Saturday, November 17, 2012

Creation and copyright law: the case of 3D printing; Conversation, 11/8/12

Matthew Rimmer, Conversation; Creation and copyright law: the case of 3D printing: "In Australia, the developers of 3D printing face certain risks and uncertainties in respect to litigation under Australian copyright law. Australia does not have a broad, open-ended, flexible defence of fair use, like the United States. Instead, Australia has the much more narrow defence of fair dealing. The permitted purposes for fair dealing include research and study; criticism and review; reporting the news; and parody and satire. The developers of 3D printing would struggle to obtain protection under the defence of fair dealing – outside educational applications within Australian universities. As such, the developers behind 3D printing would be loath to establish their operations in Australia. They would be vulnerable to copyright law suits. Such entrepreneurs would be better off sheltering under the protection afforded by the defence of fair use in the United States. No wonder MakerBot and Solidoodle are based in Brooklyn, not Sydney. Given our comparative disadvantage in the digital economy, with our strict and draconian copyright laws, Australia would be well-advised to revise its copyright laws and adopt a defence of fair use, which is flexible enough to accommodate the emergence of 3D printing."

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