Re: [rp-ml] Open source whatchamacallits

From: Adrian Bowyer (
Date: Wed Aug 10 2005 - 12:54:31 EEST

Quoting Brock Hinzmann <>:

> With open source, companies have to figure out a different
> way to make money on the commons. The grass isn't limited
> to a certain number of sheep grazing there. An infinite
> number of sheep can graze on the same grass. An infinite
> amount of information in virtual space can occupy the same
> physical geolocation. As that infinity begins to spread,
> how can someone make money by making it easy for someone
> to find their way across the commons? Authorization,
> authentication, quality control, digital rights
> management, social networks, and so on.

Remember that companies (and money) are only a means to an end, not an end in
themselves. If it becomes simpler and more efficient to do without either,
then that's what we will do.

The cliché of an artist in a scruffy studio creating works of genius without
paying any attention to the finances of the operation has a certain basis in
the truth. And the geek who creates technology from an inner compulsion to do
it, rather than the hope of riches, is very close to that artist both in
circumstances and in motivation. Almost every creative person I know in either
the arts, or in science and technology, would do exactly what they are doing now
whether they got paid or not.

Now our ability to replicate both information and, increasingly, hardware is
moving us towards a situation where anyone can have the wealth from that
creativity without significant (or maybe any) sums of money changing hands.

If I copy the text of a story to you, you have it, and I do still. If I give
you the design of a base-station-free peer-to-peer cellular 'phone and you can
manufacture it for yourself...



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