P. Troxler, | Part of a book | Publication date: 30 June 2013
Open hardware and open design are part of a larger open source idea. It is the idea that authors, creators and inventors need not and should not be overly protective over who reuses their works, for what purpose they use them and in what manner, but rather that they would actually want to make their works free to use, to modify, to distribute and to build upon. It is the idea that ‘standing on the shoulder of giants’—first recorded in the twelfth century and attributed to Bernard of Chartres, commonly ascribed to Isaac Newton, e.g. on the British 2-pound-coin, delightfully studied by Robert K. Merton and popularised by Google Scholar—is a preferred mode of production, insight and creativity. This is because building on what others have already done does not require basic principles to be rediscovered over and over again.