2012-09-20

Occupy Thingiverse?

When I woke up, my RSS reader showed some "occupy thingiverse" things posted on Thingiverse.
I'm still trying to figure out all that happened while I was sleeping.

The timeline seems to look like this:
(As the list becomes longer, I'm starting to highlights the latest entries for the benefit or readers returning.)
  1. July 2010 - RepRap blog posting about the heated conveyor belt
  2. August 2011 - Makerbot Industries receives $10M venture capital funding. Applied for patent on heated conveyor belt.
  3. November 2011 - Makerbot Industries filed for a patent on a heated conveyor belt.
  4. February 2012 - New TOS of Thingiverse
  5. Thingiverse blog post about the TOS. Only one commenter "madscifi" asked about the 3.2 attribution clause but wasn't answered.
  6. July 2012 - Makerbot gets the patent. Their own design is highly flawed and no longer included in the next 2 generations
  7. September 2012 - Replicator II announced as a closed source design. 
  8. September 2012 - Blog posting about the Replicator II being closed source, later added TOS change by Josef Prusa (Twitter)
  9. Included ".thing" file format turns out to be just a .zip of multiple .stl and .obj files to be printed.
  10. "Occupy Thingiverse Test cube" posted on Thingiverse, more attention to TOS
  11. Josef Prusa Google+ posting
  12. Tony Buser (Makerbot Industries) posting on Google+ that the TOS didn't chance in 8 month. 
  13. Thingiverse blog post, clarifying that the TOS change was in february 
  14. First thoughts about developing an alternative to Thingiverse. (0,1,2,3,4,5,brainstorming,cubehero,githubiverse,Thingiverse2Github converter, SKDB)
  15. More "occupy Thingiverse" objects popping up all the time.
  16. The story got slashdottet
  17. Blog posting by Makerbot Industries- They are "working out" just how open source they can make the Replicator II, lots about their intentions, no clear work about the specific TOS sentence.
  18. As a response the blog post by Josef Prusa gets updated. 
  19. Thingiverse replacement taking some shape in the comments of a G+ posting. Who wants to contribute? Alternatives are seldomly a bad thing.
  20. Reaction of Hoeken (RRRF and formerly MBI) 
  21. Hackaday posting about it 
  22. It looks like at least the software is just a thin, closed source UI that calls open source Skeinforge or their new (open source) "Miracle-Grue".
  23. This blog entry is on Hacker News and visitor numbers explode. I'm trying to stay more non-POV here.
  24. Looks like the new closed-source software can be tricked into working with older MBI printer. 
  25. New phrase coined "Makerbotgate". 
  26. Adrien Bowyers (RepRap) views on open and closed source printers
  27. We hit 13'000 visitors on this blog posting 
  28. Make Magazine blogs about the Closed Source issue for the second time
  29. Some interesting posts by Openalia
  30. CNET interviewed Josef Prusa, waiting for response from MBI before publishing.
  31. New Blog post from Makerbot Industries 
  32. Blog post of Josef Prusa gets updated
  33. So does Openalia
  34. MBI goes to explaining the TOS  crossposed in the Thingiverse blog 
  35. CNET interview with Josef Prusa, quoting Zach "Hoeken" Smith now online 
  36. Make magazine inverviews key players about this issue 
  37. Bre Pettis talk "Challenges of Open Source Consumer Products" on the Open Hardware Summit is recorded on ustream (session 3 at 1:20) Josef Prusa is in session 2 at 1:28 . 
  38. Make magazine has a transcrips of the Bre Pettis talk. 
  39. We hit the 15'000 reader mark while I was on vacation.
  40. ...
So it seems that:
Makerbot Industries, owner of Thingiverse updated their TOS.

Previously they had a paragraph
"Thingiverse.com does not claim ownership of the materials you post, upload, input or submit to the Thingiverse.com site."
The current TOS states a lot of granted rights but they are all limited to
"solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site and Services".
Seems fine to me.

What is interesting is the next sentence:
" 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."
I can't find a reason for this one in the february blog posting about the TOS.
The recent blog posting reassures us that attribution is done. In the latest blog post by their lawyer the moral rights part is explained as being able to create conflicts with the chosen Creative Commons license and the license given for the specific purpose of hosting the design on Thingiverse at all.

Of cause being legal language of a foreign jusisdiction and one based on common law (wich is still a very strange concept to me), I may misunderstand this part.
It seems that moral rights in the US are separate from copyright and thus not affected by Creative Commons. However why whould you waive any but the "right to the integrity of the work"? Why the moral right of attribution, of anonymous and pseudonymous publication?
Can you even do that if you are not the only author?
  • Can a person from a country such as German where waiving your moral right or attribution is by law impossible even use Thingiverse? (I think yes but I'm no lawyer.)
  • "Thingiverse ... and services" can include any future service. (But that is nothing to deal with now.) “ - "Company provides a service for users to share digital designs that can be printed on 3D printers to create physical objects”
  • How do the two licenses granted in the TOS work out if you are not the (only) author?
It didn't get much attention back then.  Due to the next thing it did get a lot of attention now:

The second thing that happened is that a "Replicator II" was announced and that it was widely seen as closed source.
I'm fine with it being closed source. (As long as they finally start to behave like it's a product that has support and warrenty and is supposed to work and if it doesn't work reliably it gets repaired, recalled, refunded or reimbursed.)
I'm not fine if they used designs that where published with Creative Commons Share-Alike or Attribution (or plain GPL) because none of these two seem to happen. Inheriting from the "Replicator" and thus from "Thing-o-Matic", "Cupcake" and lots of Reprap related designs this is very likely however no such violation is found as of yet (no one has a Replicator II yet) and there is only a very vague reaction about this part from Makerbot Industries.
The latest MBI blog posting states that they are working out "how open source" they can make it.
After that I got a statement that the software  is just one thin, closed source GUI. Also the new .thing file format is not only just a renamed .zip containing standard STL and OBJ files but also some JSON about the placement of these objects in the build volume. A libthing for using it will probably be published.
No word about design files of the hardware.

We'll have to see what parts and how much of the hardware will be in the open source and what exactly the license will be. The software part has now been answered.

It is very interesting to follow the different reactions and strands of discussions popping up and causing wider and wider ripple on the internet.


This posting is being updated as the events unfold.
If you find errors or inaccuracies in this posting, please contact me.

Kommentare:

Tim hat gesagt…

The more interesting thing, is the new "thing" file format. No news of that being an open format. Having "things" floating around, that can only be printed on the makerbot is a much greater threat to the community than anything else.

Marcus Wolschon hat gesagt…

Tim: What new file format?

Anonym hat gesagt…

See http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2.html

-> Software

Software Bundle: MakerWare™ Bundle 1.0
File Types: .stl, .obj, .thing

Marcus Wolschon hat gesagt…

I've seen it in the Replicator II announcement.
No idea.
Sad that they still don't read CAD formats.
With polygons you can't do perfect circles unless you accept excessive file sizes.

Anonym hat gesagt…

As discussed on the Makerbot Operator Google group and elsewhere, the .thing file "format" is a ZIP file of .STL and .OBJ objects, with a text file describing how those objects lay out on the platform. So, if you add 20 objects to the platform, reposition and scale them, you can save a single file that knows all of that without creating a new .STL or .OBJ file. This makes it easy to reload the group and manipulate individual items.

Marcus Wolschon hat gesagt…

Thanks for that clarification.
There were no details about .thing in all the announcements and a lot of speculation.
Updating the posting to reflect that fact.

Anonym hat gesagt…

.thing will be an open format, with full documentation, more capabilities than just an stl wrapper, and a libthing for manipulating it. Its just not done yet.

prusajr hat gesagt…

Hello, my name is Jo. I was the one who started this by calling the makerbot support and asking about source status.

This is nice writeup but there are some flaws.
My blog post linked is about makebot getting closed source. I published that AFTER makerbot release and after calling them. While I was sad and angry I found out about the TOS change and added that at the end of the article. Please correct those facts.

Follow me @josefprusa for more info :-)

Lets hope Makerbot fixes this situation !

W. Craig Trader hat gesagt…

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)

"Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works generally recognized in civil law jurisdictions and, to a lesser extent, in some common law jurisdictions. They include the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work.[1] The preserving of the integrity of the work bars the work from alteration, distortion, or mutilation. Anything else that may detract from the artist's relationship with the work even after it leaves the artist's possession or ownership may bring these moral rights into play. Moral rights are distinct from any economic rights tied to copyrights. Even if an artist has assigned his or her copyright rights to a work to a third party, he or she still maintains the moral rights to the work."

So in this case, MBI is saying "The purpose of Thingiverse is allow people to share things (and parts of things) with the specific intent to allow others to reuse them in their own designs, in whole or in part." This is why they removed the All Rights Reserved attribution at the same time.

This is a Good Thing.

W. Craig Trader hat gesagt…

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)

"Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works generally recognized in civil law jurisdictions and, to a lesser extent, in some common law jurisdictions. They include the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work.[1] The preserving of the integrity of the work bars the work from alteration, distortion, or mutilation. Anything else that may detract from the artist's relationship with the work even after it leaves the artist's possession or ownership may bring these moral rights into play. Moral rights are distinct from any economic rights tied to copyrights. Even if an artist has assigned his or her copyright rights to a work to a third party, he or she still maintains the moral rights to the work."

So in this case, MBI is saying "The purpose of Thingiverse is allow people to share things (and parts of things) with the specific intent to allow others to reuse them in their own designs, in whole or in part." This is why they removed the All Rights Reserved attribution at the same time.

This is a Good Thing.

Marcus Wolschon hat gesagt…

Does anyone know if and why there is a need to waive the moral right or attribution to operate Thingiverse?

Vik Olliver hat gesagt…

Lots of talk, little action. Shame. Don't try to fix Makerbot - Bre is the person who has to do that. Create a brilliant Thingiverse alternative. Create better versions of Makerbot. Make the stuff you don't like obsolete. That's how you protest in this game - with your brain.

Vik :v)

Marcus Wolschon hat gesagt…

Vik: Githubiverse makes good progress.
http://marcuswolschon.blogspot.com/2012/09/githubiverse-github-template-for-3d.html

Anonym hat gesagt…

Well, I have been thinking long and hard about what Makerbot has done. My conclusion? It's fantastic! They have grown too big for the sandpit and wish to play elsewhere. This means more room for newcomers and fresh innovators from the opensource community.

Makerbot now have to compete with opensource and it's all on the same starting line. What a fantastic opportunity for a direct comparison of open vs closed. People need to dump as many good ideas as possible into the public domain to prevent patents and do some patent untrolling. Much cheaper and faster than filing patents so we can easily win.

Are Makerbot really taking anything away from opensource? I don't see how. They can't patent anything that went on in opensource so it remains everyones. If they can pull a heap of private cash to keep going, good on them, let them be closed from here.

Personally I don't think they have a domestic appliance for the masses, no matter how polished it looks. But it's all up to them to make these decisions, no reason for other people to feel bad about it.

I am excited about what is to come from elsewhere! :-)