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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free as in Freedom Hosting/Cloud_Services

From: Ted Smith
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Free as in Freedom Hosting/Cloud_Services
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2012 14:15:02 -0500

On Mon, 2012-12-03 at 13:10 -0500, wrote:
> If there is free software available on which I can run on my own free
> hardware, then the cloud provider is not free. If the cloud provider
> allows you to join their cloud using the exact same free software as
> they do, then perhaps they are free. Perhaps a debate for another
> topic
> and time.
I think this is an overly restrictive view of freedom.

Since network services aren't free or non-free, I don't think there's
much of a difference between blogspot, wordpress, and noblogs.

There's a difference between "something that you can use with only free
software" and "something the FSF can recommend other people use." 

Personally, I run my own Wordpress blog, and interact with it mostly
from Emacs, but I could do the same with a blogspot or
blog, and I don't think it would be terribly different.

We're getting into territory that reminds me of early
discussions and the Franklin Street Statement:


> Service providers are encouraged to:
>       * ...
>       * Make data and works of authorship available to their service’s
>         users under legal terms and in formats that enable the users
>         to move and use their data outside of the service. This
>         means: 
>               * Users should control their private data.
>               * Data available to all users of the service should be
>                 available under terms approved for Free Cultural Works
>                 or Open Knowledge.

Defining network service freedom as a sort of "I can leave at any time"
property (the software is free, the data is portable, I can move from to my own self-hosted instance whenever) is nice, but it fails in
some cases. For example, is a BitTorrent tracker a free network service?
The software might be free, but the value in a tracker comes from the
people connecting to it, and that isn't something you can install

> Evil or good are morality
> judgments and irrelevant to the free vs non-free discussion.
Is "Things can be evil while being free, and free without being good, so
we need to decide if something is free or non-free independently first
and avoid propagating good/evil judgments to free/non-free evaluations"
a fair rephrasing of this?

I (somewhat) agree, but most people on this list take free software to
be a political/moral issue, and so I think this point was slightly
miscommunicated here.

Sent from Ubuntu

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