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Jul 08, 2009, 13:04 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Stone)

[ Thanks to Chris Stone for this link. ]

"A multi-billion dollar industry was created, by accident, from something invented for a completely different purpose. Unforeseen by RMS, it just happens that the economics of open source, which reduces the opportunity cost of obtaining software by trading in source code instead of money, is fundamentally sound. Business created on the foundation of fundamentally sound economics is bound to be successful. In retrospect, it can be seen that there was little doubt that Red Hat would be successful.

"Alas, conditions today are very different than they were in the 80’s and 90’s when the open source movement was growing. The early adopters, i.e., the developers that contributed to open source were able to translate their labour into financial benefits by working for companies like Red Hat or founding their own companies. These early adopters possessed a scarce resource, open source knowledge, that they were able to trade for employment and ownership. Today, that resource has become abundant, and global economics means that those jobs are sent offshore, and the ROI for technology workers in the G8 countries is limited."

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