Some of our members pursue projects at rLab which are for profit, or with the intent to maybe build a business around them as they progress. Other members are generally supportive of these commercial projects, and excited that they will help to build a more diverse and interesting community. A usual assumption at rLab when people are asked for advice or involvement in projects and activities is that the input is requested for non-commercial purposes. The following guiding principles are given for members with commercial intentions to avoid misunderstanding and upset, please remember that rLab is not a business incubator or a commercial service organisation and if you start making extensive commercial use of our facilities then it's probably time for you to find/rent/buy your own workshop space.
- Commercial means
- You're being paid at all for this project, regardless of if you make a profit or not or;
- You are expecting to sell work based on this project in the future or;
- You are doing this project to increase your business profile or provide publicity, marketing materials or tools/equipment for your business or;
- You've been asked to do this by your employer
- Tell members if your project is commercial.
- It is an important design parameter, especially if you are making more than one of a product.
- Some members may choose not to be involved in commercial projects
- Avoid upset down the line when you are rich and famous
- Make clear the title and ownership of any project materials
- Make clear the license conditions of your project and contributions
- It is generally assumed that activities at rLab and on the rLab mailing list are shared under a very permissive license.
- If your project is to be released under a more restrictive license, then you should tell people.
- Similarly if a member’s contribution to someone else’s project is under restricted license, they should make this clear.
- If a member has not been informed in advance of the more restrictive license and consented to it then that member's choice of license will prevail, which may conflict with your commercial goals!
- Nothing done at rLab can be assumed to be secret, there are security cameras, there are likely to be other people around, others may walk in at any time. If secrecy is needed for your project or it's subject to non-disclosure agreements, rLab is not the right place to be working on it.
- Share financial success with rLab
- It is expected that some measure of reward from the success of commercial projects supported by the member community would return to rLab. Remember us when you are rich and famous!
- Bare in mind that you're making use of volunteer work in keeping rLab running smoothly that businesses normally have to pay for, such as cleaning, building maintenance, machine maintenance and expertise. Some of those volunteers might not be OK with their efforts being used to support activities you expect to profit from so please be sensitive to these concerns, being generous in sharing your profits and your efforts in maintaining and cleaning the space will help.
- Please be aware that there are different material / usage charges for commercial users, and that members using the workshop as a production environment should consider paying more on a monthly basis than the recommended donation.
- Use of the rLab name and brand
- As a membership community, rLab does not usually develop product in its own name, so the rLab name and logo should not normally be attached to your product
- rLAB has no responsibilities or liabilities for any projects, products, or services undertaken by rLAB members.
- It would be preferable that any publicity mentioning rLAB should use our current messaging, and be positive, considerate and follow the rLAB values.
- Any use of the rLAB logo should be passed by the directors.
- Working around other people
- Commercial scale activities can easily take up a lot of time on machines; rLab is mainly for hackers and tinkerers, so try not to hog the machines and be willing to give way to others
- You cannot be guaranteed access to machines, others may be using them, they may break, they may run out of essential consumables. We're a voluntary group not a commercial support organisation so although we do our best to keep things running smoothly, you can't expect access to or repair of machines to be done to suit your schedule.
The interpretation and implementation of the above is left for the members at this time.
Consideration and communication are the key factors to successfully sharing commercial projects within the rLab community.