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Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse, Sells Designs In Violation of Creative Commons (all3dp.com) 138

He Who Has No Name writes: A little over a week ago, Thingiverse user Loubie posted Sad Face! to Thingiverse, protesting the use — without permission — of their designs and those of others by JustPrint3D, an Ebay seller marketing physical prints of the designs in question (over 2,000 by some counts). Despite a terse and legally shaky denial of any wrongdoing by JustPrint3D, there are obviously multiple violations of various iterations of the Creative Commons licenses (several forms of the CC license are options for Thingiverse uploaders to assign to their Things when uploading, and one is the default). Now MakerBot itself is wading into the uproar firmly on the side of its users, and has released a statement mentioning potential legal action.
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Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse, Sells Designs In Violation of Creative Commons

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  • Empty (Score:5, Informative)

    by pcjunky ( 517872 ) <walterp@cyberstreet.com> on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:01PM (#51608493) Homepage

    Their Ebay store is empty.

    • Re:Empty (Score:4, Informative)

      by The Eight-Bit Link ( 2447312 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:06PM (#51608519)
      I'm guessing eBay went in and slapped them to prevent it from crawling back to them, or the seller closed shop and is waiting for it all to blow over.
    • Looks like in the intervening time between when I submitted this yesterday and it was posted today, JustPrint3D either removed everything from their store, or Ebay swung the ban hammer.

      Interesting...

      • fits the pattern (Score:5, Interesting)

        by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:14PM (#51608557)
        Ebay only takes action against illegal things when there is bad press.
        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:31PM (#51608669)

          Ebay only takes action against illegal things when there is bad press.

          That is a smart and effective policy. There is no competitive advantage in being ethical if nobody notices.

          • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @01:10PM (#51608965)

            Said like a true sociopath!

          • Hey, hey, where did 'ethical' come from?
            We're discussing legality here.

            • We're discussing legality here.

              Legality is irrelevant unless you go to court. There is about 0% chance of any creative commons contributor suing eBay over this, and even if they did, they would be unlikely to prevail. It is hard to show monetary damage from diminished "sales" of a free product, and eBay is not the party doing the infringing. They are just providing a marketplace.

          • I think you just coined my new sig. Thank you for that!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Looking through their recent listings, they have a ton of IP issues outside of the MakerBot issue. I see unlicensed Star Wars, GoT, Pokemon, etc. Some big company is going to come along and sue the shit of them.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-Printed-Star-Wars-Boba-Fett-Snowflake-/262162335249?nma=true&si=wyM1YxdtOGe4SFwnw6uBtUnCZUE%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-Printed-Game-of-Thrones-Xbox-One-Faceplate-/252024331176?nma=true&si=wyM1YxdtOGe4SFwn

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:08PM (#51608529) Homepage Journal
    As I type this, the license link [creativecommons.org] on the product's page [thingiverse.com] leads to the variant of the Creative Commons License, that explicitly allows commercial use:

    You are free to:
    Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
    Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
    The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

    What's the problem? Did the author pick wrong license by mistake — and will they apologize to the folks now harmed by eBay's overreaction?

    • by He Who Has No Name ( 768306 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:17PM (#51608585)

      Mixed in among the 2,000 odd items lifted by JustPrint3D - not just Sad Face! - were various forms of the CC license, including Non-Commercial. Beyond simply profiting, JustPrint3D wasn't providing compliant attribution on anything. It was a mess.

      • by Pouar ( 2856763 )
        This is why I don't like it when people just say "Creative Commons License". There are very different Creative Commons Licenses out there, some allow commercial use, some forbid commercial use, some forbid forbidding commercial use. They need to be more specific to avoid confusion like this. Although TFA says this, but they left that out on the Slashdot post
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      They didn't follow the license terms evidently. I know one of the main complaints I saw was failure of attribution.

    • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:18PM (#51608593) Homepage Journal

      As I type this, the license link [creativecommons.org] on the product's page [thingiverse.com] leads to the variant of the Creative Commons License, that explicitly allows commercial use:


      You are free to:

              Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

              Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

              The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

      What's the problem? Did the author pick wrong license by mistake — and will they apologize to the folks now harmed by eBay's overreaction?

      You forgot the "Under the Following Terms" bit, which is the whole point!

      Under the following terms:

      Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

      No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

        Is converting a digital CAD file into a Physical Object by printing considered a technological measure which restricts others from doing something the license permits?

        Also, is a Print a derivative work of the original design plans, or is it a new work entirely?

        I think this might be new legal ground, since conventionally.... engineered objects are considered non-copyrightable;

        • >may not apply legal terms or technological measures that LEGALLY restrict

          > Is converting a digital CAD file into a Physical Object ...
          No, it doesn't create a LEGAL restriction as DRM would (because of anti-circumvention laws).

          > Also, is a Print a derivative work of the original design plans ... I think this might be new legal ground

          Yes, it's a derivative work with the exact same relationship as sheet music has to the performance of the same, or a script for a play has to the performance thereof. T

    • The link points to a very short description of the license, and even that short description includes the following requirement:

      "Attribution â" You must give appropriate credit,
      "provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes
      were made."

      They didn't do those things. Here's the actual license:
      http://creativecommons.org/lic... [creativecommons.org]

    • As I type this, the license link [creativecommons.org] on the product's page [thingiverse.com] leads to the variant of the Creative Commons License, that explicitly allows commercial use

      I was wondering about that too. I thought perhaps I misunderstood the license or had missed something, but on the face of it, it seems like what they did was legal (perhaps a little sleazy, but still legal).

      If someone more familiar with this could explain specifically what they did that was infringing or illegal, I'd be interested to know what it was.

      • They failed to give attribution and failed provide a link to the license. Can not say if they modified it at all or if they were clear that it was licensed under the same

        Since they failed to abide by the license they did not have one. Most of the license allow for including in a commercial protect etc, few to none allow you to use it and call it yours.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          They failed to give attribution and failed provide a link to the license. Can not say if they modified it at all or if they were clear that it was licensed under the same

          How do we know? Anything appearing on the eBay listings itself would likely be fair use in the engagement of sale of the work. Did somebody buy some of their objects?

          Since they're selling physical objects made from designs, they could stick an attribution and link in 6-point Arial as an adhesive label on some surface of the object,

        • And what if it was a Font distributed under a CC license? If you make a printed poster with words rendered from those fonts, does it have to have attribution of the font authors? A font is instructions for producing a shape (much like the 3D design files).

          However, that might just illustrate the limitations of copyright law. I'm not sure it's 100% fair to the creator, either.

          • Your fine the license for that font probably allowed you to print things out with it and not require anything.

            It's litter different if he was selling fake barbie dolls that were straight up knock offs.

            • It's nothing to do with license. The output of running code is not subject to the copyright of the code itself. A font is a program for generating text. A drawing made in Photoshop is not subject to Adobe's copyright either.

              • For a font it definitely does, if you do not have the rights to use the font the output is also tainted since it's just many copies of a copyrighted work. Not that it means the text falls under the fonts copyright. That's far different than using unlicensed software to create a picture.

                By failing to attribute the authors they lost their right to use those things. I can not print out a copyrighted picture and sell it without being granted that right by the copyright holder thats pretty much settled law an

                • For a font it definitely does, if you do not have the rights to use the font the output is also tainted since it's just many copies of a copyrighted work.

                  Not in the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

                  You may not be able to embed the font in a PDF due to copyright, but if you're printing there are zero legal restrictions. You just can't embed the font (copyright) or use the font's name (trademark).

                  A 3D Printer isn't printing out an image. It sort of depends on the file format structure - if it's a 3D "image" vs programmatic instructions. The output of a computer program is not subject to the same copyright as the program itself. AutoCAD files are where

                  • Font cant be copyrighted in the US so it's an apples to oranges. I was incorrect in assuming fonts can be copywritten in the US.

                    You're splitting hairs related to how it's encoded with pictures. A PNG is simple enough but encode it in an SVG and suddenly it looses copyright? I realy doubt a sane court is going to care about encoding when at the end of the day you made a visualy exact duplicate. By your logic if I make a bit of code to print out a barbie doll it's perfectly legal to do so? Pretty sure Ma

                    • It's apples to oranges unless the fonts set a dangerous precedent. I agree with the font ruling for a lot of good reasons.

                      SVG is really not code. It's still a description, just using polygons and color fills instead of pixels. Fonts are literally programmatic code.

                      By your logic if I make a bit of code to print out a barbie doll it's perfectly legal to do so?

                      That's a violation of trademark, not copyright.

                      downloading them for commercial use broke copyright well before any prints were made of them.

                      You can't violate copyright without copying. Downloading to your computer does not count as a copy.

                    • Downloading code most certainly violates copyright.

                      Calling ti a barbie violates trademark just making a doll that looks exactly the same is copyright.

    • Read your own link: attribution is required with the CC-BY license. The eBay seller was not providing any attribution to the creators of the designs, and when they were called out on it, they claimed that it was eBay's fault for not letting them post links. Moreover, not everyone was using the CC-BY license. Many of them were using the CC-BY-NC [creativecommons.org] license that requires attribution and disallows commercial use, yet the eBay seller was both using those designs commercially and failing to provide attribution.

  • by kruug ( 4451395 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:20PM (#51608613)
    This was also covered about a week ago on HackADay: http://hackaday.com/2016/02/22... [hackaday.com] "Most of the uploaded CAD models on Thingiverse are done under the Creative Commons license, which is pretty clear in its assertion that anyone can profit from the work. This would seem to put the eBay store owner in the clear for selling the work, but it should be noted that he’s not properly attributing the work to the original creator. " The only part that he's violating is that there's no attribution.
    • It's a violation none the less.
      • who cares? if slashdot thinks it's ok to copy and share movies and music, there is nothing wrong with this
        • who cares? if slashdot thinks it's ok to copy and share movies and music, there is nothing wrong with this

          Au contraire mon ami

          You left out the part where the music is then burned to an optical disc and sold without a link to the torrent site you got it from. /. does NOT condone such activities! The link to the torrent site must be included.

    • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:54PM (#51608851)

      Without that attribution, there is no license. You're saying, essentially, that the stuff in the store is all there for people to take, and the only crime the shoplifter committed was not paying for them. Exactly. Without paying, you're not allowed to take.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        I wonder however if printing the design would be considered transformitive. There was a case a while ago where an 'artist' was printing instagram photos, adding a 1-2 word caption and that was decided in his favour.
        • I'm fairly certain it doesn't matter according to copyright law (which may only be loosely related to specific court rulings) - even if it's transformative, it's still a derivative work, and hence should require a license to the original.

          • by Luthair ( 847766 )
            As I understand it that is not the case, a derivative work is one where the changes are not considered transformative.
            • Try printing a shirt with a a new caption on a still taken from a Disney film, and I think you'll find that very much depends on whether you have a legal team to defend your claim.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )

      I agree, this reminds me of the bogus uproar about Flickr selling prints of images licensed for commercial use under CC.

      There is a different issue about photos however, unless Thingverse requires uploaded photos to adhere to a permissive license then the ebay store copying them would be violating copyright there.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @12:20PM (#51608617)

    Sure the guy is a scumbag, but anyone buying from him deserves to be taken advantage of.

    People list things for far more than what they are worth all the time.

    I was looking to buy a Model A and look what I came across this

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-M... [ebay.com]

    The rusted out body of a Model A for 18K+ when you can buy a beautiful fully restored working Model As for as little 16,000

    If you don't shop around expect to be taken advantage of.

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Sure the guy is a scumbag, but anyone buying from him deserves to be taken advantage of.

      People list things for far more than what they are worth all the time.

      I was looking to buy a Model A and look what I came across this

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-M... [ebay.com]

      The rusted out body of a Model A for 18K+ when you can buy a beautiful fully restored working Model As for as little 16,000

      If you don't shop around expect to be taken advantage of.

      In defense of that guy, a lot of people don't know what something is worth, or understand that they need to price their products at market level. If you get angry at overpriced Ebay listings, don't go shopping on Craigslist for anything with a steep depreciation curve. Sometimes the prices are laughable.

    • The rusted out body of a Model A for 18K+ when you can buy a beautiful fully restored working Model As for as little 16,000

      The E-bay listing is for an unassembled export model Phaeton with right hand drive. A quick spin around Google suggests a restored Phaeton would sell for more like $30 K and up.

      • https://www.mafca.com/clphotos... [mafca.com]

        16,900

        You should let other people do your shopping.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          From the looks of things... The tires, wheels, brakes, the mirrors, and I think the glass are all recreations and the rubber's not even anything that was available for that model - never mind that it looks like they're radials (I can't really be certain but the sidewalls look pretty strong so they're almost certainly belted). I suspect the body is, at some point, still original in that, yeah, it had some original metal left.

          So yeah, a "restored" A might be worth that. I didn't view your original link but an

  • Ebay: free shit we can rebrand and sell. 2016 is comin up ebay!

    Creative Commons uses DMCA, its super effective!
    Ebay: Fuck...

  • There's another ebay seller involved in doing similar things with model trains.

    Goes by the name "Big Dawg Originals".

    As if the "Originals" is fooling anyone. He makes (bad) molds of other manufacturer's models, casts them, and sells them.

  • "Ha ha! Ur clueless noob! I haz gots ur files for free!"

    Dumb-ass.

    Instead he could have said, "Oh, I didn't realize there were multiple licenses and that some require attribution. I'll go ahead and fix those now. It will take me a couple of days to get them updated." Would have maintained plausible deniability, this whole thing would have blown over, and he'd still have a shop.

  • Unlike digital data and software, physical hardware has a cost of distribution. He is offering a 3D printing service to people without a 3D printer. The sale price pays for the time his printer is occupied, materials, and his time maintaining the system. In contrast, the designs only have a cost associated with initial production. Once that cost has been paid, the cost to store, maintain, and distribute the design is virtually nil.

    This is the same silliness as the court decision which shut down Aereo [wikipedia.org]
    • by tricorn ( 199664 )

      Most of what's on Thingiverse appears to be available under CC-Attribution, all that's needed would be to do that attribution and he'd be in the clear. Thingiverse even has an API to get the information automatically, to verify license status.

      Instead, he seems to think that anything on the Internet is public domain and he can do whatever he wants. Good luck with that!

      I don't know if the "no commercial use" CC licenses would bar this - sell it as a service to print designs for an individual rather than sel

  • by no-body ( 127863 ) on Monday February 29, 2016 @01:45PM (#51609243)

    Actual: Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse, Sells Designs In Violation of Creative Commons
    Q? who sells in violation? Ebay or Thingiverse...
    Correct: Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse, Who Sells Designs In Violation of Creative Commons

    The other one yesterday:
    Actual: Mercedes-Benz Swaps Robots For People On Assembly Lines
    Q? Which way is it going people out or robots out
    Correct: Mercedes-Benz Removes Robots For People On Assembly Lines

    Or is this a new strategy Huffinghtonpost style - creating questions in headlines to make people look at content - new in the beginning but now sucks overall.

    • by rhazz ( 2853871 )
      Someone made the point yesterday that there is a general overuse of commas to replace the word "and". This one is no different.

      Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse and Sells Designs In Violation of Creative Commons
  • That's but a breeze compared to the hurricane that's gonna blow our way once people start printing car parts and car manufacturers get up in arms over not being able to sell some plastic parts worth 5 cents for 50+ bucks.

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