Open-source software development is a production model that exploits the distributed intelligence of participants in Internet communities. This model is efficient because of two related reasons: it avoids the inefficiencies of a strong intellectual property regime and it implements concurrently design and testing of software modules. The hazard of open source is that projects can “fork” into competing versions. However, open-source communities consist of governance structures that constitutionally minimize this danger. Because open source works in a distributed environment, it presents an opportunity for developing countries to participate in frontier innovation.
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