Cloud computing is not just disruptive to the software market; it’s also disruptive to software freedom advocacy. Software freedom has been defined as being present when any recipient of a software binary has the freedom to also use the source code for any purpose, study the source code, modify it and distribute it themselves. Cloud applications fail this test at the first hurdle, since no-one is actually receiving a software binary and thus the “four freedoms” analysis to determine the presence of software freedom is inapplicable.
Does this mean no-one should use cloud solutions? While there are some extreme voices that assert abstinence, I think that’s an untenable position. Cloud computing offers so many benefits – many resonant with what people have historically sought from software freedom – that it’s sure to be used. Listening to entrepreneurs and investors here at OSBC, there’s no doubt that the future of software has a substantial dimension in the cloud.
Read the full article over on ComputerWorldUK.