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The 10th Annual IP3 Awards are coming up on October 9th, 2013! Who do you think deserves IP3 Awards this year?
This is an exciting time for the public interest community and tech policy!
Over the last year, we have celebrated winning court decisions such as the Aereo case and Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, and we have continued to stand up net neutrality rules when we forced AT&T to step back from its blocking of Facetime. From bringing about a balanced discussion around copyright reform following the dark days of SOPA/PIPA, to carrying the torch for the social contract of the Communications Act in discussions over the PSTN transition, to introducing DC to innovative new technologies like 3D printing, we are the thought leaders and activists who are leading the way forward.
Friday may well go down as a turning point in the debate around 3D printed guns, and 3D printing policy in general. Two important sides seemed to step away from confrontation and instead focus on what is important to them. Defense Distributed included metal parts in their otherwise fully 3D printed handgun. And Rep. Steve Israel used Defense Distributed’s announcement to raise concerns about undetectable firearms, not 3D printing. Both should be praised for these decisions.
Bur first, some background
Last week Public Knowledge hosted the second 3D/DC event on Capitol Hill. More than 20 representatives from the 3D printing community came to Capitol Hill to showcase the innovation taking place in their field.
Members of Congress, staffers, enthusiasts and people walking by the Rayburn House Office Building came in to see 3D printing in action. Some of them for the first time. There were so many printers and exhibitors there that it was easy for every participant to find something they were intersted in. This event showed that 3D printing wasn't just about making toys out of Lego plastic. This event showed people how bright the future of printing could be. Printing is becomming an educational tool and soemthing that other fields are starting to take advantage of. Allowing the participants to see the scale and scope of 3D printing.
Of the many problems with data caps, one of the most pernicious is the way they freeze innovation and the evolution of online services. Today’s announcement from Kaleidescape that they will begin offering “Blu-ray quality” video downloads illustrates that beautifully. That means that one video weighs in at over 50 GB of data.
|Remember, there was a time when this video was "good enough" for most people. | image by flickr user Louis Abate|
Copyright law doesn't give rightsholders control of the "use" of their works. If it did, trying to use a copyrighted work would be like being trapped in the world of Philip K. Dick's Ubik, where everything, including the door to your apartment, is coin operated. You'd need a license to read a book, a license to listen to music in your car, a license to watch a movie, or a license to receive broadcast signals. We don't live in that phildickian world and you don't need licenses for any of those things because copyright law doesn't confer such broad rights. It allows copyright holders to control just certain uses of their works, as spelled out in 17 U.S.C. § 106:
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