Thursday, October 11, 2001

Protected info rage Way back in 1970, George Akerlof wrote an economics paper called "The Market for 'Lemons:' Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism" describing how markets can fail due to information asymmetry. 30 years later, he (and 2 others) won a Nobel Prize for their work. I tried to use Google to find the paper (as I'm sure many others did also) but only succeeded in downloading it because I'm currently a University of Chicago student.

A Nobel Prize winning economics paper written thirty years ago is so clearly something that belongs in the public domain that I offered it here for free. I received a letter to take it down so I have. I was instructed to point to this link instead (which does not work outside the University). The irony of this is rich.

Incidentally, I also believe that the work here has strong ramifications for software, an experiential good (i.e. you don't know what it is until you've experienced it) with a terrible reputation for being buggy or useless or both.


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