Open source software boosted the European Union’s GDP by between €65 to €95 bn in 2018, a new report published by the European Commission on Monday (6 September) has shown, but warned that the EU should do more to actively promote open technologies.
The study assessed the impact of open source software and hardware on the European economy. It estimated that European companies had invested €1 bn in open source software in 2018, resulting in an additional economic output of between €65 and €95 bn, the equivalent of air and water transport combined.
“Open source offers a greenfield advantage for policymakers and Europe has the chance to lead,” said Sachiko Muto, the CEO of OpenForum Europe, one of the two organisations authoring the report.
Computer software based on open source can see their source code used, analysed and modified by anyone for any reason because its copyright holder has opened its license to public collaboration. It is the opposite of proprietary licenses, where the owner of the source code retains exclusive control over it, hence none else can contribute to it without express permission.