As posted by Jean Lievens to Peer2Politics.
3D printing provides an opportunity to change the way we think about the world around us.  It merges the physical and the digital. People on opposite sides of the globe can collaborate on designing an object and print out identical prototypes every step of the way. Instead of purchasing one of a million identical objects built in a faraway factory, users can customize pre-designed objects and print them out at home. Just as computers have allowed us to become makers of movies, writers of articles, and creators of music, 3D printers allow everyone to become creators of things.
Ultimately then, the burden is on the community and the organizations that host the community not to blindly assume that copyright covers everything. This is not to say that copyright should be rejected, or that legal orders should be ignored. Instead, it is a reminder of the value of healthy skepticism. If someone is asserting copyright over an object, take a moment to consider if copyright can even apply in that case. Make assertions of infringement public so that the wider community can understand who is claiming what kinds of rights.
Phi Beta Iota: Of scholastic quality and densely footnotes, this is a formidable review of copyright, 3D printing, and community culture.