In recent years, there have been hundreds of academic articles and scores of books written about class action litigation. The law reviews abound with doctrinal critiques, letters to Congress, moralist manifestos, and economists’ prescriptions for optimized class action rules. Reading it all, one would certainly think that abusive class action litigation is running amok in the United States.
In 1991, Linus Torvalds released the first version of the Linux operating system. Like many other beneficiaries of the subsequent dot-com boom, Torvalds worked on a limited budget. Clad in a bathrobe, clattering away on a computer purchased on credit, subsisting on a diet of pretzels and dry pasta, hiding in a tiny room that was outfitted with thick black shades designed to block out Finland’s summer sun, Torvalds programmed Linux.