• Project Title: Economic Implications of Open Source Software

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. John Hight

  • Internship Location: Rao Research and Consulting

  • Onsite Mentor: Chetana Rao

The intention of this project is to examine and improve upon Mustonen's model of a copyright firm acting as a monopoly with the exception of a copyleft competitor, operating under the assumption that if a given programmer's perceived complementary income from working on a copyleft project is greater than the wage that they would earn working for the copyright firm, then the programmer will join the copyleft firm\cite{Mustonen}. Programmer "skill" is evenly distributed across the interval [0,1], and the skill of the marginally hired programmer in the copyright firm is known as the threshold productivity, a*. There is, however, very little evidence pointing to the notion that programmer skill is distributed as such; it is more likely that this is a decision made by Mustonen to simplify his model. The goal of this project is to reconstruct his model as if the skill of programmers were normally distributed across the interval [0,1], and then examine the implications that this change has on Mustonen's statements made regarding his model. Further research and study into making succinct models will be performed at Rao Consulting, with more emphasis on the data analysis aspect.