Resisting Incorporation and Reclaiming the Commons: The Case of Oracle and Sun Microsystems
Incorporating the Digital Commons: Corporate Involvement in Free and Open Source Software
The previous two chapters focused on case studies of Microsoft and Red Hat, and discussed the ways in which the processes and products of FLOSS production became incorporated into capitalist production. 33 The chapter on Microsoft demonstrated how the company initially built its business model on strong protection of its intellectual property and fended off challenges from the emergent open-source models that proved to be an effective and efficient model of software production. Microsoft
... lly shifted to embrace open source, albeit only in certain limited ways. The chapter on Red Hat demonstrated how free software could be transformed into a profitable business model by harnessing the labour power of the free software community and transforming its productive activity into commodities that could be customised, sold, and serviced for its customers. Furthermore, the chapter focused on the specific ways in which Red Hat negotiated its relationship with its free software project, Fedora, through the boundary organisation of the Fedora Project Council. This chapter will look at how a community of FLOSS developers deals with unwanted corporate encroachment into its community governance model. In other words, this chapter focuses on the politics involved in negotiating the boundaries between FLOSS communities and corporations. The focus on politics here is not only concerned with the governance structures in place for negotiating boundaries between the corporation and the FLOSS community, as was discussed in the previous chapter. Rather, the focus on politics here also specifically investigates the ways in which FLOSS communities can assert their interests against unwanted corporate attempts to influence production within the community. As such, politics here has the dual meaning of collective action as well as an ethical horizon toward which collective action can be directed.