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Summary Of Results: Oss Development Essay

1744 words - 7 pages

While OSS development is a global phenomena, the most (active) developers come from developed countries. This is the result of chapter \ref{chap:GeogrAllocation}, which shows the geographic origin of registered developers at SourceForge in 2006.
Information about the developers' IP address, email address, indicated time-zone and the number of posted messages,
delivers detailed information about number of registered developers, active developers and their activity level (posted messages). These unique dataset shows that 85\% of all active developers come from OECD countries. Nevertheless, differences in the supply side of OSS per country can not solely explained by GDP and access to the internet. To explain the differences further country-specific aspects have to be taken into account.

The cross-country study presented in chapter \ref{chap:InstCult} shows that individual decisions for OSS are strongly influenced by country-specific institutional and cultural factors. Social capital interpreted as interpersonal trust has a positive impact on the number of OSS developers as well as on the OSS activity level. Furthermore, a culture characterized by individualism/self-determination and an optimistic view of scientific progress is favoring OSS activities. An finally, a low degree of regulation as well as good protection of IPRS supports OSS. This study contributes to the understanding of the role of cultural and institutional factors in general as well as in particular with respect to OSS. Additionally, it improves the understanding of the supply-side of OSS in two ways. First, the findings confirm some results from research on the micro-institutions and -economics of OSS. The regression results support the view that OSS has similarities to technical science and scientific culture. In line with the findings is also the following view, summing up some common research results. OSS development is a public good game where interpersonal trust (as basis for reciprocate behavior etc.) helps to play the `right' equilibrium, while the individual motives of the players are of extrinsic as well as intrinsic nature. Second, the results of the study help to clarify some aspects. OSS is indeed rooted in the Western capitalist culture. OSS is based on an entrepreneurial spirit, it is linked to an individualistic spirit and the results regarding regulation point to the commercial aspect of OSS. Furthermore the positive impact of IPR protection supports the view that OSS is not anti-IPR but a new IPR paradigm. OS is a new ownership concept for digital goods, with the OSS licenses well define the intellectual property of the code.

OSS is thus a new intellectual property paradigm, which co-exists with the CSS paradigm. In the tradition of the property rights theory, chapter \ref{chap:TC} asks ``Which problem of internalization leads to the \texttt{dichotomy} of OSS and CSS?'' The analysis shows that the first-best allocation of IPRs of a source code can...

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