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DIME Working Papers 31 - 35

WP31: Dual Licensing in Open Source Software Markets

Stefano Comino, Universit'a di Trento
Fabio M. Manenti, Universit'a di Padova

In this paper we present a theoretical model to study the characteristics and the commercial sustainability of a particular open source strategy known as dual licensing. We show that the decision to employ a dual licensing strategy occurs whenever the the strength and the relevance of the contribution of the OS community is su±ciently large. This result points to the crucial role of OS licensing schemes for ¯rms embracing open source strategies, and can help explaining the observed proliferation of the open source licenses.

WP31: Does Open Innovation Foster Productivity? Evidence from Open Source Software (OSS) Firms

Elad Harison, University of Groningen
Heli Koski, The reserach Institute of the Finish Economy

Our study inquires whether the performance of software companies that have adopted a business model based on the supply of OSS significantly differs from the performance of firms that provide only proprietary software applications. We use survey data collected from 170 Finnish software companies and financial data collected from external sources to compare between the productivity of proprietary software and OSS producers. Further, we assess the impact of the services that OSS firms provide on their productivity. Our findings indicate that software firms that have chosen to apply the OSS business model had lower labour productivity than other firms. Additionally, OSS firms that provide a larger variety of services are found to have higher productivity than other OSSbased companies.

The paper provides possible explanations of those results and suggests new directions to expand the research on the relations between productivity, software development and use of proprietary vs. OSS applications.

WP33: Innovating without traditional intellectual property protection: comparing proprietary and FLOSS solutions

Dario Lorenzi, Polytechnic of Milan
Cristina Rossi, Polytechnic of Milan

The issue of innovation processes taking place in the software sector is currently widely debated. Challenging questions arise about what products/services have to be considered innovative, and whether a specific artefact is innovative or not. In this framework, the widespread success of the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) put forward new research issues, dealing with whether and how programs developed according to the new production paradigm turn out to be more innovative than traditional ones. In this framework, this paper aims at contributing to the literature by addressing three main research questions: (i) are software solutions produced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) innovative? (ii) What kinds of innovations are implemented? And, finally, (iii) are programs based on FOSS more innovative than proprietary ones? Basing on a sample of 134 software solutions produced by Italian SMEs and using an original methodology to asses the problem of evaluating innovation in the software field, we provides some first insights of what emerges if we set aside the traditional innovation indicators and endower to build alternative metrics, specifically developed to target the complexity of the innovation processes in the software markets.

WP34: Self-governance in science: what can we learn from FOSS?

Margit Osterloh, University of Zurich
Roger Luethi, University of Zurich

Academic researchers regard themselves as members of a self-governed community. Scientists set goals, conduct research, publish findings and evaluate results according to community standards. In recent times, there have been growing concerns that decisions in science are influenced by outside interests that may not be aligned with the scientific endeavor. In particular, scholars have tried to address the effects of intellectual property rights on the scientific community. In this paper, we contrast science with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), a community that grew out of academia to defend open science principles in one field. We find that FOSS may offer a model for better preserving – or even expanding – academic freedom

WP35: The Process of Innovation and Structure of the Open Source Software

Meera Sarma, University of London
Ed Clark, University of London

This paper explores the process of innovation within a virtual community of open source developers. We analyse a subgroup of the hacker community called the free and open source community as they possess unique structural and processual characteristics conducive to innovative product development. We propose a conceptual model of the innovation process and further examine the core and peripheral structure of the community and assess its impact on the innovation process.

This paper builds an initial understanding of how the hacker community is organized and how innovation occurs in the open source virtual environment. We show that the process of innovation is systematically different from other traditional patterns of innovation development. This enables us to hypothesize the behaviour of the open source community that leads to an understanding of the process of knowledge creation, through the characteristics and processes of the community.

We identify the core and periphery of the community as central to innovation in the virtual environment and thus provide a direction for further research.




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