Web services and free software

Carsten Agger agger at c.dk
Wed Jul 18 15:10:48 UTC 2007

One thing I've been thinking about lately - does the proliferation of
web services harm free software?

In a way, no - a lot of web applications are actually based on free software.

However, a large part of human/computer interaction is moving from programs
running on your local machine to programs running on an internet server.

And this means that those offering those services are not actually distributing
or releasing software - in the case of CMS' and Web servers, they are
only *using*
it, and in the case of more specific web services, letting people use them
as a *service* - in both case incurring no "redistribution"
obligations under e.g. the

This means that even when more and more free software becomes available, people
might still become increasingly obliged to use non-free software
through the web,
or to use free software as web applications under conditions where the
four freedoms
don't apply. I'm sure the question isn't new and others could state it much more
eloquently, but ...

is the an answer, and which would be the right one?

best regards

Carsten Agger,
Aarhus, Denmark

- fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL!

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