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The Comingled Code : Open Source and Economic Development - Josh A. Lerner

The Comingled Code

Open Source and Economic Development


Published: 1st February 2013
For Ages: 18+ years old
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RRP $46.99

The interaction of open source and proprietary software and the implications for economic development.

Discussions of the economic impact of open source software often generate more heat than light. Advocates passionately assert the benefits of open source while critics decry its effects. Missing from the debate is rigorous economic analysis and systematic economic evidence of the impact of open source on consumers, firms, and economic development in general. This book fills that gap.

In The Comingled Code, Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman, drawing on a new, large-scale database, show that open source and proprietary software interact in sometimes unexpected ways, and discuss the policy implications of these findings.

The new data (from a range of countries in varying stages of development) documents the mixing of open source and proprietary software: firms sell proprietary software while contributing to open source, and users extensively mix and match the two. Lerner and Schankerman examine the ways in which software differs from other technologies in promoting economic development, what motivates individuals and firms to contribute to open source projects, how developers and users view the trade-offs between the two kinds of software, and how government policies can ensure that open source competes effectively with proprietary software and contributes to economic development.

"Having dissected open source in detail and told governments at length what not to do, the authors' prescriptions remain rather vague. "There is no right answer," they say in the final chapter, amusingly called "The Takeaways". It would also have been helpful to examine the implications of the findings for technology sharing in other industries. Open source has moved way beyond software -- into biology, all forms of digital content (Wikipedia, now ten years old, is the most prominent example) and even hardware. "The Comingled Code" is full of insights, but the literature about this important development in recent economic history is still far from complete." The Economist

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Software and Growthp. 15
The History of Open Sourcep. 35
The Supply Side: Comingling Open Source and Proprietary Softwarep. 61
The Demand Side: Assessing Trade-offs and Making Choicesp. 103
Assessing Government Policies toward Software (with Jacques Crémer)p. 157
The Takeawaysp. 207
Glossaryp. 215
Referencesp. 225
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262518567
ISBN-10: 0262518562
Series: The MIT Press
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st February 2013
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.35