Sunday, August 03, 2008

Printcrime: "Copy this story"

One of the neatest technological innovations of the last few years has been the advent of 3-dimensional printers, machines that can do exactly what the name implies. It's an amazing technology and it's going to be more and more important in the coming years.

And just leave it to Cory Doctorow (copyfight hero, writer, superhero) to write some great dystopian fiction on the possible future ramifications of the technology. This story's a couple of years old, but it's just as relevant now as it deals with topics currently affecting (and afflicting) our lives: expanding, militant copyright law and the (oh noes!) encroaching police state:

The coppers smashed my father’s printer when I was eight. I remember the hot, cling-film-in-a-microwave smell of it, and Da’s look of ferocious concentration as he filled it with fresh goop, and the warm, fresh-baked feel of the objects that came out of it.

The coppers came through the door with truncheons swinging, one of them reciting the terms of the warrant through a bullhorn. One of Da’s customers had shopped him. The ipolice paid in high-grade pharmaceuticals — performance enhancers, memory supplements, metabolic boosters. The kind of things that cost a fortune over the counter; the kind of things you could print at home, if you didn’t mind the risk of having your kitchen filled with a sudden crush of big, beefy bodies, hard truncheons whistling through the air, smashing anyone and anything that got in the way.

Read the Full Story!

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