Torrent Freak reports on a recent copyright strike enacted by the LEGO Group. “LEGO is protecting its intellectual property [apparently] by targeting fan-made 3D print designs on Thingiverse, Cults3D, and elsewhere.”
“The company hasn’t explained its motivations yet, but many people point out going after homebrew creations from some of the biggest LEGO fans might not be the best strategy.”
Recently, the LEGO Group sent out various takedown notices to various maker spaces where people shared ‘LEGO-inspired” 3D print designs. Apparently, the company “sees some 3D blueprints as copyright and/or trademark infringements.”
Thingiverse user ‘Lucina’ was among those hit with the strikes. Even though “the original LEGO brick patents have long expired, so it’s not entirely clear what the alleged infringement is here…some people have since suggested use of the term ‘LEGO’ in the posted designs could be an issue, but several other uploads using the same term were not targeted.”
To avoid legal trouble, Lucina voluntarily removed the designs. Recently, “the issue was picked up by 3D printing industry news site 3D Printing Industry which got in touch with LEGO, but without any real results. LEGO Group states that it sees 3D printing as a promising technology and is considering using it themselves, but the precise reason for the takedown remains a mystery.”
Predictably, this entire situation has created a backlash among makers against LEGO group.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Thingiverse and Torrent Freak