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5.1.2007 | Von:
Sandra Braman

An economy of long term views

Today, even in the automotive industry one finds working practices of the Open Source movement. Why? Because it has shown that on the long run, cooperation can be more successful than competition.

Sandra BramanSandra Braman

In one sentence: What is Open Source?

We mean things that are put out there so that once they are produced, everybody can have access to them without paying for them. It also means that anything you make is going to be available out there. We have other reasons beside money why sometimes things are not available to us.

If you take producers of Open Source Software: What drives them to do this, to give away things for free? What do they get out of it?

At least three different things. One would be trying to make things happen that will not happen unless we are collaborating, sharing information with each other.

Sometimes it is very idealistic. You just want to share the knowledge, or to share a good thing.

It's also looking at the long term instead of the short term. You may not be getting immediate payback in the short term, but in the long term, things may build for you that in fact ensure that you are able to sustain yourself on the long term. In the long run, it allows you to get a job, or to become part of an organization that sustains you in the long run.

  • German Interview

  • Why should I as a consumer choose to use Open Source products if I have proprietary products working quite fine for me right now?

    This leads back to why things might be better if we are actually collaborating. If we think about the software example: A company has its own interest and it sets down rules about what will get made. And the market, the users, the consumers, they find the product completely unacceptable, but there is no way of talking to the people who produced it. So we're stuck. If you get Open Source software, you have lots and lots of users who are able to translate frustrations or concerns or problems into fixes, and make it a lot better. So the first thing is: You are going to get better software. The problems are going to get solved.

    Secondly, there is often a more fair distribution of the money that comes from the development of products. We just heared today a wonderful story about distributing music that made sure that the actual musicians earn money as opposed to just the record label companies. And the same thing is happening with free software and other kinds of things. When you buy open source software or other kinds of goods and services, the actual people who produce them are going to get more out of it, as opposed to just the companies and stockholders.

    A third value for me as a consumer of acquiring things from open source is that I can then make things with it. When I get software from a company that is controlling it, I am stuck with the choices they give me. But when I get it from Open Source, then I can also tailor it to do the things that I want to do. And that makes me a producer as well.

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