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replies on the Linux USB mailing list over a two-year period (Oct. 31, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2015)

One of the interesting things about the Linux kernel is that the vast majority of people who contribute to it are employed by companies to do this work; however, most of the academic research on open source software assumes that participants are volunteers, contributing because of some personal need or altruistic motivation. Although this is true for some projects, this assumption just isn’t valid for projects like the Linux kernel.

Many kernel developers also collaborate with their competitors on a regular basis, where they interact with each other as individuals without focusing on the fact that their employers compete with each other.