osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Link harvest: 3D Printing -- It Will Be Awesome If They Don't Screw It Up

My colleague Michael Weinberg at Public Knowledge has written a truly awesome piece on 3D Printing and how folks should organize now to prevent the IP Mafia from screwing it up.

For those unfamiliar with it, 3D printing is the closest thing yet to the Star Trek replicator. You place a physical item in the machine and the machine makes a replica. As explained in the article, we are now at the point where 3D printing can replicate devices with moving parts. You can get a lot more info on 3D printing on our issue page. There are a lot of very obvious advantages to this technology and many potential cool applications -- especially as the technology advances. So one can expect the IP Mafia in all its glory to come charging in demanding some kind of "reform" that will cut this stuff off at the knees.

Happily, as Weinberg points out, we can learn from history. Certainly there are many interests and considerations that will play out as this technology evolves. But those who see the potential for this technology can actually organize and force their way into the debate, rather than have a replay of the DMCA.

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