Open Source is a software development model that is achieved through virtual communities of individuals who collaborate in order to create products, even quite complex ones, featuring the absolute freedom to study, change or distribute them. Originally a protest movement, Open Source has become a new organisational paradigm; big corporations and public institutions now adopt it to develop their programmes. Although the Linux project originated by Linus Torvalds is the most renowned example, Internet has contributed greatly to the phenomenon's unfolding, drawing the attention of researchers, businesspeople, and institutions. This is due to the fact that Open Source is completely different from traditional proprietary models, such as Microsoft and, at least for many applications, represents a valid alternative. It also offers many opportunities for analysing innovation processes and for usage in the fields of management, strategic impact and labour organisation. The volume adopts a clear, descriptive expository style that endeavours to explain the relevant technical aspects in elementary terms. The authors also deal with a wide variety of topics, including actors (businesses, institutions), applications, and possible consequences (intellectual property, standards, legislation).
Moreno Muffatto teaches Economics and Business Organisation in the Engineering Faculty at the University of Padua.
Matteo Faldani has a degree in Computer Engineering and conducts research at the University of Padua.