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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] SaaSS

From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] SaaSS
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 17:31:29 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.3.0

On 10/25/2015 12:41 PM, Mike Gerwitz wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 14:07:21 +0100, Alexander Berntsen wrote:
>> On 25/10/15 04:52, Aaron Wolf wrote:
>>> Software freedom as a value is about autonomy and independence and
>>> creative freedoms and other values that still *exist* as concerns
>>> even in cases without maliciousness.
>> And AGPL is one of the things that exist to give you these.
> It isn't.  It's a (common) mistake to mix the issue of software freedom
> with that of SaaSS.
>   Many free software supporters assume that the problem of SaaSS will be
>   solved by developing free software for servers. For the server
>   operator's sake, the programs on the server had better be free; if
>   they are proprietary, their owners have power over the server. That's
>   unfair to the server operator, and doesn't help the users at all. But
>   if the programs on the server are free, that doesn't protect the
>   server's users from the effects of SaaSS. These programs liberate the
>   server operator, but not the server's users.[0]
> The AGPL exists to ensure that changes made to copylefted free software
> on a server are available for others to incorporate.
>   The GNU Affero GPL does not address the problem of Service as a
>   Software Substitute (SaaSS).[1] 
> [0]:
> [1]:

As much as that is what Richard says, it downplays the significance of
the AGPL. Because the AGPL requires that the source match the running
version on the server, it goes beyond just providing the features for
others to use. AGPL provides a requirement of transparency and
accountability (albiet hard to enforce). It means that the software
running on the server can be inspected even if you don't plan to use the
features in running some software otherwise.

Aaron Wolf
music teacher,

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