Of PhDs, Pirates, and the Public: Three-Dimensional Printing Technology and the Arts

1 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 811 (2014)

28 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014 Last revised: 23 Jul 2014

See all articles by Lucas Osborn

Lucas Osborn

Campbell University Law School

Date Written: January 14, 2014


The confluence of three-dimensional printing, three-dimensional scanning, and the internet will explode the dividing line between the physical and the digital worlds and will bring millions of lay people into intimate contact with the full spectrum of intellectual property laws. One of the areas most affected by 3D printers will be three-dimensional art. This Article analyzes several ways in which 3D printing technology will affect the creation, delivery, and consumption of art. Not only does 3D printing offer great promise for creative works, but it also presents a problem of piracy that may accompany the digitization three-dimensional works. As 3D printing technology’s relationship to intellectual property law is largely unexplored, this Article explores foundational issues regarding how copyright law applies to 3D printing technology, laying the groundwork upon which further analysis of 3D printing’s effects on copyright law may be built.

Keywords: three-dimensional printing, 3D printing, copyright, 3d scanning, art, creative, CAD, technology, design patent

Suggested Citation

Osborn, Lucas, Of PhDs, Pirates, and the Public: Three-Dimensional Printing Technology and the Arts (January 14, 2014). 1 Tex. A&M L. Rev. 811 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378869

Lucas Osborn (Contact Author)

Campbell University Law School ( email )

United States
919-865-4673 (Phone)

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