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Why free web services aren’t really free

There are many reasons to love emerging technologies – ease of use, features, ability to connect with family/friends. But for most people “free” is a prominent reason. Unfortunately, it’s not the right kind of free. The idealism of early 2000 around open source and free software has given way (within education) to “wow, cool tool” syndrome of today. Mark Pilgrim posted on this in 2005 in Freedom 0 where he discusses the dangers of “free enough”. I don’t mind paying for software, even content, when I actually own it, rather than rent it under the terms provided by a software user’s license.

This short article raises the important concerns about control again: Why free web services aren’t really free: “Trading one closed-source app for another gets us nowhere, even if the new app happens to come from Google”.