Manuel Castells, Open Source, Tech of Cooperation
January 31st, 2005

Manuel Castells’ address at the World Social Forum addresses open source production methods as a technology of cooperation.

(Thank you, Henrique!)


Conventionally, in a capitalist economy, property is the right to exclude others from the use of a good or service. In open source, property is configured fundamentally around the right to distribute, not to exclude. The source code for open source is published and distributed for the use by anyone who wishes. And because the source code is known, users can modify it, and can modify or generate new applications. Free source code is open, public, and non proprietary. This new form of property, that is entirely contradictory with the usual regime of intellectual property rights, is supported by a governance system that holds together a community of producers. It is based on human motivation to work within this logic and is supported by an evolving set of organizational structures to coordinate behavior.


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