MakerWorld's policy on plagiarism

It appears that MakerWorld’s policy on plagiarism is that if someone makes an exact copy of your work, it is acceptable so long as they have some kind of CAD file as “proof”.

I have recently been trying to work with MakerWorld support to fight a user that has repeatedly plagiarised my work. The first time he did it, he uploaded an exact copy of my model. I submitted multiple copyright claims, each was rejected for unknown reasons. I eventually submitted a support ticket, and the support team helped to take the model down.

The user then uploaded a slightly tweaked version of my model as his own work, as my licence doesn’t allow remixes. He copy pasted one component to make it look slightly different, but it was still the same underlying model. I reopened the ticket and MakerWorld support helped to take it down.

The user has clearly used Fusion 360’s prismatic mesh converter because they were able to produce Step files, however every measurement and every feature of the models he uploaded match mine down to the micrometre.

Finally the user decided to make the model look more different by cutting some grooves into it and cutting the outer surface away to give it a different grip. The gearing, model size and dozens of other features still match my models exactly. When I asked MakerWorld support to look into it, they dragged their feet for weeks, and eventually came back with “This particular model structure follows a commonly used framework. And the production files provided by this user do prove the originality of the model.” - I don’t dispute that gears of this nature are not copyrightable. What I dispute is that the user has made an identical copy of my model’s structure, which took significant tweaking and prototyping to come to an ideal design.

MakerWorld support have ghosted me on the topic and refuse to respond to my follow-up queries. I have repeatedly asked them to look into it further, and I am incredibly frustrated and disappointed in the response I have received on the topic. I have gone to great lengths to demonstrate to the support team that the user has made an identical copy of my work, and that should not be acceptable. Using a similar concept would be fine - other similar models exist and I think that’s great. And honestly it doesn’t really matter whether they used Fusion 360’s paid features to copy my model or whether they sat and carefully copied every one of my measurements identically.

This has severely damaged my trust in the platform. If users are allowed to make identical copies of others’ work and can get away with it simply by producing some form of CAD file, then no work is safe on the site.

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Hard to really gauge without seeing both models. I’ve seen someone argue that a support in the shape of an A should be protected. Not saying that’s you, but I always reserve judgement until all facts are known.

Yeah, no offense or anything, it’s Just a Josh thing.

Ahh, pardon me, I couldn’t help myself.

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My wife always says that… I’m a jerk because I’m a Josh. Better than a Chad though!

Here’s the history of the uploads - you tell me if I’m being unreasonable. I don’t claim to have the copyright on the idea of planetary gears, but the guy copied my model identically. For him to have accidentally chosen the exact same measurements, gear angles, tooth profiles etc is far beyond coincidence.

It’s tricky because yeah he has the same dimensions, but if he actually did just recreate your model and make it pretty then it’s still new work. There really isn’t any protection for gearing and cylinder dimensions.

If there were then pretty much every aftermarket transmission company would be in a real situation.


If he had just uploaded the third version, I might have agreed, but the progression in what he did is so clearly just tweaking my model directly and not putting in the work himself. Even the outer diameter of his last upload is exactly the same as the diameter of the circle where he would have needed to cut my model to get rid of the grip on mine. The plagiarism is just so blatant.

I get it, but the issue remains that you can’t really get any protection on diameters/gearing. It sucks but it is what it is.

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The first two he uploaded look like blatant rips. The final versions would constitute a Remix, which isn’t allowed by your license.

I’ve had issues in the past with people remixing my work and then not labelling it as a Remix, and also not providing attribution (I allow remixes as long as attribution is given).

Makerworld seems to ignore my tickets so I’ve stopped sharing “original” work here completely. Folks can still enjoy my Fan Art stuff here but as far as the problem with blatant rips, or folks failing to understand Remix culture/etiquette, nope, not here anymore until MakerWorld gets the issue of content theft sorted out, (which I don’t think they can do now, as it’s become such a huge problem.)

The issue of presenting a valid CAD to prove you made the work isn’t the only problem; even a timelapse of me making the entire mesh from scratch doesn’t help, because AI can now do that stuff too. If you’re unfortunate enough to come across a content thief who uses AI to make fake photographs and timelapse videos, you’re done. Datestamps used to mean something, but even they don’t seem to matter anymore.
Honestly, from personal experience, I would forego uploading original work here: put it up somewhere else that lets you put it behind a paywall like Cults3D or Printables, or even better; put it on a Patreon shop. Stuff you don’t feel worried about being copied/remixed, sure, MakerWorld is fine for that, I suppose. Someone might still reupload your paid-for models there anyway, but that’s the reality we live in now (I see premium/paid for models uploaded to makerworld every day without attribution.)


i stopped putting stl files in my models this is the result

you can follow the guide there… wich tells you to download the 3mf then open bambu studio and export it as stl

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its harder to get them

what do you mean ? its pretty easy to do it takes me 2 seconds to transfer into a stl… i can then take that stl if I want and just reverse engeneer it very easily