Licensing with Open Source and Creative Commons: Not as Simple as it Seems
Art Law

Licensing with Open Source and Creative Commons: Not as Simple as it Seems

The culture of sharing is deeply embedded in the 3D printing community. This doesn’t mean that it is universal, but rather that it is more of a choice not to participate. Sharing openly is seen as something to be declared proudly and its absence somewhat suspiciously regarded. A recent think piece authored by Michael Weinberg (tagline for his blog: ‘I put things here so they are on the internet’) brings to light some interesting difficulties being brought about by the success of the open source and Creative Commons copyright movements. [Image: Wikimedia Commons] This desire to share is creating problems, but as copyright expert Weinberg notes, they are good problems to have. These are the results of over-abundance and widespread enthusiasm. In other words, despite being bad news, this is good news. Unlike a rip in the space-time continuum which is caused by the overactive imaginations of science fiction writers, a rip in the safety net that is open source and Creative Commons (OSS/CC) is caused by the massive volume of people opting in to the system. As Weinberg explains: “The upshot of the situation is the OSS/CC trained a lot of people to share, but to share conditionally. […]

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