but what if the gamers actually took up a collection bought the Freespace franchise and made it open source? Or something like that however it may be called?
Anything just as long as it doesn't fall into the hands of Derek Smart.
It's being discussed - http://dynamic4.gamespy.com/~freespace/forums/showthread.php?s=c6601fa88c96cc50405ac0c23f60ebfb&threadid=25177
financially, it's highly unlikely anything could come from it - but it illustrates just how little confidence there is in Mr. Smart to develop a 'worthy' Freespace game.
There is already a substantial effort being made in modifying the FS2 engine to modern standards, and also planning towards making a new - from scratch - freeware 'sequel'.