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Strategy

What are the goals of the Co-op Cloud?

Yes, we do have a blog

Some leading thoughts are outlined in the project launch blog post also.

From our experiences working and organising as Autonomic, the tech co-op who initiated Co-op Cloud, we know that the progressive tech movement lack reliable and cost-effective technical means for providing an alternative to “Big Tech” cloud services.

The urgency for providing an alternative comes out of the understanding that the concentration of our digital lives within the private sphere of corporate providers (e.g. GAFAM) represents a loss of freedom due to the threat to our privacy and self-determination through surveillance and monopolisation.

As a movement, we cannot compete with corporate providers in terms of cost and scale. Their network effects and available capital means that no one project, product or organisation can create the required shift to a more widespread public interest technology.

Our strategy is to mutualise our resources to create this shift. Co-op Cloud is an attempt to create a new shared resource - an open and democratically managed, open standards based, copyleft licensed, libre software infrastructure project.

Compensation for contributions

We think that it is important to focus on making the libre software ecosystem sustainable. This has historically not been the case.

It feels important to contextualise this position. In the words of LURK:

Big tech and an abusive misunderstanding of free and open source software practices have led us to believe that software production, server maintenance and on-line services should be free as in gratis. However there is no such things as a free lunch and software does not exist in a vacuum. If we want sustainable alternatives and a diverse cultural sector, these alternatives and the humans behind them, need to be supported.

And a short excerpt from Seven Theses On The Fediverse and The Becoming Of FLOSS:

Without substantial funding for ongoing development and maintenance, these projects will remain contingent upon the exploitation of the free labor of well-meaning individuals, or subject to the whims of people making time for their FLOSS hobby.

We want to build a flourishing, inclusive, accessible project and paying people for their work (not just writing source code, but other forms of organising and care work too!) has a role to play in that. We think that making it possible to compensate contributors for working on Co-op Cloud is a way to get involved with self-organising sustainability from the start.

We haven't worked this all out. We've opened up an Open Collective account and we're running this as an "invite only mode" approach. If you want to make a contribution to Co-op Cloud and you'd like to be compensated, please come and chat to us first.