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Re: [ox-en] robotics

Hi Rich, Graham and all!

Yesterday Rich Walker wrote:
Your argument implies that manufacture is only possible if there is
monopoly? If that is true, then there is really no hope for any
free/opensource development of anything that can be manufactured... :-(

No; rather that if you want to, under present economic structures, begin
to manufacture something novel, for which a large investment will ahve
to be made before a return starts, the investor will need to be
convinced that such a return is possible. The presence of patents on the
device is one way to make that case; it also makes the *other* case,
that no-one else is going to torpedo the process with a patent when the
investment has been made.

Let's put aside the destructive use of patents you are pointing to for
a moment.

On Graham's / Christof's workshop on our last conference the concept
of Lohnfertigung (industrial production for a third party - don't know
the English term yet) was mentioned. A manufacturer who only
materializes designs on his machines may get payed for the raw
materials as well as for the work put into the actual manufacturing.
The design, however, comes from a third party which may have put it
under a Free license.

Of course this would be only possible for highly standardized
manufacturing technologies. However, theses manufacturing technologies
are already reality to an interestingly high degree (rapid prototyping
being the main term here) bringing enormous flexibility.

I think the difference here is, that for starting the manufacturing it
is not necessary to make a substantial investment into new
manufacturing plants. The Lohnfertiger simply has the machines and the
interesting thing of the manufacturing aspect is fully contained in
the design.

However, we discussed it as a chance for having more Free material
projects. From your point of view it would mean to restrict the access
to the design because then you can't make money from the exclusive
advantage of having the machinery to manufacture the product :-( .

						Mit Freien Grüßen



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