The Proliferation of Open-Source Licenses: The Cooptation of an Industrial Transition Movement by Multiple Institutions
Sudibjo, Magdalena Nirmala Sari
Although scholars now study an array of social movement outcomes, few researchers consider outcomes across multiple institutions, including the cooptation and institutionalization of a social movement by non-state actors. To address this gap in the literature, this study examines the differences in the selective cooptation and institutionalization processes that occur across three different institutions—nonprofit organizations, for-profit computer technology companies, and governmental organizations—that have both embraced and altered the open-source movements’ industrial innovation of open-source licenses. This study builds on prior work in the industrial transitions and social movement literatures by developing a multi-institutional perspective on the cooptation and institutionalization processes of an industrial transition movement. Empirically, the study shows differences in the legal features of open-source licenses over time and across institutional sectors, and it shows how the frames used to justify the licenses vary across those sectors. Consideration of the differential effects of social movements across institutional sectors is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of the impact that social movements have on industrial change.