Create collective wealth, share knowledge : freeware and open content

Orientation of proposal

Community Internet networks should move towards the almost systematic use of freeware, and make organisations and the social movements in general aware of the stakes involved.

Likewise, the contents produced by community networks should be designed to be open in order to share knowledge and diffuse know-how.

This attitude should also consist in an invitation made to local, national and international authorities to equip themselves with freeware, too, and ensure that all the contents developed with public funds and diffused are open.

Lastly, community networks should reflect on economic methods focused on freeware in order to profit from possible application to other areas.


The rapid development and the quality of freeware has opened up a breach in what is thought to be the sacrosanct efficiency of the market. It has also shown that cooperative systems can be more fruitful than competition based systems. Lastly, it reveals one of the most salient features of the information revolution : in a society of know-how and knowledge, we pass from a zero sum game to a positive sum game, i.e. diffusing one’s knowledge is not the loss of property, but participation in a cumulative process of wealth creation.

However, the system of freeware is still fragile and requires encouragement, starting with those that have the most to gain, networks and Community Internetworks. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to attack one of the foundation stones of our system of wealth creation, i.e. intellectual property, by demonstrating that other legal and economic systems can be considered.

Generally, that which is developed with public funds should be considered as public property : the development of university content for the Open University and E-learning could be used to increase the wealth of educational resources, with free schools in mind, rather than be sold in the form of continuing education packages. Likewise with the digital resources of museums, public libraries, etc.

Posté le 4 octobre 2002

©© Vecam, article sous licence creative common