Replicators or Something quite close.
A copyright is an interesting thing. We tend to look at them as necessary laws and intrusion on them to be incidents of entitlement. Piracy is usually treated with high horsing and general anecdotal whining. But I wonder in the not-to-distance future when we have devices in households that can generate anything from a coffee mug to a personal computer piece by piece, how will the world change?
What will we do when the resource is no longer really an issue? When manufacturing is limited to supplies of basic atomic parts and making fabricators. Once you build a single fabricator big enough to make fabricators that themselves can make household fabricators you are left with a system that will very rarely need repair.
Do you then sell the blueprints? Does our entire material world then boil down to blueprints? People selling their latest design to the masses in hopes of getting rich? Imagine further how nice life becomes, the necessity to hoard special things from the “less deserving” becomes much less of a possibility.
It’s an exciting prospect and I think it’ll mark one of the greatest moments in human history. It will be the moment that intellectual property and property become truly similar. When the idea of building a building a bike like you’d print a receipt goes from fiction to fact.
This will be the step that takes us from a physical society to a mental one. If we end up being able to break down items as easily as we build them it’ll create many wonderful opportunities. A device in your house broke? Disassemble it and then reassemble a working one from its component atoms.
It’s super exciting and I can’t wait to see the first versions of such a thing roll off the factory line. The possibilities are endless and the seemingly commonplace evils that it could negate are truly numerous.