Re: Update on Napster fabbing

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Sat Oct 06 2001 - 18:04:21 EEST


    Thanks for your comments on Napster fabbing.

    You're right that "P2P fabbing" would be a more accurate term, but more
people know what Napster is than P2P. We don't intend to use the term
"Napster fabbing" in any formal or commercial sense, or we would need
Napster's permission to do so. We just thought it was a catchy phrase that
would allow people to quickly get what we're talking about. People who say
it's not Napster because it's not about music or because it's not a
centralized index of downloadable files or because it doesn't (yet) have
millions of people participating are missing the point. Of course it's not
Napster. The point is that people are beginning to share digital designs of
physical products, just as Napster users used to share music digitally.

    I certainly agree with you about the potential impact of this kind of
capability as it becomes more readily available and more widely used. As
fabbers improve in speed, materials, resolution, ease of use, and cost, they
will increasingly circumvent the industrial manufacturing and distribution
process, as you say. There's a discussion of this in the "Impact" section of
my "Atoms from Bits" paper. (Search for the phrase "value chain" in These changes
certainly will be resisted by companies that have been founded on the
industrial paradigm, for example, most of the Fortune 500. But the new style
of manufacturing will eventually be adopted by them, just as the record and
movie companies are now starting to seriously address digital distribution
of their wares. Eventually (decades from now) companies that don't adopt
this style of manufacturing will be out of business, except for small niche

    We're in for an exciting century, wouldn't you say?

Best regards,
Marshall Burns
President, Ennex Corporation
Los Angeles, USA, (310) 397-1314

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brock Hinzmann" <>
To: "Marshall Burns" <>; "List: Rapid prototyping"
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2001 12:12
Subject: RE: Update on Napster fabbing

> Thanks, Marshall. It's good of you to take the time. I am surprised the
numbers are that small, but it's an interesting sampling.
> The term Napster fabbing has a nice sound to it, but Napster has a
negative connotation. Now that I have looked at your Web site on this topic,
I see that you are also using the term peer-to-peer, aka P2P. It has a
broader meaning, beyond Napster and music and illegal copying of copyrighted
material. P2P/Napster fabbing will be highly disruptive if it allows people
the option of circumventing the normal manufacturing and distribution
process. P2P is also a buzzword that venture capitalists recognize and
should help get their attention.
> By any name, Napster fabbing will be resisted by many large corporations,
as Napster was. By disintermediating the middleman, however, it is a concept
that truly takes advantage of the Internet/Web technology, as opposed to the
failed dot-com concepts we have seen. On the other hand, it will raise the
importance of intellectual property right protection, privacy, and
eventually, payment systems.
> Brock Hinzmann

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Jan 04 2002 - 09:57:54 EET