Makerbot, Occupy Thingiverse, And The Reality Of Selling Open Hardware

Yesterday, Makerbot Industries introduced the Replicator 2, a very good-looking 3D printer that will is probably the closest thing we’ll see to a proper ‘consumer’ 3D printer for a year or so. There’s only one problem. The new Replicator 2 is rumored to be closed source. If that’s not enough, [Bre Pettis], co-founder and CEO of Makerbot Industries will be speaking at the Open Source Hardware Association conference next week with the suitably titled talk, “Challenges of Open Source Consumer Products.”

Of course, the Replicator 2 being closed source is hearesay, and we can’t blame them for closing up parts their product; they have investors to worry about and people are blatantly copying their work. There was another change in Makerbot’s operation at the press conference yesterday: Makerbot now owns everything you’ve put up on Thingiverse.

This news comes from [Josef Prusa], creator of what is probably the most widely used 3D printer in the world.

[Prusa] begins his rant with the history of the RepRap. The project began with a team of core developers headed by [Adrian Bowyer], and supported by [Zach Smith], [Adam Mayer], and [Bre Pettis]. [Boyer] gave the guys a bit of money to start Makerbot, and it’s something the guys at Makerbot have never been ashamed of. Makerbot went on to create Thingiverse, became the darlings of the Open Hardware movement, and acquired $10 million from investors.

All things change, of course, and Makerbot is no exception. Along with the (again, rumored) closed-source Replicator 2, [Prusa] pointed out the Terms of Use for Thingiverse say that Thingiverse – and thus Makerbot Industries – owns everything submitted by Thingiverse users. [Prusa] started an Occupy Thingiverse movement in response to this discovery.

Honestly, we hope [Josef Prusa] is wrong on this one. We hope the specific clauses in Thingiverse’s Terms of Use granting itself a license to do whatever it wants with uploaded Things is just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo added in by lawyers to protect Thingiverse from being sued by crazy people. Still, if rumors are true, it may be a portent of things to come.

In any event, [Prusa] will be taking his Thingiverse things down. He plans on posting his stuff on GitHub, probably the most Open Source-friendly community in existence. You can do the same with this GitHub template for 3D printed objects.

So, learned reader of Hackaday, what do you make of this? Is Makerbot right to close up their projects? Are we finally becoming disillusioned with Open Hardware? What say you?

150 thoughts on “Makerbot, Occupy Thingiverse, And The Reality Of Selling Open Hardware

  1. Changing Thingiverse so that they can sell things (perhaps in their store)… well, that’s a bit of a dick move, but it’s not the end of the world.
    Closing the hardware is NOTHING new, but I expected better of them. Look to makergear and solidoodle for closed-source machines based on this technology. Likely, it will be closed in hardware, but open in firmware and electronics, like its predecessors.

  2. “Are we finally becoming disillusioned with Open Hardware?”

    I can understand their feelings, and I would certainly feel the same way if a similar situation occurred to me. But since I’m not affected, I’m ambivalent to the whole thing and take no sides.

    But what did they (Makerbot) expect to happen? “Hey world, here are plans for you to use, free of charge, unencumbered by any licensing, do what you want with it”. Did they not expect someone to come along and make a profit on this?

    What makes open hardware different than something like BSD? I am NOT referring to Linux, whose licensing is different. There are plenty of commercial products around that have been build on BSD, whose resultant products have been closed. Did BSD decide to “take their ball and go home?”

    1. Let’s remember, their devices are evolutions on stuff that other people have built and shared. Did anyone say they “stole” it to make a profit? I get that the Tangibot was different only in manufacturing and price, but I’m not sure that’s somehow illegitimate, when that’s the feature people really need.

      Meanwhile, MakerBot is a victim of its own success. Something about being invited to be on the Colbert show (et al) obviously drives them to go bigger, better, and more expensive. And that’s fine, but it’s not what some hobbyists want. So someone tried to serve the market, legally, and using plans that are only provided by MakerBot by virtue of last-iteration.

      I think it’s time for someone like Adafruit to take the torch. A new repo for 3d objects, a new line of genuinely open printers, with a real, considerate eye towards getting them into peoples hands.

  3. I think you’re mixing up too many things – open source hardware, thingiverse, and desktop 3d printers for consumers. Sure, businesses can succeed without keeping (or reverting) software to a closed license or closed source. So what if Makerbot chooses that? It’s their business. There’s a huge amount of independent and hobbyist development on desktop 3d printers within the open source realm. Let the companies decide where the place their product in this market.

    That said, changing the thingiverse license isn’t very nice.

  4. Blaming the 2 weeks old Tangibot fiasco as an excuse for Markerbot going to the darks side and making the Replicator 2 closed source is just nonsense. And already many people have stated publicly their opinion that this move started many months ago.

    More over when their new Thingverse terms state that they get all your work for whatever they want whithout even having to give credit you. Who should we blame for that?

    Blame their greediness and the big bucks instead. It’s pretty obvious that the open source community and the makers are no longer their target customers.

    And of course that yes, WE CAN BLAME Makerbot for closing what many people have contributed to in many ways and being where they are thanks to the open source community.

  5. Though people have sold Makerbot’s open source work the flow of technology has been largely from the Reprap and Arduino projects into Makerbot. Which is why people are angry at Makerbot’s clames to be the pioneer in the field of hobbyist 3D printing. The only thing I can think of that originated in Makerbot was the Sanguino, everything else has been replacing Reprap printed parts with lasercut.

    The change in the Thingiverse ToC states that your work can be used for any service on the site, Attribution and non-commercial licences can be removed, you can not revoke this right by removing your work.

    Here’s the part that allows the change of licence/ownership on your design, it’s not the same as companies like Dropbox use to have the ability to move your stuff around servers or protect them from being sued.

    3.2License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

    1. Its a non-exclusive license “solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services.”

      Translation for those who can’t read: you must grant them a license to put your work on site and allow others access.

      Nothing here changes ownership of the copyright, or affects what you can do with it, (except revoke that license.)

      The clause about removing attribution does seems a little odd; are their coders lazy and can’t attribute and upload to the user that uploaded it?

  6. Seems like the usual story – open source is AWESUM GRATE until you find out someone actually uses the thing you released. Lots of people want to get the fuzzy feelies of CONTRIBUTING but ultimately lack the conviction of following through.

  7. Hackaday… Don’t feed the rumors! I imagine we’ll find out within the next 24 hours whether its open source or not given the comments and posts already floating around. I’d almost rather see a media blackout of this until its confirmed one way or another. One customer service call isn’t enough for me to be convinced.

      1. There is nothing “wrong” at all. They have the right to run their site how they see fit. If you don’t like it, you’re not obligated to be a part of the community they’ve built.

        Folks have no right to complain if they haven’t even bothered to read the licensing agreement.

        Haters gonna hate.

  8. I think this is natural and healthy progression. They were open-source and very successful doing so, but now they are moving into the major leagues and getting close to competing with billion dollar printer companies in the very near future. If they are innovating and investing in R&D, I see no reason they should not seek to protect their intellectual property from being 100% copied.

    1. +1

      Either way I still want the new Replicator. And assuming what was said about the licensing is true / stays this way, if you don’t want your things being their property, don’t use their service. Simple enough.

    2. +1

      I have no respect for people who get rabid over what are essentially unsubstantiated rumors. Personally, until I hear what Bre has to say at the Summit on Thursday, I’m reserving judgement.

  9. I think they should have introduced a selling feature ages ago, but they shouldn’t do it without getting the license from the makers and sharing revenue with them. That’d be a bad move. I doubt they will misuse the license though… but I stopped uploading to Thingiverse when the first replicator came and they changed their design. I had a bad feeling back then that something like this was on the way, as the site became much more of a commercial window for Makerbot.

  10. I have a basic question, that I am sure has been asked before.

    In the open source / open hardware community, how are you supposed to ethically make money?

    I personally am not independently wealthy.

    Can I charge an “installation and setup” fee to install and configure open source software?

    How do you attract investors, if they will never see a return on their investment ??

    1. i think for most in the open source community making money is a secondary goal, if a goal at all. the goal is to make something good, to contribute to society and give something back. most commercial investors would likely be out of the question this idea is totally alien to them, it lives in an area of ambiguity that isn’t conducive to the type of work they do.
      usually when you need investing for an open source project you sell something tangible, like a product (makebot selling pre-assembled makerbots for instance, or selling linux installation disks or support) or you can get funding through something like kickstarter or a donate button on the site, people pay what they think your contribution is worth.
      its not something that will work on a large industrial scale, or make you a billionaire.

    2. The return of Investment could be your software -> many big companies are supporting open source projects or put things they created out as open source so they don’t have to do the entire development themselves. Vendors of server software, e.g. IBM support Linux, so they can concentrate their internal ressources on the things they make money from: software that runs on linux. Other companies offer support for linux installs, again, linux is not the product, support is.
      Development tools are often open source because the whole industry needs them and this way, everyone shares the effort of building them.
      There are many more examples like this.

    3. “Can I charge an “installation and setup” fee to install and configure open source software?”


      Lots of people in IT do because they’re being paid for their time. If there are costs involved with the purchasing of hardware/software then that cost gets directly passed onto the client (often with a markup).

      Back when Public Domain sofware was a big thing you often had to pay for it, not the software but the cost of the floppy disk + time to copy the software onto the disc (minimal if you’re running a semi-automatic setup) and the packing+postage cost. Nobody really complained about paying for PD software in this manner.

      1. You can even charge something for the open-source software itself. Not that people should pay for it since they would typically be able to get it for free. So it should be the same for the 3d printed hardware. You can charge for the 3d printed hardware (many do), as long as it’s not non-commercial licence (in which case the story is more complicated).

  11. Why do people care if Makerbot 2 is open source or not anyway? I mean no one complains when someone designs and manufacture lets say a closed source desk-lamp. They are selling are product, its not like the Makerbot 1 has magically lost its open sourceness.

    1. Aye, good point. I have been struggling with my open source laser cutter/engraver (Lasersaur) and there are days when I wish I had just saved up and bought a $5k consumer model instead of going it on my own… stepper drivers be damned.

      I’m sure there is a huge market out there for people who want their own 3d printer but don’t want to build it. I guess it goes back to the Linux vs. Windows argument.

      1. Quite possibly the best statement in the HAD comments ever. I’m really getting tired of insular hackers and makers complaining that they don’t have the opportunity to assemble a product themselves.

        What about all of the people out there that would love to use 3d printing but have no desire/time to kit up a reprap and source parts? Yes it’s “easy” to do because we already know how to do it and like doing that thing.

        People shouldn’t be punished for just wanting to buy something that works so they can get right in to playing with it.

      1. > For all we know, the R2 could be a significant departure, representing months upon months of in-house development with no community input at all.

        You must be joking. Makerbot reps have been hitting up all the hacker spaces and faires taking pictures of everything. No company works in a vacuum these days. The Internet is everywhere. It would be pretty unbelievable to come out and say that R2 was developed in a vacuum.

      2. I’m not joking. Fact is, I don’t know the provenance of the technology in the new MakerBot, and neither do you.

        It may be just as you say, but I suspect you have no proof, or you would have provided it.

        The bottom line is that I think it’s going to take awhile for the nature of the new product to be revealed. Someone will inevitably do a teardown of the R2 and we might learn some interesting stuff then. Until then, though, I don’t see the benefit to assuming malice.

  12. “Are we finally becoming disillusioned with Open Hardware?”

    No. That scene is vibrant and growing more so each day.

    What may have happened — with a capital MAY — is that one company that took funding is finding out the realities of business with the big boys. They now are on the hook to satisfy their investors.

    IF Makerbot 2 is closed, and even if it isn’t, the only thing that will happen hear is to spur the rest of the community on to build an open source device that is as good as or better than the Makerbot 2.

    Let’s all take a breath, ok?

  13. The whole thing made me feel like I was watching an iPhone unveiling. . .

    Super expensive.
    Not crediting the people whos work put them on the map.
    Blatantly taking rights to others works(thingiverse)
    Hipster looking store.
    Hipster prices.
    Any one count how many times “Brooklyn” and “New York” made their way into the speech?

    This is exactly the kind of thing that made me cringe with the “unwritten rules of oshw” and why I said if there are going to be rules write them down so those who have money can’t rake the rest of people with out. I feel like we just got another fledgling apple , or facebook. Like we now look forward to a movie titled “The 3d printer” (the social network) it is like the worst parts of both (hippster on one side, thief on the other) merged to give us this.

  14. ToS have not changed recently from what I can tell. Also, they need the right to display the work you uploaded. I see no difference with these ToS as apposed to most other sites like this. This guy is just picking at a scab for other reasons. If you are really afraid of copyright or license issues, you should not be posting it on a public site that can be reached world wide.

    1. If they want to display someone work (for advertising, for example) then they can contact the creator directly and get explicit permission. If the alternative is that they write an open-ended contract that allows them to, potentially, abuse it in the future and claim total ownership then I feel that’s the price they should have to pay to have the support of the community (or, at least, the one person’s share of the community I control).

      1. They are NOT claiming ownership; they are taking a license. A license that states they can only use it to provide site services. You still own the work.

        The License mentions derivative works, and granting sub-licenses, they may just be trying to enforce an open-source license on uploads.

      1. That the resulting program is an standalone executable with the binary library functions embedded. Not as an external dynamic library with multiple files (like the Windows DLLs)


        As per GPL the source of that program must be release to the users. The LGPL allows some more permissions thru a modified linking exception.


    1. @Kyle: In a post on adafruit blog Eric comments that:

      “[…] it looks like the only GPL component was used to process the code, everything they actually incorporate is LGPL, MIT, and so on. (ie licenses that are compatible with being linked into proprietary software), so they’re not violating GPL AFAIK.”

    1. No, he is the steve jobs of 3D printing.

      Popular, good at presenting, but the product is overpriced and not as awesome as people are led to think.

      When the first Replicator came out, the Ultimaker already was faster, higher quality, and a bigger build area. But they still shouted “biggest 3D printer up to date!”
      (Dual extrusion was new, but oddly enough, we see very little of that)

      1. Al, please have them contact me. Or the google group or ultimaker forums. I’ve fixed almost every machine which had problems and I could get my hands on. All of those have been printing jobs of 8 hours or more after that without issues.

        Also, huge big warning, DO NOT USE CHEAP CHINESE FILAMENT. It’s cheap for a reason, because it’s crap.

  15. An idea I had was for a free display and market area for 3d print files.

    I never really promoted it too much but its meant for an alternative to thingiverse and also provide a way for someone who has a object they don’t want to just give away but a market to sell.

    Check it out, there only a couple of my prints. Maybe start uploading and give it a shot.
    I’d definitely be very happy to start working on it again and expand all the features.

    1. I wanted to mention, I wanted any legal thing for the user who uploaded to retain ownership. If an item was sold, it was sold directly from the seller to the buyer and the site has no ownership or rights to the product.

  16. I’ve been criticizing the open hardware license for a while now. More specifically, the people who whine about clones of products with open hardware licenses. Why specifically include language in your license allowing clones, if you don’t believe in it and won’t own up to it?

    Really, this is getting a bit tiring. Add a non-commercial clause to the license or something. Something like CC-BY-NC ?

    If you’re gonna SPECIFICALLY ALLOW FOR PEOPLE TO COPY YOUR PRODUCT AND MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT, don’t complain when someone actually does!

  17. I don’t see where “All your things belong to us” is in the new Legal terms.

    === solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. === is the saving grace in the statement. Basically, they are saying “we needs rights to the object you uploaded so we can render a preview, feature your item on the front page, and use it to promote the site.”

    3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, === solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. === You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

    1. “You agree to irrevocably waive … any claims [of] attribution with respect to your User Content.”

      See the very end, I made it easy to read. That means tomorrow they could flip a switch and change all the items to be assigned to Makerbot. They could not legal strip or change the licensing of the items but the items could, possibly, no longer be attributed to you.

      This is really probably only there in the event of catastrophic database loss or mistakes in database migrations, where the files they have on their servers can no longer be linked or are improperly linked to the user information.

  18. I don’t understand why people got so upset when makerbot was copied. That’s the point of open hardware. If someone can do it better they’re free to, and that includes doing it cheaper. The Arduino is copied all the time and it’s encouraged, but they’re still going strong.

  19. I’m honestly not surprised to hear this rumor about the new replicator, but a quick read into the Thingiverse terms of use and a little (what I think is) common sense brings me to a different conclusion than Prusa’a:

    The first sentence in section 2.5 stands out to me:
    2.5 Ownership. Excluding your User Content (defined below), you acknowledge that…”

    Section 3.1 defines user content and explains that makerbot takes no responsibility for you posting your homebrew versions of settlers of catan and warhammer minis ;

    Section 3.2 defines a short license that you grant makerbot the essential rights to host your content

    Why would they need “extra” rights? Makerot/Thingiverse is not a noncommercial entity, but lots of folks who post their work on thingiverse like to use CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-SA.

    If they got rid of section 3.2 of the terms of use, they wouldn’t be able to provide either of those licenses. It may be possible that some of the other licenses offered also don’t grant specific rights that are important for Makerbot to have to be able to host your content.

    So, tl;dr: the rights licensed to Thingiverse are rights that they need for the normal operation of the site. Additionally it is in their best interest not to own the content you submit to the site, due to legal liability.

  20. Quit whining everybody. They’re finally growing up and going to start making some big boy money. Isn’t this a fairly logical progression? It’s not like this is the only open source 3D printer out there…

    On a similar note, this is why I support non-commercial use licensing. While this possible move to closed source does bother me, the real root problem is the capability to freely make money based on the development efforts of a community. Even if all work is done independently, I don’t believe in letting others profit for my personal work without myself receiving compensation.

    1. > Even if all work is done independently, I don’t believe in letting others profit for my personal work without myself receiving compensation.

      Then don’t contribute to open source licenses that allow people to not compensate you.

      1. In this case:

        1.They changed the license.
        2.You must notice of that and remove your work from their site.
        3.Oh, wait! their license states that they keep your work even if you remove it from their site.

      2. Then 8 months ago when they announced the change in license, if you were in this position, you should have removed your content and opted out of the license changes. If they did not provide an online means to opt out(and assuming they didn’t have a license change clause in the original license) then you send them a certified letter stating that you do not agree to the new terms and have removed your content and stopped use of their service.

        This is a good example of why you should be very careful about participating in these social data aggregation sites.

      3. My point was not clear…

        My problem would not be the lack of compensation for my work, but the closing of an open design utilizing contribution from me in the form of my open source work in order to capitalize on my work (whether directly or indirectly)…

        Is it not a requirement that all iterative work from an open source design be itself open source? If this is the case, then they are breaching a license contract, or all work must original.

    2. I think the whining is justified. This isn’t just any open hardware company – this is one of the most prominent advocates for open hardware in the community (of which they are now not a part of sadly).

      I 100% agree with you on non-commercial licensing. It’s a no-brainer, really. Can someone please explain why non-commercial isn’t the default when it comes to open licenses? It seems that it should be, since most end up complaining when they get cloned … ? Boggles my mind.

      1. Simple and evident ;) If everybody attach a NC clause, won’t be so easy to do business with open hardware.

        They want to be able to use, and they do use, other people’s work commercially in their open hardware products.

        Anyway many hardware designs are not even released as editable CAD files to allow the community to do modifications easily but as eps, stl, etc.

      2. Non Commercial license has the same kind of problem as a license that only states “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.”. What exactly is commercial use? Is it everything outside a home workshop, or can I use it to hold classes in the local Hackerspace?

        Creative Commons has an NC license, and it’s almost impossible to use material licensed like that. e.g. you can not include it in Wikipedia, since they do allow commercial use.

  21. I’m sorry but I finally get to do this: BWAHAHAHA! As someone who has been burned too many times by the “grass roots open source diy love you man cottage industry” I say hahaha. Things were all good when you were on the other side of the fence, trying to get LG Samsung Nokia to open their schematics and code to the world and get them to be more consumer minded towards open source. The very item you sell has been used to make proprietary parts that another company has paid to produce (in overrun) and then paid to store, clerk, etc. Sucks to be you lmao. I feel so bad for all the schmucks like me that show up to the Cons and fair(e)s, buying the kits that don’t have proper schematics, incorrect circuit boards, and outdated web only support links. Then when I try to get help, I get a “be cool bro, my aunt is sick so I am catsitting for another week and can’t look at the schematics.” That is the open source for sale experience I have had. Much like facebook, hopefully the DIY masses will understand the shenanigans and EXTREME link-looping, hit padding, and ahem shilling of friends’ goods while remaining “neutral” in the whole thing. The real question is what product comes after the RasPi on HaD, and how quickly will they deadpan the old one once it is rtm? Don’t even get me started on kickstarter tomfoolery and misnomery lol. (Adjusts onion on belt).

    1. 1. yeah, I’ve had those experiences in the open source community too. So many software packages that were jacked up that offered the only answer of “its open source, just fix it yourself!”

      2. You do realize, being an aggregator and news outlet that we cover trends right? The next new big thing will get lots of time here because, well, it is new and big. We also try to cover old things too, but unfortunately people making cool stuff at home with old stuff aren’t as eager to share it with us I guess.

    2. This is not a problem with the open-source community. This is a problem with the people that YOU chose to do business with.

      Open-Source is there for YOU to do. You are complaining about what other people have done with the content in an attempt to turn a profit.

      I’ve had the seller of a PC case use his wife being in the hospital as an excuse about why he couldn’t resolve my issue.

      Nothing to do with open-source, everything to do with the fact that dude was a poor BUSINESSMAN.

    3. And I suspect most of these nightmare companies you’ve bought stuff from don’t stay in business very long either.

      The companies that are thriving figured out a long time ago that support is the key. People clone Arduino all the time, but the reason Arduino is still going strong is because they support the hell out of there product. They also spend significant money and time on quality control.

      As Saul pointed out, all of your bad experiences were bad BUSINESS experiences. All of the problems you describe could just as easily happen (and do, on a regular basis) with closed source products.

      I’d also say that you bear some of the blame yourself for being an uninformed consumer and making poor choices with your money.

  22. You can NOT make money with ANYTHING opensource… For long… People can easily rip off anything you design or sell. It works well for software like Linux because they make money from supporting and implementing it.

    All that said I support open source fully! Don’t get that twisted. I’m even designing opensource hardware as we speak but I don’t expect to make any money from it.

    1. I have a sort of “test” OSHW product (all the rest are not). The test product is actually one of my better sellers. I’ve seen a few people make things based off of it, but not large scale. A side effect is that the pinout is becoming an unofficial standard.

      It seems that if you release an OSHW product, just make sure it’s a very reasonable price.

    2. Ian at seems to make money with his products. I have bought several items (Bus Pirate, USB IR Toy, Serial LCD backpack…) from him and the support both from Ian directly and on his forum has been better than any closed source product I’ve bought.

      Other than feedback, I am not a developer of his products, nor am I an employee.

  23. Heh. The ever common “we own everything” clause is basically so they can pick whatever they want to show for advertising purposes. Like let’s say you see a Google Chrome video and they discuss everything it can do, briefly showing an actual YouTube video instead of just the YouTube logo: that’s because they own all the content and can do what they want with it.

    That’s typically what it is and I’d be extremely surprised if Thingiverse tries to take it any further.

    1. Yes. Without this they would might have to credit the inventor in cases when it might not be so easy to do, like on a picture or video. But on their site they have pictures of printed stuff and they are crediting the inventor. It might be that all we need is some clarification from them what their intended use of the clause is. I guess they’re discussing this with their lawyers now… so it’ll be a while.

      1. Or, they might have to contact the creator and get explicit permission. I consider that a small price to pay in exchange for having a fairly written policy that can’t be abused in the future…

  24. Here is a repost of my comment on Thingiverse pertaining to this subject:

    I just finished reading the terms of use and I’m not sure what part of it you are in disagreement with. I’m not sure what part has revoked your right of ownership of your content. See below:

    2.5 Ownership. Excluding your User Content (defined below), …

    3.1 User Content. “User Content” means any and all information and content that a user submits to, or uses with, the Site or Services (e.g., content in the user’s profile or postings). You are solely responsible for your User Content. …

    Okay, para. 2.5 states that any intellectual property that the owners of this site has produced and trademarked belongs to them except for the content its users create (that is yours). Para 3.1 defines what is considered user content.

    3.2 License. You hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Company and its affiliates and partners, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services. You agree to irrevocably waive (and cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.

    Para. 3.2 is saying that if you choose to post your content to this website then, the company can use your content for any promotional or monetary gain it sees fit without fear of being sued for copyright infringement.

    3.3 Secondary License. When you upload User Content to the Site or Services, you will be asked to select a secondary copyright license, which is additional to the license you grant to Company and its affiliates and partners in Section 3.2. This license will govern how other Site or Services users may use your User Content. You can designate this license to be one of the Creative Commons Licenses (see listed in the pull-down menu on the Site. You agree that Company may make your User Content available to other Site or Services users, subject to such other Site or Services users abiding by the terms of this secondary license; however, if you select the “All Rights Reserved” secondary copyright license, you agree that it means Company may display your User Content for public viewing on the Site and other Site or Services users must contact you to obtain additional rights, as necessary.

    Para. 3.3 is saying that you can invoke a license to any other user outside of the owners of this site to limit how they use and/or modify your content. In essence, they are providing a service to you free of charge and thus, they reserve the right to get a little something back in return.

    I’m not sure how any of this is revoking your rights of ownership. I’m almost sure Thingiverse will not attempt to claim your creations as their own (maybe).

    Now, I agree with your issues of the Replicator 2 being a closed design but, the writing was on the wall for that one especially since some are making an exact duplicate of the Replicator and selling it in direct competition. I know Makerbot owes a great deal to the RepRap community/creators but, in that light, so do every single automotive company that duplicated/derived from Ford.

  25. It is the natural progression of certain technologies that the novel be proprietary until it is so “vanilla” that it is generic. Businesses usually have only 2 ways to slow down this devaluation of their owned intellectual and physical property- to legally retard competition or to innovate. Now Shakespeare might have been right with his contempt of lawyers, but there is only so far that a company can stretch the good will of its customer base and community at large until they become the big bad monster, a la Microsoft.
    So lets do this, lets start up an open source non-profit that is as easy to use as thingiverse. Github is great for those in the know, and the template looks understandable enough. But if we really want to keep the momentum going in the open-source 3d world, we need to lower the bar to entry on every front possible. Wouldn’t you agree?
    And if makerbot does stray too far from its loyal followers and thingiverse users, I’m sure those investors will “encourage” them to change course. Just .02

  26. I think Bri Pettis is a piece of shit.
    Watch this asshole millionaire show us how to protect from rfid capture.

    if only after they made millions of dollars and a global following do they think about monetizing more and removing open source. I think someone else should pick up the thingiverse slack and build a truly unbiased site for the rest of us.

    making a closed source printer seems to undermine the entire open-source experience of building and using your own 3d printer.

  27. Makerbot has opted out of the open hardware community.

    Regardless of how far they now shift we should take steps to rebuild the community on more future proof foundations. Thingiverse needs to be replaced by something controlled by a non-profit entity along the lines of Wikimedia Foundation or Document Foundation. A foundation set to protect and promote open hardware into the future.

  28. So to summarize :

    Question 1: Is the MakerBot Replicator 2 Open Source?

    No, but we have been the poster child for open source hardware company success for a while. We will legally comply with whatever licenses we must. Can you show me an example of anyone of comparable size who has done better?

    Question 2: Did Thingiverse terms of use change to “steal” people’s things.

    No, the terms of service are the same as they were since February. They are meant to protect and expand the brand, for example to sell printed things in a new store in Noho. We could word the ToS better though, and will in the future.

  29. MB/Bre are swearwords in most hackerspace 3d printer circles. Once while visiting noisebridge, a MB employee was there on fab night attempting to get pictures of the improved community designs, to the dismay of the builders. This is not unexpected, at least to me or those people I’ve met in the 3d printing scene. Business and the hacker ethos are nearly impossible to integrate without the compromise of core principles/ethics on either side. In the end it doesn’t matter, each side will continue doing what it thinks is right. And just as samsung ganks android OS and rebrands it as their own, making it proprietary and shitty in the process, there are always losers in a war of ideals on a money driven planet. (Bad example, I know.. google = billonares. They are very idealistic though.)

    Keep hacking though, for mass produced commercial junk will never keep up with community innovations and the passion that drives them. Pride before profit.

    1. Now there’s a thought, if/when the Chinese manufacturers see a market for 3D printers and bang them out at dirt cheap prices it could change the whole playing field quite drastically.
      3D printers would suddenly become very cheap and people could start hacking the ones from China to make them better / work how they want etc.
      Or have they already started and I missed the memo?

    2. The Chinamen will stop laughing when they have some homegrown technology the want to try and protect with licensing. As it is the Chinese could do what Makerbot is being accused of, and their accusers will be online with a credit card in hand, if China sells a 3D printer cheap enough. Conjecture based on my observation hackers can be hypocrites at times, but why should they be any different in that regard?

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