Is Free Software Inevitable?

by Volker Weber

Open Source/Free Software has the effect of removing points of economic friction by circumventing the traps and nets that allow certain types of profit to be accumulated. It does this by creating 'valuable' intellectual property and placing it into the public domain (policed by the GPL). This intellectual property (the body of all open source code) can be exploited by all at a very low cost. This low cost software represents a 'savings' as compared to proprietary, high-cost software, and a business can exploit these savings, lower their costs, increase their profits, and pass the remainder on to the consumer. These savings apply a powerful economic incentive for businesses, large and small, to adopt Linux in favor of Microsoft Windows, in order to become more competitive in their sphere of competition. Thus, in this way, open source can be, and is becoming a powerful global economic force that will not be diverted.

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