What do we do to prevent redistribution and sale of our data on GrabCAD? I have found my data other "pay" sites.

I have found my data redistributed on PAY for DOWNLOAD sites.

www.3dcadbrowser.com , uploaded by a J. Morrison
http://www.mfcad.com , uploaded by Newyouk

The data available on GrabCAD is not intended for redistribution, nor for sale.

What can we do to prevent redistribution and sale of our data and what will/can GrabCad do?

I am so disappointed in Newyouk and J.Morrison

12 Answers

This was discussed recently... I don't know if others involved would want me to post their responses, so I'll leave those responses to them to post if they (Dhana, FredSWUG, Logan and others) choose. Some things might seem out of context but I'm sure you can suss it out.

This has been a hot topic for some time, not just in the CAD sharing communities but for every design operation that offers a product to the public. My opinion, after nearly 25 years of design engineering across multiple disciplines, is this...

If your product is simple enough that it can be produced without any of the pertinent data one would actually need to ENGINEER it, then you may not have anything all that special on your hands in the first place. If it's conceptual and you think it's of value, then it should be protected at the very least, with a provisional patent.

You have to protect your IP if you truly believe the design to hold value. That means, the information needed to manufacture the product; the GD&T, the feature controls, the coatings and tolerances and all the other stuff that is necessary to producing something worth building. If you don't and haven't safeguarded it, then put it on a public site? IMO, you didn't think much of it in the first place.


"... but what if someone steals it for profit..."


Yes, that potential is always there.

You can preempt it though, whether your goal is monetary or not. Simply post your models there first, before placing them on GrabCad. Protect any IP that makes the design tick; the materials, heat treat, tolerances, coatings, stress relieving, etc.. Work out a provisional patent and cover all your bases.

If you're simply protecting 'models', then a preemptive stance is likely the only one that is going to work. Laws are only as effective as the ability to enforce them...


I hope my previous comments didn't come across too harshly. As someone who had to learn his lesson the hard way on this, I can surely empathize with what Dhana is saying. The world becomes a lot easier to understand once we accept the fact that everyone's ethics are not calibrated to the same standard and even when they are, some will do the unthinkable where money is involved.

If someone steals my Naboo ship, cup or pot for monetary reasons, I'm okay with it. :)

If I put something up here that I truly care about and may want to make money with one day, you can rest assured it will be just enough to get the concept of the design across and nothing more.

Like FredSWUG, I have used numerous GrabCad models in my own designs as a means of saving time. I mean, why spend hours modeling something that someone is offering up for free? I didn't use them to make 'money' but yes, if time = money, and it often does, then we've certainly injected some gray into our black and white with this one?

If a model is available from a manufacturer, I will use it for the very same reason. That said... what most of them are starting to do, for the very reasons we've brought up here, is offering 'simplified' models. I'm always expressing to our guys, because we often work to very specific weight limitations for 1-person lift etc, is to not trust the model to yield a correct weight. To always check the model to manufacturer's specifications and adjust it accordingly. Why? Because a lot of the circuitry, hydraulics and other internal components, are often missing or represented as dummy components.

Another example of companies protecting their IP. One you can use on your own designs.

You can contact GrabCAD, but I don't believe there is much they could do in this case.

It may be possible to have the data removed from the other site. You might see if they have a mechanism to remove models.
In reality, doing so would do little since another user could simply upload the same data next week, or send it to a dozen other sites which you have not yet found.

Some of my models are on the same and similar sites. I've found the best practice (for me) is to simply ignore it.
The models were uploaded to GrabCAD for others to download and use. Obviously we did not intend for someone to sell our models on another site, but think of it as a "stupid tax". If someone is dumb enough to pay for a free model, then that is the price they must pay for not looking here first.

If you do a search in the Question section there are several similar posts throughout the years.

It is a shaming situation. Mentioned people did not uploaded any model in grabcad
They appear more inclined to steal models that publish them.
When you post an invention or model, total or partial, of other people, you must cite them.
Sorry Rex. I hope grabcad will take some actions about it

It may be short term solution, but I would expect GrabCAD to suspend the accounts of the individuals - in the minimum! The one guy seems to grabbing ALOT of GrabCAD data (is that a pun?) and selling it in China and as his own data.

It's plagiarism. It's stealing. It's like you giving money to a charity and some scum pockets it for his own benefit.

Check out this site: http://www.mfcad.com/
(You can use your browsers Translate feature.)

Thank you for your sentiments and responses.

From the other site: www.3dcadbrowser.com (they did remove my data when I requested they do so), it was clearly uploaded by a J. Morrison and time stamped. GrabCAD has 4 members of the same name AND as grabcad tracks download (count) - should be able to connect the dots... Not rocket science.

I do agree that reposting models on another site as their own is stealing.
But, the models are posted here on GrabCAD for free. Everyone can download them. I believe the part of the theft that pisses people off is the idea that someone else is making money from their work.

Consider this situation:
- I get paid by the hour to create CAD models.
- I am tasked with creating a layout of the production plant/shop.
- I measure the building, and build a model.
- I go on GrabCAD and download a bunch of items to add to the assembly. Mills, lathes, fork trucks, benches, chairs... etc.
- I have saved hours (days?) of time by using downloaded models.
Am I stealing from the original uploader(s)? Or am I using the site as it is meant to be used?

I believe the models here are meant to be downloaded and used. Yes, someone else might make a few "wind coins" (whatever those are) by stealing the models and posting them to another site, but I've also earned pay for doing less work by making use of downloaded models.
Are the two very different?

The two are very different. You are not taking the data and selling it directly. While you are saving time by using models from GrabCAD, 3Dcontent central, etc... I'm sure you would giving credits to those (or GrabCAD itself) that have contributed.

You may be responsible for delivering a shop floor plan. Not selling the CNC 3D CAD model/data that you got off GrabCAD.

Like many copyright protections - you are free to use the software, but not redistribute it for profit.

For example, GrabCADs' own WEBSITE Terms of use, or Software Terms...

I have been asked for permission by a legitimate company if they could use my data from GrabCAD in their training. Awsome! Glad to help. Flattered even!

Don't take my data (or anyone else's), call it your own and sell it, redistribute it. That's piracy.

I guess I'm missing the point of what this community is for. If you could make money off of any of the models you're placing here, then why aren't you doing that with them instead of putting them on a 'sharing' site where others can download and use them?

Would you feel better if the work was cited back to you? Or is it that they're making a profit off of something you didn't think to profit from?

This is all good dialogue and perspective. Thank you. Perhaps all of our data here is considered "Public Domain" and legally can be redistributed, modified sold. Anything goes.

The data here is freely shared data. Absolutely. I would prefer to keep my free data - free! Freely available for use, but not for redistribution and sale. I believe that is part of the terms and agreements of use on this website. Is this being violated? Maybe.

It is a long read, but the website terms of use link is at the bottom of every page.

Under section 4 you'll find:
"(b) sell, assign, lease, lend, rent, issue, sublicense, make available, or otherwise distribute to any third party, or publicly perform, display or communicate, the Site or Site Materials (for example, by uploading another user's User Submission to another website or application)"

The best option is to report the violation to the staff and see what they can do. They do not always read all of the messages in the question section, so contacting them directly is the best course.

You retain all rights to your models uploaded to this site, but posting them on a free download site will of course lead to them being downloaded and used in many ways which may not even be imagined.

The picture shows my first variant, which I had only 5 hours online and then replaced with a newer version.
That Chinese people have a different mentality to copy is not new.
The speed surprises me.
A world without rules doesn't work:
There is a rule that I cannot roll the die again if the result does not suit me.
There is a rule that I can't grope foreign women.
There is a rule that speed 30 within the city is speed 30.
There's even a stupid rule about which side of the road to drive.