On July 2018, the European Parliament adopted a resolution about 3D printing entitled: “Three-dimensional printing: intellectual property rights and civil liability” with 631 votes in favour, 27 against and 19 abstentions.

The document examines the legal issues associated with 3D printing, particularly with concern for protecting IP rights and civil liability. The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal affairs states: “3D printing also carries the risk of facilitating counterfeiting, not only in terms of individuals who might take advantage of exceptions for private copying, but also organised networks profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods. To prevent counterfeiting it is essential, therefore, to develop lawful 3D printing services, so that individuals who want to make a print of a work can do so without breaking the law, and ensuring that the author is fairly remunerated.”

Although the importance of Intellectual Property Protection for 3D Printing is clear, the CECIMO (the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries) believes a recommendation of a national copyright levy could be negative for the innovation.

Copyright levies act as a tax that consumers have to pay when purchasing an electronic device. It would act as a similar legislation to that introduced to compensate for consumers making cassette copies of music to share with friends. CECIMO, however, believes a recommendation of a national copyright levy disregards the negative impact measures of this type can have on innovation, as well as the ‘significant economic inefficiencies’.