CAD's Parallel to Technical Drawings: Copyright in the Fabricated World
Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, Vol. 97, No. 1, 2015
33 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2015
Comparing CAD files to technical drawings and finding the two mediums of creativity sufficiently analogous yields the conclusion that CAD files, like technical drawings, should warrant copyright's protection. This protection aligns with the constitutional aims and economic justification of the fictional monopoly: CAD files may be protected, the underlying shapes represented in CAD may not, and the manufacture of CAD files with a 3D printer would not violate the copyright on the CAD file itself. In this way, copyright of technical drawings would remain unaffected. Makers may create with the incentive of protected creativity, but the protection does not run wild by permitting the over-broad application of copyright on both CAD files and the articles represented therein. The approach therefore balances the interests of rights holders and innovators in the fabricated world.
Keywords: Copyright, 3D Printing, Computer Aided Design, Technical Drawings
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