Thursday 21 February 2013

Will 3D printing be the new minefield for infringement?

Before long, many of us will be able to print physical objects at home just  as easily as we once burned DVDs. And just as the Internet made sharing MP3 music files and ripped movies so easy, it seems that downloading 3D images to print on your shiny new “MakerBot printer will be as easy as torrenting your favourite film (if that’s what you do). The sea of 3D creations ranges from practical (citrus juicer) to the cute (a lego Darth Vader). But how many of these objects trespass into copyright-protected waters? Several of the most popular things on marketplace Thingiverse are reproductions of Disney or Nintendo characters.

And when Fernando Sosa created an iPod docking station based on the Iron Throne chair from the popular HBO TV series Game of Thrones, I imagine the last thing he expected was a cease and desist letter from US boradcaster HBO: HBO owns the rights to the show, its characters, and (apparently) the inanimate objects that appear on screen in the popular series. comments “As user-generated 3D model marketplaces like Thingiverse and Shapeways grow, expect to see them flooded with creations based on trademarked and copyrighted material. And expect to hear about more takedowns, lawsuits and new legal precedents”. 

More on and more on KapitallWire here and Public Knowledge's take on this issue here (What's the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing?) saying "News outlets have discovered 3D printing.  Rightsholders are issuing takedown notices.  And Congress has started to take a look.  At the same time, a lot has stayed the same.  People are continuing to innovate to make home 3D printers better. Creators are pushing the limits as they design even more intricate 3D printed objects.  And we are beginning to see the beginnings of physical remix artists."

No comments: