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The Right to Print and the Right to Copy

Posted by SebastienBailard 
The Right to Print and the Right to Copy
January 10, 2010 10:17PM
I've spent the last few years distractedly following all the crap that's been going on regarding legal restrictions on printing what you want.

This was fun, a fake "DHS Right to Photograph" ID to present to security people who make up fake "You can't take photos here" rules.
In the event you're stopped by overzealous law enforcement or security officials attempting to enforce fictitious laws, I've designed these fictitious and official-looking Photographer's Licenses. If you have Adobe Illustrator, you can download the EPS vector art file and print your own. You'll need a photo of yourself, and OCR (or a similar font) to fill in your personal information.


The reason I bring it up is because the same rules about information and printing seem to apply for 2D photography and printing, and audio recording and playing, and 3D object reconstruction and 3D printing. Which is why lobbyists have rammed down the intellectual construct known as Intellectual Property™ down our throats in a series of backroom deals that the media doesn't report on.

Cory Doctorow reports on this stuff very well. Often people tear into him because they don't like his writing style or his sci-fi, but he's passionate and accurate about this stuff.
Re: The Right to Print and the Right to Copy
January 30, 2010 04:22PM
Good topic! Yes, it's hard to find fault in Cory Doctorow's arguments. I'm a big fan smiling smiley
Re: The Right to Print and the Right to Copy
February 22, 2010 03:19PM
I know my response is late here, but I had something worth saying, so here I go:

It's an interesting conundrum, I certainly think there's a lot of merit to be had within the idea of "right to duplicate". I like what Cory writes a lot, both his fiction and his non-fiction. I think though, that we tend to villify the media industries because they work so hard to protect their property.

If you think about it in terms of something that you create, certainly you feel like your work deserves some compensation, whether it be monetary, or simply recognition for what you've done. In our culture we reward creation via exchange. In the end, we do this because everyone has to put bread on their table, and if there's someone who makes a particularly good thing (music, movie, song, computer, book) we are willing to exchange for that thing, just as we're willing to exchange for the bread that we want to put on the table.

When we face the future of 3D printing, the possibilities explode. Instead of copying a CD or a movie, you could potentially copy a computer, a music player, a car. All of these objects represent a significant amount of work by someone. Someone who has spent time, energy, and money, figuring out how to make such a thing. The culture behind copying tends to hold the motto "If I can, I should and I will." As much as I'd love to believe that people are willing to pay for something, I think given the choice and reasonable risk of consequences, people would choose not to exchange. If there's no gain to be had in making the music player, or the computer, people have no reason to do it. There will always be those who will do it for themselves, or the sake of the community, but again, they also need to put bread on their table.

I think PrintCrime is a scary reality that we may face in the not-too-distant future, but at the same time, I feel like if we don't have some standard to observe in what one is allowed to print, We'll suffer a tremendous loss in our culture.
Re: The Right to Print and the Right to Copy
February 27, 2010 01:35AM
Cory Doctorow argues that copying (bytes for certain, and perhaps even bits) will inevitably only get easier in the future, which I think is the reality we'll have to deal with. It's a matter of time before ever-better 3D printers make it into the hands of consumers; these are going to be the same consumers who upload their own home movies to YouTube, and the same consumers who upload

Faced with that reality, content creators will probably have to devise new business models to turn a profit. For example, it might be that providing support or services related to a product becomes the new business model, rather than providing the product itself.
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