Keynote: When Software Is a Service, Will Only Network Luddites Be Free? (Bradley M. Kuhn)

Bradley encourages us to critically think about how free Gmail and Twitter actually are.

Bradley is a programmer who started diving into licenses. He works with the Software Freedom Law Center now.

In the beginning there were no licenses, just the Four Freedoms:

  • to learn,
  • to copy and share,
  • to modify and
  • to share modified versions.

To make a long story shore: someone convinced hardware manufacturers to sell licenses for their software. Fortunately, there is lots of software right now you can install and that give the user the four freedoms back again.

But what about software you use through your browser: Software as a Service (SaaS)? Gmail for instance is free, as in price, but does it give you freedom? We need to step back and take a look at the policy for software. The challenge is to regain the power to move your applications, data and human connections. We need to be able to get our data and relocate our community.

Interesting projects in this area:

Interesting licence options:

  • Affero GPL
  • Extend copyleft to network service world

For more info see