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L'économie du logiciel libre. Organisation coopérative et incitation à l'innovation

Listed author(s):
  • Jean-Benoît Zimmermann
  • Dominique Foray

[eng] The economics of open source software: cooperation and incentives to innovate An open source software is defined by the availability of its source-code that cannot be privately appropriated. Its production is based on a special cooperative organisation mode, called the "bazaar", which functions particularly well in the context of Internet. Its functional viability till now was related to the fact that the users and developers of these software products considered themselves in the same category of actors. Today, open source software is entering the market and the existing form of organisation can now be the source of profits. The model's viability is related to its ability to sustain a high level of innovation. Hence, it depends on individual incentives to participate, and public spiritedness can no longer be relied upon as an effective substitute. [fre] Un logiciel libre est un logiciel dont le code source est rendu ouvertement disponible et ne peut faire l'objet d'une appropriation privative. Le mode d'organisation coopérative du « bazar », qui en fonde la production, a trouvé dans Internet un support particulièrement puissant et a pu jusqu'ici fonctionner efficacement dans la mesure où utilisateurs et développeurs des produits s'identifiaient en une seule et même catégorie. Aujourd'hui, le logiciel libre prend le virage du marché grand public et cette forme d'organisation collective peut être source de rentes privées. La viabilité de ce modèle est nécessairement dépendante de sa capacité à entretenir une dynamique de l'innovation efficiente. Elle dépend par conséquent d'un problème d'incitations individuelles, auxquelles l'éthique collective ne saurait être considérée comme un substitut efficace.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue économique.

Volume (Year): 52 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 77-93

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Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_2001_hos_52_1_410277
Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.2001.410277
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