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[directory-discuss] Threats on documentation freedom need a SaaSS and fr

From: Nomen Nescio
Subject: [directory-discuss] Threats on documentation freedom need a SaaSS and free s/w composite remedy
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:24:43 +0100 (CET)

When a server blocks documentation retrieval, the attack on freedom
resembles that of SaaSS, described here:

Just as free software relies on having the source code free software
in the users possession, the free use of documentation also requires
the source work to be in the users possession.


When access to web-served documentation is obstructed by a CAPTCHA or
subject to intrusive data sharing and collection, much of what
Dr. Stallman says in the above article applies here.  CAPTCHAs are
being used to control users options and behavior.  These are some of
the freedoms under threat:

* Involuntary servitude

  When a user a solves a CAPTCHA, they are doing work.  The work is
  security duty that benefits the website owner.  The work is being
  outsourced to all or some users without compensation.  The work has
  measurable value, demonstrated by CAPTCHA-solving businesses staffed
  by generally underpaid workers, who are then hired by some users.
  The model puts man to work for machine, when it is machines that
  should be serving man.  A user is either forced into servitude
  himself, or compelled to hire workers that are often (if not always)

* Data sharing and collection

  When a website is directly accessed from a unique and private IP
  address that is not shared with others, the option to collect, use,
  and abuse that information is innate and beyond the user's control.
  By extension, the information can be shared with a third party who
  may also abuse it or sell it someone else who will use it against
  the user.

Some software documentation distributors put their servers in
CloudFlare's exclusive corporate walled-garden, which then forces
users to choose which freedom they're willing to sacrifice.  This
attack on user freedom naturally parallels that of threats made
possible by SaaSS.  As mentioned in Dr. Stallman's SaaSS article, for
our freedom's sake, we must reject this.

A discussion started here:

A point was conveyed that the definition of "nonfree documentation"
must be limited by what we call "free software", as written here:

While some of those free software principles can easily (and quite
rightly) be applied to documentation, it's also important to import
philosophy and remedies from the SaaSS problem.

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