Copyright Extension "assault" to Digital DIY
An important development (*) that may have serious impacts on many forms of Digital DIY:
[In July 2016] the UK government extended copyright for designs from 25 years to the life of the designer plus 70 years. In practice, this is likely to mean a copyright term of over 100 years for furniture and other designed objects.
Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge says that "[makers] "will be prohibited from using 3D printing and other maker technologies to manufacture such objects, and that for a full century." The reason would be:
"a crucial difference between the previous UK protection for designs, which was based on what are called "design rights" plus a short copyright term, and the situation now, which involves design rights and a much-longer copyright term. With design rights, "you’re absolutely and one hundred percent free to make copies of it for your own use with your own tools and materials.. When something is under copyright, you are not. Therefore, this move is a direct assault on the 3D printing revolution."
Andrew Katz, who is a member of the DiDIY Legal Advisory Board, wrote:
"It would seem that this analysis is correct. It’s not something I’ve analysed with respect to design rights, but I’ve been waiting for something similar to happen with utility patents (which have a specific exemption for private implementation/use) with a view to attacking 3D printing."
As you can see from these previous talks and papers:
- Digital do-it-yourself fabrication practices and legal challenges
- Digital DIY: Rights and obligations for a sustainable industrial society (video)
we were already looking at certain issues, within DiDIY Work Package 6, Rights and Obligations, and of course we will continue to do so, in order to prepare our final policy guidelines. Comments and pointers are welcome!
(*) Source: Ars Technica UK, UK copyright extension on designed objects is “direct assault” on 3D printing
Image source: collage of Google Image Search results