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Open source software's tragedy of the commons

Will open source software become a tragedy of the commons? Senior news writer Beth Pariseau and Sentry's Chad Whitacre take up the question.

Open source software has a rich history in IT, dating back almost 75 years to a time when programmers shared their work in the name of innovation. But times have changed.

Now open source software is facing a potential tipping point, where innovation and accessibility could be threatened by economic viability, security and sustainability. In the inaugural podcast season of IT Ops Query, TechTarget Editorial's Beth Pariseau explores open source software's fate and its potential to become a tragedy of the commons, a term that describes how public resources can be exhausted by self-interest.

In Episode 1 of IT Ops Query: Tech's Tragedy of the Commons, Pariseau sits down with Chad Whitacre, Sentry's head of open source. He explains why open source software is an example of a public resource or good, and how the well-studied concept of a commons might be the framework needed to address some of the issues facing open source software, including maintainer burnout.

Nicole Laskowski is a senior news director for TechTarget Editorial. She drives coverage for news and trends around enterprise applications, application development and storage.

Beth Pariseau, senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial, is an award-winning veteran of IT journalism covering DevOps. Have a tip? Email her or reach out @PariseauTT.

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