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  • From the Commons to Capital : Red Hat, Inc. and the Incorporation of Free Software

    Benjamin J. Birkinbine

    Chapter from the book: Birkinbine, B. 2020. Incorporating the Digital Commons: Corporate Involvement in Free and Open Source Software.

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    This chapter provides a case study of Red Hat, Inc., which is the largest and only publicly traded corporation whose business model relies entirely on free software products and services. This case study is indicative of the ways in which free and open source software (FLOSS) products can be, in effect, commodified by transforming their use value into exchange value. However, the mechanism that is used to accomplish this is qualitatively different than traditional commodity production, which is described further in the chapter. The chapter also provides detailed explanation of the ways in which Red Hat negotiates its relationship with the free software communities upon which it relies for FLOSS production. It does so through the Fedora Project Council, which serves as a boundary organization for negotiations between the free software community involved in the Fedora Project and Red Hat, which sponsors the Fedora Project.

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    Birkinbine, B. 2020. From the Commons to Capital : Red Hat, Inc. and the Incorporation of Free Software. In: Birkinbine, B, Incorporating the Digital Commons. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book39.d
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    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Feb. 26, 2020

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.16997/book39.d