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MAKERBOT UPDATES TERMS OF USE TO COVER NEW THINGIVERSE DEVELOPER PORTAL

Posted by Jacqui Adams on

Taken from 3D Print

A few weeks ago, Thingiverse reached out to developers with their new Thingiverse Developer Portal. Along with a series of new apps, the portal provides even more opportunities for interaction with a site that’s already mostly user-built. Now, instead of just creating 3D printable content, anyone can design apps, tools and features to enhance the site itself and provide more capabilities for its thousands of users.

When any new feature is introduced, there’s fine print that goes along with it. More freedom and access for outside developers is an exciting thing, and one that is likely to have a lot of positive impact on the site and user experience. There are, of course, potential issues that go along with it, though, so Thingiverse ownerMakerBot has updated its Terms of Use to extend additional protection to both its users and itself.

Thingiverse’s open nature means that there are risks to the intellectual property of its users; while Creative Commons licenses offer some measure of protection for users and their designs, there are still plenty of ways for the unscrupulous to take advantage of files that have been made free and available to the public. New apps created by members of the community have the potential to open up files to additional IP risks, but MakerBot has set up some new measures to safeguard against those risks. Let’s take a look at a few of the changes:

"TERMS AND CONDITIONS" Tag Cloud (contract legal use button)

First of all, MakerBot has to protect itself should some new community-developed app cause havoc, hence the statement: “The applications available through the Thingiverse Developer Program are solely the responsibility of the developers of those applications. Makerbot is not responsible for the applications and they are not under our control.” Developers, any shady business is on you, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

MakerBot-LogoThingiverse users, if you’re concerned about your files being put at risk, you can rest a bit easier knowing that you can still have full control over who can use them, and how. If your files have licenses that don’t permit commercial or derivative uses, that’s not going to change, and new apps will not automatically be able to use your files. If you would like to allow apps access to your designs, however, you can override the default setting for individual Things without changing your license. If your licenses do permit commercial or derivative uses, new apps will automatically have access to your files, although you can change your settings or disable apps at any time.


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