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Original document (in french):
Version in Open Resources:
Only cosmetic details, and addition of license. Translated into English by Denis Fenton (Open Resources).
License & copyright:
Free Document Dissemination License (FDDL), see original version, or license section in this document.

Free Resources and Independent Technology
in the Information Sectors

Bernard Lang (INRIA)

Hanoi, 25-26 October 1997

Summary: The growing role of non-material resources and networks in the quasi-elimination of the marginal costs of production and distribution, has qualitatively modified the rules of the economic game. The specific results of this are the phenomena of industrial concentration and a handing over of the question of the technological independence of downstream industries, teaching and research. Nevertheless, these same questions produce the opposite effect which can be seen by the emergence of so-called ``free'' objects of a cultural, scientific or technological nature. These resources originate from the coordination of voluntary contributions from thousands of universities and professionals. This was made possible by international cooperation and the distribution of information by the numerical media (networks and CD-ROMs). Several studies demonstrate that these resources are often equally as good as or better in quality than those on sale commercially, offering all the same guarantees for use (maintenance, portability and performance). They already seem to have a greater share of the more important segments of certain information technology markets (software for networks, exploitation systems, software tools) in teaching and research, but they are also to be found in the competitive activities of the most advanced economies. Our aim is to examine the impact of the development and the exploitation of these resources on emergent and advanced economies, particularly, in what refers to technological independence, employment, foreign trade, access to the resources competed for by industry, teaching, research, and the cultural identity of the countries involved and their participation in the technological progress of the world.

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