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Are you hesitant to share designs and ideas on a site like this?

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It depends. I think if someone is of the view that their product is entirely unique and worth protecting, they're entirely within their rights to hold it back. On the other hand if they feel their product needs to be public and should be free to share to all (or at least perhaps they aren't bothered if it is out in the open), they're also well within their rights to open it up to the everyone.

If we're talking specifically about what goes on at this site, I suspect that the vast majority of us are only hobbyists and are building our instruments for the experience rather than to establish a unique product line that should be protected. To that end I think it's great that those that do come here share their journey with us. From what I've seen over the years, generally what happens is that those builders who take the next step and advance their hobby into a business will tend to spend less time here. That may be due to them protecting their ideas and limiting what they share, but more it's likely is that they simply don't have the time to do so anymore as their hobby transitions to a full-time income.

The chances of someone sharing an idea here at ProjectGuitar that becomes public and then widely copied are vanishingly tiny. The market is already well-established elsewhere. The only one I can think of is Ola Strandberg, who developed his Boden headless guitars while he was still a member here. Initially he made the design open source with a Share-and-Share-Alike license. It wasn't until later that the cheap Chinese clones started appearing on Aliexpress, but whether that started happening while he had the design free on his website, or after he advanced to a full-on commercial operation and locked it down, I don't know.


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if someone can steal your design just by looking at your guitar... then it likely isn't that unique.  I probably wouldn't hand out my cnc files... but I've provided enough documentation on most of what I've built that if someone had moderate skills they could most certainly do what I've done. 

I think that you are only as good as your next idea and there is almost nothing that one could give away afa guitar building that someone else couldn't figure out on their own.  most the wiring is so simple you couldn't even copyright it if you wanted to.  about the only thing you COULD preserve is your own headstock design or perhaps a unique shape... but even then all someone else would have to do is make a slight variation on it and it's likely not going to  be worth it for you to go after them.  I think the things that make a builder really great are within that builder and it'd be next to impossible to steal that.

better to concentrate on making the best guitar in the world!

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On 10/29/2022 at 3:01 AM, woodfab said:

Are you hesitant to show your designs thinking someone will steal it?

All the ideas I've been using on my builds are stolen.

The aforementioned Ola Strandberg is the only one I can think of who has really invented both a neck and a body that serve a purpose other than looks. Yet the vast majority rather wants a Strat or an LP instead of an ergonomic instrument.

The only way to really make millions with a design would be to find a new genre of guitar music and equip the top players with your guitars in hopes of a long lasting craze. Leo Fender managed to catch a wave with the Strat, first rock'n'roll and a bit later instrumental à la Shadows. Gibson ruled the heavier rock scene a bit later. Since then nothing has really changed, those two (or copies of them) have been used for mostly anything.

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We had one guy on here have his ideas stolen to the point the damn thief made an instructional DVD, even using the guys photos, and was selling them on eBay. This is going way back, but that doesn’t make much difference I guess.

trust no one 😶

as far as “holding back”.. if you ain’t paying them for access to their knowledge, no reason to complain.

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