Introducing DiDIY D6.2: Ethical Impact for Regulation

D6.2 reports on our work on the ethical evaluation of DiDIY activities in the present and near-future, in particular on our recommendation whether these activities need to be guided by new policy regulations of some kind. To allow this evaluation we need to explain what the relevant activities are, which ethical issues arise and what kind of policy may be recommendable. We present an overview of the DiDIY techniques and an analysis of what makes digital DIY special, which also shows what special ethical issues may arise.

The concerns we found are grouped in broadly two areas: Challenges to rights (in particular intellectual property rights and consumer rights) and physical risk (in particular product safety and legally limited artefacts like weapons). At this stage, we tentatively conclude not to recommend new governmental policy or laws, but a) self-regulation in the DiDIY community and b) a continued close look of policymakers at the technological developments because the potential for highly disruptive changes that demand policy intervention is significant. Final recommendations will be given in D7.4. “DiDIY-related policy recommendations.