3D Printing’s First Copyright Complaint Over, But Hints of Future Issues

Okay, this is pretty interesting, really geeky and at the same time hints at a larger issue coming down the pike. So Ulrich Schwanitz figured out how to print the “impossible” Penrose Triangle, a well-known optical illusion. He released a video of the shape and challenged others to see how it might have been done. 3D modeller Artur Tchoukanov promptly figured it out, designed a 3D shape that accomplished the same thing, and uploaded his shape’s specifications to Thingiverse, a repository for 3D designs. Not surprisingly, other seized upon the model and started printing their own copies. (How cool to have that sitting on your desk?)

Then Boing Boing author Cory Doctorow erroneously credited Artur Tchoukanov with creating the shape sparking a series of emails and threats with a lawsuit, etc., etc… Anyway, it illuminates the soon-to-be issue where anyone can copy an image or 3D form and print out their own copy as opposed to mass-producing it. So how do the copyright/patent holders police THAT? Says Cory:

And just wait until someone creates a printer that can reproduce patented pharmaceutical compounds or Monsanto’s patented life-forms! Now there are a couple of villains with a lot of resources to throw at making the whole Internet’s life miserable in order to squeeze an extra 0.05% into the quarter’s bottom line.

So with this technology comes a freedom to design and make whatever you want… and a whole new way to get sued. Fun!

Read the rest of Boing Boing’s article.

[Penrose Triangle Illusion on Thingiverse]

[via Boing Boing]


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