ectoman writes "Can sociology shed some light on developers' decisions to adopt more permissive open source licenses? Dr. Nicolas Suzor, Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, summarizes two studies that seem to say so. Suzor writes that "the choice of license appears likely to be substantially determined by social norms" and programmers' sense of "social obligation" or "duty towards society." The studies also note that "intrinsic motivations (beliefs about redistribution rights or social benefits of FLOSS) have a stronger effect on license choice than extrinsic motivations (expection of reputation or economic gain). Suzor's review contains other interesting tidbits, too. For example: "Less experienced managers of free software projects, in particular, are strongly susceptible to influence from others, and the licenses chosen by similar projects has a strong influence on license choice.""
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