Stallman: Valve's Linux games "unethical" but might boost OS usage

By Leeky ยท 62 replies
Jul 31, 2012
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  1. RS: "My guess is that the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm."

    Forget the rest; this is what matters.
  2. It's amazing how forums like this are usually full of people who think they know about Linux, yet as soon as one of the actual authorities on it (arguably more responsible for its existance than Torvalds is) then people are shocked and fail to understand as if this is something new.

    This is what the whole GNU/Linux philosophy is about, of course you should think closed source is unethical if you buy into that philosophy (I don't agree with it, for the record). But most of the Linux zealots you find on the Internet who were raving about how great Steam coming to Linux was a few days ago are usually just people who've dual booted Ubuntu for a few years and are actually completely clueless.
  3. Also, he means "free" as in the source code should be free (not sure if he'd extend that to the game's assets as well, e.g. audio files, textures, models, etc.) not as in you have to give the game away for nothing. Stallman wouldn't have a problem with you continuing to sell games for Linux for $60 or whatever as long as you included the source code. Of course, it's still totally impractical in reality, but for all you rambling on about not understanding why he thinks games should be "free", you're totally missing the point.
  4. *sigh*

    You guys obviously dont follow Linux enough. Linux want free as in "freedom" to do what you want not free as in "have this for free, no money needed". DRM and closed source, as well as licensing that increasingly gives companies more and more control over the end user is not free, Linux is against that.
  5. nickblame

    nickblame TS Enthusiast Posts: 43

    ...and if those people could run their games on Ubuntu, I bet that they wouldn't have to keep Windows as a dual boot.
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Not true. "Linux" is *not* against it. "Linux" does not "want freedom". Some people who use Linux do. The community is fragmented. You do not represent Linux nor do the people who subscribe to your view. You are part of a larger community.
  7. Darth Shiv

    True, but presumably he means the traditional core principles upon which the GNU/Linux project was founded, in which Stallman was one of - if not the - most influential individual. Personally, I think the level of obsessiveness around "freedom" is silly, but you have to acknowledge the fact that this philosophy has played a big part in Linux development and activism, and still does.
  8. "...and if those people could run their games on Ubuntu, I bet that they wouldn't have to keep Windows as a dual boot."

    Maybe, maybe not. I'm sure some of them would find some other tie to Windows. My point is there's a lot of posturing from supposed Linux users who want to have their cake and eat it (complaining about Windows and advocating Linux while Windows is actually meeting their needs better than Linux is). A lot of it stems from childish anti-Microsoft sentiment, and wanting to be contrary. It's just humorous how they've bought into this idea of what they think Linux is about, when in fact they basically know nothing, have never contributed code, and have only used maybe a couple at most very user-friendly (in Linux terms) distros, and probably only over the last ten years at most.

    I'm not being a snob about it, I don't care how little someone knows about Linux. It's just that these seem people that know so little seem to be by far the most vocal proponents on forums and such, whilst actual long-term or Linux-only users are just minding their own business and using their computers happily. Then it's quite funny when someone with far more experience and knowledge than them, that is basically responsible for Linux existing in the first place goes ahead and casually says something that's completely at odds with that they thought Linux was about (like trying to crack the mainstream consumer market, or get commercial games released for Linux) and get all upset over it.
  9. Anyone, ever, thinking that DRM and closed source is cool and good and okay with them. Never ever, and never will, nor COULD! write code themselves. I think freedom for computers is something only programmers really 'get'.

    By the way, Books came with NO DRM at all for thousands of years, yet they still seem to sell well year after year.. well, they used to. Now they added DRM, and somehow the books did not get better..
  10. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Let me guess, you happen to be a programmer.
  11. yes lets just stay with windows
  12. Stupido

    Stupido TS Booster Posts: 66

    I also don't get it, although I get the reason - vanity...
    the more brilliant programmer, the more "my way or highway" or "I know best" attitude...
    I have seen this more than enough with fellows programmers (if I have to be honest, as SW developer often I catch my self thinking that I know better, while in practice it is all the same...)
  13. "Anyone, ever, thinking that DRM and closed source is cool and good and okay with them. Never ever, and never will, nor COULD! write code themselves. I think freedom for computers is something only programmers really 'get'."

    Wow, the FOSStard is strong in this one. Plenty programmers are fine with both closed source, you know like all the millions of programmers that work exclusively on closed source projects? Not just for employers, but plenty programmers write their own software and prefer to keep it closed source for a variety of legitimate reasons.
  14. They have, it's called Ubuntu. That's because Shuttleworth took it upon himself to try and do exactly what you suggested and had the money to make it happen. Other than that there's no incentive in the Linux community at large to try and do what you suggested. Again, people - including a lot of people that think they know about Linux when they don't - seem to think there's some big drive to crack the mainstream or compete with Windows or attract more users, when there's just not. The programmers for most Linux distributions couldn't care less about those things, they just enjoy contributing to a particular operating system that suits its own particular aims.
    gwailo247 likes this.
  15. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    That's pretty good info, thanks!

    Ubuntu is the distro that I tried the most, along with Mint, and while it is pretty accessible, its still Linux.

    And I have to agree with you, I don't think that the people responsible for coding Linux want the masses to use it, so I guess it irks me when fanboys get all defensive when you point out the market share is low, and start insulting everyone for not "getting" Linux or understanding what its about.
  16. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TS Booster Posts: 304   +62

    Ok, not free free, just including source code. Sooo again, valve decides to expand its services to the linux community even though its just a tiny fraction of the os market, and because of this linux users start bashing them for not giving them the game's source code for free too? Just be happy a company with valve's resources are taking notice of linux. Baby steps.
  17. Neojt

    Neojt TS Addict Posts: 223   +56

    Man does this guy sound like the classic Hippy image!! just put a text bubble in this pic wit "Its a conspiracy Man"

    I like open source its a good thing but no sane videogame studio is going to give something for free WITH open source so some guy can make a repop of the game for 1 second if the source code is open multiplayer gaming will just die in these games theres already tons of hack(aim bot,invulnerability ect) made immagine if the had the source code to get all the exploits!!!

    He should be saying wow thanks valve for trying to bring Linux into the gaming world
  18. Wagan8r

    Wagan8r TS Evangelist Posts: 603   +64

    That beard is unethical...

    Seriously. How many children has he frightened just by smiling at them?
  19. Yeah, odds are those fanboys are *****s that don't they what they're talking about, have probably only used some recent, accessible distro like Ubuntu, probably still dual boot, never contributed code in their life, and only started using Linux in the last ten years or so. Yet those are the kind of people going around ranting about how great Linux is and how Windows sucks, etc. etc. as they're some authority on the subject.

    Stallman, on the other hand, actually is an authority on the subject, and his views (which I don't applaud or anything) are totally at odds with the fanboys that think Linux should be more widespread.
  20. Why should he be doing that? Stallman's aim isn't to bring Linux to the gaming world, its to create an operating system environment where every piece of software is open source (which is what he means when he uses the word "free"), so what Valve is doing is actually pretty contrary to what he wants. It's not an aim I share or anything, but it was that aim that caused Linux (or GNU/Linux is you want to get pedantic) to exist in the first place.
  21. Oops wrong attribution for that quote.
  22. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I happen to love Linux, and am delighted that Steam is bringing so much potential to the platform (I've been vocally wishing for a Linux-based gaming system for a decade now)...

    But seriously, these "everything has to be free" cyber-hippies like Stallman tend to be more of a negative factor than positive when it comes to promoting Linux adoption (at least, in my estimation). To me, it's more unethical to just assume that anything to do with Linux has to be totally free and open, publicly chastise anything that isn't free, and yet lament how Linux is not being adopted. Well, maybe it's more crazy than unethical, really. If there is no possible revenue stream options on a platform that will help guarantee recouping your development costs (and profit to keep yourself in business), there is no incentive to support that platform. Period. Not many people want to be inundated with advertisements constantly to achieve "freedom." And you can't rely on people actually donating when they have a choice, cause most of us are cheap bastards :)
  23. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 222   +143

    I agree with Vrmithrax 100%.

    You want free stuff in a world that bleeds you dry, you implement something like The Venus Project and you might get your wish, but until then, no mass adoption of anything happens in this world without some means to control the generated revenue.
  24. ElShotte

    ElShotte TS Booster Posts: 163

    Obviously no one (even pro-Linux devs) is gonna give away AAA titles for free, open-source or not. However, I'd like to point out that in today's gaming world, only a fraction of released games are actually moddable, where the developer actually releases tools to do so. Valve's Source titles are all highly moddable, which is something that should appeal to the Linux community and in my eyes, it deserves to be available on Linux.
  25. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    You know what freedom I'm concerned about? The freedom from Microsoft I might gain when Steam is fully functional on Ubuntu.

    Stallman can crow and trumpet all he wants, but nothing Valve is doing is encroaching upon my rights or freedoms in any way. I am still free to make my own choice about whether or not to give up my freedoms to a certain software program. I am free to decide what, and when, to install anything on my computer.

    Since I enjoy playing games, I buy them to support the company that develops them and follow their rules when playing. If I wasn't comfortable with that, I'm free to keep my wallet closed and my hard drive spacious.

    Only good can come out of a company like Valve taking on this kind of side project. As more people take an interest in Linux, it has more of an opportunity to be a serious competitor with Microsoft and that kind of competition creates jobs for people. Look at what Ubuntu has already become, and think of what it can now achieve with Valve throwing in with them.

    It's a good thing.

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