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Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) : lessons for intellectual property rights management in a knowledge-based economy

  • Nicolas Jullien


    (DS - Direction scientifique - Institut Mines-Télécom - Télécom Bretagne, MARSOUIN - Môle Armoricain de Recherche sur la SOciété de l'information et des usages d'INternet - Télécom Bretagne - UBO - Université de Bretagne Occidentale - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - UEB - Université européenne de Bretagne - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université Rennes 2 - Institut Mines-Télécom - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de Analyse de l'Information - Rennes)

  • Jean-Benoît Zimmermann


    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2 - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)

The aim of this paper is to focus on the emerging situation in which open source software is nowadays produced not only by individual developers but in a growing proportion by firms that hire programmers for their own objectives of development in open source or for contributing to open source projects in the context of dedicated communities. As commercial firms it is important to analyze how and why they are capable of drawing benefits from such involvement and their connected activities. Moreover, we want to stress the different types of business model these firms rely on and the possible evolution they are likely to follow in the near future. We shown how Open Source principles provide an alternative way of thinking and managing intellectual property that do not come up against the same problems but needs a radical change in the way of drawing commercial benefits from knowledge development tasks. Then we analyze the growinginvolvement of commercial actors by setting up a typology of the different business models that can beobserved in the OS landscape, how they correspond to the different strategies of industrial firms according tothe main characteristics of their technical skills and market position. Finally, in a conclusive section we willdraw the main lessons of the FLOSS experience for a possible enlargement of those principles of IPRmanagement and business to other knowledge based commercial activities.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00410781.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00410781
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