About Opendesk — what is non-commercial use?

When designing the Opendesk system, we had two goals. We wanted anyone, anywhere in the world, to be able to download designs for local making and we wanted to provide a viable model for designers to benefit when their designs are sold via the Opendesk network.

The license a designer chooses when sharing their design is entirely at their discretion. Opendesk accepts various license choices, including open source and proprietary licenses - and our business model is agnostic to license choice, meaning that designers get paid their fee whenever we sell an Opendesk hosted product.

When you download an Opendesk hosted design it will come bundled with the corresponding license (as chosen by the designer) in the form of a digital file. This digital file will link to further documentation about the corresponding license. In many cases designers choose one of the Creative Commons licenses - you can read more about these here.

Often designers choose to release their designs for download under a Non-Commercial license (e.g. Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial). In sharing non-commercially, designers typically want to support your ability to benefit from their content, whilst also attempting to prevent commercial activity falling outside of their control.

The definition of ‘non-commercial’ in practice is still highly subjective and typically falls to the designer’s discretion. In tracking downloads Opendesk is able to provide designers with reports on where their content is being downloaded and for what purpose. However we also want to support a wider discussion around license-terms and interpretations, and try to steer more uniform adoption.

Below is our definition of ‘non-commerical’ for the purposes of downloading and using Opendesk hosted designs.

When you download a non-commerical design from Opendesk, you have two options:

  1. download the design to make yourself for non-commercial use
  2. buy the product from Opendesk or a registered maker in the Opendesk network

In the second case, when you buy an Opendesk, a royalty payment is automatically factored into the cost that you pay.

Definition of Commercial Use

Creative Commons provides broad guidance on the definition of commercial use; summarised as:

A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.

To clarify this, we’ve established the following principles. It is unambiguously commercial use when anyone:

  1. charges a fee or makes a profit when making an Opendesk
  2. sells (or bases a commercial service on) an Opendesk

Making Opendesk’s commercially

Right now, the only way to make Opendesk’s commercially is by joining our maker network as a professional maker.

Definition of Non-Commercial Use

Non-commercial use is when you make an Opendesk yourself, with no intention to gain commercial advantage or monetary compensation

For example, these situations qualify as non-commercial:

  1. You are an individual with your own CNC machine, or access to a shared CNC machine, and will personally cut and make a few pieces of furniture yourself.
  2. You are a student (or teacher) and you use the design files for educational purposes or training (and do not intend to sell the resulting pieces).
  3. You work for a charity and get furniture cut by volunteers, or by employees at a fab lab or maker space.

It’s non-commercial use if…

Yes, as long as you don't sell the resulting product.

Making the design yourself (it counts even if you pay for machine time at a fab-lab or maker-space) is one of the necessary requirements of non-commercial use. The other key requirement is that you don't sell or directly make money from the resulting product.

If you don't qualify for commercial use, you should go through a registered maker in our network.

Yes, as long as you make it yourself.

Yes, as long as you make it yourself.

Yes, as long as you make it yourself.

It's fine to use an non-commercial licensed Opendesk in an office, work place or business, as long as you don't sell the product or base a commercial service directly on it.

To try and be clear where the line is drawn: any normal use of furniture in your office is fine. For example, if you're an accountant or designer and you use an Opendesk to rest your computer on as you perform your normal business activities, that's absolutely fine.

However, if you're a set / interior designer or architect and you use Opendesk products as part of a fit out job or in a marketing display, that is commercial use. I.e.: the difference here is that you're charging for professional services that are directly based Opendesks.

In that case, you should go through a registered maker in our network.

If you arrange fabrication through a registered Opendesk maker, that's fine (for any use) as they have a commercial license.

Nope. To sell Opendesk products you must:

Whether you are allowed to create derivative works based on an Opendesk design depends on the individual design license (some allow it, some don't).

If the design license allows it and you fulfil the other non-commercial requirements, that's great. Otherwise, make sure you should check with us first.

If you do intend to create a variant of a design for commercial use, it's probably good manners to run it by the original designer(s).