Japanese artist arrested for distributing data for a 3D print of her genitalia
According to the guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/09/japanese-vagina-kayak-artist-found-guilty-of-obscenity):
Megumi Igarashi, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko – or good-for-nothing girl – was arrested in July 2014 after she distributed data that enabled recipients to make 3D prints of her vagina.
The 44-year-old was fined 400,000 yen (£2,575), half the penalty demanded by prosecutors, at the Tokyo district court on Monday after she was convicted of distributing “obscene” images.
She was cleared of other charges relating to a kayak and other art works she made of her vagina. She got money to make the kayak via crowdfunding and those who contributed where entitled to down load the data used to make it (http://kotaku.com/vagina-artist-arrested-in-japan-1604550217).
3Dprint.com added (https://3dprint.com/58516/vagina-kayak-artist-asserts-innocence/):
She was arrested again in December of last year on three counts of distributing ‘obscene’ data. The Tokyo police said her CD-ROMs containing computer code for 3D printing copies of her vagina-shaped kayak fit the bill, and she was ultimately held in custody for nearly a month before being granted bail.
“I want my vagina to travel around the world,” Igarashi said.
It is likely that laws will be updated to ban what is considered obscene or libellous content in 3D data, just as in for other communication. New communication media (including printing, VHS, and GIF and JPEG pictures) are often used by those distributing pornography, and it is likely that as the materials that can be used by 3D printers expands and the level of detail improves that this will happen to 3D printers as well. The question is what the balance between the desire to ban obscenity and freedom of expression will be. It seems to me that this is quite a culturally-specific question and is likely to be different for different cultures and contexts.
For a video about the kayak and the case see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix1d-O7qRPM