Wednesday, December 05, 2012
The next #copyright battle ground is likely to be all about 3D-printing. Consider the story of the IKEA lamp in Wired; the shade was broken and a designer created a dozen new shades. New shades were printed at a cost of $5,- and the availability of a 3D-printer for several hours.
When a design can be exactly replicated at will there is no need for the factories or shops of IKEA. Consider the impact on retail shops; there is no need for a lot of storage room; all that is needed is a powerful 3D-printer to provide customers what they want.
Obviously factory produced goods are cheap. The cost of a product is very much in things like transport, distribution, overhead and breakage. At this time 3D-printed goods are more expensive to produce. This will change and a new cottage industry will come to exist.
Designs owned by global players can be easily copied and changed and there is little to prevent this from happening. Obviously there will be a lot of copyright posturing and industries expecting royalties because 3D printers are there just to rip off the rights holders...
Ah well, it is the likely way of progress. I however like the notion of more local production.