By JG Vibes | Activist Post
Recently there has been a great deal of controversy over 3D printers and their ability to bypass intrusive government laws and regulations, specifically in the realm of firearms.
It seems that the establishment has already been hard at work developing ways in which they can keep a lid on this technology and prevent it from being truly useful to the general population.
As I discussed last week the goal of restricting this technology is to keep industries cartelized and prevent the average person from gaining too much independence through these devices.
A new patent, issued this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office titled ‘Manufacturing control system’ aims to do just that. Although it was issued this week it was actually filed way back in 2007, so it seems that they have working on this for some time. The patent describes a system where the owners of 3D printers or similar machines will have to obtain authorization before they are allowed to print certain items.
The patent is registered to Intellectual Ventures, a patent-trolling company which is currently hoarding over 40,000 patents and is run by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold. The primary goal of the system is to prevent people from printing objects using designs they haven’t paid for, and establishing what they call “object production rights.”
Michael Weinberg is a staff lawyer at the nonprofit Public Knowledge who reviewed the patent for technology review and described it as very broad, saying that “You load a file into your printer, then your printer checks to make sure it has the rights to make the object, to make it out of what material, how many times, and so on.”
According to Torrentfreak “a digital fingerprint of ‘restricted items’ will be held externally and printers will be required to compare the plans of the item they’re being asked to print against those in a database. If there’s a match, printing will be disallowed or restricted. Japanese rights holders are already pushing an ISP level version of the same kind of system to nuke unauthorized music uploads.”
Earlier this year the Pirate Bay announced that they were going to start featuring 3D print designs on their website, predicting that someday people would be able to print out anything from cars to food. They commented on their blog that “Data objects are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.”
The Pirate Bay also believes that copying objects from digital to 3 dimensional form is going to be the next revolution in copying and literally bring a whole new dimension to the battle over intellectual property laws, and they are right.