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Licence = Copyright and Patent? Answered

I have a few projects that I plan to place up, but I want a little bit of assurance that my ideas will be safe in general from people that might want to copy. I sometimes use the by-nc-nd as a way to keep my ideas up, but I was wondering if the idea can be kept in my ownership. I know that pictures have copyright protection (along bottom of pictures if clicked to see single pictures), so it might mean that it's protected in a way.

Does this seem confusing? To put everything down shortly, does placing Instructables up provide copyright protection and/or patents when using the right license?



You have copyright to the text and images you post.

You have copyright on the specific design you use.

All posting an instructable does is establish that you had the idea.

A patent gives far more protection, because then (in theory) you can prosecute anybody who breaches your patent.

If you have an idea that may be worth patenting, do not publish it as an instructable. Instead contact the patent office of your home nation, and find out how to get a patent registered properly. You need to have a search done to find out if the idea has already been patented (sometimes people do reinvent the wheel), and then get your own idea patented.

This can be expensive, but the cost may not be an issue if it protects an idea you can then license or sell to manufacturers, or produce yourself.

i believe that in the future there will be no patents, patents offices or a need for such a silly idea. a creations first purpose always should be that it is for everyone's help at no cost. we have to stop putting a price on everything. life is free, ideas are free and is for to share. because of how deeply i believe in this idea, i refuse to patent my ideas even if it "hurts" me in the future. i believe that my mind is not mine alone, but a rain drop in the river. i have created several devices on this webpage that somebody will one day be making an income off of (hopefully me :)



we are a non-profit organization for educational purposes. we run only on donations and always share our work on instructables.com - however there will be a sale of customizable finished products over kickstarter one day. but all manufacturing/engineering "secrets" will always be open-source. as well as hardware. a non profit, open source electronics company if you wish. a very new concept, and maybe the second company of it's kind on the planet.


love & peace


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Thanks for your feedback. This helps with my question about copyright. So, if I place a patent on a design, does posting it up here on Instructables with the by-nc-nd license and mentioning the registered license will provide a way of 'safe advertising'? I plan to use Instructables as an option for sharing potential designs.

If you're planning on making some money from the idea, I would use the most restrictive version of the licenses available here, and say so in the text of the Instructable, otherwise you are granting permission for other people to make there own versions, which some people will take as permission to break the terms of the patent.

Thanks, Ill keep that in mind in the future.

Patent processing & patent Lawyers cost mucho dinero! Get ready to write a big check. You have to have money to make money in this world. Been there done that!

If your ideas mean that much to you, share them with no one anywhere.
And certainly don't post anything on the internet if you'd be unhappy with it being "used" by anyone else without permission.

Protection that works isn't worth the hassle & expense (unless you've got a profitable business based on ideas, and that isn't even guaranteed...)


I'm far from an expert but I know patents are a lengthy process that involves research and application to the US Patent office. I seriously doubt you could receive any patent protection here.

Copyright covers more aesthetic than functional issues and you might get some protection like proof of creation date. If you have these concerns, you should probably do more direct research on the subject yourself instead of just asking on a forum.

I did some research before posting this, and you're right about receiving any patents here. I simply just get proof for what I've posted, just as Kiteman said a little earlier.