Public Intervention for Free/Open Source Software
23 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 22, 2010
This paper reviews the main theoretical and practical arguments in favor and against governments’ policies supporting Free/Open Source (F/OS) software. Using the information gathered from the OSOR.eu website, we build an original dataset about F/OS software interventions across Europe and we show that public adoption and advisory are the most common type of interventions in Europe. Our analysis suggests that, to evaluate in a meaningful way rationales, motivations and consequences of public interventions, one has to properly distinguish between the various roles played by policy makers and the different categories of software involved. We provide empirical evidence that F/OS support is stronger in countries i) where egovernment services are more largely available, and ii) where the domestic software industry is lagging behind. This evidence supports common views among F/OS advocates.
Keywords: open source software, public policies, packaged vs customized software
JEL Classification: J50, O38, H57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By Jyh-an Lee