A Conversation On 3D Printer Piracy

A Conversation On 3D Printer PiracyWe were reading an interesting article in The Guardian interviewing Steve Purdham, founder of successful internet jukebox service We7. Purdham spoke of how he believes the Jukebox idea is the ultimate destination of what we know today as “radio”. Then suddenly the article says: 
 
In conversation, Purdham veers from the pragmatic to the preposterous. He concedes that making money from digital music is “like climbing Everest”, before proposing that a whole new industry will soon be built around 3D printing. “People talk about piracy – they haven’t even begun to scratch what piracy is going to be like in the future,” he says, perched on the rust-coloured sofa in his north London office. “You design a glass jar or a sculpture, and anybody will be able to print that in their own home. You will be able to print guns. You can already print body parts on a 3D printer. All of these things that Star Trek had are starting to come true.”
 
No kidding! When mobile 3D scanning and robust 3D printing become effective, cheap and widespread we’re going to see a bad rash of that effect. We wonder how the world will be changed. Will design truly become the leading value over manufacturing? How will copyright holders react? Will the nature of the consumer paradigm fundamentally change? 
 
We don’t know. Yet. Someday we will all know the answers to these and other questions, for good or bad. 
 
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