Blender's growing acceptance in the professional market is much rewarding and a great compliment for everyone who contributed to it! Success is a double-edged sword though... we can't become competitive for commercial products without getting competitors to react to this. Although a proper market-mechanism would just mean they'll improve their offerings, there's also the more ugly side of competition related to legal actions around IP and patents.
I really cherish the very relaxed and informal development projects we conduct. This loosely regulated chaos also makes us vulnerable though. It's about time for everyone to more closely watch what you write in public and how to publish work you do on Blender. Most relevant is to not give out invitations to attract unwanted attention, but especially to cast the attention to Blender Foundation, GNU GPL and the Free Software and Open Source movement in general.
For all Blender developers, I'd like to propose the following guidelines for their docs/work:
1) For everyone in general:
On own blogs: - Mention GNU GPL (or other OS licenses) when you talk about your code work. - Credit Blender or blender.org on your site where appropriate.
Everywhere: - Only link to copyrighted docs on web if you have the (c) owner permission. - Stay away from mentioning commercial packages in user/tech docs ever. - Document work in ways it shows the design process and ideas you explored
2) Highly advised, especially for competitive work:
- Publicly present your work as endorsed or commissioned by Blender Founation - Present yourself as "member of the team working on Blender". - Use (also) our code.blender.org blog for articles, and wiki.blender.org for design docs - Add videos to the BF vimeo or youtube account
3) Optional, for best protection:
- Commit under BF copyright. You can use a "copyright 2011 Blender Foundation, <your name>" statement too. (This will still be BF copyright, but at least with a proper personal credit). - I can make a BF letterhead pdf for you that supports and confirms commissioning this work.