Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  
evilpoltergeist

Selling 3D Prints

Recommended Posts

Hi,

That's a very good question. I think that the "law" around all the 3d printing business is a bit unclear.

From what i understand, i can't put on my website an object that i downloaded from youmagine or thingiverse (objects with the non commercial license), and say i sell this for 20€.

But if someone asks me to print the same object (to me or through sculpteo, shapeways etc...) then it becomes acceptable...

That's my understanding of the licenses it may be wrong, but i'm not sure Shapeways or the other print services looks the licenses of the objects people ask them to print.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When a designer posts an item on Youmagine, they are given a selection of licenses that they can assign that item. So the answer is: Read the specific license for the item you are interested in.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah @Woofy, but I think the question, or the debate, is, does it relate to the model, or copies of the model?

If it's posted as CC-Attribution-Share Alike for example, I'd say you can put it up on your own website and let people download it from there, as long as you share it with the original uploaders name and share it under CC-ATR-SA also.

And you could sell prints. But what if it is posted as Non-Commercial. Obviously, just like all CC licenses, you can't pass it off as your own and ask money for a download of the model.

But, can you print one and sell that print? You are printing a free model, and asking money for the filament cost/time you put into it right? Or does NC really mean, no money involved.

So what happens with 3D hub, people upload a file they want printed. They pick the model, you don't. You get payed for the service, not the model.

Or even further, some friends asks if you would print this CC-NC model for him for a couple of bucks. Yes or no? Can't you argue that you let him borrow the printer for a couple of hours for those bucks and that he did it himself. Or let him borrow the printer, and your expertise and knowledge to print it. It being the same situation as just selling prints right?

It's difficult, people want to make money with 3D printers, whether as a hobby through things like 3Dhubs and family/friends. Others go into services for like print at stands at venues for companies. Others might have a little 3D printed shop.

I've always find this extremely hard because you could argue both ways. Heck, you could even argue that the print you made of a CC-NC model, that you didn't sell, but used to advertise your services, i.e. showing off what kind of cool things your printer can make, isn't allowed under NC license...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get "free" as in "no money" confused with "free" as in "free to edit, customize". For example, Redhat charges for some of their "free" software that is free to edit.

Most of the licenses on thingiverse and youmagine are CC (creative commons). This makes things very easy as there is very little to learn. If the license says:

non-commercial: Then no you may not sell it. Not the model. Not the print (this is arguable but this is what the person intended and they should try to sue you if you violate this). Even if you just want to print it and show it at a trade show you may not.

attribution: You must tell people who made the model and where they can download it.

share-alike: If you make *any* edits to the model you *must* share them also using the same license. So if you improve a model or combine two models into one and either model has the share-alike you must publish your shared model with the source (cad file or stl file). Anywhere people can download or buy the model there should be (nearby) a link to the source.

The default seems to be attribution only, or none of the above. If none of the above are part of the CC license then you can do anything including claiming it as your own work. That's my understanding. You should read more details. Perhaps here:

https://creativecommons.org/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gr5, but how can you check when you get get an order through 3Dhubs, or someone comes to you with a model?

Ofcourse there is a line between law and ethics, but I'm just curious about the entire industry etc. I think there was a different topic somewhere about monetizing 3D designing etc that contained interesting thoughts about 1 time prints infrastruction

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a reference on my 3DHubs page to my terms and conditions in which is written that the purchaser has to check the legal situation of the object he wants to print. So I don't have to check (which is almost impossible with some designs).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gr5, so if the model in question is under the attribution or share-alike I can use the models and sell the print as long as I redirect to the source?

Im also having some doubts on Taxes levels, if I open a shop I pay x for selling finished prints, or y for acting like a printing service.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so if the model in question is under the attribution or share-alike I can use the models and sell the print as long as I redirect to the source?

 

yes.

And you only have to link to the source if they have "attribution".

Even if later the person *changes* the license. If they *ever* licensed it CC (without non-commercial) then you can sell prints. Of course someone may have illegally posted it and it may actually by copyrighted by a 3rd person who actually created the design. Very difficult to check.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really doubt that services like shapeways check on thingiverse if the STL people send them to print has any kind of license (proove me wrong!). They probably have some kind of disclaimer for this (like dimensioneer) but i don't see how you can trace some STL downloaded (for free)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They have a disclamer saying you need to be sure you have the rights for the objects you upload and print. Especially if you want to post them as public for others to buy prints.

I would hope that 3DHubs have a similar disclamer that the hub owner cannot be help responsible for printing something the client doesn't have the rights for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From 3DHubs

 

6.1. Users are solely responsible and liable for the Content they upload and will refrain from uploading restricted Content to the Website. If a Hub receives restricted Content from a User they shall refuse the Order and not supply a 3D Print of such Content and immediately inform 3D Hubs about such Content.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke to a woman who works at shapeways and she said they have a few designers who specifically only print/sell copyrighted objects. That's their business model and it explains a lot about how shapeways deals with this. The typical product cycle is something like this:

1) New movie comes out and suddenly Minions are popular. But they cost like $100 from disney. Or maybe there is an internet meme of Mickey Mouse battling ironman - suddenly it's everywhere on reddit, etc.

2) So a designer makes them for $50 on shapeways and starts selling them making maybe $10 each.

3) Orders start off slow, disney doesn't notice. Word spreads, after 2 weeks he has sold 1000. After 5 weeks there are 50,000 orders.

4) At this point Colbert has one on his desk on a show or it's on slashdot or cnn or facebook or whatever. Suddenly Disney notices and issues a dmca takedown to shapeways.

5) Shapeways tends to have a 3 week lead time so the first few thousand are already shipped and the designer gets $10K (or maybe only $50 depending on how popular it is). Shapeways notifies the 50,000 people that the part has been removed due to copyright violation and returns their money.

Rinse and repeat. It's a strange, illegal way to make a living.

Also it's strange that the designer wants thousands of people to notice the ads for this product but not millions. You want it to grow, but grow slow enough that there are lots of items already shipped "3 weeks ago" before the copyright owner notices something going on but fast enough to actually make some decent money.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@gr5: Just be careful... you currently have 5534 posts and each of them shows a minion... :p

But if one really wants to sell prints from copyright protected content then one could ask the copyright holder for a licensing per print. Maybe it will pay off, maybe it won't (better chances with 'small' designers than with big companies).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy