Daniel Lemire's blog

, 5 min read

The strange case of the copyright of open-source software

8 thoughts on “The strange case of the copyright of open-source software”

  1. ok says:

    a lot of “so called quotes” 🙂

  2. Mark S says:

    Some economists seem to be doing a better job than others though.



  3. plam says:

    Fully agree. Was overhearing a conversation someone was having with our most famous ECON 101 instructor at Waterloo and he just didn’t seem to get the open source thing, being an IP traditionalist.

  4. Peter Capek says:

    Richard Stallman deserves a lot more credit than he is generally given for initiating the idea of open source under the name of “free software”. I believe that he was the first to realize that copyright law could be used as a means to allow people to collaborate and improve software without necessarily knowing who they’re collaborating with, and using the right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative written work (the source code) in a way (the license, such as the GPL) that allows others to create derivative works (the next vesion) and keeps it perennially available. I don’t know if most lawyers even now appreciate how cool this is.

  5. jld says:


  6. jld says:

    So, links in the comments are now forbidden?

    1. No. Links in the comments are allowed. See the comments above, some have links.

  7. TG says:

    I would disagree with the claim that for economists open-source stuff does not matter. Sure, its impact is difficult to measure and it does not enter GDP calculations per-say. However, it does enter the the scope of economic research via changes in productivity, i.e. being be able to produce more stuff, with the same resources, now that your software is free.

    Of course, we can argue if we have good ways to measure productivity (and I believe we don’t), but I am not convinced that economists are completely blinded by that fact