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“I don’t know if Google’s allergy to the AGPL extends to software used for drone murder applications, but in any case I look forward to preventing Google from using more of my software in the future.”

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      I fucking hate reCaptcha, partly because the problems seem to be getting harder over time. Sometimes I literally can’t spot the cars in all the tiles.

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        It’s also very effective at keeping Tor out. ReCATPCHA will, more often than not, refuse to even serve a CAPTCHA (or serve an unsolveable one) to Tor users. Then remember that a lot of websites are behind CloudFlare and CloudFlare uses ReCAPTCHA to check users.


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          For the Cloudflare issue you can install Cloudflare’s Privacy Pass extension that maintains anonymity, but still greatly reduces or removes the amount of reCaptchas Cloudflare shows you if you’re coming from an IP with bad reputation, such as a lot of the Tor exit nodes.

          (Disclaimer: I work at Cloudflare but in an unrelated department)

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          Luckily, CloudFlare makes it easy for site owners to whitelist Tor so Tor users don’t get checked.

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            Realistically, how many site owners do that, though?

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        I don’t hate it because it’s hard. I hate it because I think Google lost its moral compass. So, the last thing that I want to do is to be a free annotator for their ML efforts. Unfortunately, I have to be a free annotator anyway, because some non-Google sites use reCaptcha.

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        Indeed, also annoying is you have to guess at what the stupid thing is trying to indicate as “cars”. Is it a full image of the car or not? Does the “car” span multiple tiles? Is it obscured in one tile and not in another? Which of those “count” if so? Should I include all the tiles if say the front bumper is in one tile or not? (my experiments have indicated not).

        Or the store fronts, some don’t have any signage, they could be store fronts, or not, literally unknowable by a human or an AI with that limited of information.

        I’m sick of being used as a training set for AI data, this is even more annoying than trying to guess if the text in question was using Fraktur and the ligature in question is what google thinks is an f, or an s. I love getting told I’m wrong by a majority of people not being able to read Fraktur and distinguish an f from an s from say an italic i or l. Now I get to be told I can’t distinguish a “car” by an image training algorithm.

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        At some point, only machines will be able to spot the cars.

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      Google is not only creepy anymore, it is getting dangerous.

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      It is very likely that AWS, or Linux, or many other services/projects are used by governments for doing bad stuff. I don’t understand what is so different in this case.

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        In this case, you are being personally enlisted to aid directly in the immoral activities, not just using a service that other people also use.

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          In this case, you are being personally enlisted to aid directly in the immoral activities

          In the same vein, you’re personally enlisted to aid in killing innocent Afghanis through paying taxes. Oh, and ruining people’s lives for possessing a certain plant, etc.

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            These are obligations imposed on you by the state, which cannot be opted out of, and are quite indirect compared to contributing to a database of pattern recognition whose only purpose is targeted murder.

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              Not sure what you mean, but the fact remains: through taxation, we’re all enlisted to aid in doing all kinds of nasty/crazy/immoral shit that we wouldn’t voluntarily aid in doing. That’s why they need to take our money by force.

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                Yes, that fact remains. This article is talking about opting out of something voluntary. I’m not seeing the point of confusion.

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          Thanks for the reply. I read the article couple more times but still don’t see the connection.

          As far as I understand, if you use AGPL there are thousands of companies who won’t use your library either.

          The author’s open source projects don’t seem to be directly used for drone technology, either. Even then their argument looks weak to me.

          I support protesting Google for their actions in involving in immoral projects. And I appreciate the author of this article for suggesting one another way to do that but it looks a very weak one to me.

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            I support protesting Google for their actions in involving in immoral projects. And I appreciate the author of this article for suggesting one another way to do that but it looks a very weak one to me.

            I certainly don’t disagree that its persuasive power is low; I only argue there’s a big difference in “participating in directly aiding an morally defective project (like reCaptcha hypothetically asking you to select drone targets) with ones own abilities (human image recognition)” and “using a service or project (like AWS) that is also used by morally defective actors (like governments)”. The latter is impossible to avoid (like taxation, as @rama_dan points out), the former possible.

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        Using the AGPL accomplishes their goal while keeping the software free (by the FSF’s definition) and open source (by OSI’s definition). If they used a “don’t be evil license” their software wouldn’t be included in various package repos, and couldn’t be linked with GPL-licensed code.

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          Hm, maybe a “you can’t use this software to deprive others of their basic human rights” sort of clause in the (A)GPL could be good. I’m sure there would be some drawbacks (especially enforceability WRT government agencies), but it might help.

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            i doubt it would. entities who consciously violate basic human rights don’t care about following licenses. if they could be prosecuted for a license violation, they could be prosecuted for their human rights violations regardless of license.

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            Ah, this was the article I was trying to remember. Probably too late to be noticed now.


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              Hm, I found the first essay you posted to be more convincing. I think Stallman brings up a good point that these are licenses based on copyright law - not human rights laws. Either way, I’m convinced now that it would probably be a net loss.

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        Except licenses that try to not to approve of “evil” end up badly.

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        If you’re prepared to admit that corporations naturally trend toward violence

        What’s that supposed to mean?

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