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RMS and Clipperz Promoting Freedom In the Cloud

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the can-i-see-what-you-see dept.

Privacy 156

mbarulli writes "Clipperz and Richard Stallman recently launched a joint call for action to bring freedom and privacy to web applications. 'The benefits of web apps are many, but quite often users lose their freedom to study, modify and discuss the source code that powers those web apps. Furthermore, we are forced to trust third parties with our data (bookmarks, text documents, chat transcripts, financial info ... and now health records!) that no longer resides on our hard disks, but are stored somewhere in the cloud.' Clipperz and RMS urge web developers to adopt the new AGPL license and build their applications using a 'zero-knowledge architecture,' a framework for web services that has been derived from Clipperz online password manager. A smooth path toward web apps based on free software that know nothing about you and your data."

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Froth (1, Troll)

(TK3)Dessimat0r (669834) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001203)

You know the score, fucking bastards.

Re:Froth (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001689)

You know the score


Indeed we do. You scored -1, troll.

And you seem to have a long list of -1 [slashdot.org] posts. You do know that slashdot post scores are not the same as golf scores, right?

How do you score a -1 in golf? (2, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004289)

I guess you'd have to hit the ball with the back of the club while swinging backwards and get a hole in one. That would certainly deserve a -1!

Hear hear ! (5, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001267)

Especially when one considers the evergrowing warnings about google products and sites like facebook (which makes its money out of selling private information to advertisers without even making an attempt at disguising the fact) - we need, in this age of web-apps, to push for greater openness in their design.

It's no longer just about the source code, it's about every single aspect of our lives. Dr. Phill may get hits from doing shows about how people misrepresent themselves online - but the fact that his investigators are able to find out enough about a person to 'figure out the lies' just tell you how dangerous the system already is - and that is third parties, imagine the true power that applications like facebook or Yahoo! mail holds... it's scary.

On the other hand, most people could care so little about their privacy these days... one may go so far as to suggest that those who do not care, do not deserve it.

For the rest of us, why not contribute a bit to changing the picture - is there even one solid social networking tool out there that is built on open source ?

If you don't want them sharing your data... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002359)

...don't give it to them.

Social networking sites are fundamentally about sharing data. Lots of people, particularly the younger generation, forget this in their desire to play with the latest fad (which, like the one before it, will probably move on in a year or two). But, surprising as it may seem, you don't have to give your complete life story to someone else by joining Facebook, or to post your intimate secrets for the whole world to see on LiveJournal, or to give a minute-by-minute commentary on what you're doing, or to put those slightly dubious looking photos up on a public photo gallery.

I don't see how it would help if someone running a social networking site that collects all your data chose to share the source code. The source code is irrelevant: they still have your data. This is a simple privacy issue, and nothing to do with RMS-style rights to change source code.

Re:If you don't want them sharing your data... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24003557)

Even if I don't give them my data, other people will. What's to stop my friends/enemies from posting pictures of me online? With my name in the tag?

Re:If you don't want them sharing your data... (4, Interesting)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004167)

What's to stop my friends/enemies from posting pictures of me online?

This might sound weird, but, how about you yourself?

Re:If you don't want them sharing your data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24003739)

Not giving private data to sites like Facebook is one solution. But I think TFA is purposing a solution that would allow people to use sites like Facebook while at the same time protecting their privacy.

Using a site like Facebook means that you are purposely sharing "private" information with your contacts - but I suspect that there is a lot of information that could be protected (from the prying eyes of Facebook itself) using a scheme like that suggested by TFA.

Re:Hear hear ! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24002471)

...facebook (which makes its money out of selling private information to advertisers without even making an attempt at disguising the fact)

Wouldn't it be far more evil if they did attempt to disguise the fact?

Re:Hear hear ! (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002517)

It's not just developing the software, it's attracting the users from facebook and other sites to an open source site. Also, consider that you've still got to offer more to get people to stick with your site rather than the thousands of clones that can popup because it is open source.

It's a real problem for computer geeks to guess what popular teenage girls want to use. Hell, I couldn't figure them out when I was in high school. :)

You also mentioned figuring out the lies. I'm never sure how much information to collect on my site. I only ask for a first name, email address, and account name at a minimum. If a user was harassing another user and law enforcement got involved, I don't have a lot to give them. Maybe an IP from my webserver logs. Someone dishonest would probably use fake info anyway.

Also break down what these sites are. It's a dating/blogging/picture gallery/instant messaging site with plugin support for third parties to add stuff. Sounds a lot like AOL was years ago, but with blogging and no dial up. I'm pretty far on the blogging and starting to work on the picture gallery, but the other aspects I have not interest in developing. My server code is BSDL and the clients are GPLv2 or BSDL. I've not gotten one developer to assist me, in part because I was learning java when I started and it shows. (server side)

Re:Hear hear ! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003731)

Indeed. I finally had to figure out how to AdBlock HTML elements when the text ads on facebook started inserting $my_age into their sales pitches... granted, I've not remedied any privacy issue, but I don't have to look at it anymore. Any subliminal conditioning has been effectively halted... and I don't really care if they know my age. I just don't want the targeted ads. =)

Actually (1, Troll)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001287)

If it turns out to help enable a product (the ideology of it isn't all that bad either, at least not as outlined in The Cathedral and the Bazaar) as good as the ones that the GPL helped to shape, it will be worth it.

It all remains to be seen, glad to see someone out there is actually getting things done in the software/web arena. Anyways, I'm off to pursue other things today. Won't be around to answer the usual deluge of angry replies.

Re:Actually (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001837)

I think that a new license is a really bad idea. Fragmentation is not what you want in the OSS world. There are already enough problems between Sun's licence, GPLv2, GPLv3, Mozilla's, etc... to add a new license with new restrictions.

You don't need a license. You need a "EFF approved" stamp.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001951)

You don't need a license. You need a "EFF approved" stamp.



But how are we supposed to trust them without the source code? Sure the EFF is a great organization, but being an organization, it is prone to corruption. If we all could view the source code we would have the same thing without relying on an organization. Also, if we just had an EFF approved stamp, rather then a license, and assuming that meant that there would be no source code available, fragmentation wouldn't be an issue as in any one of those licenses you can view the source code, the only differences being how you can redistribute it, change it or link it with different code.

Re:Actually (1, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002065)

You have the license, it is called GPL. Its role is to give rights to the user, not to guarantee some properties of the program. For this, you have certifications and stamps.

Re:Actually (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002693)

But how are we supposed to trust them without the source code?

Um...how can you trust that the source code you get is what they are running? With a desktop app you can compile and use that version. You can't really use your own version of Amazon of Google. If they REALLY wanted to look GNU approved they could just put links to code that is old and does not have any nasty stuff in it.

As a side note as web developer a lot of web code is like hot dogs. Just enjoy it and try not to think of what it's made of, you'll just get sick to your stomach.

Re:Actually (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004655)

I don't think you can really be 'fragmented' in regards to licenses.. you can fork a program enough to kill it, but if 10 different programs have 10 different code licenses, they can all be just fine.

True software freedom includes the freedom to write your own license of choosing.

clipperz? (0, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001305)

did they shave his fucking hippy beard? Does anyone know his face looks like? WHAT IS RMS HIDING?

Re:clipperz? (-1, Offtopic)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001421)

oh noes, he swore! mod him troll!

honestly... some mod needs a "WHOOOSH!"

Re:clipperz? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001981)

honestly... some mod needs a "WHOOOSH!"

There is one. It's called a "metamod". However, if someone is going for "funny" and fails it, what but "troll" or flamebait would you mod him with?

I saw that it was a joke, but damn, dude, the joke just sucked. You may think a joke about black people is hilarious, but the black people won't. You may think a joke about a homosexual is funny, but the gay guy won't. Those jokes wil be modded "troll" or "flamebait" and deservedly so.

NKB checked.

Re:clipperz? (5, Insightful)

lessermilton (863868) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002485)

You may think a joke about black people is hilarious, but the black people won't.



Actually, one of my black friends routinely tells me black jokes, and vice versa. We think they're pretty hilarious.

You may think a joke about a homosexual is funny, but the gay guy won't.

Ditto.

Part of humor is being able to laugh at one's own foibles, even if they're stereotypical. While some jokes are just plain crude/crass/mean (think: dead baby jokes), most black/gay/duck/white/programmer/non-programmer jokes that I've heard aren't. They really are funny.

How many (coders) laugh (or have laughed) at this one?

Did you hear about the programmer who died in the shower?


His shampoo bottle said "Wash, rinse, repeat"!

Unless that programmer has no sense of humour (most I've met have a great sense of humour), they'll at least grin. But wait, isn't it insulting?? I mean, it suggests that programmers are so /stupid/ or at least /literal/ that they would die because they followed instructions on a shampoo bottle.

Really? Too many people need to get over their big heads.

/me is in the front of that line!

Re:clipperz? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003817)

Unless that programmer has no sense of humour (most I've met have a great sense of humour), they'll at least grin. But wait, isn't it insulting?? I mean, it suggests that programmers are so /stupid/ or at least /literal/ that they would die because they followed instructions on a shampoo bottle.

Well, until they ran out of shampoo... then they get a BSOD and a full system crash+reboot. Windows asks if they want to use their last good hardware configuration, and they're booted into safe mode, at which point they try to figure out why they have no recollection of starting the shower they're apparently in the middle of taking.

Re:clipperz? (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003927)

The best comedians laugh at themselves.

Or Not (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001331)

Sorry...I just don't see why I should lose my job writing web applications that will then be released under the AGPL so you guys can "look" at them. My company doesn't sell the info...heck, we don't have a ton of users, but it pays the bills.

Unless you guys want to pay to see the source code, this just turns me off any of the GPL variants more. I'm a fan of BSD - do what the heck you want with it (we've released code that way).

Re:Or Not (3, Insightful)

topham (32406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001385)

People don't get it.

Software Developers need to eat too.
There is no way I would release anything under 'AGPL' or even 'GPL' if it was important to my core business. How am I supposed to pay for a roof over my head!?

Re:Or Not (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001475)

There is no way I would release anything under 'AGPL' or even 'GPL' if it was important to my core business. How am I supposed to pay for a roof over my head!?

Somebody's got to support all that AGPL and GPL code, right?

A GPL Tax? (1)

labmonkey09 (992534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003241)

A GPL Tax?

Re:A GPL Tax? (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003951)

GP is referring to Idiot Tax, which is what people who are too lazy to RTFM end up paying.

Re:A GPL Tax? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004469)

Yep. There a quite a few million of 'em out there, too.

Re:Or Not (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001531)

Hmmm... there are a ton of ways. Number 1: develop in-house software, it can be free and you get $$$ for it. Number 2: Sell support like Red Hat does. Number 3: Put *gasp* ads for your web apps like Google does but release them under an open source license. There you go, 3 ways to make money without sacrificing freedom.

Re:Or Not (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002109)

4. the original answer, if I'm not mistaken, is 80% of all developed software is custom software. If you have a contract from a customer to create something, you create it for them, you GPL it, they get the source. They could take the software to someone else, when they ever get a conflict with you. That's what the GPL is for, provide freedom to the end-users.

Re:Or Not (2, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001703)

How am I supposed to pay for a roof over my head!?

Make it so furiously complicated to configure in a useful way that nobody ever actually wants to use the code without paying you for support and/or hosting.

Re:Or Not (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001963)

People don't get it.

Software Developers need to eat too.
There is no way I would release anything under 'AGPL' or even 'GPL' if it was important to my core business. How am I supposed to pay for a roof over my head!?

Maybe by RENTING developer hours for the same price as the code being "sold"? Just because the source is available doesn't make making changes easy. Go ahead, try to fork the Linux kernel and see if you don't end up with something unstable. You need to hire professionals for that. Why would a web application be different?

Selling software is going the way of the dinosaur. You can embrace the new business model of customizing F/OSS, or follow SCO. Your choice.

Re:Or Not (3, Funny)

Hairy Heron (1296923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002215)

Exactly. It's not like anyone at RedHat gets paid or anything.

Re:Or Not (5, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002623)

There is no way I would release anything under 'AGPL' or even 'GPL' if it was important to my core business.

The point of licenses such as this, isn't to serve the developer; it's to serve the user. You have to look at it from that point of view, in order to understand it. Look at it as a user, and AGPL software is attractive and valuable.

As a user, the question is: how do you get such valuable software?

Answer that question, and then you'll see the developers' incentive. As a developer, the reason you would consider writing code with this license, is that someone who wants the software, would be paying you to. Getting paid is your core business.

That doesn't happen, though, until users begin to recognize the value of GPLed software. Thus, RMS preaches.

The "viral" aspect of GPL is related to this, and gives a second incentive for you, the developer, to create GPLed software. If someone wants some software that almost already exists, where most of the software has already been written (e.g. Linux or the GIMP or something like that), then you might be able to give a lower bid (and win the contract) by modifying such software instead of writing it from scratch. In that case, the GPL constrains you to release your new code under GPL. Everyone wins: you get paid, and more GPL software exists.

But yes, without someone paying you for your time, you'd have little other incentive to do this, other than altruism. Strangely, a lot of GPL software is still being produced by altruism, but don't be fooled: not all of it is. There are programmers at IBM, Novell, and Red Hat who are getting paychecks for this stuff.

I think it comes down to what your core business is. Is it to produce an IP asset (a copyrighted product that only you can sell)? Or is it to work for money? Traditionally, the first scenario is where the real money is. Bill Gates didn't make his fortune by collecting paychecks.

But if RMS and his like can convince people that GPLed software is valuable, the second model may increase in viability, and perhaps at the expense of the first. Why should I buy a product instead of hiring someone to modify a nearly-done free product for me?

Re:Or Not (1)

labmonkey09 (992534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003287)

Getting paid is your core business. Negative ... get paid regularly is my core business.

Re:Or Not (1)

Alphadecay27 (1277022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003391)

People don't get it.

Software Developers need to eat too.
There is no way I would release anything under 'AGPL' or even 'GPL' if it was important to my core business. How am I supposed to pay for a roof over my head!?

Nobody is forcing you to release anything under AGPL/GPL. You can write and release all the software you like without being restricted by these licenses - just don't use them. People who choose to use them 'get it' just fine. They benefit from other people's work and give back something in return. Some people even make a living doing it.

If you want to take someone else's GPL'd code, modify 1% and sell/support that - The GPL lets you do that. You just have to give that 1% back to the community. If you don't like that, write your own damn code from scratch! You don't normally have the right to use other people's code at all, the GPL gives you rights (with certain limitations), it doesn't take anything away.

Re:Or Not (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004189)

You don't even have to give it back to the community.

You just give/make available a copy to whoever you're distributing it to (ie. the customer paying you to change it)

Re:Or Not (3, Insightful)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003687)

"...Unless you guys want to pay to see the source code, this just turns me off any of the GPL variants more..."

Richard Stallman and his GPL fans want to force everything to be open and public, yet at the same time is pushing Clipperz for keeping things private. Sounds like RS and his FSF fanbase have a bit of bipolar personality disorder.

Re:Or Not (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004433)

Who said you should lose your job? I don't know what your application does, but if someone seeing the source code is going to cause you to lose your job, that's a pretty bad situation to be in.

Why would it be different if people had to pay to see it?

Commie GNU/hippies! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001363)

<sarcasm>
First they want to put Microsoft out of business and now Google!

Why, it's un-American!
</sarcasm>

Yep. Open source works with the web, too. I can imagine a world where different applications could be built from pieces and parts that might even be hosted on different, random sites.

Imagine the possibilities.

Re:Commie GNU/hippies! (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001467)

I'll stick with BSD/Apache. The possibilities are just as great (and have been undergoing implementation for years, as a matter of fact) and they won't undercut my ability to make money programming.

Re:Commie GNU/hippies! (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002349)

The issue is that, unlike client software which uses the user's computer to run, web-based software requires your computer (server) to run. Unless someone's willing to give away hosting for free, I'll have to charge at least a token amount to cover my bandwidth costs.

Re:Commie GNU/hippies! (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004213)

Charge what you like. Nobody's saying otherwise :)

If... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001383)

...you don't trust something, then don't use it.

Simple, really.

Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001399)

Internet privacy laws are needed. Good luck in this climate, a week from now our loyal OPPOSITION party here in the us is going to sell our fourth amendment rights down the river.

The new FISA bill will stop the "illegal" domestic spying all right.. by making it legal and allowing it to continue.

No more "illegal" spying! hurray?

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (1, Flamebait)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001821)

Good luck in this climate, a week from now our loyal OPPOSITION party here in the us is going to sell our fourth amendment rights down the river

I used to believe we had fourth amendments rights until last summer, when mine were violated twice [slashdot.org] , once on Memorial Day of all days.

In a plutocracy such as ours, only the rich have rights. You can't lose what you never had.

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (1)

all5n (1239664) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001913)

Yeah, its 100% the opposition party thats doing it.

The ones in power are helpless to do anything about it. After all, they are just victims. /sarc off

Come on, learn to think for yourself instead of reverting to groupthink on everything that has to do with politics.

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (1)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002165)

He wasn't removing any blame from the "ones in power" - it's just that this is their only known operating procedure, and as such, they aren't reasonably expected to stop it. The point being that, the opposition party was the only hope, and now they have sold us up the creek as well, with their presidential candidate basically saying "I don't like this law, but I'm going to support it anyway, and trust me, if I get elected, I won't abuse the powers that I'm helping to give myself". If they really meant any of the things they say about this law, they would all support a filibuster.

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24002149)

Internet privacy laws are needed. Good luck in this climate, a week from now our loyal OPPOSITION party here in the us is going to sell our fourth amendment rights down the river.

...last I checked, the Democrat party was in control of Congress. How on Earth can the minority party get something passed without a majority vote?


(or maybe it's the fact that both parties want this thing to pass? Nah - couldn't be that...)

/P

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (2, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002455)

The real catch with Internet privacy law (well, all Internet law, really) is that the Internet is a global system. If I don't like your country's privacy laws, I'll host my system somewhere else.

Re:Internet privacy laws are needed.. good luck! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002567)

which brings us to the other side of this coin... that they created the stasi in places like sweden, which are monitoring all communications which cross their border, then signed a few "information sharing" treaties.

When I see "Clipperz"... (3, Interesting)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001489)

...I'm reminded of the sorry attempt by the US Government to introduce its version of DRM known as the "Clipper Chip [epic.org] ." The F/OSS community isn't known for its attention-grabbing project names (think Gimp here), so this comes as no surprise. Still, am I the only one who, upon first sight, related "Clipperz" and "Clipper Chip"? Is this the best moniker the Cesares could come up with?

Re:When I see "Clipperz"... (2, Informative)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001677)

Well, looks like I have to eat some crow on this one...from the Clipperz general FAQ:

But then we liked the fact that "clipperZ" sounds like an hacker/anarchist jargon word. To us, it makes fun of the whole original clipper chip concept.

Sorry about that...move along, nothing to see here...

Re:When I see "Clipperz"... (1)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002107)

Any word that ends with an 'S' can be converted to hacker/anarchist speak by converting the 'S' to a 'Z'.

My big brother, B1FF@BITNET told me this long ago.

Re:When I see "Clipperz"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24002393)

Funny to see this post.
I just decided to ignore a friend today that's trying to get me to sign up for the social networking site naymz.com.
Their site touts "Empowering Reputable Professionals"

Sorry, but an idiotic name like "naymz" screams of unprofessional and email address for spammers collection agency.

Re:When I see "Clipperz"... (1)

f0rtytw0 (446153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002321)

I kept thinking clipper chip as well. So seeing RMS next to clipper chip kind of made my brain hurt.

Re:When I see "Clipperz"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24002993)

Did anyone else think "what the hell, RMS and Clippy [wikipedia.org] ??"

"Zero-knowledge architecture"? (2, Funny)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001507)

Sounds like an open-source version of MySpace (:evilgrin:).

Sorry, guys (1, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001563)

I can't bring myself to read an article with "cloud" in it unless it's about weather, flying, or sunshine. There is no cloud.

I sure as hell hope it wasn't Stallman who used that ugly yuppified buzzword. Any time you hear one of these incredibly stupid, meaningless buzzwords you know for certain that the word's user is completely ignorant of the subject he is talking about and wants you to think you are the ignorant one.

Re:Sorry, guys (4, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001847)

Any time you hear one of these incredibly stupid, meaningless buzzwords you know for certain that the word's user is completely ignorant of the subject he is talking about and wants you to think you are the ignorant one.

Normally I'd tend to agree, but I'm afraid you're wrong in this case. From the Wiki cloud [wikipedia.org] article:

The term Cloud Computing derives from the common depiction in most technology architecture diagrams, of the Internet or IP availability, using an illustration of a cloud. Cloud computing gained attention in 2007 as it became a popular solution to the problem of horizontal scalability.

If you're unfamiliar with a typical network diagram looks like, the illustration in this Wiki article [wikipedia.org] should make things clearer.

Re:Sorry, guys (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001887)

What are your feelings toward spoons?

Re:Sorry, guys (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002041)

I can't bring myself to read an article with "cloud" in it unless it's about weather, flying, or sunshine. There is no cloud.

I sure as hell hope it wasn't Stallman who used that ugly yuppified buzzword.

Whenever you talk security and encryption, you're very likely to make diagrams of Alice, Bob, and "the cloud". What's so yuppified about that? This very message arrived to Slashdot through "the cloud".

Re:Sorry, guys (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002985)

ugly yuppified buzzword

Yuppie is a buzzword for "young upwardly-mobile professional"

Any time you hear one of these incredibly stupid, meaningless buzzwords you know for certain that the word's user is completely ignorant of the subject he is talking about and wants you to think you are the ignorant one.

Indeed.

Great ideas! (2, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001573)

There is the usual problem of developers actually making living working on open source projects, but it can work. I have been working on a project that I will probably release as free for non-commercial use, pay a license fee for commercial use, and release the source code. I would like to use the AGPL, but I do need some income from my project and (A)GPL with alternative license options may not do this for me.

I really like the ideas of "zero-knowledge web apps" and I thin that I will convert my little kbdocs.com demo to use the "zero-knowledge" ideas - if for a learning exercise.

Re:Great ideas! (1)

sveinungkv (793083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003339)

I have been working on a project that I will probably release as free for non-commercial use, pay a license fee for commercial use, and release the source code. I would like to use the AGPL, but I do need some income from my project and (A)GPL with alternative license options may not do this for me.

If the project is a Web-app (like the article is about) I think that the AGPL could really work well. AGPL requires that all users interacting remotely with the app over a network are offered a way to get the corresponding source. (Section 13 of AGPL v3) I think a lot of commercial users would be willing to pay to avoid having a "download the source" link in their application.

Even if more web apps were open source (4, Interesting)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001607)

How do we know that the app we use indeed came from the source they say it did?

With desktop app, one could compile and take an MD5, or just compile and compare to the binaries distributed, or just not use the binaries at all and compile from source for their own use.

With a web app, even if we had the source, we'd still be connecting to a 3-rd party HTTP server, and there is really no way to verify how the "real" program is run.

Re:Even if more web apps were open source (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001911)

that i my thought. how can you be certain that the app your running is the same one that was compiled with the source available.

Personally I am waiting for someone to give me my own personal cloud. I like the concepts but I want the data stored on my own server that I control. that I can connect to with any device I choose.

Re:Even if more web apps were open source (3, Interesting)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001921)

When I provide code on my website, I link to a program which displays the code on the screen.

Using the program, you can look at any file (apart from ones that are either in a black-list, such as "settings.php", or ones that have a bit of text at the start "don't show this") any time.

If it gets updated, you can always get the latest version.

Of course, yes, there isn't any real way to make sure that EvilCorp doesn't fuck around and show different code to what is actually being run. But considering you can't update that code on EvilCorp's websever, there isn't anything you can do about it.

With AGPL, you can run the code on /your/ websever.

(The only trouble with the GNU AGPL that I can tell (that is, v3, not v2), is that it explicitly allows mixing with GPL code, and then the entire program is GPL, not AGPL. I personally think it should be the other way around. But meh.)

Re:Even if more web apps were open source (1)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001949)

How do we know that the app we use indeed came from the source they say it did?

You don't.

However, you do know that their competitor X is providing the same service, using the same source, and if you have any trust issues, you can go there, or run the stuff on your own server.

On a desktop you have a little bit more assurance, but only in theory. If a powerful adversary wants to hit you, then you can't trust your md5 program, you can't trust your compiler, your operating system, your BIOS or even your CPU.

In the vast majority of cases, Free Software isn't really looked at by so many people. You can inspect the sourcecode, but for almost everyone who uses a particular program, that's more of an ideological thing than something they'd actually do.

So in practical terms, the difference really isn't that huge.

"The cloud". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001643)

Can we get a 'buzzwordbingo' tag over here please?

I never cared for clipperz myself (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001741)

Damn MS Office cartoon character, always in the way. Just let me do my work is all I ask...

If he's promoting freedom in clouds, maybe he's been hanging out with this annoying character [wikipedia.org] ?

A nice idea, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24001823)

As it currently stands, information and user paths through an e-commerce site is essentially free marketing data that brick and mortar store pay handsomely for in the form of user groups and surveys. Unless legislation mandates it, I wouldn't expect many dot coms to adopt this policy towards cookies, etc.

ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001947)

There are a lot of problems with this proposal.

Before we even start worrying about privacy with respect to web apps, we have to worry about making web apps work within the existing technical constraints. There are serious technical problems with adapting the browser and the web to make web apps. Try google's web-app office suite, for example. It implements a tiny fraction of the functionality of a traditional word processor and spreadsheet, and its performance is just plain unacceptable, especially in the spreadsheet. Http, the browser, javascript, and w3c standards simply were not designed for this type of task, and it's not at all clear that they can be adapted to it. That means that if we ever do get something like the experience they're talking about in the article, it will probably be based on an entirely different design, and it's going to be hard to work out the privacy issues without knowing the technical and financial implications of that new design.

The paradigm they're talking about is one in which users get a service from someone running a rack full of servers. For instance, if I write a letter in my web-app word-processor, somewhere there's got to be a server that's storing my document. The person running the service needs to pay their elecric bill. How are they going to do it? Well, they could make their users look at ads, but that won't work if the app is really user-modifiable, because someone will come out with a version that doesn't show the ads. They could charge the user a monthly fee, but that won't work, because the article proposes to set up the service so that the provider knows absolutely nothing about the user, not even his username.

Stallman suggests to add a feature to the browser allowing a user to say: "When you get URL X, use the Javascript from URL Y as if it came from URL X." If the user does invoke this feature, he can run his copy of the Javascript and still being able to exchange data with the server hosting the web application.

One big reason this won't work is that a web app consists of two separate pieces of code: one that runs on the server, and one that runs on the client. I wouldn't call it open source if I get to modify 50% of the code, but not the other 50%. Another problem is that part of the allure of web apps is that they require zero configuration, and can be invisibly upgraded at any time. It's hard to see how you'd maintain that benefit while having users run a forked version of the client-side code. What happens when the provider wants to modify the server-side code in a way that breaks compatibility with the forked client-side code?

Re:ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24002653)

Well, they could make their users look at ads, but that won't work if the app is really user-modifiable, because someone will come out with a version that doesn't show the ads.

Let me guess... so they can't pay the server cluster to host the documents online, but "someone else" with a version that doesn't show the ads will?

Re:ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (2, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003031)

The paradigm they're talking about is one in which users get a service from someone running a rack full of servers. For instance, if I write a letter in my web-app word-processor, somewhere there's got to be a server that's storing my document. The person running the service needs to pay their elecric bill. How are they going to do it?

Well, first off, with an open infrastructure, that service could be run on YOUR server, in which case, you pay your own bills. But even if it's on someone else's...

Well, they could make their users look at ads, but that won't work if the app is really user-modifiable, because someone will come out with a version that doesn't show the ads.

Right, but the ad-free version will not run itself. You'll either have to host it on your own server or find some other company willing to support an ad-free version by some other means.

They could charge the user a monthly fee, but that won't work, because the article proposes to set up the service so that the provider knows absolutely nothing about the user, not even his username.

You can set up a funding scheme with where the application doesn't keep user information. For example, you could have a third-party subscription broker that generates cryptographic tokens that indicate you paid for service. It's like buying ride tickets an amusement part; none of the individual ride operators needs to know (or care) anything about your billing information.

Re:ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004415)

Well, first off, with an open infrastructure, that service could be run on YOUR server, in which case, you pay your own bills.

The problem with this solution is that it eliminates some of the main reasons that people are interested in web apps. One reason is that you don't need to do any work to set up and maintain an application on your own computer. For the typical user, setting up a service on a server is significantly more difficult than just installing an app on their own machine. For organizations, the allure of web apps is that they don't need to maintain a complicated IT infrastructure just to let their workers get their work done; requiring them to set up yet another server-side app is a step in the wrong direction. Another reason web apps are attractive to a lot of people is the possibility of getting seamless upgrades; that advantage goes away if you have to run the software on your own server, and upgrade it yourself. Yet anothe reason people like web apps is that they're free as in beer; that goes away if you have to pay to host it on your own server.

You can set up a funding scheme with where the application doesn't keep user information. For example, you could have a third-party subscription broker that generates cryptographic tokens that indicate you paid for service. It's like buying ride tickets an amusement part; none of the individual ride operators needs to know (or care) anything about your billing information.

I think there are some big practical barriers to making this happen. For instance, suppose I'm going to subscribe to such a service, and it's going to cost me $5/month to store my data. In this kind of system, I need to keep a record of my cryptographic key, and at the end of every month when I access my data, I'm presumably going to get a message saying, "Your rental fee for the month is about to expire. Please fill out this form in order to keep your data from evaporating." Lots of problems here: (1) Users generally don't like filling in the same address and credit card info over and over. That's why every big online retailer encourages users to set up permanent accounts. If you really want anonymous online payments to be convenient and popular, you need a whole new infrastructure for internet-based anonymous payments, and that infrastructure doesn't exist. (2) What if I go on vacation and forget to renew my account? Oops, now all my data's been erased. They can't send me a warning, because they don't have my address. (3) What if I lose my cryptographic key? Since they don't store any identifying information about me, there's no way for them to verify my identity in order to let me change my password. (4) There's a strong incentive for online businesses to collect the maximum amount of information about their users (which is why they fight tooth and nail against privacy laws), and an overpowering economic incentive to get their users to set up recurring credit card charges for any service that requires maintaining continuing resources for them in a data center (which is why it's often virtually impossible to cancel service without changing your credit card to a new number).

Re:ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003577)

Stallman suggests to add a feature to the browser allowing a user to say: "When you get URL X, use the Javascript from URL Y as if it came from URL X." If the user does invoke this feature, he can run his copy of the Javascript and still being able to exchange data with the server hosting the web application.

One big reason this won't work is that a web app consists of two separate pieces of code: one that runs on the server, and one that runs on the client. I wouldn't call it open source if I get to modify 50% of the code, but not the other 50%.

The AGPL already covers this and requires that the source to the server-side code be made available.

Another problem is that part of the allure of web apps is that they require zero configuration, and can be invisibly upgraded at any time. It's hard to see how you'd maintain that benefit while having users run a forked version of the client-side code. What happens when the provider wants to modify the server-side code in a way that breaks compatibility with the forked client-side code?

The same thing that happens if you make your own modifications to a traditional open source program. It's up to you to maintain your own branch and keep up with the upstream version. If you don't want to upgrade, you can stay on the current version. Likewise, for the web application case, you can run your own version of the web app and leave it pegged to the current version, ignoring the new versions.

Hopefully, a programmer who creates an Clipperz-style (for lack of a better name for this proposal) application will understand and support his users desires to be able to modify the program, and seek to create a relatively stable interface between the server-side and brower-based code. In case of an non-backwards compatible change, he might continue to run an older version of the service at an alternate location, for those users who don't want to or cannot currently switch.

Re:ajax can't do it; server bills; forking code (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004661)

Stallman suggests to add a feature to the browser allowing a user to say: "When you get URL X, use the Javascript from URL Y as if it came from URL X." If the user does invoke this feature, he can run his copy of the Javascript and still being able to exchange data with the server hosting the web application.

One big reason this won't work is that a web app consists of two separate pieces of code: one that runs on the server, and one that runs on the client. I wouldn't call it open source if I get to modify 50% of the code, but not the other 50%.

The AGPL already covers this and requires that the source to the server-side code be made available.

Implementing this sounds wildly impractical to me. Suppose I sign up with a service that makes a web app available to to me, and stores my data. At some point I decide I want to modify the behavior of the application by modifying the server-side code. So what do I do now? I sign up for a webhosting account for, say $40/mo. I configure the new server. I migrate all my files. I continue paying $40/mo indefinitely for the new server, and I continue maintaining my forked version of the application forever. Ouch -- this is nothing like the zero-cost, zero-configuration, zero-maintenance setup that was the original lure of the web app. In the world of ordinary open-source apps, the possibility of forking helps to keep users from getting abused or neglected by the developer. If the developer is thinking about changing the license, or making it into adware, or abandoning the software, or making it intro crippleware, or not providing bug fixes, or not making it compatible with new libraries and operating systems --- in all those situations, he knows that if he makes his users too unhappy, someone may fork the software and users may vote with their feet. The barrier to forking is pretty high, and it seldom happens, but the theoretical possibility is always there. In the setup proposed by the article, the barriers to forking are just way too high for it to be a plausible threat. Basically the forker not only has to start maintaining the fork, he also has to start up his own internet-based business to cover his new webhosting costs (or just eat the monthly cost of webhosting for the sole purpose of continuing to be able to run this one app).

"The Stallman" (1)

Meneth (872868) | more than 6 years ago | (#24001973)

Write add-ons for the major free browsers (Mozilla, Webkit, ...) that implement the Stallman's solution.

The vortigaunts from Half-Life 2 comes to mind.

Re:"The Stallman" (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002477)

Write add-ons for the major free browsers (Mozilla, Webkit, ...) that implement the Stallman's solution.

The vortigaunts from Half-Life 2 comes to mind.

We have heard the words of The Stallman and his talk of The Free Source. The Vortiaguants praise The Stallman for the work he has done. He...

Honestly, that's about the point when I shoot the friendly Vorgtiguant. (Not, dissing The Stallman, making a HL2 reference.)

Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (3, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002069)

I am really tired of hearing from a guy who's main means of making a living is talking [blogspot.com] (and for which he makes a good living), telling me to work for free. I don't listen to the Tony Robinsons either... blah blah blah, try working instead of jawing for a living before you tell me I shouldn't be able to make money off what I produce. Talk is cheap.

He makes a good living telling people to give away their work so we can't pay our rent. In fact, I would bet he really doesn't have to work another day in his life. He is another version of Tony Robinson motivational speaker. Yes, Stallman wrote some programs before, but I doubt if there is anything really new he has done lately and he doesn't even make his main living from that anyway. He forgets that there are people who do make their main living from software development. I get paid for what I do because most other people cannot or won't do software development on their own. The majority of people can't or won't program computer applications. Why should I give away my work so that others who are too lazy or not intelligent enough to do it themselves, or are working on things that I can buy from them, can take it and take away my ability to eat. I understand the paradigm of selling support for the application you develop and give away for free. But that only works for large apps that are far too complex for even a small group of people to branch and modify. Many web sites and web apps are not so complex, aside from a few like Joomla. If everyone and their dog has your code for building a web site, your market share is killed and you are not going to be able to sell enough support... i.e. you are not going to be able to make a living.

I don't mind sharing tips and help people on forums if they show they are really stumped and not asking for a free ride. And I think that open source is pretty good in some respects but admire the BSD and Apache licenses far more than the GPL. To my mind they are really open source: 'Here is my code, do ANYTHING you want with it... use it, modify it, give it away, sell it, include your modifications, give away your modifications, hide your modifications, give away parts of your code, whatever you want... it is an open license.'

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002461)

Tony Robbins Hungry !!!

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (1)

Jooly Rodney (100912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002627)

You don't like the idea of giving away source code for free to people who are too lazy to do anything for themselves, so you prefer the BSD license over the GPL? That doesn't make any sense. The GPL expressly protects you from exploitation by the freeloaders you're complaining about. Please go back and read the terms of the licenses you're talking about.

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003357)

If everyone and their dog has your code for building a web site, your market share is killed and you are not going to be able to sell enough support... i.e. you are not going to be able to make a living.

I don't know. IBM makes a pretty good living off WebSphere and Tomcat, which are both open-source.

I agree with your conclusion, but not your reasoning. The reason open-source web applications are unsustainable is not because one has to give away the source code for running those applications. No, they're unsustainable because, unlike client side applications, the costs of running a web application all fall onto the original developer.

If I make a client application and release it under the GPL, the costs of running that application (and redistributing it) are borne by you. Its your bandwidth and electricity, not mine. On the other hand, if I make an "open" web based application, then its my bandwidth and electricity. And, because the application is open, you're free to strip out advertisements and other means for me to pay for hosting the application.

That's not to say that such an application cannot exist, of course. I'd argue that Wikipedia fulfills Stallman's criteria to a tee.

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (1)

NotInfinitumLabs (1150639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003423)

Uh, wordpress [wordpress.org] seems to be doing pretty good, and it's GPL-licensed.

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (2, Funny)

bgat (123664) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003831)

Why should I give away my work?

You don't.

And after reading your rant, I urge you not to.

Re:Screw Stallman, the AGPL , and Clipperz (2, Interesting)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004319)

I am really tired of hearing from a guy who's main means of making a living is talking (and for which he makes a good living), telling me to work for free

#1: Trolling. RMS _never_ stated that. Give me just one quote, just one, where he stated that. You cannot, because he never made such a claim.

He makes a good living telling people to give away their work so we can't pay our rent.

#2: Trolling variation on #1: he never said such a thing; in fact: he stated on several occasions that it is perfectly normal to sell your work; he thinks it is highly unethical NOT to ship the source code with the binaries, that's all.

In fact, I would bet he really doesn't have to work another day in his life.

#3: Ad hominem attack. The amount of money a person has in his bank account says nothing about the validity of his statements.

Yes, Stallman wrote some programs before, but I doubt if there is anything really new he has done lately and he doesn't even make his main living from that anyway.

#4: Ad hominem attack. Having writen code recently says nothing about the validity of his claims.

I understand the paradigm of selling support for the application you develop and give away for free.

Unfortunately you do not understand the paradigm of the GPL. Nothing whatsoever in it says you should work for free. It says however to give the source to your customers when they ask for it. Please cut the trolling and the uninformed babbling.

AGPL license (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002089)

yea! Yet another license to confuse/restrict people.

Good thing i don't acknowledge any of them.

This just in (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002435)

Richard Stallman is continuing his campaign to open source anything with digital logic. Today web apps, tomorrow home appliances. Tune in at 10 for the local news spot. Film at 11. Ninja attack at 2am during the late night show.

If it were a good idea, we'd be using it already (1)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002637)

There are many single sign on systems out there. Why do we need another new one that nobody uses???

This sounds very hard (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24002981)

You can design an application to work this way, but can the casual user really know? It seems like the web app's virtue of "easily updatable" is also the danger of easily compromised, as happened with Hushmail.

With Free Software software that is loaded from the client machine, it is often vetted for conflicts of interest by both Open Source developers and the distribution maintainers (who can choose between competing forks if a developer does a bad thing). Not that distro maintainers are infallible (as illustrated by the Debian SSL snafu), but protecting the integrity is at least part of their agenda, so it's not necessarily foolish for the casual user to delegate some trust to them. But if you're downloading javascript direct from the publisher, there's no "check" against subversion. There's no one watching your back to assure that the app is really "zero knowledge."

How do I know the app is really using the SRP protocol today?

Stallman knows what's up (1)

ckuttruff (1315571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003153)

I'm sorry, anybody that dismisses this as paranoia is just wrong. If you've paid attention at all to all events that have occurred recently, you'd understand that our legislative and executive branches don't give a shit about constitutional protections, and the battle over a neutral internet is just beginning to be waged.

It's astonishing the ease with which our government invades our privacy; anybody else find it a bit ridiculous that Qwest was one of the few telecoms that denied the administration access to a ton of personal information from customers.

Keep it up RMS, you certainly have my attention

stand by for "GNU/Cloud" ... (1)

mr_death (106532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003165)

... and another 100 rants from RMS.

"I've looked at Cloud from both sides now" (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003289)

You have to be a pretty trusting soul to put business-critical information or private health data under the control of complete strangers, and with security assurances that amount to little more than, "We keep everything strictly private that the US government doesn't want to see", and, "If we screw up, we promise not to screw up again until the next time".

Thanks anyway. I'll keep my financial data, medical records and such a wee bit closer to home.

Fuck them both (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003291)

I don't give a fuck what RMS or "clipperz" want.

Don't use web apps for anything important. (2, Interesting)

Ryan1984 (1316783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24003535)

You can just keep stuff like OpenOffice.org on a USB thumb drive, or be a real man and just take your whole operating system with you (Fedora on a USB thumb drive). Why anyone, or a business for that matter, would use Google apps or something, is beyond me.

AGPL is pointless (3, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004153)

I'm going to use US copyright law in this comment, but I believe other countries have similar provisions.

US copyright law says that the owner of a particular copy of a program can make modifications to the program in order to adapt it for use on his machine, without violating copyright. The case law has interpreted this to include modifications beyond just what is necessary to make the program run--it includes adding features if those features are necessary for what you are trying to use the program for. See 17 USC 117 [cornell.edu] for the statute itself.

Section 9 of AGPL says this:

You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program. Ancillary propagation of a covered work occurring solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission to receive a copy likewise does not require acceptance. However, nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so.

But what is modifying? That is defined in section 0:

To "modify" a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a "modified version" of the earlier work or a work "based on" the earlier work.

Because of 17 USC 117, and the interpretation of the scope of that in the case law, most use of AGPL software in a software as a service environment will NOT involve "modifying" the software as defined by AGPL, and you won't be required to make your changes available.

Diffcult Proposal (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004391)

The Zero Knowledge idea is nice, but you have to somehow enforce that once your zero-knowledge app is loaded in the browser, and the user logs in, no other code can have access to its environment.

In real world, practical terms this means no third-party toolbars or extensions, no Greasemonkey scripts, no third-party includes, no cross-site scripting attacks, no malware... good luck with that.

I don't mean to imply that there is a better way to do it, because there isn't. I DO mean to imply that the Zero Knowledge process is going to give someone, somewhere a false sense of security, for which they may well be sorry.

GPL? Si. AGPL? No. (3, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24004421)

The AGPL is easily ignored [honeypot.net] , and frankly, its FSF-sanctioned existence pisses me off. It's one thing - a good thing! - to place Freedom-preserving restrictions on distribution. It's another thing altogether to put Freedom-removing restrictions on usage. For some reason, the FSF has endorsed the idea that hosting an application via the web is distribution, even if hosting that same application via a console session is merely usage.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the reason is that GPLed software is well entrenched, and the FSF feels they have the leverage to begin forcing users to share changes even if they're not distributing them. Want to use Free software? Here are the new rules!

That sucks. I'm a huge RMS fanboy, but I think the AGPL and the principles behind it are fundamentally broken and should be abandoned.

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