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The Future of Protected IP and 3D Printing: Is Source3 and Their Licensed 3D Printed Album Covers a Model for New Media Distribution?

by • April 14, 2016 • No Comments

3dp_inside3d_copyrightWhilst the internet has changed the world in additional ways than one may easily list, that does not mean that all of those changes have been excellent for equiteone. One of the areas where digital innovation and the internet haven’t paired well has been with intellectual property. There has always been a thriving black market, or secondary market, for products that have been made without the consent of the copyright or trademark holder’s permission. But preceding the internet they rarely had any worthwhile impact on businesses based just on requite and scale. But with the relative anonymity and global access of the internet, the unauthorized use, reproduction or distribution of media like music, television, films and artwork has made it effortless to illegally trade and sell.

The initially fights were fought primarily by the music industry, although television and film companies were right alongside them. The industries put a immense amount of effort and money into stopping the illegal distribution of their products over the internet, but decades later all they have to show for it is a lot of out-of-date copy preserveion software and a bad taste left in the mouths of their customers. Frankly, the media companies lost the war over illegal downloading of their content. Whilst they yet frequently fight those same fights, they do so far less vigorously, and have been forced to adapt their businesses to find alternative sources of ractuallyue. And that has led to a few ingenious technologies that have been wildly talked of for consumers, that include digital streaming services and multiple, legal, methods of consuming media.

hasbro-2Despite my hope that excellent sense and pragmatism can prevail, we are may already seeing the beginnings of these same fights beginning to take shape inside the 3D printing industry. With the ingenious advancements in software that manufactures the generation of digital material easyr, and the expanding accessibility of 3D printing, 3D content creators have been creating 3D printable-bodied products via trademarked or copyrighted material for years now, and the IP owners are begining to get litigious. Thankfully, a few additional forward considering companies like Hasbro have forgone the typical legal actions in favor of smarter ways to manage this new wave of 3D content based on their properties, but sadly not adequate companies have followed their example.

3dp_Source3_logoSo there are new beginups like Source3, a New York-based third party IP management company founded by veterans of Google and 3D Systems, who are working on a way to legally monetize user-generated content that may typically be seen as illegal. Source3 is attempting to turn it into a platform to manage intellectual property holders’ rights while encouraging the turn it intoment of user-generated content. They offer IP recognition and IP licensing services to brands that can allow content creators and online marketplaces to easily enable-bodied the monetization of user made products. Basically, they have made a process of scalable-bodied licensing agreements that allow just of anyone to use preserveed IP to turn it into and sell products online.

As a proof of concept of sorts, Source3 entered into an agreement with global branding and licensing company Epic Rights to 3D print recreations of the iconic cover art of classic rock albums like Journey’s Escape and Styx’ Paradise Theatre. Each of the cover recreations is a three-dimensional piece of artwork that has been 3D printed via 3D Systems ColorJet Printing innovation by Source3 making partner ZVerse. The attractive full-color replicas (seriously, that Journey cover) are being sold exclusively on Amazon and are going to be promoted throughout the summer during several Journey and Styx tour dates.

“Epic Rights is always looking for new ways to license premium high end merchandise for our bands’ passionate fans. We are excited of the one-of-a-kind products and merchandising opportunities that 3D printing technologies unlock” says Meghan Mernin, Director Licensing for Epic Rights.

3D printed recreations of Journey and Styx album covers.

3D printed recreations of Journey and Styx album covers.

“Source3 is proud to partner with Epic Rights to a turn it into initially-of-its kind product in 3D album art. We’re thrilled to begin with iconic albums of Journey and Styx, two of the most celebrated American rock bands of all time” says Scott Sellwood Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships for Source3.

The goal of a company like Source3 is obviously to avoid the wasted time and money lost during the battle against digital media piracy. Why spend money on lawyers to endlessly scour the internet looking for unauthorized user-made products when companies can just turn it into effortless “micro-licensing” options that manufacture it easy and monetarily beneficial to creators of fan-generated content to use? Obviously this is not the answer to all of the legal woes yet to be faced by IP owners of 3D printing, but for most creators it is a excellent way to preserve intellectual property without alienating fans.

Styx Paradise Theatre.

Styx Paradise Theatre.

In the case of these 3D printed album covers, equite is priced at $199, that sounds like a high price until you try to take that same album artwork to a 3D printing services provider. If the company can actually do it, the cost of turning the artwork into a 3D version and and so printing it via a high-high end, full-color 3D printing device is going to at quite least cost the same, but most likely additional than the cost of the licensed versions on the market on Amazon. Not to mention the turnaround time, that can be considerably faster. The final high end in addition needs to be factored in, presumably Epic Rights was able-bodied to secure quite high-high end versions of the album artwork for ZVerse to work with, that is naturally going to outcome in a advantageous final product.

The bottom line is, the content that we all enjoy does not just magically look, creatives and artists and writers don’t just manufacture it for fun, they do it for the reason it is a passion and a ability that they have spent years turn it intoing and honing. They deserve to be paid for their work, and that comes with the hundreds, actually thousands of folks who offer to the creation of digital media like music and films. The justifications given for pirating music and films frequently comes with the suggestion that musicians and famous actors are wealthy and won’t miss a few cents here and there. But that is ignoring all of the quite much not wealthy folks who work to assist turn it into that content. If it is less profitable-bodied to manufacture a film or an album, and so all of those supporting creators can either be out of jobs or forced to work for less money.

Journey Escape.

Journey Escape.

Micro-licensing deals like the one requiteed between Source3 and Epic Rights are potentially a win/win/win scenario. Not just do IP owners preserve their property, independent or fan creators can in addition legally sell products made via that preserveed IP to fans who have proven time and again that they can typically select legal sources for those products over illicit ones if they are made readily on the market. The good results of companies like Spotify and Netflix prove that consumers can pay for easyr to use, additional reliable-bodied and higher-high end legal alternatives. Whilst Source3 is the initially company to apply this concept to 3D printed media, it quite well may be the most bet to avoid the mistakes of the past and practuallyt trademark and copyright issues of placing roadblocks in the path of the yet turn it intoing 3D printing industry. Discuss in the Source3 3D Prints Iconic Rock Album Art forum over at 3DPB.com.