3-D Printing Law Sent to California Legislature

SACRAMENTO (CN) – A California lawmaker introduced legislation that would force public libraries offering 3D printing services to warn users of copyright liability of the fledgling technology.
     Rep. Nora Campos, D-San Jose, introduced AB 37 which if passed would require the Department of Justice to produce warning signs about the misuse of 3D printing and distribute them to every public library that offers the technology.
     AB 37 passed its first committee unanimously and is awaiting its next hearing, with the Judiciary Committee.
     The bill represents California’s foray into defining and restraining the legality of the popular technology that allows users to emulate and create duplicates of physical products.
     Engineers have used 3D print technology to fabricate a smorgasbord of items, from prosthetic limbs to computers and car parts. Ford recently announced it is using 3D printing to help design and create parts for vehicles.
     The introduction of 3D printers in libraries is a growing trend, according to the American Library Association, which recently donated 100 3D printers to community libraries across the country, and many more are in line.
     Campos seeks to curb 3D printing critics’ concerns over copyright liability.
     AB 37 will mandate warning signs in 14-point font that will “provide citations to the applicable state and federal laws that may impose civil liability or criminal penalties for misuse of a 3D printer, including laws regarding copyright infringement and trademark and patent protection.”
     Campos’ bill could be the first of many looking to curb the progress of the technology. AB 37 does not go into detail of how librarians will be trained to spot copyright infringement or how penalties will be enforced. The Department of Justice will be tasked with reviewing and revising the warning notices to “reflect updates to the applicable laws.”

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