November 8th & 9th, 2024
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Co-operation: Putting it in Writing

SeaGL 2019

Just as copy-left uses principles of intellectual property rights to legally protect free and open source software, co-operatives use principles of business ownership to legally protect their collaborative relationships.

This talk is an exploration of co-operative organization forms for free and open source projects, projects that may or may not be formal entities. We’ll cover a little bit of basic principles, a little bit of example tech co-operatives, and hopefully a good amount of time for questions, news and brainstorms.

No technical knowledge is assumed for this talk. It is mostly about self-organizing people, and touches a little on law.


Katheryn Sutter

Katheryn Sutter,

Katheryn Sutter PhD has a background in community development and policy analysis, concentrating on how to evaluate deliberations in consensus-based groups. Living and working with co-operatively minded projects her entire adult life, she also did applied and theoretical social and bio-behavioral research in university. Free software has been her primary interest for over a decade. As developers’ free-software contributions are primarily voluntary and building a shared commons, the formalities of co-operative organizational forms seem to fit. She makes presentations at tech conferences about how to look at free-software in terms of democratic communication ideals.