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Government policy toward open source software: The puzzles of neutrality and competition

Abstract

For a variety of policy reasons, governments throughout the world are now adopting different legislative and administrative strategies that support the development of FLOSS. Some governments have actually begun to procure FLOSS, whereas others have channeled public funds to large-scale FLOSS projects. This study demonstrates both the benefits and the risks of government policy favoring FLOSS from the perspective of economics, technology, and politics, and to further analyze whether these same policy goals can be achieved through government support of FLOSS. The most fundamental argument of the study is that, in lending its support to FLOSS, the difference between a government user and a business user is that the government should take into account society’s long-term interests, not merely its own interests as a consumer.

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His research interests include free/open source software, intellectual property, and digital technology policy.

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Lee, JA. Government policy toward open source software: The puzzles of neutrality and competition. Know Techn Pol 18, 113–141 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12130-006-1007-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12130-006-1007-5

Keywords

  • Intellectual Property
  • Switching Cost
  • Open Source Software
  • Market Failure
  • Proprietary Software