Dear Fediverse,

Soon, some venture capitalist will put $5 million into a startup that offers free fediverse accounts with unlimited storage, etc.

Unless every other instance instantly blocks such a service from Day 1, you can kiss your fediverse goodbye and say hello to a new Gmail. Once network effects kick in, they will make the rules.

It _can_ happen here but you have an opportunity to kill it before it does.

#centralisation #fediverse

@aral Hmm, potentially a forgone conclusion, though I expect it to go like this:
1. Someone writes a very nice mastodon-like app but they license it liberally (not AGPL)
2. Someone makes a custom instance with some "cool features" which are not being upstreamed or shared
3. Lots of cool instances with cool extra features
4. Some of these instances become more commercial-centric
5. When the VCs come, already too many political connections between instance admins to make blocking possible.

@aral The "ideal solution" would probably be a software license like AGPL but which also disallows any inter-connection with instances containing proprietary code. This locks it open, but at the cost of being non-free-software (freedom zero) & annoying lots of FSF lawyers.

In the mean time, we can at least distrust any "cool new fediverse app with MIT license"

@aral Another solution is a mastodon inter-connection rules:
Rule 1: Block any instance which uses proprietary code
Rule 2: Also block any instance which doesn't also follow Rule 1 or Rule 2.

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@aral Sorry s/mastodon/fediverse/ I know the distinction, I'm just lazy and tend toward accessible writing over correct.

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