Free software and the economics of information justice

Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):173-184 (2011)
Claims about the potential of free software to reform the production and distribution of software are routinely countered by skepticism that the free software community fails to engage the pragmatic and economic ‘realities’ of a software industry. We argue to the contrary that contemporary business and economic trends definitively demonstrate the financial viability of an economy based on free software. But the argument for free software derives its true normative weight from social justice considerations: the evaluation of the basis for a software economy should be guided by consideration of the social and cultural states which are the ultimate goals of any economic arrangement. That is, the software economy should be evaluated in light of its ability to provide justice. We conclude with a discussion of possible avenues for reform
Keywords Economic indicators   Free software   Information justice   Intellectual property   Redistributive justice   Software economy
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-010-9226-6
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Amartya Sen (1989). On Ethics and Economics. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 51 (4):722-723.

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