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Journal Article:

Author(s) :

 

Benkler, Y.

Date of Publication :

 

2002

Article Title :

 

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

Journal Title :

 

Yale Law Journal

Volume ID :

 

112(3)

Pages(s) :

 

369-446

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: http://www.yale.edu/yalelj/112/BenklerWEB.pdf

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