Is a 5th freedom needed?

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Mon Aug 12 08:07:58 UTC 2013

Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam at>

> With the freedom to study and improve the program (freedoms 1 and 3),
> and the freedom to send the program to someone else if they're more
> capable to help you (freedoms 2 and 3), these already secure the freedom
> to decide which data is shared where.

What the article seems to be talking about is outside the scope of
software freedoms. The four freedoms are needed by the software user.

When the user abdicates their freedom to the entity that runs the
service, demanding more software freedoms is not going to address that.
Those freedoms don't help the user, if the user isn't the one who gets

Instead, the problems discussed here are more directly addressed by
<URL:> the
Franklin Street Statement on freedom and network services.


    Service providers are encouraged to:

    * Choose Free Software for their service.

    * Release customizations to their software under a Free Software

    * 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.


    Users are encouraged to:

    * Consider carefully whether to use software on someone else’s
      computer at all. Where it is possible, they should use Free Software
      equivalents that run on their own computer. Services may have
      substantial benefits, but they represent a loss of control for users
      and introduce several problems of freedom.

    * When deciding whether to use a network service, look for services
      that follow the guidelines listed above, so that, when necessary,
      they still have the freedom to modify or replicate the service
      without losing their own data.

 \           “I have one rule to live by: Don't make it worse.” —Hazel |
  `\                                                          Woodcock |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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