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Carsten Agger agger at
Fri Jan 19 12:09:34 UTC 2018

Hi Jonas

On 01/19/2018 11:50 AM, Jonas Oberg wrote:

> By and large, I believe *where* a certain piece of code runs is immaterial
> to the question, and what matters is the interface the user of a service is
> subject to. As we know, throughout the history of computing, we've
> constantly moved the processing power between the client, and the server,
> and back again, time and time again.
I believe it makes a difference if the software is running on my 
computer or not.

An aspect of they point you make is that the software run by complex web 
applications like Facebook or GMail should also be free, we should be 
able to study it and figure out what it's doing on our behalf when we're 
pushing its buttons. I think that's the use case of the Affero GPL - by 
licensing under the Affero GPL, you demand that derived sites should not 
refuse to make its code, along with its own changes, available to the user.

However, you can't expect to be able to make modifications on other 
people's servers. What you can do is set up your own server with the 
same software with the modifications.

In the case of Facebook, likely people wouldn't use your site because 
you don't have Facebook's database.

And that's in my view a threat to software freedom, but it's a different 
threat: The centralization. One of FSFE's slogans is "There is no Cloud, 
just other people's computers".

This is completely true. What is also true is that vast majority of 
computers in "the cloud" in "The Cloud" is owned by a very small handful 
of suppliers. So "Cloud computing" is not just an euphemism for "not 
your computer", it's a euphemism for the fact that ownership of 
practically all computers in the world, and nearly all public 
infrastructure, is being concentrated into the hands of maybe three or 
four cloud vendors. And that's a huge problem.

But, as I argue - it's also a different one.

> That Google or Facebook happens to have JavaScript that, today, runs on
> the client side, should not affect whether it's considered to be violating
> my freedom or not.
> Let's imagine for a second that Google and Facebook rewrote their frontend
> to use only CSS/HTML, and avoid JavaScript. Would that magically make their
> service more respecting of my freedom? I do not believe so. It would still
> be a proprietary service.
> And similarly, if they licensed and made available all the corresponding
> source code for their JavaScript, that would not make the service more
> respecting of my freedom either. It would still be a proprietary service.
> Best,

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