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NewsForge: A Model for Open Source Software Development

May 27, 2004, 01:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Wilbur Pan)

"Critics of open source software have argued that, from an economic standpoint, 'giving the product away' makes no sense. As a new business model, open source has been the victim of many misconceptions and mischaracterizations: that it's the equivalent of communism, that's it's like a virus, and that it's economically dangerous to society, for example. In such a hostile atmosphere, it's not easy to objectively assess a new paradigm that differs greatly from the status quo. However, though a comparable model may not exist in the IT sector, a parallel working model for open source already exists in at least one other field, biomedical research, and this model has been proven to be of great benefit to society.

"I am a pediatric oncologist, and I don't pretend to have any proficiency at programming or hacking. But to paraphrase our favorite paralegal open source advocate, research is what pediatric oncologists do..."

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