Abstract

Open‐source software development is a production model that exploits the distributed intelligence of participants in Internet communities. This model is efficient because of two related reasons: it avoids the inefficiencies of a strong intellectual property regime and it implements concurrently design and testing of software modules. The hazard of open source is that projects can ‘fork’ into competing versions. However, open‐source communities consist of governance structures that constitutionally minimize this danger. Because open source works in a distributed environment, it presents an opportunity for developing countries to participate in frontier innovation.

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