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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  21 endeavor. 82 Third, they seek recognition from their peers by contributing to the development of innovative code. 83 Finally, there is a political motivation that sees open source as superior to proprietary software. 84 This is often manifested as an anti-Microsoft attitude. These differing motivations affect the choice of intellectual property protection for the source code. The open source movement’s development process is primarily influenced by its membership of volunteer developers. The limits of volunteerism serve to shape code. Volunteer members can only provide limited time and resources. In contrast to a firm, there is no pressure to force volunteers to work on a particular project in a timely manner. Consequently, it is the volunteers who decide what code will be written and on what time schedule. This leads to volunteers that only wish to work on interesting tasks. 85 The resulting code is then biased towards the needs of its volunteer member developers, who are sophisticated developers and not ordinary users. 86 For example, open source projects are often those that developers think are interesting or useful, such as a C complier or an mp3 player. As a result, volunteer members may not necessarily work on code that is in greater demand or more socially beneficial. The influence of economic and political influences on open source code is minimal. An international team of volunteer members leads the open source movement. This diverse set of 82 Moglen questions the conventional economic perspective that people are only motivated by incentives. Instead, he argues that creativity, which is intrinsic and rewarding to people, leads people to contribute to the open source movement. Eben Moglen, Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright, F IRST M ONDAY , Aug. 2, 1999, at 4, available at http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_8/moglen/index.html. See also Karim Lakhani et al., Hacker Survey, available at http://www.osdn.com/bcg/bcg/bcghackersurvey.html (Jan. 31, 2002) (providing survey results that support Moglen’s view). 83 Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, The Simple Economics of Open Source, J. I NDUS . E CON . (forthcoming), available at http://www.nber.org/papers/w7600 (focusing on the role of reputation as part of an economic analysis on the motivations of the open source movement). 84 Nikolai Bezroukov, Open Source Software Development as a Special Type of Academic Research (Critique of Vulgar Raymondism), F IRST M ONDAY , Oct. 1999, at http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_10/bezroukov/. 85 This social influence also arises from the utilitarian concerns of its developers. That is "every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch." Raymond, supra note 73. 86 The creator of the open source Linux operating system acknowledges that the open source development process results in code for developers and not ordinary users. Linus Torvalds, Interview with Linus Torvalds: What

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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endeavor.
82
Third, they seek recognition from their peers by contributing to the development of
innovative code.
83
Finally, there is a political motivation that sees open source as superior to
proprietary software.
84
This is often manifested as an anti-Microsoft attitude. These differing
motivations affect the choice of intellectual property protection for the source code.
The open source movement’s development process is primarily influenced by its
membership of volunteer developers. The limits of volunteerism serve to shape code. Volunteer
members can only provide limited time and resources. In contrast to a firm, there is no pressure
to force volunteers to work on a particular project in a timely manner. Consequently, it is the
volunteers who decide what code will be written and on what time schedule. This leads to
volunteers that only wish to work on interesting tasks.
85
The resulting code is then biased
towards the needs of its volunteer member developers, who are sophisticated developers and not
ordinary users.
86
For example, open source projects are often those that developers think are
interesting or useful, such as a C complier or an mp3 player. As a result, volunteer members
may not necessarily work on code that is in greater demand or more socially beneficial.
The influence of economic and political influences on open source code is minimal. An
international team of volunteer members leads the open source movement. This diverse set of
82
Moglen questions the conventional economic perspective that people are only motivated by incentives. Instead,
he argues that creativity, which is intrinsic and rewarding to people, leads people to contribute to the open source
movement. Eben Moglen, Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright, F
IRST
M
ONDAY
,
Aug. 2, 1999, at 4, available at http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_8/moglen/index.html. See also Karim
Lakhani et al., Hacker Survey, available at http://www.osdn.com/bcg/bcg/bcghackersurvey.html (Jan. 31, 2002)
(providing survey results that support Moglen’s view).
83
Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, The Simple Economics of Open Source, J. I
NDUS
. E
CON
. (forthcoming), available at
http://www.nber.org/papers/w7600 (focusing on the role of reputation as part of an economic analysis on the
motivations of the open source movement).
84
Nikolai Bezroukov, Open Source Software Development as a Special Type of Academic Research (Critique
of Vulgar Raymondism), F
IRST
M
ONDAY
, Oct. 1999, at http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_10/bezroukov/.
85
This social influence also arises from the utilitarian concerns of its developers. That is "every good work of
software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch." Raymond, supra note 73.
86
The creator of the open source Linux operating system acknowledges that the open source development process
results in code for developers and not ordinary users. Linus Torvalds, Interview with Linus Torvalds: What


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