Openness, Open Source, and the Veil of Ignorance
AbstractThe open source movement evolved in the one industrial context where openness is not required by intellectual property law.1 Nevertheless, openness itself cannot be the driving force behind the open source movement. This is because openness can be achieved in many ways other than the GPL, for example, with proprietary licenses, or licenses that are even more permissive than the GPL, such as the BSD license. Early commentators explained this new development model by focussing on the motives of the programmer, such as to demonstrate skills. See the survey by Stephen M. Maurer and Suzanne Scotchmer (2006). But firms also participate in open-source collaborations, sometimes contributing significant resources (Joachim Henkel, 2006, Dirk Riehle, 2009). Doing so can be profitable even if the contributors are rivals in the market. The quality improvements or cost reductions provided by a rivalÃ¢â¬â¢s open-source contributions may outweigh the deleterious effect of empowering the rival to be a better competitor.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Other versions of this item:
- D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Rationing; Licensing
- L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
- L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
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