Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm
AbstractOpen source methods for creating software rely on developers who voluntarily reveal code in the expectation that other developers will reciprocate. Open source incentives are distinct from earlier uses of intellectual property, leading to different types of inefficiencies and different biases in R&D investment. Open source style of software development remedies a defect of intellectual property protection, namely, that it does not generally require or encourage disclosure of source code. We review a considerable body of survey evidence and theory that seeks to explain why developers participate in open source collaborations instead of keeping their code proprietary, and evaluates the extent to which open source may improve welfare compared to proprietary development.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12148.
Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Publication status: published as Hendershott, Terrence (ed.) Economics and Information Systems, Volume 1. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2006.
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2006-04-22 (Innovation)
- NEP-LAW-2006-04-22 (Law & Economics)
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