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Are you guilty?


New member

Don't know if this is a Rant but here goes.....

I am taken aback by how freely people on thisforum (and others) freely "share" models and fileswith one another under the guise of "requesting assistance". I have read many threads where someone is looking for the magic to complete their model and sends the part over to somebody for review and instruction.

Call me old school but unless you conceived of and are funding the development of the product....YOU DON'T OWN IT. Nor do you have the right to share it with others before release. Hey, I'm old, I started designing on the board, I created productsbefore the Internet, I carried drawings around the world as the only means of conveying design intent. But through it all I knew I was never allowed to show anyone one square millimeter of mydesign info without signed non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. Again I'm old but I know Intellectual Property Law has not beenabandoned to allow pre-released product info sharing over the web or forums. Just because music sharing has become "okay" with many of youdo notthink it's okay to share your models?. Proprietary designs are sacred andrequire discretion and protection. You should consider them as your children...you would not share pictures of your kids freely over the web to someone would you? You should think of it in these terms. Where are your ethics...your character and sense of right and wrong? The Web does not make breaching IP laws okay just because it's easy to do. Nor is is it justified just because all you need is help with a round or chamfer.

BTW, Jason (Turk) are you at allconcerned that you could be held liable if information that is not ready for prime time is transferred thru your site?



New member
Interesting. Just wondering what prompted the expression of this cautionary advisory?

I don't claim to be a lowyer (pun intended), but don't think there's any need for the forum host to worry. Doesn't bother Autodesk, anyway, and there are design related models posted on their publicly accessible forum daily.

The person exposing the data is culpable and should be cognizant. I'm not sure ethics and a sense of right and wrong are issues unless you know the indivdual is under obligation and is releasing the data without knowledge and consent.


<DIV>I suppose there's always room for concern. But I agree with the previous post, and a disclaimer:</DIV>
<DIV>This happened once a few years ago. I got a phone call from a lawyer of a large company. I had a model in the files section that was proprietary. It was promptly removed without incident. He wasn't upset at me, but was irate at the person who uploaded it. </DIV>
Edited by: administrator


New member
I am notreferringtoPublic Domainor "released" info....that is fine. I am speakingof a feature in amodel someone "just can't seem to get to work" and would you mind sending it over soI can look at it type scenario. I can't speak about AutoDesk but I would hazard a guess,duh intended,that the info is subject to IP laws, regardless ofSoftware supplier. There isno questionthey have "absolved" themselves of wrong-doing with a similar disclaimer like the one posted by mcadcentral.

This is not a bash on either company, AutoDesk or mcadcentral. It's more the need for a cosmic reset of people's sense of what is right...and legal. To your point Jeff4136....Being under obligation to protect your company's design is notmutually exclusive to ethical behaviorand a strong sense of right and wrong. The latter protects the former. It would be a better chance than 50/50 thatsome of thesharing that happens on this site is done with a product not yet released. Indeed the guys are trying to complete their parts to release the data. It happens...no question.

What I see happening is thelack of regardto ethics andzero self control. Too many today in the "whatever" generation never developed respect for others or themselves for that matter. Holy crap I sound like my old man! What has become prevalent is a rampant sense of "I ain't hurting nobody". Well, anyone who shares their models,to any degreewithout protecting it, is guilty of IP disclosure...plain and simple. There is no gray area here.

There was no incident that prompted my post either. I find that statement a subtle indication of the problematic situation we are in today. My point did not just start with Enron. Although you can use that as a prime example of what is wrong. It's an overwhelming decay of ethics. Jeff4146 I am notinferring you fall into this category...BTW.But, many are out to find "how much they can get away with" without getting caught or they just don't know with is right. Sadly I believe, all too often,it's the former. When they do get caught they hide behind lowyers (pun again), lieand cower like babies instead of standing up taking it like adults. (Martha, Ebbers and Enron, Adelphia, WorldCom...should I go on?)This is such a deep social/political/cultural issue that it cannot be accurately probed here. But it's quite evident that many today are just not operating with any regard or respect. Maybe because they had no role models at home growing up...maybe they did not live with parental/social consequences growing up...maybe they are just not smart enough. Maybe it's all of that and more. All of which develops character however and it has just been missed by the last generation. Sad for all of us really. What will these people teach their children?

There are still mandatory roadblocks in life, kids. They are there to build character and respect. Don't overlook your social responsibility. RESPECT what you have and do what is right. Because, ultimately, if you cross the line you disrespect yourself and that leads to ruin...professionally and personally.

This really did start with a questionrelating toPro/E, you know.


New member
DL, I think your barking up the wrong tree. There areenough disclaimers around here for most people to know not to post something that doesn't belong to them. Most of the models I've seen around here are of a basic nature & only relevant to a question about how to complete a feature or two (many from students). However, if Ken Lay or Dennis Kozlowsky ever try to upload any coporate secrets, we can all be reassured that you're on the case.


New member
I think whether or not the letter of the law is violated is different than the spirit or intent of the law.

By this I mean I may have a "proprietary" product I'm working on. As you point out, everything I work on for my employer is by definition proprietary. I have one element/component of it that I can't beat into shape in Pro-E. I e-mail it to someone who offers to help.

As a project manager with a certain amount of authority, I can in my own good conscience decide for myself that the data I'm releasing is not detrimental to the companies well-being. As the intent is not to harm the company, I don't believe there would be legal recourse anyway, I could just be fired if I screwed up...

This is a unique situation, as I don't think competitors complained to each other 40 years ago that they couldn't get their HB pencils to draw a fillet or to get advice on how to draw that circle "just so". Someday maybe CAD will be like that (yeah right).

Just imagine... 1965... Tech Support call with Mars Stadtler (sp?) You know, the people who make the $20 drafting kits that you used for maybe 6 months in college?


"Can I draw afrench curve with my Mars Stadtler mechanical pencil model H400?"

"Sir, are you on maintenance?"

"No, we stopped last year"

"Well, you can draw one with the H600, PENCIL-FOUNDATION model. but that hasn't been released yet. You can order H500 today for $10, and for $5 in annual maintenance you'll get the H600 when it comes out"

"Can I draw construction lines with that as well?"

"Only if you get PENCIL-CONSTRUCTION, thats $3 extra. You might want PENCIL-SHARPEN too if you'll be using it a lot."

"Why all the extra charges?"

"Well sir, keep in mind that PENCIL-FOUNDATION does include PENCIL-LEAD, PENCIL-DRAW, and PENCIL-ERASER. Of course, you might want PENCIL-GUM BAGfor heavy duty erasing needs."

"My God, its going to cost me >$20 just so I can draw some lines on paper? This is crazy - I can't wait until they do this all on computers!"


Personally, I think dumping a whole file on someone and saying, please FIX IT, is cheating and I'll never do it. But I don't believe that it is necessarily wrong. Judgement is required - and if I was low on the totem pole I would definitely get permission.


New member

This is all very interesting and I wish I had time to devote, as it could be a very informative discussion. Will catch up later.

Cheating; I've got a problem, don't know how to get a feature to work, don't know how to describe some sort of geometry, etc. I can possibly get an effective answer / solution for free, or I can pay a few thousand for additional training, or I can bilk my employer (presently one and the same in my case) for the time it takes to muddle through it on my own.

Personally, I love the information exchange possible today. I've learned a few CAD systems pretty well without an hour of paid for training.

Ethics; I equate Enron and Autodesk, not young vs old (I'm mid 50's).


New member
I guess I didn't quite mean that the way it sounded. What I meant was that there are some people who show up on the forum who are more interested in getting something done for them than learning how to do it.

To me that is the value of the forum, and that way it is also informative for other users as well. Seeing a posting that consists of, "Fix this, OK I fixed it and e-mailed it you, Thanks" is useless to the community as a whole.


New member
Just a few responses


By this I mean I may have a "proprietary" product I'm working on. As you point out, everything I work on for my employer is by definition proprietary. I have one element/component of it that I can't beat into shape in Pro-E. I e-mail it to someone who offers to help.

You can't even get this far...you cannot e-mail it to anyone without consent if you do not own the design.

As a project manager with a certain amount of authority, I can in my own good conscience decide for myself that the data I'm releasing is not detrimental to the companies well-being. As the intent is not to harm the company, I don't believe there would be legal recourse anyway, I could just be fired if I screwed up...

WRONG! It does not matter whether you mean no harm or think what you are sending out will not harm the company. That is not your decision to make.

This is a unique situation, as I don't think competitors complained to each other 40 years ago that they couldn't get their HB pencils to draw a fillet or to get advice on how to draw that circle "just so". Someday maybe CAD will be like that (yeah right).

Wrong again. The situation of looking for help is not new. What is new is the fact the web has made the ability to share info much easier. I had people, and here is the key, WORKING FOR THE SAME COMPANY, show me how to loft a line and project the views correctly. I got the help I needed from my co-workers who were subject to the same non-disclosures and confidentialityasI was.

"Cheating" is the wrong word, Jeff4136 points out correcty,and not an adequate description of the topic. The issue was sending the file lock stock and barrel to someone for assistance without consent from the owner.

Judgement is required - and if I was low on the totem pole I would definitely get permission.

Now we are getting somewhere. Ah, "Judgement" the key to the whole thread. Many lack this priceless attribute and why I wrote the post in the first place. It also has no relevance whether you are low on the pole or atthe pinnacle. You still cannot send out the data without the owners blessing...in writing.
Edited by: dlongmi


New member

I don't understand the big problem.I'mamused by the implication that its "those darned kids" and their lack of ethics. Being 33, I like to think I'm still one of those darned kids (for a little while anyway) Sorry, I don't buy that. Engineers might not walk around with buzz cuts and slide rules anymore, but I think that an ethical engineer is an ethical engineer, regardless of age.

If you've got other people in your company that you can go to, good for you. Most companies do not have a stable of engineers. I'm lucky in my current job that I have a few people more experienced in Pro-E, but for 7 years I was "the engineering department" in my previous job.

So I need to get written permission from the owner of the company to send a drawing out for checking, quote, manufacturing? I have the authority inherent in my job to send the drawings out as I deem necessary. I am acting as an agent of the company. Judgement is required in any job, and the penalty for poor judgement is termination, not legal action.

I have not seen this as an overwhelming problem here in my time on the forum. I agree that I would not upload a file to "show off", but I wouldn't hesitate to upload a component that I was having trouble with, presuming its nothing more than a widget with no competitive significance. According to you, I can't even send out a drawing a bolt with our part number on it.

Obviously I have a lot of things that I wouldn't send to anyone as they are sensitive, and I know what they are.

This is an issue between employer and employee. I guess the "outrage" is lost on me.


New member

I don't mean kids literally...hell I'm only 37. Ihave been at this since I was 17...so I guess I just feel old. It sounds like you have developed a sense of what is right and ethical. That's good...score one for the good guys. It the others without the regard I speak of. I "observed" this forum for a long time before becoming a member and I have seen files that should not have gone anywhere go out. That's bad.

To your question. Idid not includedrawings in my points...they have confidentiality statements on the face of them to protect the owners. By virtue of the confidential statement on the face of the drawing you are given authority as an agent of the company..not because you are a good guy with good judgement.

The conclude, there is no outrage I was just surprised that IP law seems lost on many people that frequent this post, and others. Through the years I have watched people exchange files without ever stating their concerns for sending out the file. it seemed un-important to many.



In defense of this forum, I have seen many posts where the person with the problem declined to post a file because of confidentiality. Also, many of the people who quickly fling models into cyberspace appear to be students who probably don't need to worry about confidentiality unless they are getting grants directly for their work.

However, it is an important issue and one that all working engineers need to keep in mind. When I worked for a French company they wouldn't let me discuss any issue with someone outside the company unless there was a confidentiality agreement signed by officers of both companies on file. I worked in their automotive division but their roots were in defense so they went a little overboard.


u know its really a case by case basis, and also depends on the industry your in and mostly in the view of your employer.

If your desiging a machine off few hundred parts and you need help
making one. i am sure the risks of someone stealing your ideas is

if your only making a one part model, then yeah the risk can be great,
but thats up to your employer to decided wear they want to finish the
part via help from someone on this forum vs trying to nut it out on
your own.

but all this really does depend on your employment.

Also in terms of copyright and ip laws. and blah blah. most of that
stuff isnt transferable country to country. unless the said company is
taking out patents globally. which i would dare say very very very very
few would.

have you not wondered how come there are 454543 copies of every product comming out of "Cheaper labour countries"


New member
I thought thisthread might peter out and I could go to bed...but I was wrong.

Puppet you scare the crap out of me. It is not a case by case or industrybasis...you are either pregnant or you are not. Wow!

As far as IP being transferrable to different countries many companiesdo it. It costs huge dollars to do so. However the reasonthe vast majority do not is it would be a waste of their money trying to protect products from unscrupulous theives in Asia. What the hell does cheap labor have to do with anything regarding this post anyway? The reason 454543 copies are made is because theives steal what is not theirs. This is a main point for my questioning of "sharing" unreleaseddata with people on a forum.




Sure its case by case. people could be posting anything. School
project, an idea in there head not work related, there new dog kennel,
or a IP design for nasa.

and its up to them to know if they can or can not post the part.

not all work is ip protected.

i worked on a major project my previous employer(which they
beleived would make them extremely richwith) with many 200+ part
assemblies and they didnt care if one part was posted if it mean a
faster turn around and a more sucessful model. There opinion being that
no one could steal there concept from 1 part out of 1000's.


dont get me wrong. if someone is posting stuff they know they shouldnt then this could be very bad for there employers.

i do see the need for protecting IP stuff. just saying not all things
need to be guarded. ie someones school project. the the model of my dog
house. etc :)


New member
Maybe the users are just diligentlykeen to get a result for their taskmasters knowing if they dont theyre likley to loose the job to a 'developing' country.

Truth is, that is coming / is here, howevergood andquick the job gets done with or without disclosure on MCAD ... 2 wrongs dont make a right though, but the higher level decisions that are morally bankrupt serve to push everything else to follow.


New member

surprisingly enough, if you look at the top of EVERY post in this forum, you see the words "IP Logged" i.e. you are completely tractable!

also if you have a competent IT department it would also be extremely easy for them to prove that you were on line at this address at this time and indeed the files/information that passedfrom your PC to the internet.

Also, it's really easy to monitor your PC over the net/network, your administrator could simply install a little program that would allow them to literally watch what you are doing from any web browser in the world and easily log every key that you press!

And if that some how doesn't work, might your name be Andy?