Let’s get physible


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Let’s get physible

  1. 1. Let’s Get Physible? The Pirate Bay and the Contested Terrain of 3D Printing. Dr Tama Leaver Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) & Department of Internet Studies Curtin University
  2. 2. Overview 1. Lessons from the Music Industry? 2. The Pirate Bay & The Liberator 3. 3D Printing the Heroic Saviour Narrative
  3. 3. [1] Lessons from the Music Industry?
  4. 4. Shifts in the Music Economy … 1. Decrease in (corporate) control, with a simultaneous increase in connectivity across the board (creators, distributors and consumers). 2. Music shifts from a physical product (record, tape, CD) to a service (digital formats and platforms). 3. Vast increase in ‘amateur’ production (radical decrease in production and distribution costs). (Wikstrom, 2009)
  5. 5. Music as a ‘Copyright Industry’ • Positioning music as a ‘copyright industry’ clarifies what the industry ‘provides’. • Reliant on legal ability to ‘own’ and ‘distribute’ the rights to certain types of access to music not to ownership of the music itself. Copyright industry good are: • Information Goods – Digital, Intangible, Platform Agnostic. • Have high initial production costs, low reproduction costs. • Experience Based – Basically need to be consumed (heard, seen, etc) to determine its value (ie was it any good). (Wikstrom, 2009)
  6. 6. Shawn Fanning & Napster • Napster – first free, readily usable peer 2 peer filesharing services for music. • Released 1999. • Hugely popular. • Shawn Fanning, TIME, Oct 2000. (The Mark Zuckerberg of 1999!)
  7. 7. How it worked ... Your Computer Your Computer Image: http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/napster.gif
  8. 8. The Napster Moment That Matters … “… Napster presented a $1 billion compromise to the five major record labels [who were suing the company]. It would turn into a subscription service, charging customers $2.95 to $9.95 per month, and pay the labels $150 million per year over five years for nonexclusive licenses to their catalogs, to be divided up based on file-transfer volume. Another $50 million would be set aside to pay indie labels.” (Kot 2009. p. 36)
  9. 9. Napster Vs RIAA • Napster basically offered to become a subscription music service 7 years before Spotify is launched. • Napster shut down due to legal requirement to block all unauthorised files, in mid 2001. • P2P clients without a central index server emerged – the genie was out of the bottle.
  10. 10. [2] The Pirate Bay & The Liberator
  11. 11. Music Distribution Vs 3D Printing … 1. 2. 3. Decrease in (corporate) control, with a simultaneous increase in connectivity across the board (creators, distributors and consumers)  designs flow freely, makers/open source ethos facilitates wide (online) distribution. Shift from a physical product (eg Lego block) to a service (design for bespoke Lego parts)  more or less yes BUT still need to be printed. Vast increase in ‘amateur’ production (radical decrease in production and distribution costs)  Huge volume of amateur production. Decrease in design but possible increase in production costs (for previously mass manufactured items at least , decrease for bespoke items).
  12. 12. ‘Evolution: New category’ (TPB, Jan 2012) We're always trying to foresee the future a bit here at TPB. One of the things that we really know is that we as a society will always share. Digital communication has made that a lot easier and will continue to do so. And after the internets evolutionized data to go from analog to digital, it's time for the next step. Today most data is born digitally. It's not about the transition from analog to digital anymore. We don't talk about how to rip anything without losing quality since we make perfect 1 to 1 digital copies of things. Music, movies, books, all come from the digital sphere. But we're physical people and we need objects to touch sometimes as well! We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years. The benefit to society is huge. No more shipping huge amount of products around the world. No more shipping the broken products back. No more child labour. We'll be able to print food for hungry people. We'll be able to share not only a recipe, but the full meal. We'll be able to actually copy that floppy, if we needed one. We believe that the future of sharing is about physible data. We're thinking of temporarily renaming ourselves to The Product Bay - but we had no graphical artist around to make a logo. In the future, we'll download one.
  13. 13. Media Responses to TPB Physibles • Eg “Napster for Pirated 3D Printing Templates” (Constine, 2013). • Guardian notes now houses the few items already subject to takedown/copyright litigation (eg Games Workshop) (Duffy, 2012).  Fear of illegal or normally licensed goods, such as firearms, suddenly available outside of the reach of traditional regulators.
  14. 14. ‘The Liberator’ Defense Distributed initially hosted the design, but then required to cease online distribution. Liberator (and many variations) seeded via The Pirate Bay. Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1232451/activists-arms-over-3d-printed-plastic-gun
  15. 15. Physibles • Most seeded torrents in the ‘physibles’ category, 1 November 2013 • Top 20 results all weaponry or guns. • (21st is a printable Anonymous/Guy Fawkes mask!)
  16. 16. Elementary 2x01 ‘Step Nine’, 26 Sept 2013 (US Airdate)
  17. 17. Elementary 2x01 ‘Step Nine’, 26 Sept 2013 (US Airdate)
  18. 18. Liberator • Contextualised within US gun culture (the right to bear arms). • Single shot device (vs ease of legal and black market gun purchasing in the US). • Many reported instances of exploding guns (rather than firing), captured in popular culture. • Default home at TPB ‘removes’ the gun from more friendly Maker culture and repositories.  Anxieties largely contained/deflected due to broader gun culture debate(s).
  19. 19. [3] 3d Printing the Heroic Saviour Narrative
  20. 20. Anderson, Makers: Heroic Individualism Makes a Comeback • Enabling inventors to become entrepreneurs. • Reclaim manufacturing for US compared to offshoring to China / SE Asia. • Wrapped in startup mythology, looking for the next Zuckerberg, via making things, not just platforms.
  21. 21. Obama, State of the Union (2013) Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. … There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There's no reason this can't happen in other towns. So tonight, I'm announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs…
  22. 22. Grey’s Anatomy 10x08 ‘Two Against One’ 7 November 2013 (US Airdate)
  23. 23. Grey’s Anatomy 10x08 ‘Two Against One’ 7 November 2013 (US Airdate)
  24. 24. Grey’s Anatomy 10x08 ‘Two Against One’ 7 November 2013 (US Airdate)
  25. 25. But … (unsanctioned)… Games of Thrones iPhone Dock http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Iron-Throne-Dock-for-your-Iphone-and-your-mobi/
  26. 26. Sanctioned (or, at least, not litigated against) … Design: Darth Vader Lamp Designer: Zairy Zin www.facebook.com/Physibles https://www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid=275536162565356&set=a.274987789286860.62995.179088078876
  27. 27. Stormtrooper iPhone 5 Case (by Edrice) www.shapeways.com http://www.shapeways.com/model/918934/stormtrooper-iphone-5case.html?li=productGroup&materialId=6
  28. 28. Conclusion • TPB Physible moment was touted as a radicalisation of 3D printing, but was ultimately deflected and reshaped by defaulting to home of the 3D printed gun. • US gun culture deflects moral panic about the Liberator (and other weapons) into the same ambiguous territory as gun control. • US has driven past litigation responses to digital disruption (eg RIAA/MPAA), but gun control, etc, might see other jurisdictions (eg EU) wrestle with 3D printable weapons first (perhaps more evenly). • Heroic/empowering myth of 3D printing currently holds sway in the US, as seen in Anderson’s Makers, and Obama’s State of the Union speech (as in Grey’s Anatomy). • Traditional copyright litigation runs the risk of galvanising a more radical (less Maker?) resistant approach to distribution of 3D designs. Current channels (eg Thingiverse) all generally ‘play nice’.
  29. 29. References • • • • • Anderson, C. (2012). Makers: the new industrial revolution. New York: Crown Business. Constine, J. (2013). Napster For Pirated 3D Printing Templates? TechCrunch. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/04/3d-printing-piracy-physibles/ Duffy, O. (2012, January 27). Pirate Bay hails new era as it starts sharing 3D plans. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/jan/26/pirate-bay-3dprinting Kot, G. (2009). Napster vs. Metallica. In Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music (pp. 25–39). New York: Scribner. Wikstrom, P. (2010). The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud. Polity.