Winds of Change: Conceptualising Copyright Law in a World of 3D Models and 3D Design Files – A Perspective from the UK (Forthcoming, 2018)
Authors: Mendis, D.
Editors: Pihlajarinne, T., Vesala, J. and Honkkila, O.
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Place of Publication: Cheltenham, UK
This chapter explores the challenges to intellectual property (IP) laws, particularly copyright law, as a result of 3D printing. This analysis is carried out from the perspective of the United Kingdom (UK) as well as European Union (EU) laws as relevant. As a starting point, the chapter provides an account of the protection of 3D models and in doing so, draws a line through history to charter the developments of artistic works. Through this narrative the paper offers an insight into the protection of engravings, sculptures and 3D models over the years. Thereafter the chapter turns to consider the eligibility and protection of CAD files and will question whether they can be protected as a copyright work before moving on to consider the implications for copyright law, as a result of 3D scanning of 3D models and the modification of 3D object design files through online tools. Therefore, whilst 3D printing raises a variety of issues relating to IP rights, this chapter focuses particularly on the implications for copyright law.