Richard Stallman is warning *us* about cloud computing?!?

Richard Stallman helped to create the problem that he's now warning us to avoid in cloud computing.

I read Richard Stallman's commentary on cloud computing in the UK's Guardian. Stallman is full of warnings about cloud computing:

One reason you should not use Web applications to do your computing is that you lose control. It's just as bad as using a proprietary program.

But he completely neglects to mention that he had a chance to seed the cloud, which is largely built using open-source software, with an upgraded GNU General Public License (Version 3), and he demurred. Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation failed to protect the cloud when they had the chance, finally capitulating to industry pressure with the Affero GPL , an inelegant but workable sop.

Ars Technica is right to suggest that Stallman's doom-and-gloom about cloud computing is "myopic" and utters a final judgment well before even a provisional judgment is warranted.

But Stallman's biggest fault here is that he criticizes a problem that his own inaction created.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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