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What Does That Server Really Serve?

Mar 24, 2010, 07:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Stallman)

"Digital technology can give you freedom; it can also take your freedom away. The first threat to our control over our computing came from proprietary software: software that the users cannot control because the owner (a company such as Apple or Microsoft) controls it. The owners often take advantage of this unjust power by inserting malicious features such as spyware, back doors, and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) (referred to as “Digital Rights Management” in their propaganda).

"Our solution to this problem is developing free software and rejecting proprietary software. Free software means that you, as a user, have four essential freedoms: (0) to run the program as you wish, (1) to study and change the source code so it does what you wish, (2) to redistribute exact copies, and (3) to redistribute copies of your modified versions.

"With free software, we, the users, take back control of our computing. Proprietary software still exists, but we can exclude it from our lives, and many of us have done so. However, we now face a new threat to our control over our computing: Software as a Service. For our freedom’s sake, we have to reject that too."

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