Freedom and the Cloud

September 30, 2008

Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman. I advise reading the whole (shortish) interview-based article at the Guardian’s site. It’s less important to read my thoughts; be warned that they start in the next paragraph.

The trap is that, when you use cloud computing (e.g., WordPress.com, where this very blog lives, or gmail, where the andrew at changingway dot org mail actually lives), you have no control over the software you’re using. This is the loophole in GPL version 3, a project on which rms (Richard MathYou Stallman) and others expended a lot of time and other resources.

As 2008 goes on, that loophole becomes more and more significant as an attribute of GPLV3. So does the Affero variant on GPL.

2 Responses to “Freedom and the Cloud”


  1. [...] Cloud computing is a trap, warned Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman a couple of years ago. Cloud computing allows software derived from free/open source software to run without the source code being made available. [...]


  2. [...] been interested in the “open software as a service as a trap” issue for a while. So it’s good to see this issue addressed head on in an account of a [...]


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