Medium.com has this article about illegal file-sharing of music that goes through the stories and arguments that we’ve all heard before. But I think the real meat of the matter comes in the last two paragraphs (emphasis mine).
While the moral and ethical arguments against the infringement of intellectual freedom as touted by prominent actors such as Kim Dot Com (of Megaupload fame), the Pirate’s Bay trio (Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde, and Fredrik Neijj),⁸ and the perpetually headline-grabbing Anonymous can be a bit divorced from the reality of the average user’s motivations for file-sharing, they do not detract from the importance of the large debate.
The recent appearance (and pedestrianisation) of technology like the 3D Printer only increased the stakes of this debate, as the nexus of file-sharing and intellectual property will involve an even more immediate assortment of real-life consequences. The new ground being broken by today’s legal debates has the potential to set a series of precedents for years to come.
How will the issue change when the average citizen can download the plans to ‘print’ an assault rifle? In what ways, legally-speaking, will that data be treated differently from a unpurchased film? While we have the distinct generational privilege of witnessing the debate unfold in front of our eyes, I’m optimistic that our children’s children will be able to watch the Hollywood recreation online, instead of buying the DVD.