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B Eye: The Economics of Free Software

Jun 08, 2006, 22:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pete Loshin)

"Some of the most puzzling aspects of open source software--that is, software for which there is no licensing fee charged to the user by the creators--are those related not to the technologies but rather to the underlying economics involved. I've written before about some of the benefits that open source software offers to users as well as developers and also about how companies can seek and sometimes find profit from open source software as in Open Source and the Profit Motive that addresses some of the tactical uses of open source software. However, there is a deeper question about open source software: How do economists account for the creation of a good (in the economic sense of something of value) outside the traditional framework of the firm and the marketplace...?"

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