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In the longer term, of course, the company itself also has an economic interest in ensuring continuing innovation so it can remain competitive as the market changes.Less obviously, restricting access to intellectual property poses an immediate economic challenge to the company: it alone must generate all of the value offered to its customers.In the software context, this issue is addressed by the requirement to provide access to source code; an open source biotechnology licence would also need to guarantee such access one way or another.
The business creates the tool, fences it around with intellectual property protection, and derives revenue by selling the tool or, more commonly, charging fees for access under a licensing agreement.
From a business perspective, this IP-rent extracting model has a number of advantages.
Most of the material below is from Chapter: Open Source as a Business Approach from the Ph D thesis from Janet Hope at janet dot hope at au We've selected the citations that are generally significant for all sectors and for software, not those related to Open Source Biotechnology, which is the main topic of the research.
See also our article on Open Source Software which explains the competitive benefits of using open source software.
In the software world, the role of a project leader is to: 1.
Provide the base intellectual content for the project and continue to seed it with new contributions. As Al Gilman, founder of the Alliance for Cellular Signalling, has said, there should be "money in the budget for pom-poms".Take Day Software, quietly producing tons of good open source infrastructure components, they sell a great proprietary app. I think it’s the easiest way to make money out of open source. Support & Packaged Services: Sell support as subscription and high-value packaged services (monitoring, inventory, etc.) for open source software you’re producing. Proprietary distribution: assemble open source software into a proprietary stack.JBoss was the flagship in this business with quite a success making money with it. It’s all open source software, but the recipe to assemble the different components together and deliver a coherent and supported stack is kept secret.However, because the IP-rent extracting strategy relies directly on restricting access to the tool, it also has a number of costs.From a public interest perspective, the main costs are higher prices in the short term (the well-recognised cost of granting a monopoly) and threats to future innovation in the longer term.First, "given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow": as demonstrated by the Linux project, a large group of users can eliminate design flaws and introduce enhancements very rapidly.Second, the existence of a development community that includes both users and owners of the tool allows users to communicate needs and priorities to owners so that overall development efforts are more likely to be directed towards the most useful tasks.Open source licences support this strategy in two ways.The first is purely practical: users cannot become codevelopers of a tool unless they have access to that tool in a form that they can understand and modify.This can also include some “proprietary services” such as automated updates or monitoring. Sun seems to look toward this way too (see Solaris and the recent Web Stack). Proprietary tooling: sell proprietary tools that help running / operating / managing open source products.These tools are usually development tools, administration tools or deployment tools. Saa S: package open source software to deliver apps as a service.