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Internet SuccessA Study of Open-Source Software Commons$
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Charles M. Schweik and Robert C. English

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017251

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017251.001.0001

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The Importance of Open-Source Software Commons

The Importance of Open-Source Software Commons

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) 1 The Importance of Open-Source Software Commons
Source:
Internet Success
Author(s):

Charles M. Schweik

Robert C. English

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262017251.003.0001

This book explores how openness and the Internet promote innovation and the creation of economic value, citing the growth of the Web, Wikipedia, YouTube, and the open-source software (OSS) application Apache as examples. It examines why and how teams of software developers and users, collaborating over the Internet, can build and maintain software as a form of commons, and, more precisely, discusses the factors that lead some OSS commons to succeed and others to fail. To address these issues, the book draws on literature about software engineering and information systems, along with distributed work and virtual teams, political science and economics—including collective action, social movements, and commons governance and management. It also uses a framework called Institutional Analysis and Development to analyze the technological characteristics of the software, the community aspects of the people involved, and the institutional rules and processes that govern OSS projects. Moreover, the book presents a case study of Open-Source Geospatial Foundation, a nonprofit organization involved in a number of projects on OSS geographic information systems.

Keywords:   openness, Internet, commons, innovation, open-source software, software engineering, information systems, Geospatial Foundation, Institutional Analysis, geographic information systems

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