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Thursday, March 17 • 2:15pm - 3:45pm
3D Printing Technologies in U.S. Public Libraries: Beyond Copyright
In the past, the use of photocopy, printing, scanning and related technologies in libraries and schools raised copyright issues alone. A new technology is making its way into public libraries as part of broader maker space initiatives: 3D printing. 3D replicator technology now allows a user to create (that is, “print”) three-dimensional objects of all sorts! With 3D technology, staff and patrons can now “print” entire mechanical devices or components of other devices from something as simple as a corkscrew to parts of a prosthetic body part. These technologies raise not only copyright issues, but now include utility and design patents and trademarks, including trade dress. With the ability to print realistic replicas, such as “sharp” or other dangerous objects, questions arise whether a library would be responsible if a patron harmed another person with an object printed at the library. Issues of intellectual freedom are also present should the library desire to prevent patrons from printing certain objects (no replicated plastic firearms in a "gun free zone" or no sex toys). This session will review the basic legal issues under U.S. law, discuss the potential for library liability and offer suggestions for minimizing legal risk.

avatar for Tomas Lipinski

Tomas Lipinski

Dean and Professor, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
I have worn many hats: lawyer, librarian, library school educator, now Dean of an iSchool where I still teach and write on legal issue affecting libraries and technology across society including copyright, licensing, Free Speech and privacy. Forthcoming e-books from ALA Editions... Read More →

Thursday March 17, 2016 2:15pm - 3:45pm CDT
Leonard Center Hall of Fame Room