Thursday, January 3, 2013

Open Source Software Movement

Carillo and Okoli (2009) discuss the open source software (OSS) movement as it relates to copyright and intellectual property law in The Open Source Movement: A Revolution in Software Development. According to Carillo and Okoli (2009), OSS appeared before proprietary software. The OSS mentality guided all software development. Richard Stallman organized the movement through the Free Software Foundation by defining and defusing legal mechanisms for the free software. OSS grants users the full right to the source code, to run the software for any purpose, to modify the source code and to distribute the software.

Even though OSS is free, businesses can still make a profit from installing and supporting OSS. Linus Torvalds, a Finnish programmer, started the Linux project that has exceeded $35.7 billion in profit by 2008. Raymond illustrates and paints an excellent picture of software development in his book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar. The book discusses the Mozilla project formation from the Netscape Communicator source code. Raymond explains the different mentalities of open and closed software development.

Carillo and Okolio (2009) continue to remark on the radical change in software development brought about by the OSS movement. The OSS movement has not only created high quality software, but it has also created a new type of virtual community. Moreover, the effects are having far reaching impacts influencing the way people view software. Furthermore, OSS is significantly shifting the conception of intellectual property rights view.


Carillo, K., & Okoli, C. (2009). The open source movement: A revolution in software development. The Journal of Computer Information Systems. Winter 2009. 49(2).

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