Intellectual Property Rights and Intellectual Property Left - The Case of the Operating System Linux

Published in: E. Altvater and K. Prunskiene (eds.): Intellectual Property Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, IOS Press, Ohmsha 1998, pp.64-71. This version of Feb 2002 with minor corrections.

01/1998 : Sabine Nuss , Lydia Heller

Publikationstyp: Artikel
Publikationssprache: Englisch
Kategorie(n): Verschiedenes


The starting point of this presentation will be the Property Rights Theory. The Property Rights Theory will be presented as the fundamental principle of private ownership in market economies and also as the fundamental principle of Intellectual Property Rights. One central idea in Property Rights Theory states that private ownership is paramount to economic efficiency, and, in contrast, public ownership is inefficient due to lack of incentives. We will put this theory to the test by examining two basic propositions. First, to what extent is the Property Rights Theory applicable to Intellectual Property Rights? Second, taking into account the rapid development in software technology, will the central ideas still hold true? In trying to answer these questions, we will examine the genesis of the operating system Linux.