Economics of Open Source


This chapter showcases the relationship between free and open source software (FOSS) and economics. FOSS is unique in that it is at the same time state of the art technology, a commodity, and a public good. FOSS communities are social groups of individual and organisational contributors that participate voluntarily in the production of public information goods. Furthermore, communities are able to resolve issues without the coordination provided by a central authority like the state. This shapes how FOSS collaboration relates to market competition and the value propositions of businesses. Today collaboration spans both unpaid or volunteer participation and industry contributions that are made in the course of employment or under the guidance of a commercial sponsor. This chapter develops a basic taxonomy based on a combination of the revenue model, the type of good, and the differentiating aspects of FOSS-based products.

Oxford Academic
Mirko Boehm
Mirko Boehm
Open Source

Political Economics of Open Source and Intellectual Property.