FSF-Backed Autonomo.us Promotes Web Services Freedom


An interesting note from the Free Software Foundation Monday: A new group of free software evangelists has assembled to protect the freedom of network services.


An FSF press release says the group has launched a blog and a wiki, appropriately named autonomo.us, and published a statement outlining its position entitled "Franklin Street Statement on Freedom and Network Services." The purpose, from the statement:

We believe this will be an ongoing conversation, potentially spanning many years. Our hope is that free software and open source communities will embrace and adopt these values when thinking about user freedom and network services.
Group members concede that they have yet to formally define "open services," but they do list recommendations for service providers and software developers who want to be mindful of freedom where those services are concerned.


On the developer side, they ask developers to release software under the Affero GPL. (This is not a surprise considering that funding for autonomo.us is provided in part by the FSF.) They also urge developers to create free alternatives to existing services that are not currently free. The group then asks providers to choose free software for their services, and to release any modifications they make to that software under a free license.


It will be interesting to watch how the ongoing discussion evolves. Stay tuned.