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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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.
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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