The past few days I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about intellectual property. It’s a common enough topic among writers, artists and craftsmen of all types. It seems we have all had something lifted from us and used by some unscrupulous person for their own gain. Unfortunately, there is all too often not much that can be done.
I’ve seen entire blog posts plagiarized outright, original photos used with some having the nerve to crop out the owner’s watermark, and just yesterday I saw a person going by the name Quinn McGuire exposed on Goodreads for selling e-books that had been stolen word for word with only the title and cover images changed. Can you even imagine?
Theft of intellectual property is as prevalent as it is disturbing. My sister-in-law, Louise, has been fighting the battle to protect her 3D designs from guys that not only have no remorse for their theft of thousands of other’s designs, but have gone to great lengths to
defend try to defend their right to do so! These guys call their ‘startup’ Just3DPrint and have thousands of items, all apparently stolen from others, for sale on eBay. This is where Louise found Aria, her Game of Thrones inspired* 3D print model for sale by Just3DPrint. She immediately contacted them and politely asked that they stop. The response was mind boggling.
No, they won’t take it down, they said. We don’t have too. Neener neener neener.
You can read it all here in all it’s jaw-dropping glory.
Louise, aka loubie, posted the exchange publicly in an effort to warn other 3D artists and the 3D community has shown solid support for her efforts. The first article I read was posted on Anonymong by user Goilla who aptly dubbed this skeevy ‘startup’ Just3DTheft. The story and Louise’s brilliant Sad Face design spread like wildfire from there eventually leading to an incredible 3500+ word response from Just3DTheft (as JPI) to the negative comments they were receiving on Thingiverse. The crazy just doesn’t stop!
Louise was finally successful in having Aria taken down yesterday. The clowns at Just3DTheft still insist they’ve done nothing wrong and are now threatening to sue All3DP for writing about them and succinctly refuting their proclaimed innocence. Well alrighty then. Good luck with that.
Louise is taking this all much better that I believe I would. She uploaded these designs to share for free and now a bunch of intellectually challenged yahoos are selling the stolen designs and using her pictures of the items to do so!
Disclaimer: That’s how I understand the situation anyway, I do not pretend to be an expert on Creative Commons and the agreement in place between Thingiverse and it’s users.
I do however seem to have a much better grasp of the meaning of words such as public domain, copyright, trademark, and integrity than Just3DPrint. In fact, I believe my cat understands better. But that’s just my opinion, of course.
* CORRECTION – Aria was not inspired by Game of Thrones. Just3DPrint used that line to hawk sales. My apologies to Louise.