Freedom or Copyright? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Stefan Meretz stefan.meretz at
Mon Feb 11 13:44:49 UTC 2008

On 2008-02-11 14:19, Matthias-Christian Ott wrote:
> > Without copyright so called piracy would be legal and thus
> > proprietary software looses its commodity character, because it
> > would no longer be scarce. Then, all proprietary software would be
> > out-cooperated by free software, which bases on non-scarcity, e.g.
> > abundance.
> >
> > But this scenario also develops with copyright, it only takes a
> > longer time to out-cooperate proprietary software.
> Sorry for overlooking your post.
> What do you mean by out-cooperate?

This is a term used by Geert Lovink in an interview with Christoph Spehr 
on free cooperation first, but was rapidly adopted in cutural debates:

It means that successful competition is reached by cooperation. The 
competition is not won on the old field, but by opening a new field. 
Example: Encyclopedia Britannica was out-cooperated by Wikipedia, not 
by competiting on the old proprietary field, but by opening a new field 
of free cooperation. And of course: Free software is on the way of 
out-cooperating proprietary software.
Thus, on the field of cooperation, nothing is stronger than free 
cooperation. Proprietary production can only prevail on its field (for 
some time) by using additional external forces like copyright 


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