University of Nottingham Ningbo China
AHRC Centre for
Digital Copyright and IP Research in China
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A Technological Licensing Framework for 3D Printed Content: A Focus on China
  PI Dr. James    GH Griffin School of Law, University of Exeter, UK 
 CO-I      Prof. Hing Kai Chan  Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China 
Dr. Annika Jones  Durham Law School, University of Durham, UK
Dr. Hui Leng Choo  Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China 
Dr. Phoebe Li School of Law, University of Sussex, UK 
Prof. Juqian Li  School of Law, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China 
Dr. Edwin Mok  SLM Solutions Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore  
Dr. Onyeka Osuji  School of Law, University of Exeter, UK 
Dr. Zicheng Zhu  Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China  

The main research questions:

1.  How can automated licensing platform framework to enable 3D printing companies to licence 3D printed content and files in new ways? Examples would be online databases and/or the printing of 3D computer game characters.

2.  What is an effective technological solution to online licensing of 3D content?

3.  What is the impact of such a system upon copyright law, in particular copyright law in China and copyright law internationally?

4.  How will this pioneer the development of law that is digital in nature?

The research design and methodology:

The research design will directly address the policy regulation and licensing strand with an emphasis upon how 3D printing file protocols could be used to identify content, entities and licenses. This will be with an aim to utilise automated modes of exchange rights information to enable greater interoperability between content and different rights industries. Innovation in the making and dissemination of 3D files and 3D printed works has become constrained by the lack of clear rules with regard to the licensing of those files and works. This international collaboration is designed to establish:

•   A viable, technical and operational online licensing system

•   A workable legal framework for IP licensing

This will be achieved by:

•   Empirical interviews with 3D companies by one research team, alongside

•   A placement and case study with a 3D printing company

The results will be disseminated through a workshop, roundtable and publications.