Author Options:

Beware Obrary Answered

I was approached this week by a member of staff at Obrary, asking me if I would let them share one of my projects.

So far, so good; I gave permission, as long as they agreed to abide by the license I use to publish my projects; BY-NC-SA.  This is the default licence for Instructables, and allows others to share your work as long as they quote the source, share their work under the same licence, and do not profit commercially from the project.

Be aware that, if Obrary share your projects, they will share them under the licence of BY-CC-SA, allowing other people to profit from your work.

When I discovered this, I agreed, as long as I got to share in the income being generated by my work.

Obrary went quiet.

If you want to share your projects through Obrary, that's up to you (a quick search shows that at least one Instrucabler has allowed their work to be shared), but you need to remember that their business model involves monetising your work, without any of the income coming to you.

They profit, you lose out.

You have been warned.



3 years ago

Scott Austin, CEO of Obrary, here. Adding to this post so that everyone understands our support of the open source community.

Our library of open designs uses one license across all of designs to provide consistency and ease for the community. That license is CreativeCommons-BY-SA. We believe this license to be a truly open license. You can read our opinion on the matter at http://blog.obrary.com/2015/03/10/when-open-source.... Creative Commons calls this license a 'Free Culture' license. Our point of view on this was influenced by the Open Source Hardware Association's definition of Open Source Hardware which you can read at http://www.oshwa.org/definition/.

We provide the open library of designs as our way of participating in and fostering the maker community. We do not generate revenue from this service. Our business model is selling software services that helps manufacturers merchandise and manufacture personalized products. You can read more about that at http://info.obrary.com/manufacturers.

We respect every designer's right to determine how their IP is distributed. So if a designer doesn't want to openly share their content with the community, we'll respect that and not add it to the design library. The CreativeCommons-BY-NC-SA license is a fine way to license content. But this license is not 'Free Culture' nor Open Source which are the principles that we are supporting.

@Kiteman - your post highlighted the fact that our emails to designers was not clear about the license used in the open library. We've rectified that. Thanks for helping us improve.


Reply 3 years ago

"We do not generate revenue from this service. Our business model is selling software services...."

how can you sell something and not profit also you say that obrary is "incubating" in a nonprofit organization or otherwise known as a 501 (c) (3)

but no where on the obrary web site does it say that it is a 501 (c) (3) so it isn't a nonprofit

also in your store it says that the products are made in your "San Diego shop" so you are profiting from that too


Reply 3 years ago

Don't get me wrong here but it sounds like an excuse rather than a statement.
If I check Obrary I find a lot of designs that look familiar in terms of being available elsewhere too.
But the real concern is the fact that there are models on sale as well.
Sure, someone has design it first and someone needs to make money building it - but what about the person providing the designs to start with?
You do list the name and pic of the creator but is that all?
And if files are originating here with a different license, why do you think it is ok to change that license type?
You say free and open source - for me it is another way of saying "Once we have it we do with it what we want."

And I think if people are interested in your site then they will visit it, but unless you include the creator on the profits made I simply fail see anything more than taking other people's ideas to make money.
Great idea that I would design something and someone else uses it for business purposes, must have missed something...


Reply 3 years ago

I *do* share openly, which is why I insist on "NC" - I'm sharing, not giving away. Plus, all my designs can be accessed and used for free, without having to sign up for the site (Thingiverse has the same thing; you only need to sign up if you want to contribute projects - downloading is free and does not require handing over personal details).

If somebody wants to profit from the work I have done, I think it's quite reasonable to expect some of that profit to be channelled my way, since I did all the work that enabled that profit to be made.

(I can't help noticing that your table of licenses doesn't actually list the one we use here - NC-BY-SA - which means you can do anything you like with it, as long as you don't profit from the creator's efforts, and don't pass the creation off as your own.)

PS, I've fixed the links to your site; your versions come up as 404:




3 years ago

@Kiteman - we respect your right to determine how your content is licensed. One of the great things about the Creative Commons licensing model is that the IP is in control and can choose from the different ways to share.

I think some of the friction caused here comes down to how one chooses to define 'open' in the context of sharing of IP. And that's a common problem as there is no one, widely accepted definition. The Obrary definition of open is in line with the OSHA's definition of 'open source hardware' and Creative Commons 'free culture' license. That doesn't mean the Obrary definition of open is the right one. But we strive to be clear in our principles and enjoy discussions on the nuances.

BTW, I like how you differentiate between 'sharing' and 'giving away.' That's a good way to illustrate the differences in the license.