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Free and Open Source Software Developers Working for Free (Economics 101)

“One still occasionally hears people wonder why free and open
source software developers ‘work for free.’ We aren’t talking about
developers that work at a company or university. We’re talking
about all the others that aren’t being paid a salary to develop
this software. This came up again at the end of the week when Matt
Asay commented on the latest Linux contribution numbers published
by Jonathon Corbett.

“Lots of non-developers will be scratching their head at the 15%
unaffiliated contributions. But here’s the clue. No one is working
for free in an economic sense…”


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