Even as SOPA was soundly criticized and protested for trying to block illegal file sharing, a site called The Pirate Bay continued to be the 75th most visited website. The site allows users to share the wide spectrum of electronic files from music to games to software and more. In other words, content shouldn’t belong to anyone. The site claims that over 30,000,000 people are currently using their services. Most recently,PirateBay wants to bridge the worlds of digital and physical with its latest initiative in the world of “Physibles.” And what is a physible, you ask? Well it’s a digital object that is transformed into a physical object. Think, reverse e-books here. Once books were physical but now they are also digital – and then they can be a physible.
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The Pirate Bay envisions a future rich with 3D printing technology where data files will be transformed into physical objects. We previously explained the 3D printing process where everything from toys to body parts and, more recently, food can be printed using edible inks. ThePirateBayfolks emphasize the idea that where once creations originated in a physical form before being converted to a digital form, today’s creations begin in the digital form. Furthermore, there is no loss of quality in the process of one-to-one digital copying as was once the case with physical copying. Such data can be “shared” endlessly and “printed” so we can touch and interact physically with the objects. If we believe the reasoning of the site’s owners, physibles can impact everything from shipping, to breakage, to child labor issues. It isn’t yet known how soon there might be a data file for say, physible gasoline.