We've been predicting for a while now that 3D printing is an area of disruption that is going to lead to legal disputes. Our expectations were that as tangible goods makers were disrupted in the same manner as content producers, it was only a matter of time. But what if 3D printing continued to disrupt content producers as well? Hephaestus points us to a story about how Amanda Ghassaei, from Instructables, is experimenting with 3D printing vinyl records.
As you can see in the video below, she's using a super high-end machine, and the output is very limited for now (in both the amount of a song that can be produced and the quality — which is not great), but it's not hard to imagine how this will improve over time:
It is, of course, noteworthy, that her sample records all are of popular music for which it is unlikely she holds the copyright. It seems unlikely that anyone is actually going to go after her for copyright infringement, but it's yet another area where the technology is likely to be way ahead of laws that attempt to block copying." And, yes, the full explanation for how to do this has been posted to the Instructables site, though you'll need a very high end printer to match the (already limited) quality of Ghassaei's records. For what it's worth, Ghassaei has also chosen to post some of the 3D models to The Pirate Bay's 3D printing site as well, and that appears to include more music covered by copyright — so perhaps we'll see the labels freak out already just because of any association with TPB, even if almost no one can actually do anything with this, and the few who can might get a version of the music much crappier than something you'd record off the radio.