Ethics and Laws

Digital DIY makes it much easier for everybody to produce physical objects of all kinds. Such a capability brings considerable challenges to our current ethical and legal systems, and to our very idea of what is (or should be) right or wrong: what happens when virtually everybody can copy objects of design, self-produce spare parts for products she already owns, or manufacture dangerous ones?

At the same time, and likely at an even bigger scale, the same capability can bring huge benefits to society, from new job opportunities to reduced pollution, thanks to on-demand manufacturing and so-called "mass customization".

The DiDIY Project has studied all sides of these issues, from the points of views of "Law, Rights and Responsibilities", as well as that of Ethics.

To understand this side of DiDIY, and what should be done about it, we suggest you to look at the following studies, proposals and other resources by the DiDIY Project, listed here from the least to the most complex:

FACTS SHEET(s) on: Laws, Rights, and Responsibilities

DiDIY VOCABULARY KEYWORDS: DiDIY duty of care, product liability, service liability, counterfeiting


The parts of the DiDIY Guidance Manual about:

  • Safety, Ethics and Law (p. 19)
  • Product Safety and Liability (p. 35)
  • Rethinking Intellectual Property (p. 76)

Examples from the DiDIY POLICY PATTERNS wiki:

DiDIY Project Official Deliverables:

See section 4.4 DiDIY on laws, rights and responsibilities:

  • IW8. DiDIY and its socio-legal challenges as a different production system
  • IW9. DiDIY and the relation with Free Knowledge & Open Source Hardware
  • IW10. DiDIY and the openness of the Internet of Things
  • IW11. DiDIY, quality control, and product liability