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DRM Could Come To 3D Printers

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the i-would-totally-download-a-car dept.

DRM 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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315 comments

Shouldn't be patentable (5, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631869)

because it's bloody obvious.

Re:Shouldn't be patentable (5, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631945)

That's true. On the other hand, it's virtually impossible to enforce on any practical technical level. Like the quality of a first post.

Re:Shouldn't be patentable (5, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632207)

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...

Someone call the "obvious patent" police! (3, Insightful)

roystgnr (4015) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632365)

Perhaps the people who have approved decades of "existing idea X, but on a computer" and "existing idea-on-a-computer X, but over the network" claims will decide that "existing idea-on-networked-computers X, but using a 3D printer" claims are where the obviousness line is finally being crossed?

Or, is someone patenting it (5, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631877)

So, no one else can patent it, thus disabling "DRM" authorization?

I won't hold my breath.

RAND standard (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631993)

More likely, this company wants to make money on some future standard that will kill 3D printing. You know, a standard that will be required by law for all 3D printers, which will be so loaded with junk like this that only large industrial operations will be able to use 3D printers. Us little people can buy or rent the products of 3D printers, but to own or operate one in your home will be out of the question.

After all, when we allowed people to have computers in their homes instead of x.25 terminals, look at the disaster that ensued.

Re:Or, is someone patenting it (4, Interesting)

mrbene (1380531) | about a year and a half ago | (#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...

Re:Or, is someone patenting it (2)

Random2 (1412773) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632107)

It doesn't really even matter if they somehow manage to get this accepted and into the 3D printers, once the hardware is in the hands of the hacker security is a moot point. There is no such thing as fool-proof hardware security, and anyone who things they have it is probably either incompetent or a scam artist. Granted, something like this might deter the average 'user' from screwing around with the 3D printer, but the people who would really use these things to print illegal items are going to find a way around the security anyways.

Re:Or, is someone patenting it (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632249)

It doesn't really even matter if they somehow manage to get this accepted and into the 3D printers...

It matters if all 3D printers have to pay some sort of 'tax' to offset the losses of the big companies. Like we do for SD cards, hard disks....etc. (in some countries)

Added Cost (4, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631883)

This will require significant bandwidth and processing power, especially to stop circumvention by rotating scaling, cutting (for later assembly) or adding or subtracting insignificant features. This bandwidth and processing power will add significant cost, which I see as fortunate in that it will be a competitive disadvantage for DRM enabled printers.

Standards compliance, laws (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632027)

Now, imagine if there were a 3D printing standard that included this restriction system, and a law (for your safety!) that required all 3D printers to implement the standard. I predict that the standard will create such monstrously bloated 3D printers that only industrial applications will be possible.

Re:Standards compliance, laws (2)

Garridan (597129) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632279)

You can still use DRM-encumbered printers to print parts for open-source printers...

Re:Standards compliance, laws (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Standards compliance, laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632495)

Then all 3D printers will be incompatible with each other and that will also hamper them.

They may as well just make the dust used by 3D printers extremely expensive, then having a 3D printer for home use would be unfeasible merely because of the costs.

Re:Added Cost (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632303)

Don't forget that many hardware are fairly simple to design, it's usually the production that is a major hurdle for the diy people. Open hardware (schematics) will become much more popular when 3d printers becomes more common. Who cares about X design when there are Y and Z designs available for free? The whole market changes when 3d printers become cheap enough. The only way companies can truly compete in such a market is quality, complexity (limitations of 3d printers), and patents.

Cart before the horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631887)

Just saying, it's going to be a long while before we have to worry about "printing" anything mechanically complex...

I call the authorisation database entry (5, Funny)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631893)

for rectangles with rounded corners.

Re:I call the authorisation database entry (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632025)

If I had mod points, I'd probably mod your post "funny" for lack of a "wish I thought of that" option.

Re:I call the authorisation database entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632153)

"wish I thought of that" option.

Better make sure all you do is "wish", because I hear that he patented the style of humor used in that comment.

Patent your dong against faget abuse. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632223)

Fucken fagets love 3D printers because they can scan someone's fucken dong and then fucken print it out so they can fucken shove it up there faget assholes and do other faget pervert shit with them.

Make sure you scan your dong and add it to the fucken database so that fagets can't fucken print it out and have faget buttsex with your fucken dick without your permission.

Fucken fagets.

Re:Patent your dong against faget abuse. (1)

Vokkyt (739289) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632415)

This would be the future of wang measuring contests though; how many downloads did yours get this week?

Re:I call the authorisation database entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632377)

I call mice used for 1-click purchases

all great until someone publishes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631905)

a free 3d model of a 3d printer that doesn't have all this crap in it

Seriously! WTF (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631911)

God, the patent wars are coming to 3d manufacturing. What the heck is the point? I have to check with colgate before I can use my own machine to make myself a custom toothbrush? Is there going to be a DMCA provision for manufacturing at home now? Is it going to be abused like the current process is. I say BULLSHIT!

Re:Seriously! WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632119)

Im sorry? What world do YOU live in?

Re:Seriously! WTF (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632239)

A Colgate toothbrush is probably protected by copyright, patent and trademark law. All at once. Now all they need to do is work trade secret in too.

Re:Seriously! WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632245)

If you design it yourself, you're free to print off as many copies of that toothbrush as you want. You are not entitled to use Colgate's toothbrush design.

They Makes Me Laugh (5, Funny)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631917)

How can they believe that they can control this in a world where highly advanced 3D printing is possible at home? People will just print their own 3D printers that do not have these restrictions.

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631989)

This isn't about "control" this is about the highly lucrative business of squeezing settlement money out of people who are unable to fight back.

VCRs (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632063)

All VCRs must be vulnerable to the Macrovision attack, by law. What makes you think that 3D printers won't have a similar problem?

Re:VCRs (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632421)

It is a lot easier to enforce such restricts when everything is made by big manufactures since manufacturing is so expensive and requires significant amounts of skill to tool up the assembly lines. In a world with advanced 3D printers that are cheap enough and small enough to use at home, enforcement becomes impossible. Look digital piracy today. The most that companies and government can hope to do is play wack-a-mole. In such a world, a manufacture's best option is to make things that are so advanced that it cannot be printed by a home 3D printer, make things so cheap that 3D printing is more expensive, or compete with piracy by making things convenient enough that people would rather pay than deal with pirating designs. Today in the digital world, media companies would be wise to do the last option since the first two are probably impossible to do digitally.

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632095)

The item "3D printer that do not have these restrictions" will be on the blacklist, so you can't print it.

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632169)

This makes me laugh because regular paper printers do not have this functionality built-in. Nor do photo copiers. You are just as capable of large scale infringement with these devices. Oh bloody hell, I'm giving somebody ideas aren't I?

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632317)

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or ignorant. Go read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation .

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (4, Insightful)

mpoulton (689851) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632217)

How can they believe that they can control this in a world where highly advanced 3D printing is possible at home? People will just print their own 3D printers that do not have these restrictions.

I'm sorry, but "highly advanced" home 3d printing is so far from reality that this doesn't seem plausible in our lifetimes. The last 3D printed part I ordered from a commercial manufacturer was an intricate set of inherently interlocked mechanical components laser-sintered out of a cobalt-chromium superalloy. It literally could not be manufactured by any other process. The last 3D printed part I saw produced by a "home" 3D printer (a RepRap) literally looked like a piece of poop - and it wasn't supposed to.

Commercial 3D printing is just starting to become economically viable for use as a production technology in some specialized applications. But the gap between the commercial implementations and DIY implementations is huge, and not closing very fast. Mechanical technologies develop much more slowly than electronics. In our lifetimes, we have seen unimaginable advances in electronics, but mechanical manufacturing has advanced only incrementally. And this makes sense. The advances in electronics are facilitated by advances in our understanding of the science involved. But we already understand Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, statics, strength of materials, and all the other disciplines involved in mechanical manufacturing. We understand the science very well, and have for over a century. Thus, the improvements in this field come more slowly and arise more from creativity and synthesis rather than from breakthroughs in human knowledge.

TL;DR: Moore's law doesn't apply to mechanical manufacturing; the rate of progress in this field is slow and disconnected from the rate of progress in electronics; and "highly advanced 3D printing" won't be possible at home any time in the near future.

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632437)

The Form 1 argues against that:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer [kickstarter.com]

Amazing quality at that pricepoint.

CNC Milling has also come a long way since the Navy first looked into it (I recall seeing a story about a huge contract and multi-million dollar machines ~30 years ago):

https://www.inventables.com/technologies/cnc-mill-kits-shapeoko [inventables.com]

$999 for a compleat (premium) kit

Okay, it won't mill tool steel, but it also doesn't weigh the several hundred pounds that a mill which can does.

William

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632503)

The article is talking about a world where "Downloading a car – or a pair of sneakers – will be entirely possible". Today, it is not possible. Eventually, it will be. How does it have anything to do with our lifespans?

Re:They Makes Me Laugh (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632307)

How can they believe that they can control this in a world where highly advanced 3D printing is possible at home? People will just print their own 3D printers that do not have these restrictions.

If they can restrict printing of shapes then they'll just restrict printing of the shapes needed for 3D printers.

Kill 'em while their young (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_laws [wikipedia.org]

Re:Kill 'em while their young (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632051)

Wasn't that exactly what the AHRA did, strangle DAT and Minidisc in the cradle.

Re:Kill 'em while their young (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632147)

Sony stangled the minidisk by extreme stupidity. If they had not commited to a file system no one else wanted,a dn a compression system no one else wanted, but made it compatible with floppies and MP3, so it could be used for data as well as music, there would have been no problems at all.

As it was, it could not really be used for data, thus eliminating the lucrative market of people who could not get all their data on one floppy disk.

Sweet! (5, Insightful)

Garridan (597129) | about a year and a half ago | (#41631929)

Looks like the patent protects a technology to implement DRM on printers. So... if you want to implement DRM on your printer, you'll have to pay the owner of this patent licensing fees. Otherwise, no DRM. So, non-DRM printers will be cheaper and more readily available.

Remember guys, a patent is not a law that things must be done this way! It's the opposite -- if things are done this way, you'll have to pay for it.

OH NOES, NOT DRM!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631953)

It might take 1 whole week to circumvent it!

For once... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631959)

...I hope "The Invention Science Fund" uses this patent to troll and keep this off the market. That way, I know which 3D printers NOT to buy. Given the popularity of DIY models, there are no worries here. No one is interested in a printer, file formats, or software/drivers that would implement such a thing - and now, it could constitute infringement. Genius!

End DRM - Don't extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41631965)

The DRM fingerprint would have to include the exact calculations used to get there, otherwise independent designers using different formulas or algorithms to design pieces to meet certain requirements would not be able to print their parts that look identical but took a different route to get there.

thankfully, we'd just be able to redirect the URL in question to a blank database somewhere else, and print whatever we want.

DRM needs to end, not be extended.

Re:End DRM - Don't extend (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632299)

thankfully, we'd just be able to redirect the URL in question to a blank database somewhere else, and print whatever we want.

That blank database of yours has the correct SSL cert, right?

The message is clear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632019)

do not buy a US made 3D printer, ever.
simple

Re:The message is clear (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632185)

I am pretty sure no one buys US made stuff anyway. The real problem is stuff made in China is able to be sold as "Made in the USA" through trade agreements (WTF?). I do not expect DRM in the EMEA versions.

Re:The message is clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632381)

I have a Chinese-made rifle that's made in the USA.

Switch it around and watch them squirm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632035)

Welcome to the power of open source. There is only one Ford and only one Nike. They can only hire so many designers. In a world of 3D printers there are potentially millions of designers creating and sharing millions of patterns. Who should be scared about who stealing designs?

Re:Switch it around and watch them squirm (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632215)

Welcome to the power of open source. There is only one Ford and only one Nike. They can only hire so many designers. In a world of 3D printers there are potentially millions of designers creating and sharing millions of patterns. Who should be scared about who stealing designs?

I'm not sure about Ford, but Nike like other fashion companies use trademarks to protect their property. There's a really good TED talk on the subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2FOrx41N0 [youtube.com]

Not to mention, aren't patents usually used to PREVENT someone (else) from implementing a feature?

Granting of Pattent != Passage of Law Requiring It (1)

Baldrson (78598) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632061)

The article conflates the granting of a patent with the passage of a law requiring the use of the patent in all devices.

I'm sure there is a lot of incipient maggot meat clamoring for such legislation but it remains to be seen whether the maggots get to their brains before they can get it signed into law.

Easy to sneak in, hard to remove (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632159)

This sort of thing can be snuck into the law without too much difficulty, by first creating a standard and then passing a law that requires all 3D printers to implement the standard. The standard will not be able DRM, but about things people will want standardized: data formats, chemistry, electrical safety, etc., and then also the DRM requirement, tucked away in the standard.

I gave this prediction elsewhere, but I bet that such a standard will make 3D printers too bloated, expensive, and complicated for home use. None of the big industries that sell incompatible parts that make consumers' lives harder want to see a repeat of how PCs and the Internet affected the recording and movie industries. They will line up behind a 3D printing standard that makes industrial scale printing interoperable (but also ensures that their rounded rectangles are not being printed without authorization), but which is not feasible for small scale or home use.

The real sneak... (1)

Baldrson (78598) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632301)

Sure, they'll try to sneak that in, but the real agenda is government control of which people can self-manufacture what. For example, think about the recent debacle over the printed firearms.

The point here is that there is a race between the recognition that the government is essentially lawless (its "laws" are not laws by any reasonable Constitutional interpretation) and the imposition of government control on people to make the world safe for lawless government. The incipient maggot-meat is basically hoping that people won't understand the real point behind such DRM legislation, which is not to protect intellectual property but rather to protect human property owned by government.

Science Fiction, Anyone? (2)

EPAstor (933084) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632083)

Huh. This is DEFINITELY one of the cases where anyone who reads Sci-Fi knows there's prior art, in the sense of published material describing a system operating in essentially this way. Patent was filed on January 31, 2008... Anyone want to help find stories that mention volumetric printer DRM pre-2008? Cory Doctorow's used the point in several stories - but Makers, at least, wasn't published until 2009. Anything pre-dating? Also, I think I've read an old classic short story that described people surviving a war by use of a synthesis device where they'd disabled the mechanism that prevented the creation of various goods... anyone know what I'm talking about?

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632149)

And anyone reading "Makers" will realize how effective the DRM will be. Sigh...doncha wish they'd just give up on this kind of thing.

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632335)

Sci-fi is decidedly not prior art in patents. I can imagine a device for instantaneous teleportation, but that wouldn't invalidate a patent for such a device, since patents (are supposed to) cover actual inventions, not just an idea for something, which is all sci-fi is. So unless your science fiction comes with detailed drawings and working descriptions detailed enough to actually build the device in question (in which case it isn't fiction), it cannot serve as prior art.

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632369)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Equilateral
"Special Delivery", March, 1945

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (1)

Mt._Honkey (514673) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632373)

Diamond Age [wikipedia.org] , 1995, about nanotechnology. People had nanotech "compilers" in their homes that made nearly everything they needed, even food. Some objects were free, some not.

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (1)

EPAstor (933084) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632411)

As a note - sorry, yes, I know better, but I failed to edit before posting - sci-fi doesn't provide prior art, but CAN be used to prove obviousness to the standard of the law. (It's the reason no one could patent the water bed - Heinlein described its functioning in detail in Stranger in a Strange Land.)

Re:Science Fiction, Anyone? (2)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632529)

Anyone want to help find stories that mention volumetric printer DRM pre-2008?

Why would anyone want to (help invalidate a patent for a DRM implementation)? This patent would be a good argument against adopting laws that require DRM for 3D printers: the laws would benefit the patent holder most, and thus be biased (not that this ever stopped adoption of laws for big media).

They can make all the DRM patents they want, we're free to not implement them (for now anyway).

And just how is this supposed to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632091)

How long before someone creates a spoof server just to print copyrighted objects, or likewise, how long before the authorized server is filled with spam designs to keep users from using their printers?

Re:And just how is this supposed to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632403)

Right? Seems like We've witnessed something similar with Ubisoft DRM here recently.

Won't work (4, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632093)

This kind of DRM will be about as effective as the copy protection on DVDs or, perhaps, Blu-Ray. That is to say: not very effective at all. Creating machines or software that bypasses this protection will be available to anyone interested not too long after the protection itself has rolled out.

A patent? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632109)

A patent doesn't mean it's required to implement. Something like this would have to be integrated into the control software most likely, and many 3d printers and some (but not all) of the software that runs them is open source anyway. You could just remove this bit of code, compile, and go.

Alternate firmware/software. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632133)

I once tried to print some black-and-white currency (non-US 100 dollar bills) for a Halloween prop, and my printer instead printed out a link to some fair use of currency images site. Photocopiers do this too.

I printed from Linux using the open-source HP driver, and it worked! This DRM-related tech was built into the print software on Windows, not the printer itself. I ran an experiment with a scanner, and observed the same thing - I could only scan currency using a Linux machine connected to my scanner.

If the hardware exists, the firmware can be hacked.

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632135)

They patented DRM? So that means all you have to do is NOT buy 3D printers from them, because nobody else will implement this DRM themselves, because they don't have to? This isn't an obligation enforced by law. This is a restriction on the manufacturing of a product (in this case, the DRM) by others. Who the hell WILL licence this technology? I mean, all it will do it hinder the customers and increase the price, so why would anybody add it to their products?

Well, if it's patented... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632145)

I suppose we won't license that technology.

Print a car (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632157)

"Downloading a car – or a pair of sneakers – will be entirely possible"

But totally uneconomical and impractical.

You may be able to print out various car parts (at least the body work, but not the engine,or transmission) but what about the cost of the printer cartridges. and then you've got to put it all together...

Kitset cars (like sportscars and replicas, have been available for some time, it hasn't cut into the sales of the major auto companies by any measurable amount.

(

"You Wouldn't Steal A Car..." (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632181)

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.

I wouldn't worry about it. The MPAA has already stated [youtube.com] that people wouldn't steal cars. What concerns them is the possibility that people will start 3D printing DVDs.

<BLINK>DOWNLOAD CANCELLED</BLINK>

And we should be surprised? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632197)

Any type of technology along these lines, be it the printing press, the original phonograph, tape recorders, DATs, MP3 players, has had its makers fight extreme resistance to their existance.

3D printers are more of the same. DRM isn't surprising, and it will be championed upon the fear of bad guys printing firearms (of course the small detail of barrel pressures will not be mentioned) to get this through Congress as a law, and the patent holder of this will make a mint, since 3D printer makers would have to buy their DRM scheme.

We saw this before... SDMI and digital signatures with music around 2000 or so.

Re:And we should be surprised? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632283)

Printing guns isn't practical, true. The closest realistic use I can see would be printing components required to reactivate deactivated guns.

Re:And we should be surprised? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632407)

Very true. However, the Congresscritters who would be mandating a DRM chip in each and every 3D printer (just like the V-chip in TVs) don't know/don't care about that fact. This would be used as a hot button issue so that 3D printers are yanked out of the hands of hobbyists, and only able to be used by larger firms.

Re:And we should be surprised? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632527)

Why would they print one? It's easier and fast to make a zip gun if you absolutely can't just buy one off your local street corner.

There is a reason so many criminals already have guns, cause they are easy to get.

This post is in no way shape or form intended to suggest we should do away with guns, I own a few myself and would prefer to keep them.

Shop DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632209)

So, what about my metal press? My hammer? My drill? Should my other fabrication tools be required to upload pictures of what I'm working on so that they can refuse to function if I am replicating a design I found online? Where do we draw the line?

Not going to happen because.. (1)

robert bitchin' (765408) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632227)

..who is going to be at the other end of the wire, this gatekeeper of whats legally printable? Can you see Disney allowing their printers to communicate their new character designs to some other entity (with poor network security that allows others to scoops them) and have exact copies coming from China days later? Ditto for numerous other large conglomerate with design secrets to be kept. As a live, current example of this in action, see what happens when you try to check the status of an interesting URL with one of the registrars. If you don't register it immediately, you'll be forced to go through someone who 'somehow' came up with the exact same idea at the same time. Our printers currently look the five circles in our currencies before preventing the printing of banknotes. Thats about as far as you're going to get with inhibiting what can be reproduced.

All together now! (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632235)

Alright people, form a group. Short people in front, tall people behind. Does everyone have their props? Lighting, fix that tripod. Tone down the fans, I SAID TONE DOWN THE FANS. These are makers, not storm-chasers.
You, you, to the left. Spread out on the right. ... ok. Alright people, serious face, game time. ROLLING! All together now, 3... 2... 1...

NOT IF WE HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT!

They Know the End is Near (1)

DaKong (150846) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632287)

We the People have to move faster than bureaucracy and stupid people can. If we can end-run around these gatekeepers of the status quo then the future will be very, very bright. If not, it will be dystopian in the extreme and freedom will only be won with a shocking amount of blood.

If you are a technologist of any stripe who holds freedom above all other values, this must be your life's Calling.

It is mine.

The perfect solution (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632293)

So, if the "maker" community were to create an LLC to hold the patents for all possible ways we can think of enforcing DRM on 3D printers, and then choose not to license such technology, we could be DRM free for the next decade or two?

If you think about it though (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632297)

Two of the biggest factors in making a motor vehicle are materials and labor. But in the case of 3D replication, you supply the material and the labor in the form of a robotic platform. So in essence they should be selling you the design files for a lot less money than new car costs because as I said, you are supplying the raw materials.

3D modeler here... (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632341)

Getting around this is trivial for the knowledgeable. It'll stop everyday people from doing what they do to films - you won't just be able to download anything and use it. But there is absolutely nothing to stop us from recreating a design for personal use.

That said, because of the costs of the printer and the plastic material, it'll almost always be cheaper to buy the object than to try to manufacture a counterfeit for yourself. You'll sleep easier too.

Re:3D modeler here... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632477)

It won't stop everyday people, where do you think the everyday people download their movies and software from now?

Who do you think cracks or bypasses it's protection.

I'll give you a hint, someone knowledgeable.

Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632401)

Sure, but could dmr come to 3D printers?

I would have been nice (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632409)

If they had waited for 3D printers to actually become useful before they attempted to make them useless.

Watermarks More Effective Than DRM (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632463)

Instead of trying to implement DRM that would be circumvented, Ford would just watermark their files such that one of the following would occur:
  • The following words would be etched into the trunk lid, hood and doors in 1000pt font: ATTN POLICE THIS CAR IS STOLEN ARREST DRIVER
  • Instead of superimposing an image, the watermark superimposes the engine of a Yugo [wikipedia.org] , rendering it completely useless outside of Russia. (Ahh Zastava... great guns, shitty cars)
  • The watermarked file produces a car that loses its brakes and catches fire after 50 miles.
  • You think you're downloading a Mustang, but when it prints you have an '88 Dodge Aries [youtube.com]

The only way this is relevant is... (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632505)

If 3D printers become regulated such that it is illegal to own a 3D printer without DRM. The technology is being designed, improved and assembled by amateurs. There are opensource file formats and 3D modeling software to design and input with. The most complex components can be sold separately and the technology is not so delicate that you can regulate the whole product with patents and only deliver the finished product to the user like with a blu ray player. This is going to be as difficult to enforce as stopping people from hand drawing Mickey Mouse. This is going to be more difficult than stopping me from printing any copyrighted photo I want to off of a regular old printer on propriety firmware with proprietary drivers on my PC.

I wont honor it. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41632519)

Sorry, but companies and patent holder can completely and utterly bite me. I can make for my own use copies of your precious precious ideas and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

Hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41632531)

AS IF anyone who would give a damn about 3D printers would even buy one with this.
It is as stupid as buying a computer with a "Trusted Computing" DRM Chip on it. You saw exactly the reaction to that.

Not only that, WHO is going to pay for the servers, the bandwidth and policing of it?
Added price to the models? Oh yes, US, that is who.

Not to mention how hilarious stupid this is.
"What's that, you want to print an Apple? Too bad dude, I patented that. "
"Oh well I guess I'll just have to add a few bits of noise, enjoy your checksum / hash DRM crapware."
Implementing any other kind of complex checking system won't be done because they, like their entire businesses, are cheap and wasteful.

They'll not stop the 3D printing age. They can try everything they can, but it won't work.
The only middle ground they will be able to create is have large printing facilities that people can rent out, and smaller "printing cafés" for other things.
"oh looks like the sinks tap handle broke, I'll just print a new one and munch on some food or shop"
This will end up being the same for other media really soon as we move to digital age, games stored might adopt hubs that can download digital copies for people, them acting as a proxy. Not everyone has good connections even now, nor will they in the next 2 decades. (I mainly speak for places spoken about mostly in here, such as the US, UK and other large areas where you would expect there to be good internet. )
Then companies could do crap like "download the manual, only $1499! With added DLC, a notes section!" (yes, that is 1499, not 14.99)

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