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Serving SERVICES through the Internet is NOT software distribution

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on December 10, 2008 06:55 AM
I can only repeat what I answered to the previous interview to the same person on the same subject:

calling SaaS software distribution really irritates me. What one does running software exclusively on HIS OR HER computer, whatever it is, surely is not software distribution

and invite all readers to read the rest of that comment of mine:

Please note the "exclusively" part. I do know that there are
cases that are not so clear-cut. OK, let's discuss them
separately, but please let's not alter reality when software does
run entirely on the server and end users only query it or see the
results of their queries via the Web.

If something I do on my computer is illegal (think a website
selling alcohol to minors) I have to be punished for breaking the
law, period, no question.

In all other cases, I feel that limiting via laws, licenses,
regulations, whatever, what I do (privately or publicly) with my
own computer is a limitation of that same freedom on which the
entire FSF/GNU philosophy is built on.

If you think the assumption in the paragraph above is wrong and
want to stop it, fine, I understand your concern for the common
good and I respect your wish to protect it: same thing if you
want to find a solution for cases where software is downloaded
from a server to run on the end user computer: I already said
those are different cases. But please name things for what they

A software executable that ONLY runs on MY cpu, be it real or
virtual, is NOT distributed. There is no software distribution
whatever in such a scenario. I do have problems trusting and
supporting arguments and campaigns based on such definitions.

I confirm that I find depressing and dangerous when people turn
the meaning of words upside down to carry on their vision of the
world. Besides being ethically wrong, twisting words like this in
a legal document is probably really counterproductive: any decent
lawyer may quickly demolish an AGPL-based suit using the same
arguments I make above.

Oh, and I do agree with the second comment too: in many
cases, "cloud computing is just another reason to waste bandwidth
and allow prying eyes to see your data"

As the first time I wrote this, I look forward to hear (even
directly) from Capobianco, Barulli, RMS and everybody else their
opinions on these thoughts and/or to discuss these issues
publicly. You can contact me via or

Best Regards,

M. Fioretti


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