*Just to be extra clear, i’m most defiantly not complaining about being asked for STLs, in fact that’s a big compliment. I’m more referencing those who pester and who seemingly become personally offended when they find out the potentially IP infringing design isn’t going to be made publicly available.(admittedly this appears to be a small minority).
** I’m also not claiming any great skill, this is something i’ve noticed on a few posts and heard from another creator.
Although I have previously indicated my intent to share and sell some of my digital sculpts, after much deliberation I have decided not to distribute the majority of my work. Let me explain why;
As I’m sure many can relate, I don’t have a huge excess of free time. As a father, husband, home owner and business owner, free time can be quite difficult to come by and is relatively valuable to me.
Designing/modelling miniatures for personal use is one thing, as it’s fun, relaxing and any foibles can be worked around or just ignored. But preparing models/sculpts for distribution and making them available is something extra.
Preparing a mini takes time. It’s not just a case of chucking the files up on Thingiverse. At least it’s not for me.
For me, hobby time should be enjoyable and relaxing. Making my hobby into a business venture (however small) just isn’t something I’ll get much value out of at the moment.
Intellectual property rights is a hot, contentious and complex topic, full of potential legal and ethical ‘grey areas’. But I personally don’t feel comfortable distributing material based heavily on someone else’s IP (although to be clear, i don’t see a problem creating for ones own use).
This opinion is not generated exclusively for concern of possible legal repercussion, but I also believe that it is potentially damaging to individual creators, companies and by extension, the hobby as a whole.
Copying others works/creations and distributing without permission, hypothetically diminishes the demand for the originals and potentially infringes on IP rights.
*Just to be clear, this is not an indictment of others actions or opinions, it is my personal view and how I do. You do you.
Connected Side Notes/Slight Rant:
With what could be considered blatant piracy so rife in the 3D printing community (Thingyverse is almost the pirate bay of STLs), is it any surprise a small creator wouldn’t wish to invest time in digital distribution?
*my understanding of Piracy: Intellectual property theft involves the theft and unauthorised use (particularly the sale/distribution) of a person’s or company’s ideas, inventions, and creative expressions.
Expectations Of Entitlement:
I see this a lot, particularly in 3D printing and 40k hobby related Facebook groups; a creator will post something ‘desirable’ and instead of constructive commentary and discussion, the thread often falls in to calls for ‘We Want STLs!’ (or something to that effect).
*this has been my personal experience, your mileage may vary.
What I’m getting at here is, where does this expectation that all creations should automatically be shared come from?
A Few More Considerations:
- Is it not okay to keep creations for the creators use, particularly if the creator isn’t comfortable distributing? (for what ever reason there may be).
- Is this simply selfishness or completely understandable?
- Isn’t sharing of the inspiration, process and outcome enough?
- Would the same expectation relate to a physical sculpt? E.g. ‘We Want Casts!’
- Is it just that distributing digital context is seen as easier? So has a lower perceived value?
It’s less stressful for me not to distribute and just focus on enjoying my hobby time.
You do you.
But… I’d be interested to hear your hot take. Do you Agree? Disagree? Or just not give a single F?
Sorry if this offends, appears pretentious etc. That’s not the intent, just sharing an observation.