Editor\'s note: Peter Hanna is a partner at Jenner & Block law firm.
This article is part of the global innovation presented by the New American Foundation and the Global Public Square.
It is adapted from an article published by Peter Hanna in \"technology\" on April 5, 2011-cnn special report, cnn really printed the impossible triangle?
The Penrose triangle is an illusion-to draw a triangle, which is impossible to actually make without using hidden openings or gimmicks. (
Easier to draw than described. )
Few people have succeeded in making three.
Until earlier this year, Ulrich schwanitz used a technology known as 3D printing
to print a size version of the illusion.
But Schwanitz won\'t tell the world his secret.
Instead, he bought his \"impossible triangle\" for $70 through shapeway, a company that produces custom 3D designs \".
A few weeks after Schwanitz\'s \"discovery\", another 3D modeler named Artur Tchoukanov watched the video and figured out how to rebuild the shape.
Then he will upload the instructions to Thingiverse, an open-
The source repository of the 3D model and content, which is mistakenly considered by some to be the creator of the object.
Anyone with a 3D printer can then download and \"print\" the files of Tchoukanov-actually, copy the original object of Schwanitz.
Schwanitz asked Thingiverse to remove Tchoukanov\'s design because it allegedly violated the copyright of Schwanitz.
Despite the problem with this claim, Thingiverse complied with and removed the offending design.
The founder of Thingiverse wrote: \"For good or bad, we have reached a milestone in the history of digital manufacturing.
Although schwanitz backtracked and revoked his DMCA complaint, this incident is more extensive and important for 3D printing, a new technology: the first shot was fired on the ship\'s head at the next intellectual property Frontier (“IP“)disputes.
An emerging technology is in conflict with a law that is not necessarily ready to be dealt.
Although 3D printing technology is still in its infancy, it is expected to democratize knowledge like Gutenberg Press.
Is the dishwasher broken?
Download related CAD (computer-aided design)
File and print it out.
While it seems outdated for Amazon to go to the store, 3D printing (if it succeeds)
Orders will be placed (some)
Things on the internet feel weird.
Gutenberg does not have to worry too much about intellectual property laws.
However, as a means, the subversive technology of Gutenberg was finally copyrighted.
What is the simulation of 3D printing?
The promise to make anything with almost any material is so great that no one knows yet.
Since 3D printing is still a niche technology, it may be too early to regulate.
After all, more stringent regulation of online documents --
Sharing won\'t gain momentum until Metallica sued Napster.
The 3D printing community does not yet have a clear \"Napster moment \".
Currently, the 3D printing community does what it wants to do.
Overall, the community took advantage of the regulatory vacuum, providing two models for the distribution and manufacture of 3D designs.
In the \"Open Mode \"(Thingiverse)
Users are free to share their designs.
In the \"currency model (Shapeways)
All aspects of the 3D printing process have been commercialized.
Only one IP is recognized
Related complaints (from Schwanitz).
But Thingiverse\'s series has designs like Darth Vader head, and his release puts Thingiverse at legal risk.
After all, Star Wars is a lucrative intellectual property.
At the moment, few people have 3D printers, and legal action may only be good for bad PR.
There is no large-scale production of Vader head (
As always attractive)
Then sell them.
Thingiverse does not seem to make money from the distribution or sharing of the files it hosts.
However, there are a lot of websites that try to profit from copyrighted works or patent inventions that may attract more attention as 3D printing technology becomes more common.
For example, Docean allows users to purchase the design of anAlessi tea sets that retail hundreds of kinds elsewhere.
On 3d studio, users can download the model of the president of Jonathan Adler, which retails at $700 for Neiman Marcus.
From a legal point of view, these examples are much more troublesome.
In both cases, the websites that provide downloadable 3D files use the trademarks of the original designer/manufacturer, which, in addition to the expected patent and copyright issues, raises trademark issues.
One can easily imagine that in this case the customer would assume these trademarks --
Alessi or Jonathan Adler sells products directly with a 3D design instead of third parties without affiliation (
Probably no license).
The impact of patents is more obvious.
Generally speaking, only downloading 3D design does not necessarily constitute a patent infringement;
However, 3D printing of a patented invention or item will constitute a direct infringement.
Just as BitTorrent websites cannot turn a blind eye to the files they host, websites hosting infringing 3D design files may face charges of indirect patent infringement.
This has a real impact on both Thingiverse and shapeway, and what they need to do is not just passively assume that the uploader complies with the user agreement for oral service to intellectual property law.
Although the copyright is different from the patent, it will also play a vital role in the future of the 3D printing world.
With Napster, Grokster, Limewire and many others starting to learn about copyright litigation (
It provides a complete set of tools to combat infringement for the right holder.
Part of the reason is that copyright is easier to obtain (
And generally less attackers)than a patent.
First of all, any object that contains even a \"slight\" degree of creative expression can be copyrighted-I think of pottery, furniture and toys.
Copyright can also be attached to the 3D design files themselves, which will be protected to the extent that they represent the original work (i. e. , a design)
In a fixed medium of tangible expression (i. e.
, A computer file).
Downloading or sharing these files alone may constitute copyright infringement (
However, this may not constitute a patent infringement).
In general, proof of copyright infringement requires the copyright owner to display a copy of the \"protected\" element of the work.
This is easy when a copy object is made, but it can be more difficult when a unique \"copy\" is present as a digital representation of the real object.
This brings some tough questions.
Question: If a beautiful chair can be sent to a friend in a position, how can it be said that it is not a copy of the original?
If we scan a chair and represent every corner of it in a digital file, ready to copy from any material anytime, anywhere-isn\'t it illegal to share a \"chair file?
This is an area where new laws may help.
By making this \"physical-to-
With the support of copyright law, Congress can protect designers and may provide a separate cause of action that the court can easily bypass.
But it could also kill innovation and slow down (well, one day)
Promise to all of our Star Trek replicators. When (and if)
3D printers are as common as inkjet printers, and you can make sure that there will be strong deals for 3D design files-both approved and unauthorized deals.
Will people be willing to pay for these files when they can be downloaded to other places for free?
What is the appropriate \"market price\" compared to the cost of the chair itself?
Finding a balance between intellectual property protection and creative expression has never been easy in two dimensions;
At least three hours is just as difficult.
Great introduction to 3D printing and IP. .
I guess what\'s interesting is that when a disgruntled Apple employee shares CAD files for the latest iPhone case or similar, it\'s not so much a copy as a leak.
And then like all the copies.
The ups and derivatives of file dissemination we will really see the spark.
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