A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Chapter 6: Proprietary versus Public Domain Licensing of Software and Research Products
Alfonso Gambardella and Bronwyn H. Hall INTRODUCTION 1. In the modern academic research setting, many disciplines produce software and databases as a by-product of their own activities, and also use the software and data generated by others. As Dalle (2003) and Maurer (2002) have documented, many of these research products are distributed and transferred to others using institutions that range from commercial exploitation to ‘free’ forms of open source. Many of the structures used in the latter case resemble the traditional ways in which the ‘Republic of Science’ has ensured that research spillovers are available at low cost to all. But in some cases, moves toward closing the source code and commercial development take place, often resulting either in the disappearance of open source versions or in ‘forking’, where an open source solution survives simultaneously with the provision of a closed commercial version of the same product. This has also created tensions between the reward systems of the ‘Republic of Science’ and the private sector, especially when the production of research software or the creation of scientific databases is carried out in academic and scientific research environments (see also Hall, 2004). As these inputs to scientific research have become more important and their value has grown, a number of questions and problems have arisen surrounding their provision. How do we ensure that incentives are in place to encourage their supply? How do market and non-market production of these knowledge inputs interact? In this chapter, we address some of these questions....
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