NY Times Discovers The Coming Legal Battle Over 3D Printing

from the it's-coming... dept

We've been discussing 3D printing for over a decade, including warning that some of the disrupted companies/industries are likely to go ballistic and talk about how they're being "robbed" by this form of competition. Hopefully, enough people realize this is crazy, but it seems doubtful. Take a look at this NY Times article about the legal questions surrounding 3D printing, and note that the author seems surprised that it's mostly legal to make a copy of something using a 3D printer:
Suppose you covet a lovely new mug at a friend’s house. So you snap a few pictures of it. Software renders those photos into designs that you use to print copies of the mug on your home 3-D printer.

Did you break the law by doing this? You might think so, but surprisingly, you didn’t....

When I posed my mug scenario to Mr. Weinberg, he responded: “If you took that mug and went to a pottery class and remade it, would you be asking me the same questions about breaking a copyright law? No.” Just because new tools arrive, like 3-D printers and digital files that make it easier to recreate an object, he said, it doesn’t mean people break the law when using them.
Of course, that's not quite the whole story. There may be trademark/patent issues to deal with separately. But, more importantly, given what we've seen of lots of industries in the past, the incumbents are going to fight long and hard to claim exactly the opposite: that such uses of 3D printing are entirely illegal. Hopefully, they'll fail, but there's almost certainly going to be a series of long and drawn out cases, leaving us at the mercy of a judge recognizing the statements above are correct.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 1:56am

    The key to answer the question...

    ... is material and QC.

    Say you download a model of a chair made by Ikea, do you dare sit on it? Is the plastic produced by 3D printer strong enough? Is the model "safe" to be sitting on?

    The writer obviously have no clue on why people spend money at Ikea rather than buying item of similar look from random shop... There is a reason a brand is called a brand.

     

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  2.  
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    Jupp Müller, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:08am

    Not necessarily a bad thing

    Mike,

    being at the mercy of a judge is not a bad thing. All those emerging legislation attempts that we see today, including the french HADOPI, SOPA, etc are especially flawed and dangerous because they dismiss due process and blur the line between plaintiff and judge. Only after being presented with the first verdict - cutting one's internet connection or forcing one to remove content from one's site - is one given the opportunity to defend oneself by launching a proper lawsuit, bearing the costs, of course.

     

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  3.  
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    A Guy (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:10am

    This seems like it will be a much easier fight. It will be hard to argue we need to import more cheap plastic crap from over seas to the American people.

    Then again, I thought it would be hard to argue that we needed to give up our free speech rights for the entertainment industry.

    Fuck, next we will be reading about the iparasite act (i=industrial) because some foreign manufacturing firm bought off a group of congressmen (again).

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:17am

    3D printing is awesome. It's just one more step towards the goal of a fully functional Star Trek replicator. We should be embracing this, but instead, we are sitting around, wondering if it is illegal to to make copies of coffee mugs.

    We (humanity) are pathetic.

     

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  5.  
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    A Guy (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:21am

    Re: The key to answer the question...

    I expect that as the technology progresses and the community grows these issues will be addressed.

    Material 1 might be good for certain products because of its tensile strength.

    Material 2 might be best for lightweight decorative objects.

    ect...

    Anything that reduces our trade deficit will be great.

     

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  6.  
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    Hank, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    3d copies

    First, you're not stealing from anybody.

    Second, is the thing you have printed able to do what the original can? ie: does coffee from a printed mug taste the same; what about thermal properties of the material; what about mechanical properties of the material; how long does it last?

    Third, if this turns out to be the way we're going to make things, then that is how we'll progress as a species. It's stupid to try and stop it.

    Fourth, there are realities involved with making things. Printing things will have its own shortcomings, just like everything else has. It is not [yet] going to be the be all and end all of manufacturing

    Fifth, antiques dealers are going to go bananas over this one "This product was actually hand-made. Think about that: somebody made this -by hand-. They did not have printing machines in those days. This is a unique piece..."

    There is no reason to be nervous about a 3D printing machine. The only people who care are the 'rights holders' in a patent industry that is woefully inadequate to deal with the real world.

    Bring on the 3D press!

     

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  7.  
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    Hank, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    3d copies

    First, you're not stealing from anybody.

    Second, is the thing you have printed able to do what the original can? ie: does coffee from a printed mug taste the same; what about thermal properties of the material; what about mechanical properties of the material; how long does it last?

    Third, if this turns out to be the way we're going to make things, then that is how we'll progress as a species. It's stupid to try and stop it.

    Fourth, there are realities involved with making things. Printing things will have its own shortcomings, just like everything else has. It is not [yet] going to be the be all and end all of manufacturing

    Fifth, antiques dealers are going to go bananas over this one "This product was actually hand-made. Think about that: somebody made this -by hand-. They did not have printing machines in those days. This is a unique piece..."

    There is no reason to be nervous about a 3D printing machine. The only people who care are the 'rights holders' in a patent industry that is woefully inadequate to deal with the real world.

    Bring on the 3D press!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:37am

    It's pretty obvious that you can't take a pictures of an iPhone and expect a 3d Printer to be able to produce an iPhone, it may be less obvious for a coffee mug at least until you think about it.

    it's disappointing to see over a decades worth of posts on the subject before techdirt manages to engage brain - this results in the Masnick posts being no more enlightened than the posts he criticises.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:40am

    Re:

    It seems that it was your brain that failed to engage, given that you missed the point completely...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:50am

    People are getting the wrong end of the stick here.

    It is irrelevant how exact a copy it is/ strength of chair / thermal properties of coffee mug.

    If I could scan an iphone and print my own working iphone have I stolen from apple? NO of course not... Just as much as if I saw a painting.. went home and painted an exact replica I haven't stolen from the artist. They might feel devalued but sadly that's a cost their business model that relies on people not working out how something is produced and doing the same thing at home.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re:

    Since you can't describe what you think the point is am I supposed to be impressed ?.

    But I'll be helpful : Masnick's point is "...But, more importantly, given what we've seen of lots of industries in the past, the incumbents are going to fight long and hard to claim exactly the opposite: that such uses of 3D printing are entirely illegal...."

    Realistically anyone who thinks they can use a 3D printer to produce Ikea furniture cheaper than Ikea can do it hasn't understood the problem, or the impact of 3D printing.

     

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  12.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:08am

    Re:

    Beautiful, you managed to attack Mike for something he didn't claim, and missed various points completely.

    Would it kill you people to either a) think before you type or b) not post if you can't think of a reason to attack Mike rather than spewing idiocy? People might even listen to what you have to say if you leave posting to times when you have a real point.

     

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  13.  
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    anonymous, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:09am

    and when the court cases come, they will be heard by judges that are just as clueless over this issue as those that hear copyright cases concerning the entertainment industries and file sharers!

     

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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:11am

    Re:

    "They might feel devalued but sadly that's a cost their business model that relies on people not working out how something is produced and doing the same thing at home."

    Ditto the entertainment industry. That's the problem...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re:

    There's no ditto here because the entertainment suffers from copied of digital products (perfect copies) but 3D printing could only make copies of tangible products - the old fashioned kind of imperfect copies that old fashioned law is designed for.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Realistically anyone who thinks they can use a 3D printer to produce Ikea furniture cheaper than Ikea can do it hasn't understood the problem, or the impact of 3D printing."

    Nobody made that claim, other than you. What you are doing is the very definition of a strawman argument.

    Perhaps your brain is hardwired to interpret the word "copy" as "rip someone off"? Because that you explain your irrational need to claim that is what people will try to use 3D printers for.

     

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  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not really, IMHO. People would get the designs from somewhere to create the product themselves and those designs would be transmitted electronically. Basically, the same "problem" - people decide to create their own product instead of buying it from a legacy manufacturer, the manufacturer panics and sues instead of trying to compete.

    It's not 100% identical as it would still involve expenditure on materials and a few other quirks, but the fundamental argument would probably be similar. They might not be able to stop people from printing when they have the designs, but try to outlaw/restrict the sharing of designs or sale of the equipment? You bet they will.

     

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  18.  
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    Liz (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:49am

    Re: The key to answer the question...

    Personally I'd use a CNC machine (you can make one at home) and craft something superior to IKEA. Load up a design in the software, set the wood and let the machine do its work.

    It isn't like a RepRap but the home build process is in the same bent. You can download plans for carving designs the same way you can download 3D models and import them.

    As for 3D builds, I suppose you can make a 3D printer filled with a fluid clay material in one canister and an agent in the other (water, glaze, coloring, etc). Then fire the finished product for a replica copy. You could end up with a ceramic mug just like the one that was scanned.

    You aren't limited to just plastics any more. I've seen machines that use powders like plaster or corn starch. I don't see why clay powder couldn't also be used.

     

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  19.  
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    Just John (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 3:54am

    Future business models

    To be honest, I do not think they could pursue individuals, but as the technology gets better, they may find more Shen Zai (fakes), and then we would be back on counterfeit arguements.

    I also think this could start new business models around "digital models" for use, which would then start bringing content and IP together.

    Imagine of every Tom Dick and harry could "manufacture".

    We already see private individuals being charge with corporate level copyright infringement. Now Joe Q Public could face IP infringement

    I agree as this starts developing to consumer level, we could see major issues.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    With a digital product you could encode it using a rusty nail an a piece of drift wood and in principle it wouldn't loose any integrity and could be moved again into a form that your music player can recognize, and still be a perfect copy.

    With a tangible product you would need to make a lot of changes to accommodate, the limitations of your personal printer, the materials that are economically available etc. and you can't ever get a perfect copy.
    You are instead trying to make a product that competes with the original, and trying to make the case that it is either cheaper or more desirable - a standard business situation not fundamentally a copying problem.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masnick claims that 3D printers present enough of a copying problem that there will be a sustained legal attack on 3D printing. This is an obvious nonsense illustrated by the daftness of thinking you can easily make Ikea furniture cheaper than Ikea.

    How many times do I have to spell this out for you before your brain can handle thoughts that have not been pre-approved by Masnick ?.

     

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  22.  
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    A Guy (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There have already been court orders to remove designs from thingverse and other repositories.

    If you don't think that there already is a legal battle over 3d printing, you are mistaken.

     

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  23.  
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    Ringbearer31, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:24am

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    It's pretty obvious that you can't take a pictures of an iPhone and expect a 3d Printer to be able to produce an iPhone, it may be less obvious for a coffee mug at least until you think about it.

    First, Look up 123D Catch. Second, get back to me.

    Happy Printing!

     

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  24.  
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    Rekrul, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:33am

    3D printing isn't likely to be used for furniture or coffee mugs anytime soon simply because it would be cheaper, faster and easier to simply buy the item.

    The real use of 3D printing will be people making items that are either too expensive or not commercially available, like movie prop replicas. Star Trek phasers, Hellraiser puzzle boxes, etc. Already there was the case of the guy who created a 3D model of one of the cubes from the movie Super 8, and then got in trouble with the studio over it.

    3D printing will go the same way as audio and video today. People will start to upload 3D files for objects, some their own creation, but some will be copied from movies and such. The original creators of these objects will freak out and start demanding that these files be taken down, and then they will start suing sites for allowing them to be uploaded in the first place. Finally they will go to the government demanding new laws and stiffer penalties to cover 3D printing.

    In the end, a promising new technology will be saddled with all sorts of legal restrictions to protect legacy industries.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The legal issues are because of branding not 3d printing.

     

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  26.  
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    David, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:47am

    The legal advice in the NYT article seems pretty superficial. If the item is patented, or part of a patented device, copying it by 3D printing would probably be an infringement. As for unpatented items, I don't know about the US position, but in the UK (and I think in the rest of the EU, under EU Directives), copying an item with a distinctive design would probably be an IP infringement. For the UK law see here http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/design/d-about.htm

    This is as it should be; I don't see why creative designers should have any less protection than authors or songwriters.

    Oh, hang on, I forgot this is Techdirt...

     

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  27.  
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    A Guy (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright and patent issues exist also. What happens when you no longer have to buy that $50, cheap piece of plastic, replacement part for an appliance?

    How about a $30 knob for the heat in your car? (I know, 30 bucks is ridiculous, but that is what they wanted. It's a cheap piece of plastic that cost less than a dollar to manufacture. Bastards. But I digress.)

    If the part is patented, someone will eventually try to sue as the technology becomes more popular.

     

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  28.  
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    Ben (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:02am

    From the article:

    "there was nothing Mr. Lombardi could have done to stop them"

    He could have tried selling his own copy at $29...

     

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  29.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:04am

    You Wouldn't Download a Car...

    F*** you! I would and now I can!

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Making your own bits is fine so long as you don't try to pass them as original.
    One reason spare parts are expensive is that manufactures don't want to make them and prefer to move resources to make new models.

     

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  31.  
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    A Guy (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I agree, it should be fine.

    However, I predict patent trolls descending on this technology in the not too distant future.

    I hope you're right though.

     

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  32.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    "Oh, hang on, I forgot this is Techdirt..."

    If you read the site that much, you'd notice that no only is nobody claiming that rights shouldn't be issued, but nobody's saying that patents aren't part of the equation (Mike specific comment: "There may be trademark/patent issues to deal with separately.").

    But, go ahead and attack the site for opinions nobody's raised because you don't understand the point being discussed. You sure as hell won't be the first.

     

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  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "One reason spare parts are expensive is that manufactures don't want to make them and prefer to move resources to make new models."

    If that's true then no lawsuits will ensue and no manufacturer will mind people printing their own at home. We'll see how that goes.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    3D printers are not really cheap to buy, store and maintain, and if conventional printers are any guide the "ink" will be very expensive ... there probably aren't going to be a whole lot of people worth suing.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Making your own bits is fine so long as you don't try to pass them as original."

    So... if I applied that to music. Making my own bits (personal copy of a song) is fine so long as I don't pass them as original?

     

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  36.  
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    DannyB (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 5:58am

    Re:

    Digital files aren't likely to be used for music or movies anytime soon simply because it would be cheaper, faster and easier to simply buy the 8-track tape.

    After all, a single album of mp3 files could exceed 80 megabytes. And that's MEGABYTES with an M. Don't you realize that an 80 megabyte hard drive costs over $35,000 and is the size of a washing machine? Think of how large and power hungry would be a device to play digital music compared to a small portable 8-track tape player that operates from only twelve side D batteries.

    Is digital sound academically interesting? Yes. Practical or useful? No.

    Similarly, I can assure you that 3D printing is a cool novelty. But it will never be practical or useful. Ever. Never ever.

    Trust me. I have vision for the future and understand intellectual property.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Economies of scale will not go away with this. Guess what, I can hand make a piece of furniture, but it is not nearly as quick or cost-effective as buying. If 3D printing becomes very cost effective, the manufacturers *will* use it first. Once the printers themselves become affordable and useful for smaller shops or even individuals, then the prices will come down.

    As for ease of use...designs will be leaked, things will be counterfeit, things will be infringed. But also people will create their own designs, open source hardware will take off as a more viable option to things, and more people will have access to items that increase their quality of life. These activities will likely dramatically increase people's desire for knowledge of the sciences along the way as well.

     

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  38.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ...and it used to be true that hardware, storage and bandwidth of a sufficient capacity for widespread infringement to be likely was rare and expensive, especially in relation to movies and other large files...

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey! You can't take this one thing and use it to compare it to another! I'm pretty sure that's stealing.

     

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  40.  
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    3D Printing Names, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    Re: 3d copies

    Yes I agree with you in all aspects except the antiquity issue and that is, antiques are a much different product by all means because you can fake it but you can't make it, especially not in its original material and have the same wear and tears like an original antique therefore duplicating an antique in its original form would near to impossible.

    3D Printing will be for those who wants to brings their own imagination to life rather than duplicating someone's idea but if so then we to impose strict 3D copyright and 3D Patent laws

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    real world uses

    Here is an example that this tech has moved to real world items. AirBus is using this with metal.
    http://gizmodo.com/5841449/why-yes-maam-this-airbus-a380-was-printed-on-demand-by-a-computer

    These part have the inspectors up in arms as they can not be tested the way other parts are and they have to change how they work.

     

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  42.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: The key to answer the question...

    ANd of course you can use a plastic 3D printed model as a plug - and then make a mold and take castings from it - in really robust materials - if you wish.

     

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  43.  
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    Chris Estes, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    A reluctant defense of media

    I hate to do this because I hate the media. However, as a former member of mainstream media you don't have time to be on top of any one thing -- like a technology that's ten years away. You might be covering a trial one day, the board of education the next, a new medical technology adopted by a local hospital, or the garden club's annual tea. It's really the opposite of how those of us in tech work. Really. The fact that the NYT has covered this at all is a testament to the power of blogs like this one and the massive changes going on today.

    This isn't a criticism. I just know what it's like to have a boss come up to you today and say, "Cancel your plans. You're going to....."

     

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  44.  
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    Jeff, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    we already hae that capability

    All 3D printing is similar to CNC Machining. Its gotten so serious hobbyists can have a benchtop milling machines in their garage and produce quality parts. On top of that there are 3D models all over the internet and I haven't heard anyone getting legal threats. Now when you get into restricted items like firearms and other weapons I'm sure it would attract attention. But that's other sorts of trouble. I copy tools and accesories that retail for hundreds of dollars, I don't pass them off as my own but when I improve them I do share with others.

     

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  45.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re: The key to answer the question...

    "The writer obviously have no clue on why people spend money at Ikea"

    Because they are poor, and cannot afford real furniture?

     

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  46.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: 3d copies

    ... and in a hundred years, the first things built with 3d printers will be antiques ... it makes you wonder what the sale line will be.

    "This was made before the age of nanotechnology".

     

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  47.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: 3d copies

    ... and in a hundred years, the first things built with 3d printers will be antiques ... it make you wonder what the sale line will be.

    "This was made before the age of nanotechnology".

     

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  48.  
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    MAC, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Not necessarily a bad thing

    Apparently, you've never been hauled into court before...

     

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  49.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Physical Chemistry.

    To Richard, #42:

    I realize your training is as a mathematician or computer scientist. However, there are certain considerations of mechanical engineering which you might need to take account of. If you are talking about a material having strength, or electric conductivity, or almost any other useful property, there are issues of physical chemistry, of how the material is organized at the atomic level. With metals, there are some important distinctions between casting and forging. Metal, broadly speaking, is a non-crystalline material-- technically, called a glass-- densely packed with crystals, sections in which the atoms are closely packed in a regular lattice. Crystals are much stronger than glass, which is not so densely packed. Forging tends to organize crystals by shape, and therefore to alter their mechanical properties.

    To take an example, let us consider a Japanese samurai sword, a katana. The procedure for making a katana is to take a billet of steel, hammer it out to twice its length, fold it back on itself-- and repeat the process fifteen to twenty times. This gives the metal a large-scale organized grain, analogous to that of wood. What happens in all the hammering and folding is that the more circular grains are subject to more friction, and tend to get broken down. The more elongated grains get lined up longitudinally. This means that, having more overlap, they tend to form stronger bonds to each other, lengthwise, and that their transverse diameter is smaller. The result is a blade which has one kind of property longitudinally-- strength and springiness-- and another kind of property-- hardness and sharpness-- transversely.

    The basic material of automobile construction, for example, is sheet steel. Sheet steel has been rolled from ingots, passing through large numbers of huge rollers, and being gradually stretched out, going through a similar sort of organizing process, though not carried to such lengths. Similar processes are used to make I-beams and railroad rails, and wire.

    Perhaps this kind of issue could be gotten around. One could imagine magnetizing microscopic wire, and then chopping it up into a fine powder, in such a way that microscopic bits of it would line up in a magnetic field, or something like that. Obviously, you would need a very large magnet. However, it is not remotely as simple as pouring metal into a mold. It would probably involve the same order of difficulties as chip manufacturing.

    The introductory course in this subject in engineering school is called Nature and Properties of Materials, NAPOM for short.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't believe you have a grasp on reality.
    And Mike's point was exactly that, people who believe in IP don't understand the concept that something can't be owned.

    Ikea was but one example of what could happen, you can also print spare parts for TVs, fridges, musical instruments, phone covers, little dolls basically anything.

    DIY solutions need finishing, but some 3D printers can produce objects with micron level clearances and for those who don't understand what that means, it means it is good enough to print a motor engine or medical equipment, not enough for electronics though.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, you punks suffer from nothing only from the delusion that there can't be any copying and sales together, which numbers prove you people wrong every year, which radio just prove that is possible, which TV proves that is possible, piracy is an unicorn created by stupid people to attack others and it won't last.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your perfect product analogy is just BS, you wanna know why?
    Because people re-encode that crap to put it on the internet, most if not all are not exact copies of your BS music, they are re-encoded often in an inferior quality and you still complain, so if one reason to accept copy of real things and not music is because one can produce exact copies why are you trying to say both are different, both are imperfect copies of it, people have different equipment they will never be able to watch the same exact movie on different equipment colors are different, aspect-ratio, the quality of the monitor, the quality of the speakers and so forth but you keep spewing that BS anyways, because you must be the dumbest creature alive.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not it is not, because takedowns already occur stupid.
    Just because the New York Times only now got to talk about it, doesn't mean the rest of the world stopped.

    http://hackaday.com/2011/02/20/thingiverse-receives-first-dmca-takedown/

    That BS will spill to the 3D printing world too, the problem is, there is a hardcore base there, with a lot of brain power, funny if you think about it, the people who apparently complain most about IP BS laws are the ones with lower IQs.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re:

    http://blog.thingiverse.com/2011/02/18/copyright-and-intellectual-property-policy/

    Here that BS and crappy behaviour started on the 3D space too.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    You don't see because you are completely dumb.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: The key to answer the question...

    Why? you can print it directly into metal.

    ENCOUNTERS III by BASHIBA (3D Printed Silver Ring)

     

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  57.  
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    johnny canada, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    IKEA chair

    So I 'print' an IKEA chair and it brakes, I fall and injure myself.

    Can I sue IKEA ???

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: IKEA chair

    You should sue IKEA for their flawed design LoL

     

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  59.  
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    Krish (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Stallman

    I was at a Richard Stallman (of GNU and FSF fame) talk and someone asked him about possible legal issues with 3D printing technology. He completely blew off the question as not being relevant any time soon. I was disappointed to see his lack of vision into the very near future.

     

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  60.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Not necessarily a bad thing

    > being at the mercy of a judge is not a bad thing.

    Being at *anyone's* mercy is an undesirable position in which to be.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:06pm

    One question

    Did the Healthkit took over the industry of electronics manufacturing? I don't think this 3D printer will have really that large impact to be concerned.

     

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  62.  
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    Rekrul, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Similarly, I can assure you that 3D printing is a cool novelty. But it will never be practical or useful. Ever. Never ever.

    I didn't say "never", I said "anytime soon".

     

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  63.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 11:33pm

    Re: A reluctant defense of media

    Maybe instead of focusing on things like the weather (weather channel), what hollywood loser just puked on which overpriced couch (entertainment channel, E!), the latest food craze (food network), or any of a dozen other redundant topics with their own respectively devoted channels, there might be enough time in the hour to talk about real news and to provide real journalistic insight into what is being covered. By attempting to stretch their brand over the entirety of the viewers attention span, they are cheapening what they do find time to cover (the <=30 second blips their stories are) or burying information that might actually be useful to society (their viewers).

     

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  64.  
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    FatBigot, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 3:01am

    What about organised crime?

    Charlie Stross has written a book "Rule 34" where the 3D printing technology has been extrapolated into about 10 years in the future.

    There are legal fabs that individuals run with government DRM on them, preventing illegal or infinging items being produced.

    There are illegal fabs run by organised crime. These produce items such as a meth-lab-in-a-brick, and items for those with specialised emotional tastes. Read the book for more details.

    Seems all too plausable to me.

     

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  65.  
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    Warrec, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 4:50am

    Really? Does anyone research?

    Obviously the author, and most of the commentators have NEVER researched this.

    First, the people buying these things are hardly "industrious" let's just put that on the table for starters.

    Second, the effective "Print Area" of MOST of the printers available for purchase is about 8".... How many pieces of furniture, etc... can you make with 8"? Are bigger models available? Sure, if you're savvy enough to modify it, put it together, rewrite rendering software and print software, and have about $4k.

    Third, the prints that are made are hardly "replicant" material. These printers do exactly what they say... they print. They print heated up plastic in .5 - .25mm strands, and then stretch that heated plastic to make the strands thinner. 3d printing in its own right is an art, it's hard to make the necessary calculations, and most of the time the strand breaks are visible. One technique to reduce the visibility of these strands is by polishing and painting, but even then, they CAN still be visible.

    Will this technology grow and get better? Yes. Will this put other industries out of business? Sure... in the same way that Radio Shack put out the Radio manufacturing business... oh wait... that was sarcasm. Just because the materials are there and available doesn't mean that they will be abused, misused, or become popular.

    Also, I will accept arguments vs. what I said... but only from people who already own the printers... obviously only they know what they're talking about with this topic. NOOBZ

     

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  66.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Re: Really? Does anyone research?

    "Will this technology grow and get better? Yes."

    So... why should we not discuss it now? Should the media industries have not bothered looking into the possibilities of the internet when it was slow and not many people used it? In the days of 28.8k dialup and 500Mb hard drives, nobody pirated movies or used digital music, so should they have not bothered considering that possibility?

    Oh yeah, they didn't bother until it was too late and have been spending the last 15 years trying to make up for it, killing free speech, due process and innovative industries in the process. Do you think that was a good thing?

    Materials will improve. Print areas will improve. The equipment will become cheaper and more popular for consumers and small businesses alike. We really don't want to faced with backward-looking morons - yet again - who failed to understand and prepare for the technology until it was too late. "I told you about this in 1996" has become very tiresome when dealing with digital entertainment, I honestly don't want to spend 2030 telling people "I told you so in 2011" about this issue. Let's discuss it.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Warrec, Nov 18th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Really? Does anyone research?

    I agree, it SHOULD be discussed. But, you can't completely make something illegal just because people think they're going to be put out of business. When people were pirating things from the interwebz, they didn't shut the internet down. They didn't even make p2p sharing illegal.

    With great power comes great responsibility, and I think what SHOULD happen is that you should not be able to Re-sale an item that has a patented mark on it for profit. Which is already illegal, so in that sense if a company makes a particular plastic-based bar or support that happens to be in an 8" or smaller area, and it is printable, and that company has patented it, and then I make one with a 3D printer and sell it... that is already illegal. I have made something that someone else has a patent on, and if I'm caught selling that, I can be fined.

    So aside from that, just "Making 3D printing illegal" is an absurd idea... To think that I cannot make an original design using a device used for such things. People buy wood lathes and make furniture all the time, but the sales of wood aren't restricted, and 'Ashley's Furniture' isn't out of business.

    I think what we will see however is that a new technology has been developed, and that is always a scare to the consumer market, so as time goes on and printing becomes more popular (even if only a small bit) businesses and some consumers will get scared because they feel infringed upon in a sense. This happens in the technology world any time a new product hits the floor.

     

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  68.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 9:30am

    Copyrights

    What if I make an exact replica of a piece of art?

     

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  69.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 19th, 2011 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masnick claims that 3D printers present enough of a copying problem that there will be a sustained legal attack on 3D printing.

    Incumbents tend to think any new technology is a joke, a toy, prohibitively expensive, or otherwise completely unsuitable to replace the market they dominate. So they don't invest in it, and one day the technology matures to the point where it's commercially viable on a large scale, and by that time it's too late for the incumbents to catch up.

    The other common tendency is to see a new technology as a threat, and attempt to legislate, regulate, or sue it out of existence. That can delay its onset, but will not be successful in the long term.

     

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  70.  
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    patent litigation, Nov 28th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

    mucho litigation

    Of course patent litigation will result from the increasing popularity of 3D printing. To me the more interesting question is, who -- if anyone -- will be found liable in the case of claimed infringement? Will it be the 3D printer manufacturers, on some kind of contributory infringement theory? Or will patent holders take their cues from the record labels, and start suing individual users/"infringers"? Could keep the courts pretty busy for a little while.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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