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Why is Sad Face so sad?

An eBay seller has taken multiple (2K+) models and photographs from Thingiverse (and possibly other sources) and is selling prints of the models for profit and using the photographs(or just screenshots of the thing view) to advertise them.


They had done just this with my model Aria the Dragon (for Dual extrusion):

Here is the listing:

I sent them a polite message via eBay asking them to take it down and this is the response I received:

"When you uploaded your items onto Thingiverse for mass distribution, you lost all rights to them whatsoever. They entered what is known in the legal world as "public domain".
The single exception to public domain rules are "original works of art".
No court in the USA has yet ruled a CAD model an original work or art.
Therefore, you have no right to exclude others from utilizing the CAD models you have uploaded.
Furthermore, if in the future we do get a precedent in the USA for establishing CAD models as "original works of art", we would still likely be just fine as we are not re-selling your CAD models, but rather "transformative" adaptions of them in the form of 3D printed objects.

P.S. When you created these CAD files, did you really want to limit the amount of people who could enjoy them to the 0.01% of the USA with a 3D Printer? 100% of America can purchase the items from us at a reasonable cost and enjoy them-creating made in the USA jobs in the process as well. Furthermore, if you hate the idea of people profiteering from your work, you may want to take it up with Makerbot/Stratasys who only hosts Thingiverse for AD revenue, to sell more 3D printers."

I have created "Sad Face" to highlight this problem and so that other makers can check to see if their work has been taken.


British techie (now 3D artist and designer) living in Texas since 2013. Owner of various open source printers. Love of assemblies, automata and support free models.




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That's sad indeed.