Preliminary Report on the Influence of Capital in an Ethical-Modular Project

Quantitative data from the 2016 Debian Survey

Mathieu O'NEIL, Mahin Raissi, Molly de Blanc, Stefano Zacchiroli

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The benefits of private ownership mainly flow to owners and shareholders in the shape of financial profits, efficient and reliable operations, and the control of a docile workforce. In addition, markets enable transactions to be recorded, and different types of speculation to occur, which engender more profits for owners. The benefits of ethical-modular organisations (EMOs) are socialized: there are no restrictions on who profits. A central characteristic of EMOs is that participants relinquish exclusive property rights over the resource they have created. In order to investigate the relationship between paid development time and contribution to Debian and the question of how corporate interests influence the direction of the project, we created a survey using the online tool LimeSurvey. Questions focused on motivation for contribution, employer and professional interest in the Debian project, and other professional concerns. Additionally, we gathered demographic information, including age, country of residence, education level, and status within the project. The survey was approved by the University of Canberra Human Research Ethics Committee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Peer Production
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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