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Escaping the trips trap: The political economy of free and open source software in Africa.

May, Chris (2006) Escaping the trips trap: The political economy of free and open source software in Africa. Political Studies, 54 (1). pp. 123-146. ISSN 1467-9248

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Abstract

Across sub-Saharan Africa, the promise of ‘informational development’ is proclaimed. The global governance of intellectual property rights (IPRs), however, currently structured through the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement and overseen by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), makes much software expensive to deploy. There is an alternative: open-source and/or free software ameliorates many of the cost problems countries in Africa have anticipated as they have changed their laws to protect IPRs; using non-proprietary software will enable them to deploy extensive computerisation without making large payments to suppliers from the developed countries. By escaping the TRIPs’ trap, many Africans will be better able to enjoy the potential benefits of ‘informational development’.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Political Studies
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Politics and International Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 3180
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 26 Mar 2008 09:27
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:01
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3180

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