Profiting from Openness: A Critique of a New Business Model

Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)


 Capitalism has been undergoing a metamorphosis over the last few decades, resulting in a change of phase from industrial capitalism to cognitive capitalism or informational capitalism. Some instead speak of a movement within capitalism from Fordism to post-Fordism that has changed capital’s regime of accumulation and the regulation of the capitalist system, transforming its reproduction. The profit from openness model, introduced in Chap. 1, emerged as a complement and alternative, both to the ideological opposition and to the practical limitations of the profit from enclosures model. It was greatly inspired by the success of the globally peer-produced Linux operating system and the so-called Web 2.0 in the first years of the new millennium. But, all talk of openness warrant a closer look: openness is often used as a synonym to freedom, but it is not. To be open is to be open for someone else’s freedom to act. The kind of openness that fosters commoning and the building of robust commons is one thing, and the openness that supports interoperability in a capitalist world is another thing. This difference is connected to classical ideologies. The study’s ideology analysis is elaborated in the chapter, followed by a presentation of the contemporary discussion about immaterial and digital labor with all its ramifications. Finally, the concepts of commons, peer production and platform are defined and clarified, before introducing the social actors and flows connected to the profit from openness model.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linnaeus UniversityVäxjöSweden
  2. 2.Södertörn UniversityHuddingeSweden
  3. 3.National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)Buenos Aires CityArgentina

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