Valuation of open source softwarehow do you put a value on free?

  1. García García, Jesús 1
  2. Alonso Magdaleno, María Isabel 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Oviedo

    Universidad de Oviedo

    Oviedo, España


Revista de Gestão, Finanças e Contabilidade

ISSN: 2238-5320

Year of publication: 2013

Volume: 3

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-16

Type: Article

More publications in: Revista de Gestão, Finanças e Contabilidade


The aim of this study is to assess the financial reporting framework applied to open source software. Open sourcing software developments means sharing technology and resources with communities worldwide to help eliminate the digital divide, create economic opportunity, and support equal access to technology. Therefore, a methodological approach is needed to assess properly the performance and the value generation potential and to put such measure into organizational reports. International financial reporting framework is checked over conditions to allow value recognition of open sourced assets. Linux kernel development value is estimated to reflect worth of open source developments despite absence of book value due to inexistence of a single cost source. Several attempts to estimate a valuation of open source software have been performed previously. However, this study is the first to judge suitability of accounting framework to report on this value. The main finding is that open sourced assets do not fully accomplish conditions to be included in financial reports. We seek to stimulate academic and professional debate about the pursuit of valuation of a large and efficient ecosystem of software innovation, freely available to society.