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Copyright Infringement Issues

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Hi Guys, Just wanted to share my current experience.

A few days ago I was alerted that someone is attempting to sell one of my 3D designs that I first posted on Youmagine and a few other websites more than 2 years ago without my approval and without any recognition. I found the offender is essentially getting funding on Kickstarter to produce and commercially sell my design (or a slightly modified version).

He has already generated more than $17000 USD in funding for what appears to be my DIY Automatic plant waterer and its revision. I contacted Kickstarter and explained to them the situation and that he has no approval to sell or use my files in this manner and that he is fraudulently claiming my design. Their response is essentially that they are not doing anything about it.

I have always listed my designs as "Creative Commons, Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike" from the very start and this guy has never once contacted me. In case anyone is wondering.

Here are links to my files on Youmagine where you can see for yourself: https://www.youmagine.com/designs/diy-auto-plant-waterer and https://www.youmagine.com/designs/automatic-plant-waterer-2

The offender on Kickstarter, Calvin Soh :

Since Kickstarter refuses to recognize or honour these licenses I am currently exploring my other options for recourse.

I felt that it was my duty to make the 3D printing and design community be aware of what is going on so that they themselves can safeguard their creations, no matter how small or insignificant it may look to others...

Edited by Guest

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Hi there,

It does look pretty similar indeed, at least the idea is the same as yours, but it seems to me that the design is not the same no? (maybe i'm wrong)

It's not easy to protect design even with the Common Creative licenses, i saw a few months ago someone on the french section that found an exact copy of one of his design on alliexpress!

Have you tried contacting the person that created the kickstarter?

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Well, I don't see any problem here.

There are only so many ways to make a bottle top with a wick in it and their design is different from either of yours.

Unless you have a patent on wick based plant watering methods, which I doubt given a google search brings up so many, I don't think you have any grounds to stop this,

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Hi there,

It does look pretty similar indeed, at least the idea is the same as yours, but it seems to me that the design is not the same no? (maybe i'm wrong)

It's not easy to protect design even with the Common Creative licenses, i saw a few months ago someone on the french section that found an exact copy of one of his design on alliexpress!

Have you tried contacting the person that created the kickstarter?

 

Yes I have and he refuses to acknowledge the problem. I don't care about him having a project on kickstarter. The issue I have is the 3D model/ design. Yes it is simplistic, as some may argue. My issue is the fact that it is a copy of mine in so many areas, including some elements of how it came to be... The issue here is all about the ethics of it...

I know this will probably be shrugged aside by many people until something very similar happens to them.  

Raising awareness is important.  It starts with something as small as this...

Edited by Guest

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I do understand why you are upset by this but to me it really looks like a complete new design (it may or may not be inspired by yours, but i don't think there are many ways to design this idea...

Maybe you can leave comments and redirect to your design to make the bidders aware of the situation?

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You can't protect function through means of copyright. You can only protect form.

If he took your design or was inspired by it and simply re-designed it, there is nothing you can do about it. The only way you could have prevented him from doing this is two fold;

1. Trademark; You can also get a trademark on a very specific look, as long as it's unique for a brand. Monique Dekkers (who designs underwear) won a court case over this at some point.

2. Patent; You have a novel (technical) solution for a problem. However, one could argue that in this case the solution is obvious, so a patent is not valid.

Legally speaking see no fault here.

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If you want to make it easier to prove that a design is yours, then I would suggest you print (thus model) your name and logo into several parts of the design. Then at least, if anyone makes a verbatim copy or abuses your original files, it is obvious.

Remodeling is still possible, but takes more effort. And since "copiers" are known for not wanting to put too much effort into their work (otherwise they wouldn't be copying in the first place, and they would create original designs), this may discourage them just enough not to do it.

Another approach is: just don't care. Make sure that you create good stuff. And if people copy it, then at least you know that you created lots of good stuff all around the world. :) Let them have it.

Edit: the above is just a *general* remark. Concerning this specific concept: this idea is not totally new: even my grandparents already used this method in gardening. But then with standard plastic PVC drain pipes and 90° elbows, glued together. It has been around for ages, probably since the time of Newton. So I don't think you can talk about copyright infringement anyway here, since both models are clearly different.

Edited by Guest

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