A new White Paper by Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge entitled
It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual
Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology
examines how intellectual property law impacts 3D printing, and how stakeholders who may feel
threatened by its growth might try to persuade law makers to modify IP law to legislate more control over it.


The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing looked IP law and 3D printing through a UK legal lens, Michael’s paper has
a more US focus, taking a brief look at copyright, patents and
trademarks, 3d printing replacement, remix and repair.  Michael warns
that legal battles surrounding other digital formats such as music,
games and movies may soon happen around 3D printed products, and
concludes with a call to action:

There will be a time when
impacted legacy industries demand some sort of DMCA for 3D printing. If
the 3D printing community waits until that day to organize, it will be
too late. Instead, the community must work to educate policy makers and
the public about the benefits of widespread access. That way, when
legacy industries portray 3D printing as a hobby for pirates and
scofflaws, their claims will fall on ears too wise to destroy the new
new thing.


Do you think we need to start organizing ourselves to protect our rights to have access to enabling technologies like 3D printing?  Or will more open systems prevail and we can get down to the business of creating innovative designs?

Let us know your thoughts?