Economic Analysis, Public Policy and the Software Industry
This paper focuses on three related matters. It analyses the process of competition in the software industry, this being important both in itself and for the light it throws on competition within all industries characterised by low or zero marginal costs and a high rate of technical development. The software industry, operating under private enterprise, is dependent on copyright, and the issues raised by intellectual property protection are therefore also considered. Given the need for inter-operability between different software products, and between these and associated hardware, standardisation is important within the industry, and the processes by which standards may be established are evaluated. Consideration is given to the public policy issues that are raised by these three topics.
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