Stallman: cloud computing is a trap

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Oct 6 15:35:37 UTC 2008

Matt Lee <mattl at> wrote:
> MJ Ray wrote:
> > However, FSF have fallen into a trap of licence-gazing and have
> > published the terrible AfferoGPLv3.  AGPLv3 is hazardous to charities
> > and cooperatives
> Hazardous? I'd love to know how.

Even if the lawyerbombs resolve in the best possible ways, it pushes
up costs of these marginal providers because of the sins of
Big-Webmail-like providers.  

> > This is especially ironic given the increasing use of proprietary webapps by FSF projects.  I
> > fear FSFE would not dare to criticise FSF's Affero-advocacy, so could
> > not be relied upon to identify non-trap providers reliably.
> Which of the following FSF projects?
> * GNU Project

Yes, as discussed previously.

> * Defective by Design

Is digg free software?  I forget.  I think this is one of the better
FSF projects.

> * Bad Vista

Uses facebook.  I don't like the general thrust of that project either.

> * End Software Patents

Depends on one's opinion of AGPLv3.  Data is verbatim-copying-only.
Wikidot doesn't offer users an export option, as far as I've seen, so
is it free and open in practical terms?

> * OpenDocument Campaign
> * ACTA
> * High priority projects

Not seen those and no time to check now, sorry.

> * Free Software Directory

I don't remember what FSD is running and it's not on the site.  It
doesn't seem to be open source, let alone free in a practical way. The
data is under the FDL, which isn't a free software licence.  I know
many on this list think that doesn't matter, though, so please don't
remind me of it ;-) It does make it rather impractical to use the data
on other sites if a copy of the whole licence has to be in each
derivative work...

Noah Slater <nslater at> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 06, 2008 at 01:06:00PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> > I was thinking mainly of the off homepages of some GNU software.
> Please clarify this statement. The GNU website is available via CVS.

I think it's pretty obvious what the term "off" (which Ciaran
introduced) means and I can't think how to clarify it further.

> > but there are other parts of the GNU project using things like Atlassian
> > Confluence - it's not like we're short of free software WikiEngines.
> These are used by the individual software developers working for GNU and are not
> hosted or part of the official GNU website.

Nice dodge!  So we could have links from to the local user
group sites used by the individual software developers working to
promote and support GNU software... (but we don't and may not, unless
they use blessed names or have a strong internal advocate...)

> > Also, some of the strongest AGPL advocates are heavy users
> > of proprietary web-apps, which is particularly irritating, like a
> > drunk lecturing on how we should all be sober at all times.
> Who?

I'm not posting names here (else I'll have to inform them and this
will become another AGPL advocacy backslapping instead of a discussion
of webapp user control), but advocates of AGPL to debian-legal
recently included several users and when I criticise Affero
on my blog, I can be pretty sure of responses from
maybe such users could do more to promote free software webapps by not
using the non-free competitors?

MJ Ray (slef)
Webmaster for hire, statistician and online shop builder for a small
worker cooperative
(Notice tel:+44-844-4437-237

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