Freedom in a new context

Tim O’Reilly kicked off the O’Reilly Radar Executive Briefing this morning by talking about the need to “rediscover the values of free and open in a new context.”

He talked about a number of different freedoms, beyond the “free as in beer” and “free as in speech” dichotomy:

  • Freedom to use
  • Freedom to build on and adapt
  • Freedom to participate
  • Freedom to fork
  • Freedom to switch

And then asked a series of thought-provoking questions.

How to we maintain these freedoms in a world in which “runnung the program” requires a data center? (It isn’t about programs I can run on my machine but global web services with enormous data needs)

How do we maintain these freedoms when applications are delivered as services and don’t distribute code?