In a post in back in January 2009 on the Shapeways blog, Joris discussed some implications of intellectual property rights for the Shapeways community via I Love Threadless & IP Rights. Now that more models are being made available to download by the Shapeways community it may be worth looking at exactly how you would like to share your digital files.
You may already know of Creative Commons, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.
They provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
Creative Commons released its first set of copyright licenses for free to the public late 2002. Creative Commons developed its licenses inspired in part by the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) to help people license their works freely for certain uses, on certain conditions; or dedicate works to the public domain.
So think about the designs you are sharing and how you would like to share them. Would you like attribution, would you like to send your babies out ino the world and see how they evolve and are mutated by others? Do you want to se others commercialize a derivative of your initial concept?