Copywrited RP Patterns?

From: William D. Richards (
Date: Sat Jun 15 2002 - 22:04:22 EEST

On Friday, June 7, 2002, at 05:04 PM, Bathsheba Grossman wrote:

> I hope so, otherwise I've wasted a bundle on copyright fees. As I
> understand it, what I'm copyrighting is the design-for-prototyped-
> sculpture, not the act of replication itself. As the copyright for a
> photograph belongs to the person who exposes the film, rather than the
> one who develops the print.

Actually, the pattern that comes off of any given rapid prototyping
machine is simply the output reproduction of digital data.

The copywrite of the digital data is owned by the designer who created
the data, or owned by the company who paid the designer to create the
digital data.

So rights of anything that Ms. Grossman has designed, regardless of
whose RP machine was used to recreate it, belong to her. The only
exception would be if someone paid her to create a unique object. In
such an event, this would be considered "work for hire" and the
person/entity that hired her to create the object would own the rights
to that one object.

Here's an interesting piece of trivia about the copywrite of a

        One of Ansel Adams' Moon photographs -- I'm pretty certain it is
"Moonrise, Hernandez, NM, 1941" -- was not taken by Ansel Adams!
Instead, he turned to a boy and his father who were watching him, and
offered the shutter release to the boy. So, in spite of the fact that it
was all his equipment, his film, and he had spent weeks actually
scouting out the right site and setting up for this image, he was not
the one who actually exposed the film. Though the copywrite and credit
for the photograph was settled long ago (it belongs to Ansel Adams), it
still makes a good intellectual exercise about copywrite ownership.

        - Bill

                "If a turtle doesn't have a shell,
                     is he homeless or naked?"

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