POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 11, 2010 11:33AM
I believe that there may be a violation of the RepRap GNU license.

Please see Volume 10 of the magazine MAKE dated May 2007. Page #38 has an article "Wealth Without Money."
The article talks about the RepRap concept and even refers to the GNU license. No problem, so far so good.

But then see Popular Science Volume 277, dated July 2010, page 82, article "Making the Makerbot". The article also refers to their website [www.makerbot.com].

Your thoughts?

(by MADDADDY)



[Edit: I've added "(Resolved)" to the subject line of this thread, since Makerbot does put files up and does not violate the GPL. This is not to say that Makerbot are my favorite people, but they don't violate the GPL -Sebastien Bailard]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2010 11:07PM by SebastienBailard.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 12:21PM
Wait.. you want to punish someone who has greatly help, publicized and made more popular, something you are an enthusiast of? What the heck man? Also what I read in the licence, the reprap licence is do what ever you want, even sell it.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 12:40PM
I am not an expert on GNU licensing but the way I understand the GNU license agreement the RepRap must be sold under the name RepRap not another name.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 02:25PM
wait, are you saying that you think the makerbot is violating the GPL? You do know that the makerbot plans are availible under the GPL as well, right? The whole point of the GPL is that you are free to distribute and modify it.


----------------------------------------------------
Build Progress Blog
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 02:42PM
While it's clearly laudable MakerBot helps distributing RepStraps, they could follow the GPL better. For example, their web site nowhere mentions their CupCake machine is a derivative of the RepRap project. I can only assume it is a derivative of RepRap, as I can see references to there in this forum.

They claim it to be open source, but there's no link to view or download this source. Wait! There's a small link at the bottom left to a Wiki and in this Wiki, their "open source" effort is explained. Still not a single word of being a RepRap derivative or about GPLv2. [wiki.makerbot.com]

While I can't build a court-proof opinion about wether they violate the GPLv2, they hide the roots of their technology pretty well. I wouldn't be surprised to see most people buying a CupCake to never hear of RepRap, much less participating in the project. To the casual, uninformed person, the CupCake looks like any other machine, just cheaper. Not exactly ideal for the success of an open source project, and I mean the RepRap open source project.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 05:06PM
See [wiki.makerbot.com]

Quote

History

CupCake CNC and MakerBot in general are a derivative of the RepRap project.

The concern that MakerBot is somehow violating the GNU license is misplaced. The license says nothing about names used, etc. Please read carefully the license in question before raising something as a possible violation. If you don't understand a specific clause of the license or how a party is meeting a specific clause it is good to ask, but saying you think someone is violating a license that you have not actually read and understood in detail is not really helpful.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 11, 2010 07:50PM
> saying you think someone is violating a license that you have not actually
> read and understood in detail is not really helpful.

To accuse people of not reading the license in question is even less helpful.

Clearly, MakerBot hides pretty well where they derive from. After studying their pages even more I still couldn't find any mention of the GPLv2. In fact, there is apparently no description of the license at all. You have to find and download a set of drawings to get it. This is about the absolute minimum GPL requires.

Looking at the Frostruder, [www.thingiverse.com] , they claim it to be under the Creative Commons Licence, which is wrong and not in accordance with the RepRap license. On the same page they offer DXF's, but not the license. Also not in accordance with the GPL. These two just for an example.

All this reminds me much of Apple, Inc. with their Mac OS X. Significant parts of OS X are under the GPL. Did you ever hear Mac OS X to be a great GPL platform, making changing OS X to the better a joy? I didn't, but I've heard the opposite.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 07:39AM
The frostruder is under the GPL license, you were misled to think that it is under a creative commons license cause the creative commons made these little icons and summaries about some common software licenses putting CREATIVE COMMONS before their name, misleading people to think that these are creative commons licenses where they are not. This is something that has already been criticised.

There are even a little icon and a summary for public domain, made by creative commons, of course, creative commons didn't invent the public domain.

So the problem here is just the fact that the summary of the license and the icon are standard creative commons summary and icons that put CREATIVE COMMONS before the name of the license.


So that's a problem related to how creative commons create icons, not to makerbot, creative commons and makerbot are not associated in any way, creative commons just provide icons and human readable summaries for licenses easy to put on websites and makerbot used them.

Even if the frostruder was under a creative common license that would not be a gpl violation, the frostruder is a new toolhead, it's not a derivative of reprap, you can license it with every license that you like.

Makerbot is a open source friendly corporation, one great example on how to create a real open source corporation that does things well and that know well how open source works, your accusation are really out of place. Open source ecology is trying to create an open source company that sells hardware and is using makerbot as an inspiration and other companies are doing this too.

And your accusation that Makerbot hides its open source nature is totally wrong, they are PROUD to be open source and they list their open nature as a feature, they wrote some web-log posts about how open source is cool and how much they love it.

In the main wiki page (http://wiki.makerbot.com/) there is a link to the printer (http://wiki.makerbot.com/cupcake) and they explain really well that it is an open source printer and they link the source code. They even link reprap as the father of makerbot.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2010 07:40AM by Autarkyboy.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 07:43AM
There are so many companies that claim to be open source when they are not, that are open source but in the closest possible way, that distribute open source software but at the same time they say that open source is inferior to closed source, makerbot is definitively not one of those and accusing them just creates confusion.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 07:58AM
And besides, it's counter-productive to be open source, to let all the people copy your software, modify it, redistribute it for money and to hide to be open, actually open source scams are the exact opposite, people claiming to be open source where they don't redistribute the source code, or creating new open source licenses incompatible with existing ones, making it difficult with other means to copy and resell the code, these are typical ways to circumvent the open source licenses.

But being open source and hiding it is just ridiculous, nobody did it.

The apple example is wrong, this is an example of open source working well, not the opposite, Webkit was based on KHTML, a gpl licensed software, so to follow the gpl they had to release Webkit under the gpl, the criticism of the open source community was that they worked on it for a year before releasing it, making the changes difficult to incorporate in KTHML, cause they did not release the changes while doing them but they released them all together while KHTML was being developed, basically they created a fork instead of contributing to the main software.

But the gpl license made it possibile, even if it was a little difficult, for the KTHML developers to incorporate the useful changes into KTHML, after that the communication between the two teams have gone better and they now collaborate, it's an example of a company surrendering to an open source license, it's an example that the GPL works not only in theory but in practice too.

Nobody in the open source community accused apple to hide the open source nature of some of its products, but just that they made it difficult with every possible way, but still following the license, to incorporate the changes in other products.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 08:17AM
What MAKERBOT did is totally in the spirit of the GPL license, they created a fork of the product.

The gpl will let anyone to take your software, to make changes and to redistribute it. Let's suppose that there is a guy that develops a software, you make a change but he disagree with your change and he doesn't want to incorporate it, or let's suppose that he takes a decision on the development of the software that you don't like, what can you do about it?

The gpl lets you take all his software, to create your own FORK of the software and to incorporate your changes and to redistribute it. In this way there isn't a single team or an individual that can control the software and lock it.

Eventually the best fork will win and only a single team will remain, the software will probably be forked again multiple times if the team makes a decision that someone will not like. Sometimes forks will be incorporated together and teams will join, sometimes they will split.

To create a fork without any justification, just for your ego, it's something that you can legally do but it's something that the open source community doesn't appreciate.

MAKERBOT sells as many pieces as possible as standard reprap pieces and makes it easy to incorporate all their modifications in the reprap printers, they sell some modified pieces (the wood structure) cause they are a lot easier to produce in an industrial way, so they forked some components cause this makes sense, not for an ego thing or to make it difficult to incorporate changes in RepRap.

The liberty to create a fork is the whole point of the gpl, so if you come here (I refer to the author of this topic) claiming with upper-case letters that OMG, A COMPANY CREATED A FORK, OMG OMG VIOLATION you didn't understand very well the philosophy of the GPL license.

The whole point of copyleft is that there are not owners of ideas, so that anybody can replicate them and modify them. A violation of the license happens when somebody makes it difficult or impossible to replicate them, not when somebody replicates them and modify them. That's the opposite of copyright, that's why it's called copyleft.

Welcome to the free world where information has no owners and it can freely circulate and be modified. RepRap goes one step ahead and makes physical things replicable and modificable from information.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2010 08:26AM by Autarkyboy.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 11:18AM
Quote

So the problem here is just the fact that the summary of the license and the icon are standard creative commons summary and icons that put CREATIVE COMMONS before the name of the license.

You mean they're incapable to deal with their Wiki software properly? Now, that's funny. I'm confident they're more intelligent. Anyways, it's their fault.


Quote

A violation of the license happens when somebody makes it difficult or impossible to replicate them

That's exactly what they're doing. Did you have a look what their source code is? There are two or three DXFs, depending on which download path you follow. No mention of the additionally required parts, no bill of material. You'd have to start almost from scratch if you'd want to build a Frostruder from the informations given at their site without purchasing their package.

Their DXFs don't have a copyright notice inside. Also a topic required by the GPL.


OK. Perhaps I look like a hostile person here. Having seen so many wanna-look-like-open-source companies and the appearance of the MakerBot shop rings a whole lot of bells.

BTW., WebKit isn't the only GPL'd part of Mac OS X. They once had the entire core of Mac OS X (Darwin) open. These days, the published stuff doesn't even compile. They also have a history of publishing GPL'd sources only after threat of penalties.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 01:02PM
Traumflug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A violation of the license happens when somebody
> makes it difficult or impossible to replicate
> them

How has Makerbot made difficult or impossible to copy their designs? The lasercut files have been uploaded on their wiki, Thingieverse, Ponoko and the RepRap sourceforge site. All the boards are in gerber format, ready to be purchased 3rd person easily (unlike some other electronics available). All sourcecodes are at sourceforge also for their firmwares. All parts and tools needed are at Thingiverse.

If you want you could take the Makerbot CC logo off the front, change 1 small detail (like make it see through on all sides) and start selling their lasercut bits on Ebay. They might not send you a christmas card, but they will not send you a take down notice.

No one has undercut Makerbot because they are really not making much money on their kit, all the parts besides lasercut bits will run you $5-600. The lasercut bits will cost you $1-2 because of how much of the kit is laser. I just don't see what your issue is. But what ever it is, fix it yourself. Makerbot will not stop you.


repraplogphase.blogspot.com
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 01:38PM
> How has Makerbot made difficult or impossible to copy their designs?
> The lasercut files have been uploaded on their wiki, Thingieverse, Ponoko and the RepRap sourceforge site.

The lasercut parts are not at all sufficient to build a copy of this extruder. You need a syringe (which size?), you need bolts, nuts, an extruder needle, some sort of gear and at least two pneumatic devices. Is it possible nobody tried to copy the design without a purchased set, yet?


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE
June 12, 2010 03:44PM
Traumflug: First, let me apologize. I never intended to accuse you of not reading the license. I was responding to two different posts and neglected to indicate that in my post.

The first part of my post (a link to the MakerBot page and a quote pulled from that page) was intended to be a response to your claim that MakerBot did not acknowledge the RepRap project as its inspiration.

The second part of my post was intended as a response to MADDADDY's post which stated: "I understand the GNU license agreement the RepRap must be sold under the name RepRap not another name." Since I cannot find anything in the license that would even suggest a requirement such as MADDADDY claims, I assumed MADDADDY did not read the license. I'll admit that I don't know if MADDADDY has read the license or not, so I should not have made the claim I did. Instead, I should have linked to the license and asked what clause indicates the requirement to sell a copy of a GNU licensed product under its original name.

Finally, Autarkyboy and spacexula have coverred the topic of the Frostruder and its licensing better than I would have, so I'll leave it to them to discuss the topic with you. I will, however, point out that MakerBot does provide a parts list for the Frostruder on the Thingiverse site.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 01:24AM
I'm moving this thread to Library Administration, Announcements, and Policy, since that's where I like to put contentious stuff. New user-developers don't need to hear about this stuff.

MADDADDY, I've added "(Resolved)" to the subject line of this thread, since ZachHoeken.com aka Makerbot aka Thingiverse aka ReplicatorG aka Sanguiono does put files up and does not violate the GPL.

That doesn't mean they're very nice people or understand what a "conflict of interests" is:
[blog.makerbot.com]



The next time you scent out a interesting project that's using chunks of the RepRap toolchain, gently steer them towards our wiki, help them document, and help them realize that we're here to help. The whole point of RepRap is that we self-replicate. So copies, clones, knock-offs, and derivatives are ok.

It's actually counterproductive to cite the GPL at people; it burns valuable seconds of our time and their time and can trigger argument when we should be focusing on helping them document. smiling bouncing smiley

This is an interesting derail for people who like to think about the GPL:
[forums.reprap.org]


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 01:24AM
-- moved topic --

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2010 11:07PM by SebastienBailard.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 03:19AM
Quote

I will, however, point out that MakerBot does provide a parts list for the Frostruder on the Thingiverse site.

What ever you did to find this: your score.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 12:20PM
What ever you did to find this: your score.

eye rolling smiley
Yup. Zach runs Thingiverse and the RepRap Research Foundation store. And Makerbot. And he's on the RepRap "core team", apparently.


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
VDX
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 04:52PM
> Yup. Zach runs Thingiverse and the RepRap Research
> Foundation store. And Makerbot. And he's on the
> RepRap "core team", apparently.

... an he's listed as moderator of the coreteam-group and the RRRF-group winking smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 13, 2010 05:12PM
Zach is (still) in the RepRap core team after the decision to fork the project? Yet another bell *sigh*


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 17, 2010 12:52PM
Traumflug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Zach is (still) in the RepRap core team after the
> decision to fork the project? Yet another bell
> *sigh*


I don't understand why people think forking is bad. Afterall, many of the uses of a RepRap printer itself is to fork hardware (I.E, you want an X to attach to your Z. A manufacturer only makes a Y to attach to your Z. So you 'fork' the hardware.)

Makerbot industries has had a significant impact on the number of people who know about, use, and buy reprap or reprap based products, so I fail to see what you mean by a 'bell' should you mean this in the context of a 'warning bell'.
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 17, 2010 02:30PM
Quote

I don't understand why people think forking is bad.

It's simple a matter of diversification. People accustomed to the MakerBot set of forum/wiki/software/hardware don't recognize the RepRap one and vice versa. You quickly end up with problems solved twice. Or 5 times or 100 times, depending on how many forks exist.

Only very enthusiastic people will follow more than one forum/wiki, quite a lot are already overwhelmed with one.

If somebody wants to take on a new design, (s)he should do a branch and make the experiences available in the same place. It's like in the biological world: we all live on the same planet, having the same technology, eating the same food. Distinguished areas like ancient chinese vs. ancient greeks vs. maya people are a thing of the past.

On the other side of the coin your opinion isn't entirely false, a bit of competition is often a source of inspiration, innovation and diligence.

Quote

I fail to see what you mean by a 'bell' should you mean this in the context of a 'warning bell'.

MakerBot is on the right track, should they decide to cut off the channel back one day.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
June 17, 2010 02:41PM
In the interest of fairness, I'd like to point out that Makerbot does indeed note the derivative nature of Cupcake on the Cupcake's main wiki page here. It's at the bottom of the page under history.

Personally, I think Makerbot is doing more than any other group to generate interest and supply for repraps and repstraps. Beyond that, the next question that comes up is, what parts of Cupcake are derivative works of RepRap? A cupcake compared to a Mendel visually shows very few similarities. Even compared with a Darwin, there's not much familiarity.

The electronics are Similar, but then Makerbot links back to the RepRap wiki anyways, so that's not an issue (BTW, shouldn't the RepRap Electronics wiki page be mentioning the GPL?)
Re: POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF REPRAP GNU LICENSE (Edit: Resolved)
July 01, 2010 12:01AM
sircastor, there are many different subjects this thread could branch out into.

I must admit that I have found many of Zach's actions to be extremely dispiriting and frustrating and would probably argue the cons with anyone who would argue the pluses. This would include, on my part, examples, memoranda, diagrams, and frothing at the mouth. sad smiley

However, it is not my role to add fuel to fires, as rewarding as that might feel in the short term. Nor would this advance our interests as RepRap developers - our role is to make the world (and the RepRap wiki) a better place, which means arguing my case would actually be detrimental to our project.

So, I'm invoking my forum-admin powers and locking this thread.


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
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