If anything, we should have been asking ourselves what has made music, text, and video different until now. Everyone is well aware of the issues involved when illegally downloading books, movies, and music, and everyone has come to understand that this is stealing, just as shoplifting would be from a bookstore or music store.
So, is it really a stretch to extend these ideas to objects manufactured in a 3D printer?
It was merely a technical/historical anomaly that made it so books, music, and movies could be transferred anywhere electronically, before your your set of china and silverware could be. So now we are beyond that strange little window in time. The same problem has become generalized, and the same rules have to be applied.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.