Copyright Licence

Hi all,

I’ve created a useful mathematical structure using Grasshopper, that can be used in Urban Designing.
I was wondering if there is a way to request something like a copyright for it (as an idea or anything similar).
I know if I start using it at work, every rival company would want to use the same method and I would loose the originality. It would be great if I can get a CC for it even under Grasshopper Licence to be able to grant permission for use by others.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Kind regards,

If you want to prohibit the usage of your plugin you can only claim a patent. You can however choose a license which resticts the usage of your software for commercial purposes. But this is hard to enforce. Furthermore its difficult to claim you have invented something if 90 percent of the sourcecode is made by others (McNeel).
My advice, find a way to sell your stuff and only then care about these things. Do not share a plugin for free if you see more disadvantages in doing so. GNU,MIT,BSD are license models suited. Or just find a lawyer helping you out.

You think so? What about industrial designers that use 100% Rhino. They didn’t invent anything? They too used all McNeel stuff. Why is it different with code?

Well, I really haven’t seen much new technology. Most plugins are implementing an already existing tech. Even Grasshopper. Its not a node editor which is new, not even generative design. Genetic algorithms are much older. Maybe using an genetic algorithm within a node editor is something new. But also here, the geometrical Kernel is that of Rhino. For me a true groundbreaking innovation is something like T-Splines which clearly justifies claiming a patent. Grasshopper might be worth it too, but an addin for a plugin??? Its truly a bordercase. I know from a german institute that they claimed a patent on generative design by using grasshopper to mimic building weight reduced shapes for several industries. I find this clearly bordercasing because it would even deny the inventors of Rhino and Grasshopper in „coping“ the same approach, although its done with their own software… Not cool
I know its more about the approach, same as designers would argue when protecting a certain design. But this particular aspect is even more controversial.

If you truly feel it is a game changer that everyone will want, then I suggest to atleast script the algorithm without grasshopper (and even more so without rhinocommon) and protect the algorithm. After, you can make a plug in from that algorithm to let (or charge) others to use. If your goal is to make it that no one can use it, then your answer is easy - simply don’t release it and use it just on your own work without providing any description on how it made its result.

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Copyright is awarded automatically for everything you create. It doesn’t cost you anything. Patents, trademarks and so on cost money to claim and enforce.

Its expensive and tends not to stop people who were going to steal your work anyway. Do you have millions of dollars or euros available to take someone to court if you think they’ve stolen your intellectual property? If not, patenting probably isn’t a good solution.


Thank you everyone for your replies. I think the best option in this case would be to avoid sharing the plugin and instead focus on selling the service.
Thank you all again.

I don’t agree Tom. I think generally speaking your logic can be forced into saying the manufacturer of your car actually owns your ideas because you used your car to travel to your workspace.

A more relevant example, you could then say that Guido van Rossum owns all inventions done with Python, because, well, he invented Python…

Like Carl Sagan said:

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch , you must first invent the universe.

Mhh, I actually did not mean that. I said its bordercasing to claim a patent on a certain process, not on a technology per se. Who says you are the first one doing it like this. To stick to your Python example.This would be equivalent if someone claims a patent in doing object oriented CAD Tools programming with Python. Who says its you doing it the first time, does it make sense to exclude others (even the creator of Python) from doing the same. I don‘t think this is what claiming a patent is about. This rather blocks technological progress! And from an economic point of view this is unfair and leads to monopolies.

Seems your posts were flagged, considering you are using a new account and a fake name, the forum probably thinks you are spam.

I’d suggest to use a real account and start a new topic. This forum / users remove suspicious activity quite fast.

I mean have you tried the obvious and just contacting the person and explaining that your code is not the same? Maybe show them? Who knows maybe they will drop it.

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I see, well I guess you are not allowed to discuss the specifics of the case so to know what you are talking about (is it some plug-in we all use). I guess just do a search of copyright lawyers in your area.

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