In a post on Tech.pinions, reporter Steve Wildstrom writes his thoughts on the collision of 3D printing and intellectual property rights, which we've discussed previously on several occasions. All agree this will be a messy business, at least until we figure out the answers.
Wildstrom thinks that it may be possible for 3D printer owners to be able to reproduce many commercial objects, simply because they are not specifically protected as thoroughly as other forms of work such as movies, books, processes or marks. Since the production and sale of replacement parts is a large and profitable business, he suggests that the replacement parts industry may try to constrain the abilities of 3D printer owners through the use of trademarks, DMCA and other existing legal means.
It's possible these industries may even lobby for the creation of new physical object protections, but Wildstrom suggests the maker community could successfully counter that as was done for the recently deceased SOPA legislation.
Time will tell, but regardless of the law, people who have making equipment will do one thing: Make Stuff. It will be very difficult to stop.
Oh oh, did we break a law by creating the replacement part above?