The Gatekeeper effect

By | September 20, 2012
Yet another example: Open Hardware, Closed Source

+Josef Průša has a important point: companies are constantly setting themselves up as gatekeepers. And that is hampering an open society.

Gatekeepers are monopolistic constructs aimed at forcing consumer loyalty by not providing alternatives. Good examples of gatekeepers turned catastrophe include Hollywood / RIAA, newspapers, and Monsanto. And yet we still need gatekeepers: Courts and Police as behavioural gatekeepers, or Banks as financial gatekeepers, are key examples of gatekeepers that are essential to a functional society (albeit perhaps they should be organized in a different way than they are today).

But from a technical innovation perspective: The point of open source, or open hardware, is to enable unlimited innovation trade to take place. Why force everyone re-invent the wheel, when you could just share the wheel blueprints instead? This same concept stays behind open hardware. However, open hardware plus closed software means putting the clamp back on the system: you can only do what we want to limit you to do with the hardware.

No doubt that idea is enticing for people seeking power, monopolies, or other people favoring profits over innovation. I can understand, though, that these folk still need to make a living. But, where should the line go?

/via +Nils Hitze 

Reshared post from +Josef Prusa

What does open hardware mean to me + open letter to Bre Pettis
Please share, repost, +1!

Embedded Link

Open Hardware meaning | Josef Prusa
So today is the day. I wanted to write about this for a long time. Some may know, some no, but I started my own RepRap company. It’s called Prusa Research, maybe it is the first open hardware based co…

2 thoughts on “The Gatekeeper effect

  1. Max Huijgen

    It's not a nice story +Sophie Wrobel and your introduction goes a long way to improve on the rant by Josef. 
    If Josef had done a better job I would have reshared it as it's an important issue.


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