Original creation or "mesh remix" by MJ (Mesh Jockey)

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by fx2, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    A big share of models on Shapeways are original creations. By original creation, I mean an idea which was modeled/coded (maybe using some ready-made basic shapes) by it's author.

    Lately, I've seen a increasing flow of models that present striking similarities with some files that can be found in online file repositories. Or some things that looks a lot like objects found in movies or video games. Using some software, the remixer remeshed the file to make it 3D printing-compatible. The original file author, the one who did the hard work, almost never get any credits.

    IMHO, this leads to two different problems: There isn't any easy way for a buyer on Shapeways to tell if a model was *mostly* created by it's designer, or not. The rating of a model doesn't help. Not giving credit to the original work for remixed content can be deceptive for the buyer who thinks buying something original and unique. The other problem, is that the original file author doesn't get his share in case of a sale...
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    The problem is that it would be near impossible to check if a model is infringing on any ones rights. Right now, if you see an item that you feel is a copy without acknowledging the creator, what you have to do is email shapeways so they can investigate. Look into the blog as this issue has been discussed there twice that I can think of.
  3. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
  4. aeron203
    aeron203 New Member
    This is a bigger issue than just credit for the original artist. It may seem relatively harmless for someone misrepresent someone elses work as their own, but this could do serious damage. A large enough organization is going to have enough legal clout to sue Shapeways into oblivion for profiting off of it's property.

    Beyond that, these instances can be held up as an example to form draconian legislation that controls what we can do with our software or data.

    It may be possible for one dishonest person to ruin it for everyone. :(
  5. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    The individual is responsible for their 'user generated content', the onus of any responsibility is passed from Shapeways to the user... see; Terms and conditions and Content Policy (which everyone agrees to when uploading a model.) Shapeways won't get sued, but a user might.
  6. aeron203
    aeron203 New Member
    Yes, that is in the user agreement, so Shapeways would just remove the content when they receive a cease and desist order, but that does not provide them with any legal protection at all.

    When Viacom sued Youtube for this same reason, Google (which owns Youtube) had to remove the content but were victorious against the claim for damages. If Youtube/Google were not as large they would have been driven out of business by legal fees alone, making the ruling irrelevant.

    Shapeways, like Youtube, is not in a position to police all the content on it's site, so as the culture of the online community develops, it would be good for us all to take some responsibility by promoting values that respect the property of others, while maintaining a respectful attitude toward each other when one of us slips up. That said, not all of it is a slip. Regardless of what is in the agreement, I personally disapprove of that behavior.

    I understand that there are many other interpretations so I'd be happy to hear out other opinions and examine the positive and negative aspects of each interpretation.
  7. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    My understanding is that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act limits service providers liability for transmitting information which was Google/YouTube's winning argument and set a precedent for other service providers.

    Inspiration from others' material = cool
    look-alike or downright copying of others' material = not cool

  8. bitstoatoms
    bitstoatoms Member
    Hi Guys,

    It is an area we are aware of and are keeping a close eye on.

    If you see a model which you believe is problematic please contact the person directly or contact Shapeways to discuss.

    Please do not use the forums as a public place for specific items as it is not an appropriate way to deal with the issue.

    Feel free to contact me personally if you wish to discuss further.


  9. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    Duann : I guess there is some work to do for Shapeways to clarify which kind of origin -*download*/*mind*/*????*- is wanted and which is less (maybe a link to a blog post next to "this is my own work" checkbox ?). I guess for some people the differences between inspiration, remixing, and plain copy-paste seem to be quite unclear and minor... :confused

    Online repositories are hosting thousands of models, do you want to host a printable version of a lot of these files here on Shapeways ? Is a flood of remixed models harmless to the creators of original models? Are you Ok if I upload a model without linking back to the original file, thus the buyer is led to think I created this item ? (purely speculative, I won't do this as you can guess)
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011