Economic Arguments for Free Software

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Mon Jul 9 15:11:00 UTC 2001

> There is also a difference between charity and getting other rewards.
> The former is altruistic the latter not. He also talks about the latter.

Yes, that true. In this line I recently read two papers of Eric von
Hippel (et. al). They are very interesting, but I don't know if they
are online (a local teacher gave them to me). He's an economist at MIT
and he studies user-innovation phenomena, including Free Software (and
he's well informed in introducing and describing

There are other papers on the same general topic under , but I didn't yet look at
them. It looks like his arguments can be used against software patents
as well (he covers the net advantage for both the innovator and
society at large in releasing innovative ideas to the marketplace
without using the classic forms of "protection").

von Hippel's articles are much more heavy than yours, though.


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