You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!
Latest Comments
Steam really is coming for Linux!
By whizse, 5 June 2012 at 7:53 pm UTC

Right, but here we are, and me wanting to play a game made in 2002 isn't fantasy, it's quite a common occurrence.

I care less about Steam specifically or any single title, than I do about the deeper issue at stake here. You asked what was wrong about the DRM used by Steam and I answered. There might not be any games on Steam today that isn't available on disc for some other platform in some way, but we are very much getting there.

As for this being sucked out of a finger, it is not. Look back on other parts of culture and you see a lot of time and effort being made to resurrect old movies and old books. Artificially making this harder is damned stupid, and we are not even talking about the roughly 100 years or so we've had movies, video games as an industry is still very young and yet we're essentially already losing control.

Me not being able to grab a demo of six month old game that was only available on Steam was a wake up call, not a big one by any means, but a small reminder that DRM really means that you're not in control. If you have no problem with that, fine, but at least now you know why some of us doesn't like DRM in any form.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 7:36 pm UTC

I only played a handful of games. So I actually do dedicated good amount of time to each game I play. Unless the game is so horrible that I don't even finish it. That being said I don't contradict myself. I just don't comeback to most of the games years later to replay them.

It's just logical. There are a lot of physical goods that were developed by a company that doesn't exist. Give me a break man, how old are you?! Steam goes belly up in 10 year and .. nothing happens. Life goes on. Most people grow up, get families, acquire new interests in life. I certainly won't cry if I can't play a game I used to play when I was younger.

All these issues are sucked out of a finger, so to speak. All games that are on Steam can be either bought from developers directly or on Amazon. I've yet to see Steam exclusive game.

As for your question about you having a game and your friends not having it if developers closes down, that's just too bad. You should have bought a 4-pack for your friends, or they should have bought it on their own if they are good friends and want to play that game with you. I personally don't care if my friends don't have games I have. That's actually the case with most of my friends. They just don't play games I play and I don't play multiplayer, at all.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By whizse, 5 June 2012 at 7:01 pm UTC

Heh, for a gamer you're sure an interesting fellow. Considering the lengths people go to to play and replay old games I think you're in the minority here. ;) (I think it also goes against what you argued earlier, that people doesn't spend enough time in one single game, never taking the time to explore, etc.)

As for me, I certainly intend to play games when I'm 60. Oh, and digital may very well be forever, but a service like Steam? You have got to be kidding! There's been quite a few DRM-music services that have gone belly up leaving users stranded. The only digital copy that lasts forever is the one that isn't bound by any DRM.

Even if Steam is still around, what happens if a retailer that was Steam-exclusive closes? I still have the copy of the game I bought, but what about my friends? There are no used copies to buy in a pure digital market. Piracy to the rescue, at least that's a sure bet.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 6:45 pm UTC

"whizse, post: 4540, member: 126"Yes, and if you only distributed the demo on Steam it would be gone forever.

It's all these small little infractions that add up and that I find so scary, be it with Steam, appstores or all the e-book services.


I am sure you are aware that 90% of game developers don't release demos nowadays.

That's just it - you don't own a copy, unless you buy DVD. And for majority of people it's not an issue anymore. I was reading Blizzard forums where people were discussing what to buy - DVD or digital Diablo. Majority went for digital. Only handful of people wanted to buy a regular box. So peeps bought either digital + Collector's Edition ($250 btw) or Collector's Edition. I still like my DVDs, and sometimes I buy DVDs, but the valid point that was made was that DVDs scratch, can get damaged, can be lost, etc. Digital is forever (I kinda doubt that Steam is going away during my active part of life; I don't think I will be playing games when I am 60 y.o. ). Digital can be deleted and restored at no cost. And when Steam is gone forever, there still will be DVDs on Amazon of old games. I just actually realized that I don't play games I used to 5 years ago. Once I beat the game, I am done. If I keep playing old games, I will not have time to play new ones. That's just life. It goes on, new games/movies/books come out. I remember I bought Diablo 1 CD hoping to play it again one day. I don't even know where it is now Never played it after I bought it. And now with Diablo 3 out, I don't even see a reason to play old Diablo games.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By whizse, 5 June 2012 at 6:26 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4533, member: 154"Lol, don't you have anything else to play and you have to download 10 y.o. demos ? :p

Sure, it happened. But guess what - if you bought a game on Steam and developers recalled it, as it happened with Crysis 2, you still have it on Steam and it gets updated. How do I know that? Because just recently there was Crysis 2 Maximum Edition sold on Steam, time limited offer for owners of Crysis 2.

Steam rarely pulls out games from its catalog. Developers are free to do so. I can simply pull out demo of Steel Storm and it will no longer be available.

It all comes down to numbers. 1000 people complain out of 12 million, no one will listen to you guys as majority doesn't care for petty things like that. When Steam comes to Linux, it will come, with its DRM and commercial titles. And as long as there are no major issues, majority will be happy about Steam coming to Linux. I am personally excited about that because I wouldn't have to reboot to Windows to play games

Yes, and if you only distributed the demo on Steam it would be gone forever.

It's all these small little infractions that add up and that I find so scary, be it with Steam, appstores or all the e-book services.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By whizse, 5 June 2012 at 6:22 pm UTC

The FSF have quite a lot of FAQs and other information, for example:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 6:18 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4529, member: 154"I have had an opportunity to talk to other indies who developed great games, but for whatever reason didn't get on Steam. Their sales numbers are not too great, and casual copying hurts them badly.


I don't earn enough from my games to even make a living. I have to hold a 2nd, part-time job. So both casual copying and piracy are huge impacts to me. What irks me are people who have copied my games who e-mail me to tell me they enjoyed it and ask when they can expect a sequel. Duh... if a game doesn't sell well enough, you're not getting a sequel.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 6:17 pm UTC

"MyGameCompany, post: 4532, member: 68"I still have to decide if I want to do it. So there is something for me to think about.

I'm also curious whether I could even release under GPL. I use SDL, SDL_mixer, SDL_image, SDL_gfx, OpenGL, freeimage, and curl in my games, and I believe these libraries are all LGPL. Is GPL compatible with LGPL?


I don't know man, check WIKI Darkplaces uses SDL, zlib, OpenGL, curl, vorbis, freetype, ODE, etc. and it's a GPL v2 engine.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 6:15 pm UTC

Lol, don't you have anything else to play and you have to download 10 y.o. demos ?

Sure, it happened. But guess what - if you bought a game on Steam and developers recalled it, as it happened with Crysis 2, you still have it on Steam and it gets updated. How do I know that? Because just recently there was Crysis 2 Maximum Edition sold on Steam, time limited offer for owners of Crysis 2.

Steam rarely pulls out games from its catalog. Developers are free to do so. I can simply pull out demo of Steel Storm and it will no longer be available.

It all comes down to numbers. 1000 people complain out of 12 million, no one will listen to you guys as majority doesn't care for petty things like that. When Steam comes to Linux, it will come, with its DRM and commercial titles. And as long as there are no major issues, majority will be happy about Steam coming to Linux. I am personally excited about that because I wouldn't have to reboot to Windows to play games

"whizse, post: 4527, member: 126"It is still very much a walled garden. For example, I have no problem finding and downloading a demo of a ten year old game because there are still mirrored copies of it on every demo site. I might even have my own copy on a disc somwhere. On Steam both the demo and the game can suddenly go missing at Valve's say so, and as they are the only ones with the keys there's nothing I can do about it.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 6:12 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4526, member: 154"There are a lot of gray areas in GPL v2 and I think you should simply utilize GPL tech and release your game. Also, I don't know how other GPL engines do it, but since Quake GPL engine was specifically advertised by Carmack to be used commercially by developers who don't have means to license the engine with proprietary license, there is nothing to think about (Darkplaces engine was built upon GLQuake GPL, although the renderer is written from scratch).


I still have to decide if I want to do it. So there is something for me to think about.

I'm also curious whether I could even release under GPL. I use SDL, SDL_mixer, SDL_image, SDL_gfx, OpenGL, freeimage, and curl in my games, and I believe these libraries are all LGPL. Is GPL compatible with LGPL?

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 6:07 pm UTC

I have had an opportunity to talk to other indies who developed great games, but for whatever reason didn't get on Steam. Their sales numbers are not too great, and casual copying hurts them badly.

Sure, casual copying won't hurt indies who managed to sell 500k of copies of a game that only took few month to develop. That's not the case for majority of indies though.

"Beherit, post: 4520, member: 138"It's true that developers are the only ones who can really understand how piracy and copying hurts them but most calculations are a very optimistic perspective in which everyone who got an illegal copy of the game would have bought it otherwise. And of course you are right about gamer's game "consumption", but I don't believe that's the only issue here. I still can't put into perspective how casual copying is more harmful than piracy. It's something every media industry has to live with, and it's not something new or something anyone can control. In that manner, renting games is even worse.

In the end, there aren't any real arguments for piracy, its impact it's what's debatable.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By whizse, 5 June 2012 at 6:07 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4510, member: 154"Am I the only one here who doesn't have issues with Steam DRM ?

There only way you see Steam's DRM is when you trying to launch a game without Steam client running, from the cmd line on Windows. Or when you simply copy a game and give it to your friends. Otherwise, you launch the client (most people have it automatically starting upon Windows launch), you pick a game from your Library and you fire it up. No questions, no show stoppers. All games simply run.

Can some one point out an issue to me, please?

It is still very much a walled garden. For example, I have no problem finding and downloading a demo of a ten year old game because there are still mirrored copies of it on every demo site. I might even have my own copy on a disc somwhere. On Steam both the demo and the game can suddenly go missing at Valve's say so, and as they are the only ones with the keys there's nothing I can do about it.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 6:04 pm UTC

"MyGameCompany, post: 4521, member: 68"I think I'm starting to understand the distinction you're making. Thanks for clarifying, motorsep! I'll have to think about this some more...


There are a lot of gray areas in GPL v2 and I think you should simply utilize GPL tech and release your game. Also, I don't know how other GPL engines do it, but since Quake GPL engine was specifically advertised by Carmack to be used commercially by developers who don't have means to license the engine with proprietary license, there is nothing to think about (Darkplaces engine was built upon GLQuake GPL, although the renderer is written from scratch).

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 6:03 pm UTC

Thanks again. Sorry for derailing your Steam thread, Liam!

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Hamish, 5 June 2012 at 6:01 pm UTC

"MyGameCompany, post: 4517, member: 68"But isn't the engine part of the game? When you sell a game, you're selling both the engine and the assets. Both together constitute a game, and both are required in order to play it. So whether you sell a game (engine + assets) or you sell just the engine, either way you're selling the engine. So wouldn't you still have to get permission from contributors in both cases to sell the engine containing their code?


The GPL does not state that no one but the original contributors can sell it - I could grab gcc, burn it to a disk, and sell it off a street corner if I really wanted to. That is fully consistent with the GPL and the law.

The problem with the Lugraru iPhone port was that it was selling the proprietary data - which is not legal.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 5:58 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4519, member: 154"How is that? The engine is the engine, game assets are game assets. The question is how the engine is designed. Darkplaces engine can run without any art assets. Thus there is no dependency. I simply bundle the engine with art assets for the customer's convenience. And I state in the EULA that the engine is GPL, you can do whatever you want with it, but the art assets are proprietary and no one can redistribute the game as one package. So I can simply sell art assets as the game, and have people download Darkplaces and the game will run. No one wants that though. People just want to play the game.
GPL doesn't require for me to ask for any permission. I am not making engine proprietary and re-selling in under different license. Fortunately, the engine's author has been advocating using his engine for commercial game dev and we credit him and other major contributors.

In other words, you can get GIMP, Blender and sell it on Amazon or e-Bay or through your own shop, without asking permission. That's GPL for you. You can't however, grab a game that has only engine under GPL and do the same. I don't know about whole story with Lugaru, but perhaps developers didn't make it clear in the EULA what goes under what license.


I think I'm starting to understand the distinction you're making. Thanks for clarifying, motorsep! I'll have to think about this some more...

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Beherit, 5 June 2012 at 5:50 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4518, member: 154"You would probably have to be a developer to understand how casual copying harms you. As far as pirating the games, don't get 10 games. The major issue is not playing games, but consuming them. It's typical nowadays. People run through games, don't explore it, get another one and so on. Yeah, with such appetites a gamer will never be able to buy all games. The way it should work (and it used to work that way) is when a gamer saves money for a game he really really wants to play, buys it and plays it with joy This way developers can keep reasonable prices and worry not about race to the bottom. And everyone is happy, except venture capitalists who wants to make a lot of money selling indie games at dirt cheap prices in certain bundles.


It's true that developers are the only ones who can really understand how piracy and copying hurts them but most calculations are a very optimistic perspective in which everyone who got an illegal copy of the game would have bought it otherwise. And of course you are right about gamer's game "consumption", but I don't believe that's the only issue here. I still can't put into perspective how casual copying is more harmful than piracy. It's something every media industry has to live with, and it's not something new or something anyone can control. In that manner, renting games is even worse.

In the end, there aren't any real arguments for piracy, its impact it's what's debatable.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 5:40 pm UTC

"MyGameCompany, post: 4517, member: 68"But isn't the engine part of the game? When you sell a game, you're selling both the engine and the assets. Both together constitute a game, and both are required in order to play it. So whether you sell a game (engine + assets) or you sell just the engine, either way you're selling the engine. So wouldn't you still have to get permission from contributors in both cases to sell the engine containing their code?


How is that? The engine is the engine, game assets are game assets. The question is how the engine is designed. Darkplaces engine can run without any art assets. Thus there is no dependency. I simply bundle the engine with art assets for the customer's convenience. And I state in the EULA that the engine is GPL, you can do whatever you want with it, but the art assets are proprietary and no one can redistribute the game as one package. So I can simply sell art assets as the game, and have people download Darkplaces and the game will run. No one wants that though. People just want to play the game.
GPL doesn't require for me to ask for any permission. I am not making engine proprietary and re-selling in under different license. Fortunately, the engine's author has been advocating using his engine for commercial game dev and we credit him and other major contributors.

In other words, you can get GIMP, Blender and sell it on Amazon or e-Bay or through your own shop, without asking permission. That's GPL for you. You can't however, grab a game that has only engine under GPL and do the same. I don't know about whole story with Lugaru, but perhaps developers didn't make it clear in the EULA what goes under what license.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 5:32 pm UTC

You would probably have to be a developer to understand how casual copying harms you. As far as pirating the games, don't get 10 games. The major issue is not playing games, but consuming them. It's typical nowadays. People run through games, don't explore it, get another one and so on. Yeah, with such appetites a gamer will never be able to buy all games. The way it should work (and it used to work that way) is when a gamer saves money for a game he really really wants to play, buys it and plays it with joy This way developers can keep reasonable prices and worry not about race to the bottom. And everyone is happy, except venture capitalists who wants to make a lot of money selling indie games at dirt cheap prices in certain bundles.

"Beherit, post: 4515, member: 138"Casual copying is not THAT harmful. We could do this all the time even before the internet and no-one was complaining. If one in every group of 5-10 or even 100 buy a copy to share among themselves, there would still be enough sales for good games. Piracy on the other hand targets millions.

Personally, I admit that I pirate most AAA titles I play, and only buy some of them after their price drops. On the other hand, I buy cheaper indie games on sight if they look interesting enough, even though they are accessible via torrents anyway.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 5:29 pm UTC

"motorsep, post: 4507, member: 154"After reading all posts related to GPL and commercial exploitation of it, I clearly see that there is a misunderstanding.

First of all, as I mentioned earlier, when someone makes a game using GPL code, the code and only code has to stay under GPL. It doesn't make whole game GPL automatically. That means no one can add features to GPL engine you are using and release your game on any platform.


Agreed. Because the assets are not free (both as in speech and as in beer).

"motorsep, post: 4507, member: 154"Engine by itself is just that. You can't play engine, you need art assets to play the game. So if someone is porting engine to another platform, the changes automatically become GPL covered. If that person releases updated engine publicly, then the source code of those changes/new features has to be released. Once that is done, you have no obligations except that you have to mention the author in credits of your game, if you are going to use those features.

I see no issues with contributions and distribution. There is no issue with that. The issue is if you are the one who created the engine, then GPLed it. And at some point in time you decided to license engine to game developers under proprietary license. If you had anyone contributing to the engine when it was under GPL, then you have to either gut the engine and throw away all third party code, or you have to ask permission from the contributors to begin selling the engine using they code.


But isn't the engine part of the game? When you sell a game, you're selling both the engine and the assets. Both together constitute a game, and both are required in order to play it. So whether you sell a game (engine + assets) or you sell just the engine, either way you're selling the engine. So wouldn't you still have to get permission from contributors in both cases to sell the engine containing their code?

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By liamdawe, 5 June 2012 at 5:25 pm UTC

Just be careful about what we are talking about right now guys - I don't want to find any links to pirated material, I don't support piracy so try to steer a little bit away from talking about it - it's more of a dodgey subject than me talking about Phoronix...

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Beherit, 5 June 2012 at 5:23 pm UTC

Casual copying is not THAT harmful. We could do this all the time even before the internet and no-one was complaining. If one in every group of 5-10 or even 100 buy a copy to share among themselves, there would still be enough sales for good games. Piracy on the other hand targets millions.

Personally, I know that some people pirate most AAA titles they play, and only buy some of them after their price drops. On the other hand, they buy cheaper indie games on sight if they look interesting enough, even though they are accessible via torrents anyway.

Edit: Crisis averted

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 5:15 pm UTC

I've yet to have issues with Diablo 3 As much as people complained, I have had no issues with Diablo 3 Starter Edition, which I was gifted last week.

You gotta understand that when a game has in-game purchases, developers deal with real identification and financial information of the customers. DRM is a must in this case. Diablo 3 has that and therefore it has to have single-player allowed when you are connected to their servers. I agree that a non-Steam game that doesn't deal with financial or identification information doesn't need any DRM. Steam has DRM for the same purpose - any game that has Steamworks, deals with at least Achievements. Each game session needs unique identifier, which isn't possible without DRM. Imagine 2 copies of the same game running. How on Earth Steam would know if you are earning these Achievements or your friend who you gave a copy to? Do you see now where is the issue?

While piracy is no way easy to combat, it's not as harmful as casual copying. Generally speaking, pirates would never pay for a game, no matter how much it would cost. The example is HIB - people would pay 1c to get Steam key (now they have $1 minimum to get Steam key). Casual copying damages indies more than piracy, because that innocent "oh, let me just share my copy with you" leads to lost sales (unless a friend is a pirate and wouldn't buy your game anyway).

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By liamdawe, 5 June 2012 at 4:58 pm UTC

Motorsep you are not alone, I personally don't mind Steam DRM just because I am yet to have any problems with it. That doesn't mean I like it though, I still would prefer to have Steam without any DRM of course - My ideal solution is not even Steam but Desurium development to speed up but hey I will stay patient on that one.

The worst DRM though (oh god i'm going way off-topic here) is the type of always on DRM that means to play single player you must be online connected to a server - I'm looking at you Activision-Blizzard!

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Hamish, 5 June 2012 at 4:41 pm UTC

"berarma, post: 4495, member: 131"I'm with Amish too. As much as I think this is good for Linux gamers, I'm also concerned this might not be so much good news for free software. Props to Mr. Stallman for what he's doing, he stands for a high level of coherence and freedom.


Yeah, I am with Amish too! I have been called ham-ish before, but that is a new one.

Sorry, I know it was just a typo.;)

"MyGameCompany, post: 4501, member: 68"You can say it's just FUD, but that does nothing to ease my concerns. If it could happen to Wolffire, it could happen to me. I'm just a little guy. I don't even earn enough yet to make a living from my work. If that were to happen to me, what would I do? I could send them an angry e-mail. But if they don't stop, what more can I do? I can't threaten legal action - I can't afford it. And I doubt very much that the FSF would spend the time and resources necessary to intervene on my behalf - they didn't when it happened to Wolffire. Why would I want to risk that happening to me, and deal with all the hassle?


To be fair, the reason why the FSF never got involved was because they were never asked and to be fair (and not be all that encouraging, but anyway...) it was not really their job to point their finger and talk about someone else's proprietary data's copyright being violated. Though, they probably did not put out the code to their modifications to the source code either, in which case it would be their concern.

The really guilty party in all of this is Apple - how the hell do they let these frauds through their stringent authentication and review process? Too busy denying Apps from being included that criticize them perhaps? And why did it take them so long to respond to Wolfire's complaint?

"Beherit, post: 4508, member: 138"If I got the idea the issue is not really about open source vs closed source, the problem is the DRM that comes with Steam...


Agreed, that is my main concern. Desura going free software was an unexpected bonus, and I was on it before that was even announced.

And I have loathed Steamworks when I have on occasion encountered it places - it is bloody terrible.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 4:33 pm UTC

Am I the only one here who doesn't have issues with Steam DRM ?

There only way you see Steam's DRM is when you trying to launch a game without Steam client running, from the cmd line on Windows. Or when you simply copy a game and give it to your friends. Otherwise, you launch the client (most people have it automatically starting upon Windows launch), you pick a game from your Library and you fire it up. No questions, no show stoppers. All games simply run.

Can some one point out an issue to me, please?

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Bumadar, 5 June 2012 at 4:25 pm UTC

Just a few short notes:

- this is the same valve that keep saying yes when asked if half life 3 is coming, so I still won't hold my breath
- I do like steam also, but I find it amazing we all like it even though at the same time was all hate drm, amazing what good packaging can do
- if it happens, and I have doubts it will this year, it does not mean that suddenly AAA titles will pop up for linux, probably the HiB titles will all become available for linux which is I would think bad for Desura. For the big shots like EA and Activision we really not worth it money wise
- Gameolith I think will become the GoG.com of linux a true drm free store but will that be enough....

anyways still no press release so till that day I will remain sceptical

ps: what if valve is talking about their gamebox which runs linux when they are talking about a linux client of steam while we are all talking about our own system.... just a random thought

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By Beherit, 5 June 2012 at 4:18 pm UTC

If I got the idea the issue is not really about open source vs closed source, the problem is the DRM that comes with Steam...

In that case I guess I'm glad we finally get to have the option to install steam on our machines (those who are willing to tolerate its drm that is). I use steam a lot on windows, and if source engine games come along with it, I will be very happy!

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By motorsep, 5 June 2012 at 3:58 pm UTC

After reading all posts related to GPL and commercial exploitation of it, I clearly see that there is a misunderstanding.

First of all, as I mentioned earlier, when someone makes a game using GPL code, the code and only code has to stay under GPL. It doesn't make whole game GPL automatically. That means no one can add features to GPL engine you are using and release your game on any platform. Engine by itself is just that. You can't play engine, you need art assets to play the game. So if someone is porting engine to another platform, the changes automatically become GPL covered. If that person releases updated engine publicly, then the source code of those changes/new features has to be released. Once that is done, you have no obligations except that you have to mention the author in credits of your game, if you are going to use those features.

I see no issues with contributions and distribution. There is no issue with that. The issue is if you are the one who created the engine, then GPLed it. And at some point in time you decided to license engine to game developers under proprietary license. If you had anyone contributing to the engine when it was under GPL, then you have to either gut the engine and throw away all third party code, or you have to ask permission from the contributors to begin selling the engine using they code. And depending how some people interpret FOSS idea, you might be in the position when you get no permission to capitalize on your hard work because they would not want you to sell your engine under a different license.

It all comes down to having business sense.

Steam really is coming for Linux!
By MyGameCompany, 5 June 2012 at 3:21 pm UTC

"Cheeseness, post: 4504, member: 122"Out of interest, how would you go about dealing with it if you found somebody selling bootleg copies of Rick Rocket?


"berarma, post: 4505, member: 131"Everytime people says the GPL is easily violated I think of this, it's the same problem. Any license is easily violated and law enforcement is the only way to enforce licenses.


Very true. Someone could certainly try to sell bootleg copies of the binaries, and in that case I would have the same dilemma.

What makes the Lugaru case a bit different is that the offenders seemed to believe they were perfectly in their rights under the GPL to do what they did. They misunderstood the license (or intentionally twisted its meaning to justify their actions). I think a lot of non-tech, non-legal people misunderstand the meaning of the GPL and its implications, and because of that, I think this is a bit more likely that someone would distribute a binary built from GPL source vs. distributing the binary that I made.

There's also the issue of using the source code to unlock a full version of a program. Lots of devs use registration codes or other simple homegrown DRM techniques in their code to distinguish the demo from the full version. If they were to publish their source code, people could easily circumvent their registration mechanism and not have to pay for it.

I personally don't use registration codes anymore, so that wouldn't be an issue for me. But I see how it could be an issue for other developers, and a factor in why they don't release their code. I release separate a full version download and a demo that does not contain all of the game's assets (only those needed for the demo). In most cases, it's the same binary in both. My code contains a few checks to look for full version assets, and if they aren't present, it runs in demo mode. Even if someone modified the source code to circumvent those checks, the game wouldn't get far in full version mode without the missing assets.

  Go to:
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Sneaky Beaky: „Splinter Cell“ (via Wine & DXVK)
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts