OpenSource Software in Economics Posted 26 Apr 2007 · Report post So according to your definitions, you own it but don't control it? I think we've gotten to the root of why you aren't following me.You create it and voluntarily release it for other people to use. It'd be like owning a piece of land, donating to a third party organization under the conditions that you can't take your private ownership back, but you can use the land whenever you want. Obviously, this idea doesn't make a lot of sense for physical property, but it works very well in some software development situations.I'm talking about UNIX. Linux is a UNIX clone. The heart of which is the C language. See http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/chist.html.For the most part, the Open Source community does nothing except copy and tweak things that commercial companies invented and made successful. Sure, coding up clones is hard work. Just as moving blocks for a pyramid is hard work. But that's not the most conceptual, valuable part of the development process. Surely Objectivists should give the most credit to the Creators of the original systems that were laboriously cloned.One exception here has been mentioned already: Emacs. But that's the exception not the rule.I don't think its fair to say that Linux is simply a UNIX clone. Linux is definitely designed under the philosophy of UNIX, but I would consider more of an evolution of UNIX. Every modern operating system is, to some degree, a derivative of an OS that previously existed. Operating System ComparisonsWhat about when commercial companies decide to make their original products open source for others to improve upon or learn from? Sun recently made Java open source. Netscape made their web-browser open source (which evolved into Firefox, IMO the best web-browser available). John Carmack (Doom, Quake, etc.) releases all his video game engines open source after their economic life-cycle ends. I guess I'm confused why this is viewed in a negative light.