I once saw this thing online, it was an ad that should stop people from downloading. It said: You would’t download a car. And then I saw this motivational poster online (some internet meme). I laughed, but I really liked the thing. I would if I could. Because then you would have a car, nobody would be missing one and it is free. Where is the catch?
But you can not actually download a car, because a car is not just zeros and ones. The very old example when it comes to downloading is with music. I really want that new Coldplay CD. I download a copy of it, burn it and presto, I got my CD. Nobody lost a cd, but magically there are two right now.
Recently the 3D printers are uprising and getting cheaper and cheaper. In 10 years, this technology could be consumer ready. And here comes the interesting part: What if I download the 3d-file for a car and then print it with the 3D printer. This is not literately possible, because cars are quite complex, but still, you would’ve downloaded a car. Is that illegal? Maybe some simpeler things, like a designer bottle opener. Costs €150 in the store, but just download the 3D-file from a site, print it and the materials you paid will cost you less than the €150. With this new technology, downloading things will get more interesting.
What if you combine this with the app-store concept? That you pay a small fee, or people distribute their materials for free, and then are able to 3D-print the objects. It is Saturday night and your corkscrew just broke into 2 pieces. The stores are closed. Just download and print a new one! You are doing some DIY project and you are missing one of those stupid screws. Just download and print one, and you are good to go.