The future of 3D printing was bright, until an obscure patent filed in 2007 passed just the other day.Essentially, the patent is anticipatory of future technology, assuming that a 3D printer will one day become a household item, and that materials for that printer will be equally as common.
Enigmax of TorrentFreak.com reports that the law blocks reproductions of everything from food and shoes, to cars, weapons, even human skin. Enigmax goes into great detail about how affordable printers ruined the copying industry, and how affordable internet and peer sharing ruined the movie and music copy industry.
He also mentions the 3D weapons race and the University of Texas Law student who recently got his 3D printer repossessed, so steps have already been taken to avoid consumer use of 3D printing technology.
Here’s the line straight from the patent:
17. The method of claim 1 further comprising: enabling the manufacturing machine to perform if the authorization code meets the one or more predetermined conditions, including manufacturing using one or more of skin, textiles, edible substances, paper, and silicon printing.
“This is an attempt to assert ownership over DRM for 3D printing. It’s ‘Let’s use DRM to stop unauthorised copying of things’,” says Michael Weinberg, a staff lawyer at the non-profit Public Knowledge, who reviewed the patent for Technology Review.
Digital Rights Management, DRM, ensures that people cannot ‘pirate’ copyrighted technology, or intellectual property. The DRM slant on the patent is what caught the eye of “TorrentFreak,” as torrents are the easiest way to peer-share information over the web.
The DRM also means that if amputee soldiers want to print themselves a new silicon arm, or maybe one day just a new, identical biological arm, that the DRM companies can block it under their biological patents.
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