals and intentions that their ToS should reflect, but these too aim to open up and protect the environment of 3D printing, rather than imposing sanctions on contributions. They include, for instance:

  • We want a huge corporate platform and a one man band to both be able to let people remix and share online without falling foul of relevant laws.
  • We want this ToS to be functional in reducing legal risk to platform owners and community members alike across the breath of criminal, IP & other tort risks.
  • We want to preempt the first serious legal challenge for patent infringement on a platform by doing what we can to mitigate the impact this would have on an organization or individual.
  • We want to preempt the first serious product or manufacturer liability case by clearly reducing the risk to the 3D printer operator, end user and platform.

Furthermore, YouMagine released a series of seventeen detailed questions regarding both their ToS and open source license to aid discussions. These include, for instance: 'Should a designer be able to specify that their object can not be remixed or changed in any way?' and 'What do you feel we should do about guns? We could exclude these completely or let them be shared?'

Over the next three weeks, the YouMagine community hopes to be able to draft the first version of their legal framework. They are thus making a valuable contribution to the debates on 3D ownership rights that could very well influence the future of this revolutionary technology.

Posted in 3D Design

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KnightFire wrote at 8/19/2014 5:28:11 PM:

Ah, but Thingiverse trys to patent your designs for themselves.

Bryan wrote at 8/19/2014 4:28:21 PM:

No thanks, we have THINGIVERSE !

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