Is this stuff le­gal?

Mac Format - - GET INTO 3D PRINTING -

It’s hard to know where to start with the po­ten­tial for copy­right in­fringe­ment when con­sid­er­ing 3D print­ing. Whether it’s in­fring­ing on a rights holder’s im­age, copy­ing another per­son’s model, or mashing up ex­ist­ing work, it’s all easy to see on the lead­ing model repos­i­to­ries.

As things stand, these sites work in the same way as the likes of YouTube, but in a less au­to­mated way. Any­one with a claim can send a take­down no­tice to the likes of Thin­gi­verse, which will be acted on ac­cord­ingly (and it’s these sites, and their users, that are likely to be li­able, rather than the printer mak­ers them­selves). Most online com­mu­ni­ties po­lice them­selves though, and at­tri­bu­tion is of­ten enough to sat­isfy a fel­low model maker.

And as for ma­jor rights hold­ers? Well, judg­ing by all the Star Wars mod­els out there, there seems to be a watch­ing brief from them. But that could change at a mo­ment’s no­tice so al­ways be aware of what you’re print­ing some­thing for.

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