I find this all pretty sad. The fact is its hard and expensive to produce quality products in quantity for customers. This very fact is what gives them a business in the first place.
The HW design and technology in a lot (all?) of the open hardware products is really nothing someone partially skilled in the art can't reverse engineer or implement independently based on looking at a picture.
Heck, its the SW that is the long poll on these projects anyway.
What are they protecting with this change in behaviour? Time to Market for knock off clone? If a competitor has the engineering resources to produce a cloned product in quantity then, they have the ability to reverse engineer or otherwise mimic whatever IP they are holding back in a very short amount of time.