Slightly OT: is free software development indirectly subsidized?

Andrew Zajac arzajac at
Mon Feb 5 15:12:00 UTC 2007

> One question puzzles me: as far as I can tell, 'free software
> development' is indirectly subsidized by the universities or software
> companies that employ these developers during the day (so they can code
> for 'free' at night....)  Without these supporting institutions, free
> software would likely wither away, I think.  What do others think?

Study on the:
Economic impact of open source software
on innovation and the competitiveness of the
Information and Communication Technologies
(ICT) sector in the EU

"Almost two-thirds of FLOSS software is still written by individuals;
firms contribute
about 15% and other institutions another 20%"

"Defined broadly, FLOSS-related services could reach a 32% share of
all IT services by
2010, and the FLOSS-related share of the economy could reach 4% of
European GDP by 2010. FLOSS directly supports the 29% share of
software that is developed in-house in the EU (43% in the U.S.), and
provides the natural model for software development for the secondary
software sector."

I doubt that a milti-billion dollar industry will wither away.

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