The Pirate Bay has today added a new torrent category: physibles. Physibles are 3D printer plans for duplicating physical objects. This is a fascinating insight and early glimpse into the post-scarcity economy. This is a landmark event marking the transition of post-scarcity from the online world leaking into the physical world.
The RepRap is open source hardware in action. You download the plans for this 3D printer, build it and then are able to print 3D objects including itself. By printing the new components, RepRaps reproduce. One RepRap creates a number of RepRaps, with those children being able to produce more RepRap grandchildren. As more RepRaps are printed, small changes by the people building them creep in. Some of these changes will be beneficial, and lead to a more efficient and better RepRap. RepRaps evolve. The modifications appear online, and other RepRap developers decide to incorporate these new components or modifications in their own designs. This is the open source method at work. Whereas competing 3D printers have release schedules of months or years, the RepRap has new versions in weeks.
The power of consumer level 3D printers, is going to be a revolution as powerful and impactful as the general purpose computer. All these cheap items that are manufactured cheap in China, shipped overseas, wrapped in wasteful packaging then sold in physical stores at huge markup will be produced in people’s homes on personal printers. If you need a cheap item then simply download the plans and print it. Maybe new categories of items will arise for which there is not the sufficient market incentive for those items to exist today. A new revolution is coming, but we stand ankle deep ready to wade deeper.
Middlemen are going to be cut, and the war will not be pretty. Old models will claw and scratch to maintain their standing. We see this in the ongoing total war with the ‘creative’ industries who are threatened by the new arising models on the internet. Like the music industry, the manufacturing industry will feel responsible to be bailed out by this new model.
When international delegations meet, it is with officials from the agriculture industry, the manufacturing industry, the energy industry and the arms industry. Hollywood is not even a footnote on that list. This battle being waged against the media industry is nothing more than a skirmish compared to what is to come. Imagine taking the current threats and attacks by the $92 million per year and 590 lobbyists in Washington from the media industry and multiply it by a million. We are dealing with the training level. Once the ire has been raised of a single of those industries, the force of a thousand suns will rain down upon this generational shift.
The third physible uploaded to The Pirate Bay, is the plans for a tabletop replica for a Warhammer 40k dreadnought that got taken down in December with a DMCA request. With the tools of patents, copyrights and trademarks, this is totally within the realm of possibility- a new wave of attacks against physical replications of commercial physical items.
Check out the new Section on ThePirateBay: HERE.