FSF has published this article about Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS). It talks about the dangers posed by what we usually call “Software as a Service” or more generally “cloud”. This one is very different from the perils of proprietary software for which free software is a solution. Here’s the short definition to get a picture:
Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) means using a service as a substitute for running your copy of a program. Concretely, it means that someone sets up a network server that does certain computing tasks — for instance, modifying a photo, translating text into another language, etc.— then invites users to do computing via that server. A user of the server would send her data to the server, which does her own computing on the data thus provided, then sends the results back to her or acts directly on her behalf.
Its an interesting take on the situation, more so because merely developing a free alternative to the said SaaSS doesn’t solve the problem. It has spun off a debate about using ‘github’ a proprietary and SaaSS model service for free software collaboration a.k.a social coding. Very recently FSF has published an initiative to rate code hosting services based on GNU ethical repository criteria It talks about librejs, free software on server side (github ), license recommendation, privacy, calling “GNU/Linux”, Accessibility etc.
Go through them. Let’s discuss what you think about it.