Companies Shielding Their Intellectual Property While Using 3D Printing

Music business created a buzz back in 199 and it triggered the service P2P or peer-to-peer file sharing which enables internet users to have access to albums and songs. These are all free and can be downloaded which created a negative effect on the music industry and shattered its business model. It spread throughout the globe and one can easily steal someone else’s intellectual property. The report from the Recording Industry Association of America is a proof because it shows how the music sales fell and reduced by half. In 1999, the recorded sales were US$14 billion and were reduced in 2014 to US$7 billion.

There is a fear of this happening again to the 3D printing technology and could affect in a larger scale. This technology is done by using CAD or computer-assisted design and gives uses the ability to create physical items. These items are commonly made of either metal or plastic and layers of the said item are successfully printed until the structure is complete and fully formed. Even the most complex items can be accomplished by users with the help of this technology such as weapons and medical equipment. Not to mention, there is a huge potential for innovation. There are already researchers regarding human organs being reproduced with the help of 3D printing.

3D printing is expensive at the moment and is not available yet for commercial use. It doesn’t mean it will stay this expensive for long given the advances in technology every day which could affect the price. This technology is versatile and could cripple some industries and not just the entertainment sector. This is expected to survive though and the music industry is a proof given its long battle against piracy since 1999.

Leeds Beckett University’s student Matthew Appleyard, has written a paper and has shown five important points in music piracy that could easily be done on 3D printing technology.

3D downloading can be easily shared over the internet like the P2P and shared to every user. Tracking piracy activities regarding 3D printing could be just as hard as tracking pirated music because it can be done in a home or within the office. Piracy over the internet does not need a big amount of money or complicated equipment to be performed. The biggest problem lies in the online community of users that patronizes this way of sharing and does not view it as anything illegal.