Cristian Fracassi, who along with fellow volunteer Alessandro Ramaioli were tired of watching people die for lack of ventilators in Italy. The two men decided to act and made the ventilators for $1 to save lives. The company responded by saying that they were violating its copyright and may be liable for huge damages. The men are undeterred and responded “there were people whose lives were in danger and we acted. Period.”
Here’s the kicker: the printed valves are believed to have saved at least 10 people’s lives in a hospital in the northern Italian city of Brescia.
The two men work at the 3-D printing startup Isinnova and worked with physicist Massimo Temporelli to assist with producing the valves for only $1 rather than $11,000 a piece — even if the company were able to meet demand (which it cannot).
Call it another pyrrhic victory for copyright laws.
I have been a critic of these copyright and trademark laws and the firms that routinely bully citizens into costly settlements on threat of financial ruin. Now however you have lawyers who are threatening such ruin in the middle of a pandemic killing scores of people who need these devices.