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3-D Printing Intellectual Property - What About Plagiarism of Code, Copyrights, and Patents?

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

It is quite amazing, the advancement of 3-D printing. It is wonderful to see that so many folks are working on projects putting 3-D printers into American schools. It's nice to see that CADCAM and engineering software is so easily incorporated into 3-D printing equipment to allow for instant innovation and prototyping. Nevertheless, there is another problem with this, and I'd like to explain that to you for a moment if I might.

First, just about anyone can buy an iPad, and get an app which allows you to take pictures of a given object from various angles, and then immediately create a 3-D picture or image. From that, it's only a matter of asking the 3-D printer to print what you just took a picture of. That's amazing, and quite an enabler, but there is also a problem with it - specifically it challenges patent law, enforcement, and exactly who owns a picture, and perhaps even what one is allowed to take a picture of and for what reason? Indeed, all you need is one of any object, take pictures of it, and then re-create it, make a mold, and then mass-produce it.

In this day and age of patent piracy, and intellectual property theft, these technologies are enablers not only of those developing and doing rapid prototyping for the future, but they are also an enabler of those who wish to cheat the system, and violate the very patent laws which help us provide an incentive for risk in bringing such new innovations to fruition and to market.

Now then, in the future you will be able to buy something from an online catalog, and then download it to your home 3-D printer, and it will create it. We know, that folks are busy trying to unlock and jailbreak various personal tech devices, and even e-books which are created in a special format preventing people from hijacking the copyrighted work. All this wonderful software code isn't working of course, because those who are copyright pirates seem to always find a way to hack into the system, or to use their intellect to steal that which is not theirs.

In fact, now folks with the greater resolution on the iPad, and the incredible digital cameras, can merely buy a work even where the digital rights are protected by the software, take a picture of that work or print screen, and then load it into a word processing program. They just bypassed the system, without even stealing the code, jail breaking the device, or hacking and software.

Now then, the reason I bring this up is that if you are buying something from a catalog and you are downloading that to your 3-D printer at home, and you are paying a nominal fee for that process, then someone will use the same techniques as they do to steal copyrighted work to violate the patent, depriving the individual that created the object and did the prototyping of their money. Further, I doubt if there is any way that we can prevent this. Humans have found a way to reverse engineer just about anything, provided they have the materials available to make it.

So whereas 3-D printing will be a great enabler of innovation, it will also challenge us in ways which are yet to be foreseen, and at a pace yet unheard of. Therefore, I hope you will please consider all this from an intellectual standpoint, and then consider it from a philosophical standpoint, and maybe it's time to change our regulations, to mitigate the challenges ahead in such a way that 3-D printing continues to enable innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors, and researchers without depriving them of a fair and equitable standard of living for all they produce. Please consider all this and think on.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Innovation in America. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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Plagiarism Of Code






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