I’m extremely bullish on the future of 3D printing. The field is not, however, without its problems.
One of the lesser considered issues is the looming problem of digital rights.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Capitols Records is suing ReDigi to prevent the company from allowing owners to resell their digital songs.
The issue is simple. If I buy a Bruce Spingsteen song for $1.29 I own that song. ReDigi believes I should be able to resell that “used” song for whatever price I choose.
Is that fair?
I don’t know but the same issue will hinder 3D printing. If I purchase the digital design to print an automotive part for $79 should I be able to sell the “used” design for a lesser price?
Until this issue is satisfactorily resolved you can be sure any number of manufacturers, designers, jewelers and other artisans will be reluctant to sell their digital designs into the open marketplace.