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3-D printing, copyright, and intellectual property. - Slate Magazine

Fortunately, a technology on the verge of going mainstream will soon give us a chance to re-examine the role that copyright plays in our lives. By connecting the physical and the digital, 3-D printers remind us that copyright is not a general-purpose legal right that allows people to demand control over whatever they want. Instead, copyright has a narrow scope. And most of the things that make up our world simply do not fall into it.

This article is important in two respects. It puts the finger on the really strange development that copyright and other IPR regulations have become to be seen as a general principle covering everything around us - a completely new and unintended way of organizing the world which moves a huge amount of power from the individuals to organizations with the deepest pockets and/or the best layers. But it also points out that this positions is going to be dramatically challenged when 3D-printing enters the arena as a generally available technology.

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