Public Knowledge announces today a new whitepaper: What's the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing? This paper is a follow up to their previous 3D printing whitepaper: It Will Be Awesome if They Don't Screw It Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology.
The previous "It Will Be Awesome" focused on the broad connection between intellectual property law and 3D printing. And this one whitepaper, "What's the Deal?" focuses more on the relationship between copyright and 3D printing.
The paper begins with what is protected by copyright. It provides a quick review of types of intellectual property and how law works. Then it focuses on questions on copyrightability and 3D printing, copyright on a file and an object.
One way to avoid some copyright questions is by distributing objects and designs with permissive licenses such as a Creative Commons license. But this license doesn't grant you legally binding control over anyone who uses your design, if the design is a useful object. "If someone copies the hinge (your design) without complying with the license, there is nothing you can do because the copies do not infringe on any rights." However the paper also says "attaching a Creative Commons license is a signal that the creator wants to include her work in an ever-expanding and evolving network of creativity. It gives the rest of the community confidence that they can build on the object."
What's the Deal? is designed to help mark those boundaries and draw focus to the hard – and easy – questions that the boundaries raise. Like It Will Be Awesome, What's the Deal? is intended more as a conversation starter than a final word. Hopefully it will be a useful resource to the rapidly growing 3D printing community.
Thanks Michael Weinberg and Public Knowledge for the great work.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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