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Subject: Re: How to get them to manufacture for us: An idea and a draft
From: Matthias Klumpp (Matthias.Klumpp_at_gmx.de)
Date: 2004-03-24


I listened to that discussion with great interest quite for a while.
First of all I want to point out some things, that will be of interest for
the suggestion I'll do below (it's my personal opinion, but I would very much
like to hear about yours):

Motivation for such a topic:

a) Could be because of financial interests:
IMHO that is in contradiction to the idea of open source. If anybody should
follow up because of that reason, there will be no other way than define some
"leaders" out of the Rockbox crew, that take over responsability and
project/financial management.

b) Because of interest in the matter of fact (not financial):
That's what I'm talking about.

Some of you pointed out to get in contact with companies, that will produce
hardware upon Rockbox specification and using Rockbox as open source SW.
If the product (HW & SW together) is good, that company will try to make an
own product out of it.
I suppose they will take the open source SW, re-write it or restructure it
and then put a own copyright on it.
Still they will get new input (at least ideas and parts of SW), they will
take from the open source that might be developed in parallel.
I don't see any reason why an involved company should not get to that point

Furthermore, there is a legal problem in this constelation of cooperation.
Who is the contact person on the open-source side ?
Who will be responsible for warranty, who manages
information/decisions/finances and so on ?
Who will do the distribution ?

I think (long term) this has a big risc to kill the open source project
team.

Well, coming back to b).

I thought to my self:
- Rockbox does have SW developers.
- If there aren't already: When Rockbox was able to join "softworkers" why
shouldn't it be possible to join "hardworkers" too.
- Target should be, having possibility to modify HW to the needs of interest
(as you already do with SW).
- Another target should be to have a "cheap" HW available, or at least with
reasonable price (compared to the features included).

So we need the company only for assembling the unit.
Technical aspects of SW and HW remain inside the open source/hardware
project.
The manufacturer gets layout/SW updates when necessary and produces that new
"revision" on demand (by the end customer).

Such a company should be located in a place, where working cost is cheap,
but technical know-how is rare.

Proposal:
- Rockbox realizes the SW/HW development and supports the technical aspects
of SW/HW.
- Rockbox also updates the manufacturer with necessary
information/modifcations and so on.
- The manufacturer does not need to employ expensive specialists or to build
up a lot of know how, because he's (only) interested in selling the
assembled hardware, that makes his money.
- That manufacturer gets the order by internet and ships only HW to the
final customer (no involvement of Rockbox here).
- Final customer updates the shipped unit with downloaded SW and it's ready
to play.

How about that ? (all your comments are welcome)

Greetings

Matthias

PS:
I could make a contact with some guys in Brazil, that could have ability to
assemble these units, if there is any interest.
Of course this would not be the way to produce large quantities, but could
be enough to handle "individual" quantities.

-- 
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Sent by: Matthias Klumpp
E-Mail : Matthias.Klumpp_at_gmx.de
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