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DRM Printer Hardware

DRM Could Come To 3D Printers 315

another random user sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "Downloading a car – or a pair of sneakers – will be entirely possible, although Ford and Nike won't be particularly happy if people use their designs to do so. A new patent, issued this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and titled 'Manufacturing control system', describes a system whereby 3D printer-like machines (the patent actually covers additive, subtractive, extrusion, melting, solidification, and other types of manufacturing) will have to obtain authorization before they are allowed to print items requested by the user. In a nutshell, 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."
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DRM Could Come To 3D Printers

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  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:35AM (#41631877)
    So, no one else can patent it, thus disabling "DRM" authorization?

    I won't hold my breath.
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:37AM (#41631927)
    We can't have disruptive technologies that force us to change how we monetize creativity! Let's make the technologies useless, cumbersome, and expensive, so that later on we can claim they were never really worth what everyone thought!

    Oh, and did I mention how terrible it is that we failed to do it with the automobile: []
  • by mrbene ( 1380531 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:43AM (#41632017)
    It gets implemented one of two ways:
    1. It's a patent to prevent anyone else from implementing DRM in their 3D printers. This may be everyone who makes 3D printers.
    2. It's a patent to generate revenue from everyone who licenses the technology for their 3D printers.

    Either way, the set of 3D printers that do not receive license for this technology wouldn't implement DRM, which would be good for consumers - provided that no legislation goes into effect requiring some form of DRM on 3D printers...

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @11:57AM (#41632207) Homepage

    You can always rotate it and add a few snap-off tabs to fool the DRM.

    You could even make two objects at once, joined by a bit of removable plastic. Let's see how the algorithm copes...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:00PM (#41632251)
  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:06PM (#41632345)
    Which is why I said that the standard would require printers to be too bloated for small scale or home uses. Who will take the time to create parts for a printer that not only does not implement the standard, but which would threaten the revenue model for those industrial 3D printing shops that actually operate 3D printers?

    This is why, if we are going to have a 3D printing revolution, it needs to happen right now before such a standard can be created. That is one of the reasons PCs were so successful: they become popular before X.25 terminals were rammed down everyone's throats. The people who are threatened by 3D printing know this, and they are going to try to stop the revolution before it starts.
  • Not 3D printers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @12:53PM (#41632913)

    That this is a patent covering 3D printing is a misunderstanding of the patent by TFA. The patent doesn't talk about 3D printers but manufacturing machinery, defined broad enough to include almost anything from CNC machines to casting. They don't have to wait until 3D printers become commonplace, because this patent covers much more.

  • Re:RAND standard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @02:05PM (#41633705) Journal

    It makes sense if you remember the guild model.

    A sufficiently skilled tinker couldn't make a clock for anyone but himself (and possibly not even that) unless they'd first undertaken an apprenticeship with a master, than a turn as a journeyman clockmaker, and submitted a masterwork to the guild leadership to be allowed their own independent mastership and hallmark.

    This restriction was typically enforced by local (mayoral, or maybe local noble) law enforcement. In other words, you didn't intrude on the functional monopoly of the guild.

    IP consortia are the new guilds. You can't do anything for yourself within their areas of monopoly without running afoul of someone else's patent or copyright. And the guilds have the protection of law, so flouting their monopoly has consequences.

    Remember, the word "guild" is cognate with "gold" for a very good reason.

  • Patent not a law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday October 12, 2012 @03:40PM (#41634615) Journal

    What is the life of this patent?

    Why does this matter - this is a patent NOT a law. All this means is that anyone who wants to implement DRM must pay the patent holder. In effect this is an obstacle to implementing DRM. In fact perhaps this is something people ought to think about. For example if I were the holder of this patent I could presumably set the royalty fee sufficiently high such that nobody could afford to create a printer with DRM effectively blocking DRM for the life of the I suppose in that case the lifetime would matter because after that anyone could add DRM.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming