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By Mike Carlton; Richard Walker; Mark Hamlyn; Gail Jarvis; Jacomiene Betlem; All authors

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Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software. (Gates 1976) This conflict between Gates and the Homebrew Computing Club’s members was indicative of an emerging tension in the hacker community (Levy 1994). Some simply wanted to use machines for the sake of using machines (embodying the “tools-to-make-tools” philosophy), some saw computing technology as carrying political and normative implications, and some were especially sensitive to the commercial possibilities of this technology.

FOSS makes it difficult to capture sale-value because its licenses allow unlimited copying: the first copy may be sold, but it is hard to sell future copies. But Raymond provides two examples in which developer salaries are paid for by use-value. In Cisco’s risk-spreading model, an inversion of the nondisclosure agreement model, the software that operates Cisco products is given away as a hedge against the departure of the developers — and the specialized knowledge they carry — and to ensure continued and future support.

This divergence would also underwrite the schism, in the 1990s, between the free software and open source movements. These tensions in the hacker community were manifested most notably in the conflict among MIT, Lisp Machines, Inc. , a conflict that indirectly resulted in the birth of the GNU free software project. In the late 1970s, members of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence laboratory had developed a prototype computer, the “Lisp Machine,” specially optimized for programs written in the Lisp programming language.

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