How to Officially Donate/Share/Copyleft Posted Content?

I have seen quotes like this from other forum members before. In a community like this where the free exchange of ideas is critical to the evolution of the design, this is a great thing. But if I see something from
MyMaslowInMyBathtub (made-up username) I want to copy, how do I know if they are one of the folks who has given this kind of permission? I either have to wade through their posts or ask them. What if MyMaslowInMyBathtub has been inactive on the forums while they recover from the tragic accident that we don’t talk about? I suggest we have some sort of system for allowing users to give blanket permission. Perhaps it’s a badge that they can “earn” through some specific, unambiguous action, or just a special thread designated for such declarations. Thoughts?


I’m not giving an blanket permission. Anything i post, you can do anything with, as long as you’re not making any money of it. Otherwise something has to flow back to me, seems only fair. Not that i have actually posted anything sellable, but anyways :slight_smile:


The forums are a type of public domain. That is not a blanket openness. I have given @bar open use of anything I post to attempt to be more effective on time in the future.

We have had users that have had down time due to serious “Procedures”. I am a blanket poster.

I’d like to see what others have to say on this.

I think there are people here with differing levels of concern for what they post.

I find it easy to ask and wait if needed. I think relying on this would have a 2 fold effect. It is possible someone could proceed with something and be able to say “I didn’t mean that” or a “few years past and I forgot about that”

The other side is someone that goes off line, maybe permanently, for a variety of reasons. They would not be aware of any use or progress.

The exchange of ideas in it’s self is meant to innovate, to spark new ideas. In our medium it always in someway results in a real product.

If it’s significant I say you should ask.

I will give another example I find fascinating. Tattoos - I have none, I asked someone to design one for me but they never followed through. I love good art. I ask men and women about their flash all the time. Most have a story and like to share.

I met a women once with art showing on her back. I said I like your art what inspired that. Her reply was “I only talk about it when I’m in the bedroom, naked and we aren’t going to be that. It’s a private thing.” I replied OK and left it at that.

On the face of it I like the concept. I’m not sure how far it would go.

Q’ - are you giving blanket access to your posts?

Thank you

my 2 cents:
This is a public forum and as such posters should be aware that ideas, images, and designs are being provided to the public without any expressed protections. While we all hope that people visiting the forum will be respectful in how they use the material posted here, we cannot expect that they will be. If there is something that you consider to be your own intellectual property, then this may not be the place to post it.

I also agree with @Dag83 that I’d like a kickback on any monetization of ideas I might put forth, but I realize that this is unlikely.


I assume this is directed back to me as OP, and it’s a fair question. I’ll start by saying that while occasionally I have a good idea, they rarely will make anyone much, if any, money. Even if it’s a really good idea, it’s more likely that someone will make money from it if they put in the considerable effort to turn the idea into something useful. Ideas are usually overvalued while implementation of ideas is usually undervalued. That said, if someone wants to use my words or ideas from here in whatever form, I say, “go for it.” If they can make a little money in the process, I say, “good on 'ya.” If they want to send a little love back to me, I’ll happily accept any acknowledgement they give, or a product sample, or whatever else they feel is appropriate. And If they want to send a lot of love back to me, I’ll cash their check. :smiley:

Thanks, @Dag83, @Bee, @Keith for the interesting discussion.


Maybe that’s more realistic :slight_smile:

Is it possible to have a checkbox that everyone checks, when they sign up? There would be a publicly visible property for everyone; their choice on how their ideas can be used. This property could also be applied on a per-post basis.

Another option is to have everyone sign a consent form (electronic), something like: I agree and understand that everything I post in this forum becomes public knowledge. Just establish a global copyright policy for all content on the forum.

I would be against that- my reasoning is there are plenty of people that would stop at that point and never participate in the forum.

I like your planning and forethought.

I worked for several large companies in the past. I worked for one that had a nondisclosure agreement. In it it said they had the right to everything I “created” there was no stipulation that it was what I created for work. I rewrote the NDA to include only what I did that was assigned for work. No one ever questioned my alterations.

I had worked for a very popular fruit named computer company. I had worked on a computer design before I went to work for that company. This was a direct conflict with the NDA so I again rewrote it to exclude anything I published to my own website.

I personally try to think about what conflicts I may run into in the future. I know I clicked whatever It took to make an account on this site. I like the community and want to see it freely share ideas. I would say the only thing that has come up this way on this site is the Triangular Kinematics Thread and as far as I know no one has had an issue with the kits sold.

If anything I think it would be on the person posting to call out there design - IE I would like your opinion on my design. I’m making a commercial product from this, I claim my rights as the creator of “Widget ABC” I appreciate your input on my Widget. Stipulate how contributions would be compensated here.

My thoughts here are to try to improve the user experience for all of the Maslow users. Many here have helped and inspired me.

My 2 Cents

Thank you

@Bee, thanks for your reply.

Would the preferred solution be to carry a piece of meta-data with every post? Every post can be flagged by the poster as being covered by XXX copyright… The only reason I ask is: there can still be ambiguity in who posted what when, and whether or not there was any statement about future use of the information.

I know this may not be within the capability of this forum’s owners. I am just asking about what the ideal solution would be, ignoring the difficulty in implementation. I don’t like the idea of having to include a written statement in each post which describes who can use the post, and for what purpose… I would be nice if the process of capturing that information could be faster and easier.

the kits are being sold by the people came up with the concepts for the
particular kits, although both of us have said that we’re happy for anyone else
to do so as well

In fact, I would really like to find someone in the EU and Australia who would
be willing to get the kits cut and sold. The shipping cost from the US is bad
enough ($35 or so), but the delays in customs is worse ("6 day priority mail"
that takes a month type of thing)

David Lang


that level of tracking would be such a nightmare that nobody would use it.

besides which, the software doesn’t support it.

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I agree - and this opens the door for me to cover what is happening with my website and file sharing. I had to struggle with this question for how to set up

1 I hate creating accounts - in fact it kept me from being on Facebook for years.

2 I had to decide if accounts were needed. They are for multiple reasons.

3 The site is being set up as a company and this is taking time to get it right.

4 I want the site to be able to stand alone in the case the forums here are moved or gone someday.

This forum -

As the forums here are set up I would think from a logistics stand point is an issue. The fact I can edit a post means I could have accidentally said yes then removed it. This means anyone that saw it in the yes period would not be bound by my later edit.

I could have said no and then said yes causing the same conflict.

How about this - I design a boat and post my work on it. I decide I’m going to make it a commercial product after 2 years of work. I delete my account and create a new one and add copyright to it. Which is it protected or not.

Again I think it would be a forward policy of protecting yourself. In the case of my site I’m setting it up to protect everyone to the best of my ability.

I have a great pool of real world experience - I was part of the team innovating on the original Makerbot 3D printer. Just about everything from that project is gone.

The content was put up and taken down several times. I have backups of 3 years of forum posts and the entire knowledge base.

There is a large number of missing files form Thinigiverse. There are many reasons for this. Some are products that became commercial after they were posted. It is a sticky subject. Having seen this I’m following the lessons learned by watching them to protect everyone I can.

I will give one example - the 3D printed gun. Know the creators of TV were vehemently against the files being on their site. That did not stop it from being published. It wasn’t as easy to get it taken down. In fact I can say it was very expensive for them.

It can be as subjective as the subject of religion.

When TV was created they had thought of porn or “adult” content and prepared for it. There were so many things they were unprepared for.

As I’ve said and many others as well. This is a special group based on how we respect each other. In fact this conversation is a great example of that.

Edit: Once the File Sharing is on, on there will be a fence dividing fee use unrestricted files and files with stipulations. I’ve already planned for protected files ( meaning “Not Open Source files” ) a separate area for files that are like what is on open desk.

Thank you


Unfortunately, if there is a concern to intellectual property, I think the only effective recourse would be to go through the process of registering your material for copyright before posting it in a public forum. As much as we would like to believe no one in the community would steal an idea for their sole profit, there is no way to ensure that won’t happen. There is a legal process for proving that material originated from you and not someone else, but the process is neither short nor free.

Sadly, my two cents is that if you think your idea is something that you will want to claim as intellectual property, then posting to a forum before seeking that protection is the wrong way to go. The upside is that simply seeking the protection is usually enough to provide the protection, since often intellectual property requires a lengthy review process, and while waiting, your idea is protected by your application date.


remember, copyright does not protect ideas (patents do that). Copyright protects fixed creations (like pictures or the specific text of posts)

If you post something to a public forum/mailing list, you are giving everyone in the world permission to view it, so you are revealing any ideas in it to the public.

When you apply for a patent, one of the things that you have to reveal is who you have revealed it to, and if you have revealed it before applying for the patent, that can invalidate your application.

I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say the exact conditions that will invalidate the application, I’m just someone who has two patents and who had other patent applications blocked because the concepts were revealed too broadly.

I don’t want people to post patented or patent pending ideas here, because I don’t want them to have any claim that anything I ever do in the future is derived from their patent (this should probably go into the intro stuff when someone signs up)

So if you want to prevent others from using your ideas, don’t post them in public, and this is in public.

with very few exceptions, nothing posted here can be used directly (pictures and CAD models are the exception, and you are giving people permission to see those).

As such, the only thing I see as a possible restriction that could realistically be argued is permission to publish pictures in other settings. And even there, the vast majority of the time, the images are not actually copied, they are linked to (and in spite of what some content creators want you to think, posting a link to something is not the same as making a copy of that something)

Even if you delete your account here, your posts have been sent out in e-mail to people, there is no practical way to un-ring the bell once you have posted.

this means that as a practical matter, anything posted here can be used by anybody. If someone is doing something commercial, it is extremely unlikely that they will use anything posted here, instead they will use the ideas posted here to create the blueprints to create the part (or in an extreme case, use the blueprints posted here to create the parts), and you have given them permission to view things by posting it here.

I agree with jwolter in post 4 on this thread. Ideas are almost always a small portion of what it takes to make money from the idea.

Since posting here is giving permission to replicate the material (that’s how it’s displayed to anyone else), and no limitations on the replication are listed, I think there is a very solid argument that no other permission is needed. But again IANAL


Very good point.

put very succinctly!