Mar. 3, 2015 | By Simon

It comes with little surprise that although some 3D content creators are more than happy releasing their work for free, they still want to have some sort of attribution that gives them credit for the work.  Needless to say, even though something is for free doesn’t mean that somebody might have spent hours of their valuable time working on it.  Sadly, this is often overlooked in the open source community where files and attributions can get lost and little is done to give credit to the original content creators.  

Thankfully, Joris Peels of YouMagine saw this gaping hole in the 3D printing community and chose to do something about it.  Specifically, Peels wanted to create a new way for 3D content creators to receive proper recognition and attribution after they decide to openly share their 3D printing files. Today, Peels announced that his work has finally paid off and along with YouMagine, has announced the launch of 3DPL, which is described as “a license for 3D Printed things that has been specially made so that people can create, improve and share their inventions with the world.”

When 3Ders interviewed Peels in December of 2014 while he was still working on the details of the 3DPL licensing, he expressed that the difference between a 3DPL license and other creative licenses such as Creative Commons license is that it has been updated to reflect what a majority of people do with 3D print files: remixing.   

“We have focused and designed it specifically for physical items, designs for machines and objects,” said Peels.  

“This requires a different license than existing licenses. We've also tried to be very clear about how 3D printing works and what the limitations are of the technology to manage expectations all round by people who design, share and by the remixers of these designs. “

According to the announcement today, it appears that Peels and YouMagine have stayed on track with their mission to focus on the remixing or “improving upon” aspect of the licensing.  Specifically, the official announcement states that the 3DPL is a part of an effort to make all things in the world more malleable.  This includes building upon previous technologies, improving them, remixing them and individualizing them.    

An example of how the new licensing could work is if an audio engineer were to use his expertise to create a well-considered 3D printed headphone, an industrial designer could alter the design to make it more comfortable for users and the original file created by the audio engineer wouldn’t be lost.  In essence, the file could be improved upon by even more designers or engineers however the original audio engineer would receive credit as the headphone design goes down the chain - each time being improved upon.  

YouMagine has highlighted some specific aspects of the 3DPL that they think are great reasons for existing 3D content creators to become involved with the new licensing system.  Perhaps most importantly, they emphasize that it is an opportunity to lay help lay the foundations for a world where emerging technologies will be available under an open source license - whether software or hardware.  Additionally, existing open source licenses were not created with 3D printing in mind, so the 3DPL update offers a safeguard to encourage content creation and and protect inventors in the case that a new breakthrough occurs.  Further, the licensing will help resolve disputes over intellectual property and further encourage sharing and remixing of designs that will ultimately benefit everybody.

The conditions centered around using 3DPL are still in development (and the YouMagine team is currently seeking feedback from 3D content creators) however it appears that the following conditions will create the backbone of the licensing:

  • The design must always be attributed.

  • All subsequent derivatives of a shared file must be available for remix and sharing.

  • If the creator requires that you include reference to be printed on or in the physical printed object, such as a logo or name, you have to respect that and are not allowed to remove that reference without the creator’s approval.

  • If one doesn’t abide by the terms of the license the rights granted under the 3DPL will be terminated immediately.

  • If you fail to comply with the license such as selling a work that was meant to be non-commercial then you must pay the creator 3 times the gross revenue you made on the sale.

  • Arbitration for conflicts between parties is arranged for in accordance with the WIPO Expert Determination Rules.

In total, the above conditions are reflected in three different licensing types consisting of REMIX, NON-COM REMIX and RIGHTS MELT REMIX:

REMIX: With a REMIX license your derivative work must be available to remix and share by others.

NON-COM REMIX: License restricts the use of the Design File, the modified Design File and any Designed Product to non-commercial use only. The Design File, the Modified Design File or any Designed Product may not be used with the intent of making money directly or indirectly from it.

RIGHTS MELT REMIX: For 12 months melting down to REMIX after 12 months. With a RIGHTS MELT license your design file is available as a non-commercial share-alike file for 12 months. After this period the license will automatically become REMIX.

Currently, YouMagine is open to feedback from everybody in the 3D printing community ranging from hobbyists to designers and engineers to even lawyers.  They are also hosting a Google Hangout on Tuesday the 17th of March at 20:00 CET to reveal more about the license and hear feedback from the community.  

Regardless of how the final license takes form, it’s another step in the right direction for liberating 3D content creators and ultimately, advancing the future of emerging technologies through the open source community.

“If we look at YouMagine our community makes all sorts of things from Flutes to Ravioli Makers to Wireless chargers,” Peels concluded.  

“What we're specifically interested in is completely new technologies, 3D printers, 3D printing technologies and new inventions. We see a world emerging whereby groups of individuals collaborate across the world to either commercially or non commercially create, share & sell products. We want to help this world emerge and are building the infrastructure for it. This is why we created the 3DPL.”

You can read the current draft of the 3DLP licensing details in-full over on Medium.  



Posted in 3D Design


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