Saturday, February 24, 2007

Open-Source Software - article by Boldrin and Levine

Michele Boldrin and David Levine have written an excellent article for The Freeman, entitled Open-Source Software: Who Needs Intellectual Property?. They write,

The market for open-source software—uncopyrighted, freely reproducible computer programs—is not well understood by economists. A central source of surprise is that innovation can thrive in a market without traditional intellectual property (IP). But as we argued in a 2005 unpublished paper, “Perfectly Competitive Innovation,” as a matter of theory there is no reason to believe that monopoly power through IP is needed for innovation. The market for open-source software is the poster child for this perspective.


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