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No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Nonfree DRM'd Games on GNU/Linux: Good or Bad?
Authored by: symbolset on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 12:24 AM EDT
Yeah, bring on the commercial Linux apps of all sorts. There are lots of them
already, but people don't know that much about them.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Nonfree DRM'd Games on GNU/Linux: Good or Bad?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 01:01 AM EDT
Your cobbler-carpenter analogy doesn't answer RMS. He doesn't care if
you charge money for your software, he just wants the source code too...

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Free as in free speech, not free as in free beer
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 04:28 AM EDT
You can develop Free Software and still charge whatever you like for it. The
problems with DRM have nothing to do with being paid a fair price.

The problems with DRM have to do with it not working properly and restricting
the use of software by legitimate purchasers. For example; consider a piece of
software which will only run if it first verifies with the company's server that
it is a valid copy. It will therefore not run if the company's servers are down
or somehow unreachable, which is a definite problem for legitimate purchasers
(especially if the company later closes down for whatever reason).

Also, it's a lot harder to get major bugs fixed in proprietary software in
general.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Nonfree DRM'd Games on GNU/Linux: Good or Bad?
Authored by: PJ on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 05:59 AM EDT
Sigh. What are you doing here if that is how you
feel? Are you not aware that Stallman encourages
programmers to sell their software? Are you
not aware that Free Software refers to freedoms,
not price?

Why are you proud of writing proprietary software,
may I ask? What do you mean by proprietary?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why is this even a question?!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 08:04 AM EDT
It falls under exactly the same philosophy as any other DRM
restricted software - if you don't agree with it, don't buy
it.

People will claim that it isn't fair that they cannot use
the software they "bought" the way they want. Fine - don't
buy it. If enough people agree, then the developer won't
make any money, and will have to find another livelihood.

All of this whining about, "you aren't releasing software
the way I want you to," is total junk. GNU/Linux was
released freely, so others are free to use it any way they
choose within the restrictions of the GPL. Running
proprietary software on top of it is fully within the
restrictions, so get over it.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

But its already happening.....
Authored by: Kilz on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 09:08 AM EDT
What is one of the main uses of Wine? To play Games, Windows
Games! Few if any give the source and most have some form of
drm. Even entering a serial is a form of drm.
I think Stallman is a brilliant guy, but some of the things
he says I dont 100% agree with. One is non free software on
Linux. I personally think that users should have the freedom
to run non free software if they choose. No one is being
forced here. Dont like it, dont install it.
In this case Stallman points out that there may be good come
out of the bad. If it means that the games are played on
Linux instead of Windows its a little better because at
least the operating system is free. There are a lot of
people I know who would ditch windows in a heartbeat if they
could play their games on Linux.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

didn't read your last line before - wake up to 2012!
Authored by: designerfx on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 09:57 AM EDT
Writing proprietary? Your choice.
Acting like you're giving something away by contributing to
the community? Ignorance.
Those contributions benefit yourself as much as the
community, in fact it's easier to be selfish because the
more you give, the more you get back.

There's a difference between everything you said and your
last statement negating every single part of the first
statement.

What happened to the real Gringo? I note this is Gringo_ .

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Ubisoft DRM gaming rootkit
Authored by: symbolset on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 10:31 AM EDT
What great timing for both of these things to happen together.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Maybe you should take the time and read the article before insulting the author.
Authored by: dacii on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 10:36 AM EDT
I read the article. It is a short. It only took three minutes of my time. The
article seems to be well thought out. It is a brief attempt to show many sides
of the question raised.

Sorry you feel people would be stealing your proprietary software if they had
access to the source code. I feel you are not quite understanding the point of
the GPL or open source.

I too develop software, both your "proprietary" and open source. I
make the same amount of money no matter which one I code for. I get paid for my
service provided to the customer.

Which brings up the point that I feel you are confusing licensing (GPL, LGPL,
Apache, BSD, ...) with out right purchasing. A carpenter, cobbler, or an
electrician normally will have a physical object that they sell you along with
their service. That may not always be the case, they may repair something using
existing materials you currently own. Many times, they will provide the service
non-gratis in hopes for return business if it doesn't require external costs
from materials needed to perform the service. Auto mechanics have done this
many times for me. In return, I tend to take all my auto business to them.

Most businesses understand the concept of "Good Will". They also
understand the concept of "advertising" and "publicity".
Some businesses do better than others because of these concepts.

You might want to rethink your position.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Reply to all...
Authored by: Gringo_ on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 12:34 PM EDT

Seems I've gone and put my foot in my mouth. Thank you all for your excellent reasons to buy/promote FOSS. Of course they make good sense.

Yes, my thinking was a bit muddled on the old "free as in open" versus "free as in cost", but even getting paid for my work, I still would have a problem giving away my source code, and thereby putting myself out of business. I could no longer sell the same code over and over, or depend on my client being dependent on me for maintenance and new features.

Why am I proud to sell proprietary software? Because I see it as no different than any other profession. I see nothing wrong with my business model. I don't see it as immoral. If you don't want to buy my software without the source code that is fine with me. I fully respect your reasons that you have well articulated above.

I can relate to the dream of FOSS, but I also believe there will always be a place in this world for proprietary software, and that is not bad. I find Valve's idea of moving to Linux genuinely exciting, as I have posted about previously.

My dream is not a FOSS world, but instead, a world with a level playing field with built-in mechanisms to prevent monopolies like Microsoft from developing, a world full of options, a world without software patents, a world where FOSS and proprietary solutions can flourish side by side.

PS: I did read the fine article after posting and found it reasonable.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I - personally - expect to respect Copyright Law
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 12:43 PM EDT

I expect to pay a reasonable price for your software and honor Copyright Law.

My question to you:

    Are you willing to honor Copyright Law also?
In other words:
    Are you willing to respect my rights (such as Fair Use) to your Copyright protected work?
If so:
    How does DRM play a role in ensuring I can exercise my rights under Copyright Law to your Copyright protected game?

RAS

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Thank you for pointing this out.
Authored by: jplatt39 on Monday, July 30 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT
I do occasionally like to think he goes to far sometimes. Having read this, not
this time. While he does come across as sounding like an old-line socialist
there are two issues here, and he is well aware of them.

1. Of course he recognizes the copyright and trademark issues of images: game
engines are one thing, game images are another.

2. He is talking about freedom and of course I like, as I'm sure you do to,
having the freedom to not have what is often bloatware and is sometimes NOT even
well thought out (as in Sony Rootkit) programs on my computer. The major issue
for him is the DRM.

I do have one or two issues with what he says but I think you are being too
defensive. He does believe that in an ideal world we should share code. He
doesn't think we shouldn't pay or be paid for it.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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