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printerfan

Copyright and 3D Design

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I have recently began working with some of the free 3D modeling software such as Autodesk's 123D. Autodesk and other companies offer free software packages and also free student versions of their software. However, I thought to myself, "who owns the commercial rights to my designs?"

Under the free software license, do creators own the rights to their designs or do the software companies?

Does the free software license allow the creator to distribute their design for commercial purposes? If not, will upgrading to the paid version allow you to transfer designs made in the free version to be distributed commercially?

 

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That would be incredibly nasty if the license made you sign over all your copyrights for projects that used their tool. What about if you use 2 different tools? Do both companies now own all your rights? Exclusively? That doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I doubt they would do that but it doesn't take long to read the click license. I usually just read the first sentence to each paragraph as they are pretty well structured and after a while you see things like "You agree to indemnify..." and I know what the whole section will say so I skip it. The first time I didn't know what indemnify meant but after looking it up once, it's now standard stuff and easily understood.

 

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This came up a while ago on r/3dprinting, check out this thread on tinkercad:

 

Really nasty stuff.

@Gr5 You would retain the rights to your design technically, but they would have an irrevocable license to use, sell, modify or sub-license etc. your stuff. -basically all the rights that you have.

In terms of licensing, autodesk usually lets educational use of their software for free or deeply discounted. They are sometimes not compatible with the commercially licensed version or contain an internal tag that's created from educational versions.

If you are making commercial models, you need to be making them from the commercial version. Functionally they are exactly the same, but you aren't suppose to be making monies on the educational versions. They sometimes make them incompatible so companies can't use a bunch of educational licenses and one retail license and say they're legit.

Anyways I'm not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt, but do read those TOS's especially the online cloud based ones.

 

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Valcrow, I read that same language in Autodesk's 123D license agreement. I'm not using it to create commercial products, I'm using it to learn, but what if I'm tinkering while learning and come up with a cool design? Looks like I'm going to strictly use them for tutorials then move on to the pro version.

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I'm not sure I would assume the pro version doesn't have a similar TOS on the rights grab.

People argue that they need that in order to share it within their servers on the cloud but I don't buy it. It's just kinda predatory.

 

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Even though something is in a TOS, does not mean it's legal. There are quite a few things that are being said in a licence agreement that will not hold in court. Pro-tip; Make the stuff while slightly drunk. This means you are unable to accept any agreement and therefore still have the rights to your own stuff (as that is automatic).

 

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I believe the thingiverse license is very similar. So even if you publish under the "non commercial" license, thingiverse can still do whatever they want (like sell it or change the license or print it up and sell it in a makerbot storeo).

This was the initial reason many people left thingiverse.

 

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