Marcel Duchamp's heirs nuke hobbyists' hand-modelled 3D chess-set files

Originally published at:

These got nuked a while ago, I thought (EDIT: last September, at the latest)

Or at least the version that was blogged about here was. It was gone when I tried to get hold of it.

I found a copy somewhere because I got some of these printed out.


Didn’t @doctorow’s “Makers” discuss 3D printers and copyright issues in great detail?


So… I found an archived copy of the stl files. If I’m understanding the linked article, the only consequence of putting up a page and hosting them myself would be getting banned from France for life?

Seems like a pretty sweet deal, actually. Tempting…

Also, strange that this post didn’t mention the artist’s response project: Chess with Mustaches.


You don’t even have to put up a page and host them yourself, do you? In theory you should be able to just put them up on Thingiverse. I think thousands of people should do that. Just to cost the heirs the money having their lawyers chase them all down.


Marcel Duchamps is smiling down at the mustached chess pieces. A perfect response.


Sooo - what is stopping some anonymous person from just putting it on the internet somewhere? The files, that is?

Did the creators of the file hope to sell pieces or files, or just made them to have them out there? I don’t understand how you can stop if they aren’t making money on it - but I don’t know French copyright law.


Or just hang on to them until January 1st, 2039, and post them at that time.

Interesting thought - does anyone make an archive service with release dates, so that I can upload today, and have things automatically appear at the “free and clear” time? Note, though, that there should not be an advance “coming soon” list, which I think would just make you a target.


These are not the Duchamps droids you’re looking for . I did not say this. I am not here.


Obviously, nothing

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We should totally burn these onto old 3-1/4" floppies and pass them around from hand to hand as some kind of Dada-data Samizdat.


USB disks, and geocache.

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3D printing needs to get cheaper, though. A set of one of each piece was about $100. A full set would cost a fortune.


For that cost you can have your own 3d printer. Then it is only time and filament.

Step 1: Created 3-D models of each of the pieces.

Step 2: Transform the models in some easily reversible way (apply a combination of rotations, reflections, shears, etc.) Since the models are at their most basic point coordinates with connections between the points, apply transformation matrices to the coordinates.

Step 3: Publish the modified models with some sort of commentary (so they’re a work of art, criticism, etc.) along with the transformation matrices. The models and matrices don’t even need to be published in the same place. You could even turn the transformation matrices into a chess puzzle – the transformation is the one that would move each of the white pieces in the first board shown into the squares occupied by the black pieces on the second board. See the “unit squares” picture on the Wikipedia page I posted in step 2.

Step 4: People who want to print the 3-D models from step 1 need only determine and apply the inverse transformations. If they want, they could even apply different inverse transformations (instead of shrinking a piece that was stretch by a factor of 2 by that same factor of 2, shrink it by 1.75) to get a variation on a theme.

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Do you really think Disney is ever going to let there BE a “free and clear” time in the future? The Mouse is going to be locked in Disney’s cage until the last descendant of the last person ever to have worked on any project starring him has turned to dust, if they have their way.


What about using identity matrix? If silence counts as music, then identity matrix must counts as a transformation…?

It is here:


Can’t stop the signal, Mal.


Brûle en enfer.

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