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February 14, 2007


Fred Smith

This post raises incisive questions. An unstated assumption is that when humans are involved, some forms of conflict will almost certainly arise. And when a system is wholly dependent on the market and reputation, "where do notions of equality, accountability and appeal go?"

It is an unstated assumption that such problems haunt the market-based and reputation-based open source regimes. And the accuracy of this assumption is an empirical question. Maybe these problems are less severe when there is a defined set of people, involved in a common line of work, and (perhaps most important) immersed in a symbiotic relationship in pursuit of a common goal. Under such circumstances, perhaps a presumption against self-regulation is unwarranted.

Dana Powers

Applying institutional analysis is a brilliant insight. You should definitely run with that.

But how does employment law have any power to regulate reputation? Maybe you can get some money, but you can't force anyone to like you... I don't see how there is any change.

Moreover, open-source licensing doesn't dictate anti-firm structures (e.g., RedHat). Nor does closed-source licensing dictate firm structures (independent contractors).

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