3D printing is becoming more popular. As more people use 3D printers, some are printing copyrighted designs. According to this article on the topic, “trying to stop unauthorized 3D printing is like plugging a hole in a dam with your finger — once the template for an object leaks out, it’s virtually impossible to stop the flood of bootleg prints.”
The article goes on to compare 3D printings of copyrighted images to making mix tapes of yore:
Remember how music labels freaked out at the thought of people making cassette tape copies of songs, but could never really stop it from happening? Yeah. So long as 3D printers exist and remain relatively open, it may be difficult to prevent unscrupulous printer owners from abusing copyright in the name of profit.
How accurate of a comparison is this? Another interesting nugget: Thingiverse seems to be some sort of affiliate of Makerbot. Does that put more pressure on Makerbot?