Science of Collaboratories logo - link
An alliance to advance the understanding of collaboratories
Science of Collaboratories

Back to Bibliographies

Journal Article:

Author(s) :


Benkler, Y.

Date of Publication :



Article Title :


Coase's penguin, or, Linux and The Nature of the Firm

Journal Title :


Yale Law Journal

Volume ID :



Pages(s) :



Abstract :


The emergence of free software and the phenomenal asuccess of its flagships--the GNU/Linux operating system, the Apache web server, Perl, sendmail, BINF--and many other projects should force us to take a second look at the dominant paradigm we hold about productivity. Free software projects do not rely either on markets or on managerial hierarchies to organize production. In this paper the author explains that while free software is highly visible, it is in fact only one example of a much broader social-economic phenomenon. He suggests that what we are seeing is the broad and deep emergence of a new, third mode of production in the digitally networked environment. Benkler calls this mode "commons-based peer-production," to distinguish it from the property- and contract-based models of firms and markets. Its central characteristic is that groups of individuals successfully collaborate on large-scale projects following a diverse cluster of motivational drives and social signals, rather than either market prices or managerial commands.

Unpaginated full-text version available from:

Related Collaboratories :

  Home | About SOC | Workshops | Resources | News & Events  

University of California, Irvine Logo

University of California, Irvine

School of Information Logo

School of Information University of Michigan