The Mark of Un-Authenticity


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With 3D objects getting increasingly easy to scan and print, and print quality increasing, I think accusations of counterfeiting and unlicensed production are going to start coming thick and fast. Should we start marking 3D printed objects clearly as non-original, different, alternative, un-official to help defend against these claims?

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An "Unofficial" mark.

Should there be marks that fit each situation perfectly or should there be just one mark and an over-arching idea which says: this object is not the same as the original or a similar object. By marking an object as something such as "unofficial", nobody can claim they were mislead.

The possible reasoning for having different marks for distinct situations is that the nature of the production of various similar looking objects can be very different. When an object is scanned and printed verbatim, it is copying the original design exactly - but by adding a mark you can let people who come into possession of the object (perhaps by sale of the object) know that this object has my not have been produced with the same process, materials, standards and quality control as the original. Likewise, if the design of a particular object is obvious and you end up producing an item that is very similar to somebody else's you may wish to acknowledge that you did not copy a design even though it is very similar or identical. These two situations are very different and it would make sense to have different marks.

I'm sure there are at least a dozen different situations which it would make sense to have individual marks. However, why complicate things when all you really want to say is "hey, this is my version of this object and it may or may not be the same as another... Don't sue me!"?

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