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5. ken udas - november 6th, 2007 at 7:07 am

Michael, I think you did a great job outlining some of the reasons why the success of OSS seems counter intuitive (at least to us who are terrestrial). I have two big questions:

  1. Practically, how do you see practitioners using the CBPP model to make decisions?
  2. Do you think the distinction that many posters in this series between OSS and FOSS (Open&Free) important to CBPP?

These are open questions. If anybody else has thoughts, please feel free to chime in! After all, the more voices, the sweeter the choir.

Btw: Kim put together a resource titled Say “Libre” for Knowledge and Learning Resources that starts seriously poking around the differences between “Open” and “Free.”

Cheers, Ken

6. michael feldstein - november 11th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

Ken, on the first question, I don’t think that Benkler’s analysis is detailed enough to provide clear and concrete decision-making guidelines to practitioners; nor do I think that Benkler would claim otherwise. However, it does provide some general direction and guidance for investigation.

Which brings me to your second question. There are two elements to the frame that Benkler provides. The first is measure of “success.” Benkler doesn’t provide us with an explicit measure, in part because his point is that when transaction costs are low enough people with more diverse motivations will enter the game. But implicitly, the measure here is the same measure that is applied to markets and firms in economic analysis, i.e., how much value in terms of new and better product can be unlocked at the lowest cost for the producers? So if we’re thinking about educational software, for example, one important test on this model would be the proliferation of high-quality educational software on the market, regardless of whether it is open or proprietary. Benkler thinks that network-based production will bring along all kinds of other civic values and will ultimately win out over more traditional means in many cases, but I don’t think you can dismiss the big economic picture from his framework for the purpose of the question that you asked.

The second element of Benkler’s frame is cost. What is the cost of each license style to potential producers of open source code? This turns out to be a very community-specific question. Consider the following examples:

A proprietary vendor wants to contribute code to an open source project. However, in order to do so under a FOSS license, the vendor has to firewall FOSS developers in order to prevent inadvertent contamination of the company’s proprietary code with ideas that the developers gained from working with the FOSS code. This is a cost that may prevent the proprietary company from contributing code.

A small development shop (or individual) is contributing for idealistic reasons and as a means of earning a living via consulting. Under an OSS license, a proprietary competitor could take their contributions and resell it, which may be costly both in terms of ideological commitments and real economic benefits to the contributor.

If your goal is to achieve success for a (F)OSS project by lowering transaction costs, you can’t do that without answering the question, “Costs for whom?” From this perspective, the right license is the one that, on balance, leads to lowering of the specific transaction costs for the particular participants that have the largest positive impact on the project’s progress. It’s what the utilitarians would call “felicific calculus”.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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