Open Source: The capitalists' choice

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I often hear people referring to Open Source and Free Software advocates jokingly, or not so jokingly, as "communists" or "hippies".

After all, giving away your "intellectual property" for the greater good may be a nice theory in some ideal world, but it rather flies in the face of capitalism, doesn't it?

Rubbish! In fact, I'd argue that Open Source is actually more true to capitalist principles than traditional proprietary software practices. It all comes down to the principle of efficient markets.

Proprietary software is akin to the privatisation of the railways. It pays lip-service to the perceived efficiency benefits but if you look at it closely, you realise that the fundamental motivation of competition is absent.

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