This week’s episode of NPR’s On the Media tackles the past, present, and future of ownership, from fan fiction and fair use to the strange tale of who owns “The Happy Birthday Song.” Wired editor-turned-robotics entrepreneur Chris Anderson joined host Bob Garfield to discuss 3D printing, the technology so trendy that it was touted in the most recent State of the Union address. Anderson, author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, compared the current state of 3D printing to that of desktop publishing in 1985. “There was software that would allow you to do things that used to require a typographers’ union. Kind of extraordinary, because it adds the word ‘desktop’ in front of a word that was previously industrial,” he said. “It didn’t change the world by itself, but what it did do was it kind of liberated the concept of publishing from industry and put it in the hands of regular people.” So what does a 3D-printed future look like? According to Anderson, “When professional tools get in the hands of amateurs, they change the world.”
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