Friendly reminder: "X as a service" is just a misleading corporate euphemism for "pay forever for not owning it".

"Software as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning the software".

"Games as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning games".

"Infrastructure as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning the hardware".

And so on.

There is no "cloud", it's just other people's computers

@drq if you read most EULAs when you buy software or games, you don't own them either.

@drq @sasha_sorokin Precisely. It's also worth noting that due to copyright law, we can reverse engineer a piece of software in order to fix a bug for ourselves, but we're not allowed to release a patch that fixes the bug for other people.

This is also where cheaters that use aimbots and stuff get in trouble, since its effects are released to the public and if a game company wanted to, they could press criminal charges against the cheaters and win.

@drq @sasha_sorokin Lastly, it's worth noting that this is a legal precedent that's specific to software and other virtual goods because it was founded on the DMCA.

We're still legally allowed to repair and modify our own physical devices without voiding any warranties, despite what tech companies like Apple may claim.

@drq @sasha_sorokin Addendum: The fact that companies *are* claiming that, however, is a sign that they're trying to erode our legal rights in the physical world too.

Be wary of them, their rhetoric, and the extremist capitalist judges Mitch McConnell is flooding the federal courts with. They're planning a hostile takeover of our property, pushing the bounds of privatization to inside our own homes, leaving us with absolutely nothing.

@drq @sasha_sorokin If they succeed, we won't even be able to repair the clothes on our back without going to a tailor that's explicitly obtained a license to repair the brand of clothes we're wearing.

And the worst part is that precedent already exists under renting, or "housing as a service", to use the above terminology. It directly conflicts with existing law regarding goods and services, but is allowed as an "exception" due to the country's slavery origins.

@KitsuneAlicia @drq @sasha_sorokin

This is really bad! Btw have you seen Louis Rossmanns's Right to repair moment? He does Mac, Apple repairs and is also arguing for the same.

@drq I don't really want to listen one hour of rant.

So I'll repeat, that if you read EULAs when installing games, or Steam agreement, or any other service AGREEMENT (except, maybe, GOG, but the games there can have own EULAs!),

You don't own software/games either. They are just on your hardware, and if they are [dependency] independent, you may use them and copy them as long as they are there.

Not because this is allowed (sometimes it's not), but rather because it's harder to enforce.

@sasha_sorokin @drq

please don't mistake whatever nonsense a company will make you "consent" to in order to use the stuff you paid for for something even remotely legal

whatever the steam agreement says I legally own everything in my steam library and I can do what I want with it, including making back-ups, selling or giving away games

the fact that valve doesn't provide a mechanism for this is another issue, but under french law (and probably many other places) digital goods *are* goods, period

@drq @sasha_sorokin that's more compilcated. Heh. Try to resell xlilnx ISE license, or altium designer.

Well, it depends, on laws of a country.
Actually, you buy a license of use. In some countries, a license can be limited to the first party taking it. In Germany, you can sell or give otherwise your license to another party, but only in status of a consumer.
@sasha_sorokin for not owning it without any guarantees that the service will be there tomorrow.

With your own copies we also don't "own" the product but at least we own the instance of it and the environment it runs in. Which is not great but it is something.

@drq *and maintain the underlying OS, network connectivity, availability, scalability, and what not :)

Interesting post:

@Sylvhem @drq Now /renting/ I can see, because then you don't have to deal with all the Maintenance stuff.

[I hope?]

It makes sense to pay an ongoing rate for that.

With computers, there isn't really a whole lot of Maintenance you need to do anyway.

@IceWolf Well, there is. With “software as a service”, you don’t have to worry about updates, about compatibility, etc.
In my opinion, it’s still bullshit, but I also so think renting a house to someone is also a scam so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.


@qrsbrwn Aren’t hotels more like “beds as a service” 🤔?


@Sylvhem @drq the hotels I use when traveling has way more stuff than beds :)

@drq it’s just time sharing with fancier mainframes and terminals

@skipsageneration which is a huge downgrade from actually owning and having actual decision-making capability over your tools.

@drq yuuuuuuuup

It can be cheaper than paying for licenses and maintaining servers which is the main thing that companies look at

...except quite often it is not. Depends on the needs.

@drq @fireantprincess I would slightly object about infrastructure as a service. Most infrastructure needs maintenance, which means people with a salary, it's not just the hardware.

@Xjs @drq @fireantprincess then I would object about software as a service, which needs maintenance and people with salaries and isn't just the hardware running it. Actually, it's in the name. You are paying for a service, not for compiled machine code.

@drq it's not 'forever' but pay when you need it. services are a good thing. you don't see people complaining about rent but replace homes with computers and suddenly it's a big evil greedy corporations that mislead people


> you don't see people complaining about rent

You must have slept the last century and a half away.

@drq you think renting is a bad thing too?

@esde Not in all cases. In combination with stock markets and other types of invented wealth, it creates the rentier economy, sends the economic system into a death spiral. Just look at the housing market, which is a total and utter disaster.

@drq There is a cloud. It’s not all “just other people’s computers” because it’s properties are totally differently than computers that are owned (as you rather eloquently put it). If your mental model for the cloud is that it’s the same stuff you rack n stack, only racked n stacked by someone else, your mental model is wrong. It’s like leasing a car. It’s not for everyone. It’s not the same as owning. But it has its place.

@drq it's not "misleading" — the "as a service" model is openly and explicitly about users of software not owning that software. No one is hiding this or attempting to confuse anyone about it. "Not owning" is definitionally what a "service" is

This is a thing a lot of people and orgs want, just as a lot of people want to have their music library be a service rather than owning their music. No one is confused here, they just don't place a high value on ownership

@Calcifer Here's the deal. More and more software becomes exclusively "as a service". And corporations deliberately use the language reserved for goods to advertise their services.

"BUY this song on iTunes" sets the expectation that this song will stay with you forever.

"BUY this live-service DRM-protected game" sets the expectation that this song will stay with you forever.

It won't. It can be taken away from you any moment. For no refund.

"as a service" - is a deliberate propaganda term to set the narrative of "ownership being obsolete".

"No one is confused here" is a pretty disingenuous statement. Ross Scott talked about this in terms of games, there's a video link in the thread.

@drq I think you're conflating two things: DRM-encumbered purchases, which are misleading since people expect to own objects they buy; and things advertised as services, which are not

No one who ssubscribes to Creative Cloud is confused about the fact they're buying acesss not product. No reasonable person believes they've bought anything. Such thingd mostly use terms like "subscribe"

"X as a service" is openly advertising that it's not ownership of X, else "as a service" wouldn't be required

@drq For this exact reason i don't like the acronym SaaS (software as a service) and use SaaSS (service as a software substitute) in it's place every opportunity i get.

@drq this seems to imply it's unequivocally bad. And yet, most consumers seem to be okay with it. Also, the concept of ownership was always a stretch for infinitely copy-able intangible bytes.

I'm not saying the subscription model is ideal, but it has been faring better so far than the one before it.

@drq Not owning something is not bad in general. Nobody would consider to buy his own train or other means of public transport. Renting a car instead of buying is absolutely ok if you need it for just a couple of hours.

The same for VPS. If I need a server for some experiments it's great, that I can choose to have one for just 2 month instead of buying one for whole of my life. You have to think about, for what you need the stuff.

@drq Depends. For games and music - true. In other situations, however, "pay forever for not owning software" seems like "don't use cabs because it means paying forever for a car you'll never own". Even if you pay and buy some software, in most situations you will still pay for it for as long as you want to use it, given someone might need to run and maintain that software, take care of machines, do backups and the like. That's more than just "pay to own". 😉

@drq "There is no "cloud", it's just other people's computers"
Thank you so much. I am no developer or anything remotely related (unfortunately), but I remember my confusion when this particularly aggravating buzzword took on, because I knew it from "cloud computing". Its just someone elses servers, right? Like the whole Internet ever?

@drq It's very ok to pay someone to do the work for you, I think. If you want to own it as well, make a cooperative. @hostsharing offers infrastructure as a service and owning of the infrastructure at the same time. No magic, though. 😉

@drq I've got mixed feelings on this since it really depends on whether you're in the Business-to-Consumer or Business-to-Business market and what the power relationship is between the SAAS provider and their clients.

Business-to-Consumer? Rarely an equal power structure.

Giant megacorp to small business? Same thing.

But I also look at SAAS operations like my $dayJob which is in the B2B realm for a very niche space. The software is useful to our clients, but no where near the point where they could afford to pay a team to build it exclusively for themselves and certainly managing a software project would be far outside of their comfort zone.

Having a SAAS set up lets them amortize the development cost across the industry and between all of their competitors -- and also without the upfront cost of needing to develop the whole thing in one go, but instead adding features as they request them.

What I do get concerned over is data-lock in. If a client can't check their data out and go elsewhere, that's a problem. I have seen B2B SAAS start ups that try to claim exclusive ownership over their client's data and that seems like both an overreach that clients might not realize is a going to be a big deal if the relationship goes sour.

@Lord Bowlich [UTC-7] Nice case of cognitive dissonance :) You make the case for open-source, not a closed source single entity controlled SaaS vendor lock-in "solution".
But of course a open-source solution also requires servicing, which can be outcontracted.

@drq one good thing SaaS did bring us is the typo "best of bread saas"


I am not sure if owning is the issue. I think having control over X is the issue. So I may rephrase the sentensess that XaaS is actually paying forever for not having control over X and being controlled by X.

@drq you have never owned proprietary software. You payed for a license on a set time basis, usually annually. Just because you downloaded and installed it locally doesn't mean you owned anything.

@drq Sure. But a surprisingly small number of people want to actually own any of those things.

@drq Agree with you but we know most people don't know how to host their tools. It is a job. Fortunately we have @yunohost who are making this easier for small instance but for the rest? How do you help Coops, NGO, SME.. wanting to use great tools without the hassle of hosting/maintaining? Would love to hear about some initiatives going that way if you know some :)

@drq It's partially true, as you pay as long as you use the service (and not forever).
But have you asked yourself: do I really need to own it ?

Are you ready to pay every prices behind a service so that you can own it ? This could include prices that you have to pay for maintainance even when you don't use it.

@drq it pisses me off that my Photoshop CS4 will soon be incompatible with a next iOS and I’ll have to “subscribe” the next version

@max_mismetti @drq
They will be going this way anyway since most people won't be joining us filthy FOSSies with our Gimp and Inkscape :P

like, when you go to the doctor and pay, then you own the doctor?

@drq X as a service is only fair if the recurring fees justify the maintenance and updates/upgrades the service provider is doing. I can't think of a lot of services where that is the case but they're out there

@drq "The Cloud" has been available ever since the late 1990s... Yahoo Geocities... Tripod... and then "They" decided to stop providing Free Websites as a Business and all that Content Vanished... "They" did give you six months to copy and paste all your words of wisdom to other free website services like... Microsoft Free Website... and then THEY decided to Go Out Of The Free Website Business... so now i publish on TEN Different free website/social media platforms...

@drq Yep ... just recently fighting with a friend's iCloud. It is low on space but the ability to download pictures is broken. If it were phrased any other way, one would say Apple is holding your property hostage.

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