Ouvaton’s founding principle is to welcome all content as long as it respects the laws.
Ouvaton welcomes webmasters in their diversity, and especially the multiplicity of contents they put online. Thus, sometimes controversial contents can be expressed without fear of digital censorship. Ouvaton has shown its attachment to the respect of the law without giving in to intimidation, and this in the perspective of the respect of this right of expression.
The “citizen appropriation” supposes on the part of the cooperators that the services they develop and animate are within the framework of the law and thus welcome all the different editorial lines that are carried by people who have chosen to do together.
Doing things together is, in a way, our alliance. If cooperators go outside the legal framework, if a complaint is lodged, it will be the justice that will decide, not Ouvaton.
Our moral values
In the very name of our common enterprise (in the sense of project), there is the word cooperative. Ouvaton favours, through the tools put in place, relations between cooperators: forums, collective initiatives, collaborative work… The collective that is created through subscriptions and then through the exchange of emails, advice and help is the heart of Ouvaton. The sharing of knowledge (mutual aid), equipment (shared servers), tasks (investment in the life of the cooperative) are the basics of the life of the cooperative.
Freedom of expression
Welcoming all contents as long as they respect the laws in force is inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ouvaton therefore welcomes webmasters in their diversity, and above all the multiplicity of the contents they put online.
Protection of personal data
Ouvaton’s personal data are subject to strict rules of confidentiality and these rules are explicitly translated in the contracts we negotiate with our service providers (data processors, data centre). The cooperative has also shown the attention paid to this data and its commitment to respecting legal procedures when this data is requested.
Another form of economy
From the outset, Ouvaton was declared as a limited company with a cooperative form, which sets it apart from a market where profit is the rule. Beyond the idea of sharing a “piece of common hard disk”, it is also a question of experimenting with an economic model that already exists but has never before been applied to new technologies. Considering that the benefits of the cooperative should be used for its improvement, i.e. for everyone; thinking outside the classic shareholding system; favouring the solidarity economy; choosing our partners also according to their choices and their commitments… The economy as we see it is not reduced only to capital transfers, and through our choices in a coherent approach, we try to build different (economic) relationships based on the search for the Common Good.
Democracy and participation
Through its structure and statutes, Ouvaton lives thanks to the democracy it organises and which supports it. On the one hand, the cooperative system which poses as a principle “one vote = one vote” is a first guarantee of democracy. On the other hand, the governing body, the Supervisory Board, is elected each year during a general meeting to which each member is invited. The transparency of the decisions taken, the accounts, the existence of lively debates in collective spaces are also guarantees of this democratic functioning.
Ouvaton’s democratic functioning relies ultimately on the willingness of the cooperators to maintain the validity of this democracy on a reduced scale: voting, expressing oneself, discussing projects, being present on the forums remain the best guarantee of the democratic future of the cooperative.
If you have consulted some of the sites hosted by Ouvaton, you have noticed that there are no advertisers or large advertising banners. One of Ouvaton’s principles is to guarantee independence from external pressures: through the cooperative form, its financial set-up, our will, our cooperative builds its independence by giving itself the means to be sheltered from the pressures which could be exerted on our activity (financial, political, legal).
Being a cooperator, a state of mind
Being hosted at Ouvaton is not only buying a share and a base plate, then consuming hosting services. Choosing Ouvaton is an act by which you support the values of independence and responsibility. Thereafter, this support can be passive; nothing is imposed. But we really invite you to be actors of the Cooperative.
One of the strengths of Ouvaton is the spirit of mutual help. The beginner or experienced webmaster is never alone when faced with difficulties, whether they are technical, administrative or organisational. They can always ask their questions on the forums, and experience shows that they get relevant answers. Adhering to the spirit of the cooperative can also be expressed in this way: intervening on the forums to answer questions, to ask questions, or to share experiences, tips and tricks.
Ouvaton, like any other company, is based on statutes, including the holding of Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly. In order for decisions to be ratified, it is necessary that quorums be reached. This is why it is important that the cooperators mobilise themselves during the Assembly, either by being physically present for the votes (this is ideal), or by sending their vote by post or electronically within the deadlines. The democratic life of Ouvaton depends on it.
Participation in other collective initiatives
Each time a host gets involved in a common task, all hosts benefit from an improved service. You can participate in collective initiatives on a one-off basis or in the background. This booklet is one example. But there are other possibilities: writing FAQs, creating graphics, icons, promotional banners for the cooperative, organising meetings between cooperators in the real world, developing local networks, making articles in Ouvaton colours… The range is endless, and we are also counting on your new ideas!
Participation in times of difficulty
Ouvaton is a free organisation, and therefore fragile. It can be attacked, in particular by the courts, especially in the legal context introduced by the Law on Confidence in the Digital Economy (LEN) or the DADVSI. To defend itself, Ouvaton must mobilise resources in time, energy and money. In these difficult moments, the commitment of the cooperators is more than ever necessary and can take the form of logistical support, involvement in defence actions or financial aid, for example by subscribing to additional shares.