In Anton Vedder (ed.), Ethics and the Internet. Intersentia (2001)

Paul B. De Laat
University of Groningen
Hacker communities of the 1970s and 1980s developed a quite characteristic work ethos. Its norms are explored and shown to be quite similar to those which Robert Merton suggested govern academic life: communism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized scepticism. In the 1990s the Internet multiplied the scale of these communities, allowing them to create successful software programs like Linux and Apache. After renaming themselves the `open source software' movement, with an emphasis on software quality, they succeeded in gaining corporate interest. As one of the main results, their `open' practices have entered industrial software production. The resulting clash of cultures, between the more academic CUDOS norms and their corporate counterparts, is discussed and assessed. In all, the article shows that software practices are a fascinating seedbed for the genesis of work ethics of various kinds, depending on their societal context.
Keywords academia  CUDOS norms  intellectual property rights  open source software  practices
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Institutionalization of Open Source.Robert A. Gehring - 2006 - Poiesis and Praxis 4 (1):54-73.
A Bundle of Software Rights and Duties.David M. Douglas - 2011 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):185-197.
The Social Disutility of Software Ownership.David M. Douglas - 2011 - Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):485-502.
Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Non-Pirated Software.Jane L. Hsu & Charlene W. Shiue - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 81 (4):715 - 732.


Added to PP index

Total views
810 ( #8,934 of 2,518,862 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #40,921 of 2,518,862 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes