Seminar: Open Source and IP in the Digital Society (6 ECTS) - WS 2020/2021
12 pm - 2 pm
2 pm -4 pm
Welcome, students, and thank you for your interest in this course!
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The Open Source movement has shaken up the IT industries and is now sprawling all over the industries producing information goods, and beyond. Successful Open Source projects have defined formal and informal industry standards like the Linux operating system or the Eclipse development environment. They continue to develop into ecosystems of communities like the Apache or Mozilla foundation, and successfully compete with the software industry on many levels.
We are going to learn about Open Source as a peer production model for information goods, and how the traditional understanding of Intellectual Property relates to it. Analyzing the motivation of contributors who take part in such a project and the dynamics of Open Source communities are an important part of that.
With the products of Open Source communities being available for free, there is a question of how they fit into the strategies of for-profit companies. To understand this, it is necessary to look at market structures and the appropriate competitive or cooperative behavior of actors. Because basic technologies like operating systems or web servers encourage otherwise competing companies to cooperate, industry-driven foundations are created, of which the Linux Foundation and the Qt Project will be used as examples.
Finally, Open Source causes effects at a wider scope producing a huge body of common knowledge that introduces new issues like archiving and public access to information. These effects relate back to current controversial topics like the term of copyright protection. Even though there are no definite answers to these questions, it is possible to structure and weigh arguments to develop an understanding of the long-term effects the Open Source movement will have on society.