Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
Customize
User Settings
Styles:
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:

Regularly scheduled events

GNU Guru: Linux Steam "Unethical"

The GNU Website has statement from Richard Stallman where the founder of GNU and the Free Software Foundation describes his concerns about Valve's plans to bring Steam to Linux (thanks Ars Technica). He explains the freedom to install Steam games will impinge on a user's freedom:

A well known company, Valve, that distributes nonfree computer games with Digital Restrictions Management, recently announced it would distribute these games for GNU/Linux. What good and bad effects can this have?

I suppose that availability of popular nonfree programs on GNU/Linux can boost adoption of the system. However, our goal goes beyond making this system a “success”; its purpose is to bring freedom to the users. Thus, the question is how this development affects users' freedom.

Nonfree game programs (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users. (Game art is a different issue, because it isn't software.) If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having nonfree programs on your computer. That much is clear.

However, if you're going to use these games, you're better off using them on GNU/Linux rather than on Microsoft Windows. At least you avoid the harm to your freedom that Windows would do.

Thus, in direct practical terms, this development can do both harm and good. It might encourage GNU/Linux users to install these games, and it might encourage users of the games to replace Windows with GNU/Linux. My guess is that the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm. But there is also an indirect effect: what does the use of these games teach people in our community?

Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect.

If you want to promote freedom, please take care not to talk about the availability of these games on GNU/Linux as support for our cause. Instead you could tell people about the Liberated Pixel Cup free game contest, the Free Game Dev Forum, and the LibrePlanet Gaming Collective's free gaming night.

View
48. Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Jul 31, 2012, 15:08 Teddy
 
Bhruic wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 14:13:
Beamer wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 13:51:
Nice to see I wasn't the only one that goofed on his terminology. "Non-free" means "the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them."

It has nothing to do with price.

I don't understand how so many people are confusing "freedom" and "free". There's a reason he continually uses the word "freedom" in there, and that's because you can't (or shouldn't be able to) confuse "freedom" with pricing.

Look at it this way - all of the words in a book are publicly available. There's nothing "hidden" behind the scenes. Books are, effectively, open-source. And yet people still make money selling them.

Being open-source doesn't mean you have to give it away. Being open-source doesn't mean you give up your copyright (although there are licensing agreements that do, which you aren't obliged to use). All of this talk about people not being able to make money is nonsense.

That's a cute little argument, but you know full well that if his "nonfree" concept of games permitted anyone to distribute them as they like then there would be no possibility for a profitable AAA game. The cost of creating them is far too high to allow free distribution. This isn't akin to piracy where people know it's illegal, know there are potential consequences and generally have other hassles to deal with along with the moral quandary of it. If it were perfectly acceptable to copy and pass around games, then the only games larger than tiny indie titles we'd have would be F2P/P2W things filled with micro-transactions.

He made some great contributions to open-source work. The fault with this guy lies in the fact that he can't shut his fucking mouth and continually insists that anyone who doesn't follow his clearly hypocritical method of thought is 'unethical'.

Paintings are "effectively open-source" too. Just different colored lines and shapes on a background. Why don't you go find an artist and see if he minds you taking a high-res photograph of his painting so that you can print out your own poster-sized copy for free? See how he feels about that.

I have no problem with people who want open-source projects, or people who want to work on open-source projects. But when you start trying to tell people they're unethical or wrong for not doing that, you've crossed the line into douchebaggery.

But by all means, feel free to explain how any AAA title that doesn't include micro-transactions would be financially successful if they had to submit to the freedom of distribution clauses, taking into account the $50-100 million price-tags of development and marketing (and that's a low-ball figure including marketing). It'll be a good laugh.
 
Previous Post Next Post Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
 
    Date Subject Author
  1. Jul 31, 10:51 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam "Unethical" nin
  2. Jul 31, 10:52  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  5. Jul 31, 11:00   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam MattyC
  14. Jul 31, 11:11    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Mr. Tact
  20. Jul 31, 11:23    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  22. Jul 31, 11:47     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Scottish Martial Arts
  29. Jul 31, 13:27      Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam 2nd_floor
  61. Jul 31, 19:00    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam jdreyer
  18. Jul 31, 11:20   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Mashiki Amiketo
  25. Jul 31, 13:04    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam SirKnight
  27. Jul 31, 13:23     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Teddy
  3. Jul 31, 10:56 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam deqer
  4. Jul 31, 10:58 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Verno
  6. Jul 31, 11:01  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NKD
  7. Jul 31, 11:02 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Creston
  9. Jul 31, 11:05  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Prez
  11. Jul 31, 11:07   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Verno
  12. Jul 31, 11:09    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NKD
  15. Jul 31, 11:14     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam  Blue 
  76. Aug 3, 03:57      Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Fantaz
  26. Jul 31, 13:23   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Agent.X7
  10. Jul 31, 11:05  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NKD
  16. Jul 31, 11:15   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Creston
  17. Jul 31, 11:19    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NKD
  50. Jul 31, 15:49  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam wtf_man
  52. Jul 31, 16:15   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Draugr
  8. Jul 31, 11:04 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam necrosis
  21. Jul 31, 11:30  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Bhruic
  34. Jul 31, 13:59   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Flatline
  24. Jul 31, 12:48  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam StingingVelvet
  13. Jul 31, 11:10 Demonstration why Linux is below 1% for gaming eRe4s3r
  19. Jul 31, 11:21 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NegaDeath
  23. Jul 31, 12:45 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Silicon Avatar
  28. Jul 31, 13:25  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam 2nd_floor
  62. Jul 31, 19:04  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Mordecai Walfish
  30. Jul 31, 13:31 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Steele Johnson
  32. Jul 31, 13:46  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam 2nd_floor
  33. Jul 31, 13:51   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  36. Jul 31, 14:05    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Com
  37. Jul 31, 14:07     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Verno
  38. Jul 31, 14:10     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Flatline
  44. Jul 31, 14:58     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  40. Jul 31, 14:13    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Bhruic
  41. Jul 31, 14:30     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam eunichron
  43. Jul 31, 14:44      Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Crustacean Soup
  46. Jul 31, 15:03       Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Overon
  47. Jul 31, 15:05        Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Xil
  49. Jul 31, 15:24        Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Teddy
  42. Jul 31, 14:36     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Crustacean Soup
>> 48. Jul 31, 15:08     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Teddy
  59. Jul 31, 18:54     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Creston
  63. Jul 31, 19:15     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam jdreyer
  72. Aug 1, 00:53   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam stormpilgrim
  75. Aug 1, 14:21    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam saluk
  31. Jul 31, 13:36 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam NewMaxx
  35. Jul 31, 14:04 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam eunichron
  39. Jul 31, 14:13 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Scheherazade
  45. Jul 31, 14:59 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam LittleMe
  51. Jul 31, 16:08 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Cutter
  53. Jul 31, 16:50  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Crustacean Soup
  54. Jul 31, 17:15 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Veterator
  55. Jul 31, 18:01 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Umbragen
  56. Jul 31, 18:03  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam yuastnav
  57. Jul 31, 18:13 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam ^Drag0n^
  58. Jul 31, 18:35 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam HorrorScope
  60. Jul 31, 18:56 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam jdreyer
  64. Jul 31, 19:16 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Closed Betas
  65. Jul 31, 19:19  Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Closed Betas
  66. Jul 31, 19:51   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Cutter
  68. Jul 31, 20:39    Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Draugr
  71. Jul 31, 22:05     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Cutter
  73. Aug 1, 08:21      Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  74. Aug 1, 13:15     Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Warskull
  67. Jul 31, 20:22   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Beamer
  69. Jul 31, 20:43   Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Draugr
  70. Jul 31, 21:25 Re: GNU Guru: Linux Steam Icewind


footer

Blue's News logo