This report maps how firms are collaborating with communities of unpaid volunteers to produce open source code, used in most IT applications and infrastructures.
The authors map firm employee contributions to top GitHub repositories, and analyse how the IT press portrays this co-production. They also show how IT firm and foundation employee presentations at open source conferences reveal contrasting visions of digital infrastructure, business models, and the firm-community relationship.
Big tech firms such as Amazon are using cloud computing and Software as a Service to transform open source software, which is intended to be shared and modified, into closed assets. The report outlines strategic responses to big tech appropriation and reviews current debates about the recognition of volunteer work, money in FOSS, software licenses and universal basic incomes.
The report also features invited comments exploring alternative perspectives by French open source specialists from the fields of academia, industry and activism.