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What does making a document public actually mean?

nyholkunyholku Member Posts: 60 PRO
I just first time experimented with making a document public. 

When I did this, it was just a click and then the documents was listed as 'any user can view and copy'.

Now, am I the only one who sees this as a little bit too simple and loaded with potential issues?

No rules about what everyone can do with the public models, no warning about possible legal issues?

And and also a bit misleading, eh? Sure any one *can* now copy the document but are they legally allowed to do so?

Publishing a song, a book, a software or a webpage does not allow anyone to copy it because of the copyright. 

I'm pretty sure the same applies for published OnShape documents, they are copyrighted and thus copying them may infringe the authors rights.

If making a document 'public' waves those rights by some OnShape user agreement then this should be clearly stated at the publishing stage.

Incidentally I'm not aware of any terms in the end user agreement (not sure I've seen EUA at all, let alone read it if I have seen it).

Besides there are some rights that cannot be waved such as the right to be recognised as the author or protecting the integrity of the copyrighted work, what ever it would mean in this context.

Some food for thought.

br Kusti

Best Answer


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    don_howedon_howe Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Making a document public means anyone can copy it or just view it. If they copy it they can modify it but they can't change the part studio you are working on, at least that's my understanding. 

    Chances are unless you call direct attention to your document (aka you need help with something) it will likely go unnoticed in the public domain unless someone is actually looking for a part/assembly similar to what you are doing. 

    If you have document and you're concerned about legalities, intellectual copy rights and so on, then don't make it public. (IMHO)
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    dan_shoredan_shore Onshape Employees Posts: 4
    Thanks for your post. The IP rights that attach to public Documents are addressed in Section 11(A) of Onshape's Terms of Service, which can be accessed from the bottom of Onshape's corporate web site (www.onshape.com). Here is the specific language (with the most relevant part in bold): "If you choose to publish a Public Document or post in the forums, other Onshape users (and in some cases the general public) will be able to view, copy and transfer or save any such content, inside or outside Onshape’s service. Any such content, once published and/or posted, is non-confidential. Within a Public Document, you may specify intellectual property obligations you wish to impose on other Onshape users who copy and otherwise propose to use such Public Document." This ought to allow you, or any other author of a public Document, to assert whatever rights you would like to reserve in your work. Hope this is helpful.


    Dan Shore
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    joris_kofmanjoris_kofman Member Posts: 59 ✭✭
    dan_shore said:
    Within a Public Document, you may specify intellectual property obligations you wish to impose on other Onshape users who copy and otherwise propose to use such Public Document.
    How would one go about doing this "specifying of intellectual property obligations"?
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    dan_shoredan_shore Onshape Employees Posts: 4
    Hi Joris. Any number of approaches ought to work, given Onshape's flexibility. For example, you could create a new tab with the name COPYING, and include a license pdf with whatever rights you wish to reserve. Hope this is helpful.


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    _Ðave__Ðave_ Member, Developers Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭
    I'd suggest positioning that tab to the leftmost position to insure the contents of that tab will be the first thing that is seen upon opening the document.
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    nyholkunyholku Member Posts: 60 PRO

    Thanks for the comments. 

    Making a document (temporarily) public seems to be the only way to reduce its size if you are over the free plan limits, hence the question and how I stumbled to this issue. 

    Also making documents public is the only way you can utilise the free plan to the advertised 5 GB.

    True it is unlikely that anyone finds a document that is only briefly public. At least not by accident.

    However it is not beyond realm that someone makes a 'robot' application to routinely scan for newly made public documents and automatically create copies of them as soon as they appear. In fact in the long run this is almost guaranteed to happen, heck Facebook, Youtube and Google base their living on this sort of thing, spying on your every move and helping people to infringe on other people's work.

    Not a big concern for me personally, but a relevant question I think.

    Especially since OnShape UI does not in anyway convey that there might be some reservations or restrictions to the usage of public documents, on the contrary it says 'anyone can view and copy'. The real stuff seems to be buried in "
    Section 11(A) of Onshape's Terms of Service", a document most people are unlikely to read let alone understand deeply.

    Just to be on the safe side in the future whenever I make something public I will include a tab/pdf reserving all rights and prohibiting copying to the extent allowed by the law (I'm a Finnish citizen and the Finnish law does not allow restricting copying for personal use ... you can take that as taste sample of how tangled web the copyright law is).

    with best regards Kusti

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    Chris_PetersenChris_Petersen Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    I am not a lawyer but this is kind of a pet peeve of mine.  At least in the US, if you do not provide any sort of license for a public work, default copyright will still apply -- which is "all rights reserved".  Just because it's public does not grant anyone the right to copy it (though I'm sure that OnShape's lawyers think they have their bases covered by saying "other ... users will be able to" instead of saying you're granting them permission to).  It would be helpful to take a cue from Github's page on licensing ( https://help.github.com/articles/open-source-licensing/ ), which is a lot more explicit about your copyright when you do or do not apply a license to your work.
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    henry_feldmanhenry_feldman Member Posts: 126 EDU
    I would like it to be a more explicit feature (say using CC licenses) like when you upload to WikiMedia or whatever. That would cover OS from copyright liability and DMCA issues and at the same time make clear to anyone copying what the attribution issues are. I would guess that making it public is in conflict with a commercial license (e.g. if you copy it and use it you have to pay a license fee) but that is up to the lawyers to decide which explicit licenses to attach.

    While the suggestion of attaching a file with license to it is ok as a temporary patch, the provenance of a given part could be lost. This is less of an issue for me, since I am in education funded by government grants, so much of my stuff goes into the public domain (or at least needs to have parts of it publicly shared)
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