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Open source, open wallet

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Open-source business models are booming in the software industry, a rapid rise that has some experts wondering if it's a bubble that will burst.

Venture capital firms are pouring more money into start-ups that adhere to open-source practices, such as giving away technology for free. That rush could result in an investment bubble, similar to that seen in the early days of the Web, several industry executives cautioned at the Open Source Business Conference last week.

For an open-source business to work well, a start-up needs a number of attributes that a closed-source software company doesn't, executives said.

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