Open licenses don't work for uncopyrightable subjects: 3D printing edition

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I get so very tired of people trying to use copyright as a cheap patent. The protections granted by patents are more far reaching, and arguably that is why they are more difficult to get and last for a shorter period of time. (well that argument is better for the more difficult part, but there’s no reasonable justification for the current absurdly long copyright terms)


Confusion will force users to ‘find’ 3D printing files that have no copyright, just like what happened with media. Unlike media the 3D printing files are relatively small and will not have to have the torrent model to share.

No patent, copyright, or trademark license works for a subject that doesn’t enjoy patent, copyright or trademark protection. How could it be otherwise? The best that a CC license can do is: “to the extent that I have a protectable interest in this work, I promise to waive it (subject to certain conditions).”

Alas, there’s next to nothing that the law can do about the sort of scum who would plagiarize an open work, then ex post facto sue the original creator and/or his users. It seems that practice is the norm in most developed countries.

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