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The GNOME project at 15

The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 15, 2012 17:51 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
In reply to: The GNOME project at 15 by andreasb
Parent article: The GNOME project at 15

Steam itself uses DRM heavily and is closed source. This means it comes with additional legal baggage in the form of DMCA and other such very negative things as patents.

I like the idea that Steam is bringing gaming to Linux and thus Valve has a financial reason to contribute to the improvement of drivers for Linux (which they have done), but I don't like the idea of Steam itself and don't want to use it.

We need a alternative that isn't DRM encumbered.


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The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 15, 2012 18:03 UTC (Wed) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

gog.com also distributes games and explicitly does not use DRM. They sell many older titles that run in DOSBox, those should all work on Linux with new install packages. If a larger commercial Linux game market develops then game makers can choose which storefronts their games are available on, I don't think Steam generally requires exclusivity.

Also the usage of DRM in Steam is pretty benign as far as DRM goes, games are tied to your account and you can install them as many times on as many machines as you want as long as you log in. You can log in even when offline and you can make offline backups of your purchases. Unless your goal is to redistribute software and artwork that you don't have a valid redistribution license for it doesn't really get in your way. I'm not sure what the valid legal use cases would be that their use of DRM would prevent.

The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 15, 2012 21:15 UTC (Wed) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

Their DRM is known to cause (via bugs) prevention of running your own purchased software when their offline mode flakes out.

This doesn't *seem* to be by design, but given that these bugs have gone unaddressed for upwards of 5 years, it does seem that ensuring your legal rights are fully exerciseable is not at the top of Valve's list.

Meanwhile Valve has some other unpalatable practices, including:
- A policy of no refunds for any reason (such as the software not working at all) Their store was very confusing for mac users on initial release, and I purchased a windows-only program on the mac without warning or explicit notice. At this point their software did not offer any way for me to download the software at all, and yet they refused to refund.
- A historical de-facto policy of trading transgressions == all your software is disabled. The notable examples were people that purchased games in one region (for a low price) and gifted them to people in other regions (where the price is high). People who did this frequently were presumed to be going around the pricing scheme and had their entire account locked (all software disabled). Valve has since changed their stance on this specific issue, but obviously they have and are willing to use a "turn off all your software" button. Does that seem right to you?
- A refusal to engage in a realistic fashion on billing irregularlities. Their common practice is to just point fingers at banks, paypal, etc with no backing provided data, leaving the problems entirely non-actionable for the end user save by reversing charges (if the credit company is willing) or legal action.

I mean, overall Valve has tried to do right for their customers, but in some areas they're just seemingly entirely unmotivated.

The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 16, 2012 11:31 UTC (Thu) by njwhite (guest, #51848) [Link]

> I mean, overall Valve has tried to do right for their customers, but in some areas they're just seemingly entirely unmotivated.

And the issue with DRM is not that the company may be bad, but that they reserve the right to control your use of something. Amazon may have 'promised' that they won't pull books for copyright reasons from the Kindle, but the really awful thing is that they reserve the technological right, to be (ab)used by governments, crackers, disgruntled employees, or who knows who else after a change of policy / ownership.

I can't imagine allowing that for free, let alone paying for the 'privilege.' Imagine Ikea made me sign a waiver that they had the right to come into my house and remove books from the bookshelf I bought, if they deem it necessary. Or more accurately, they install a camera on the bookcase, and a secret magical door through which their "customer service engineers" may step to remove or change books as necessary.

These same arguments work for proprietary software too, actually, which is I suppose why it makes sense for the FSF to be focusing on the issue.

The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 16, 2012 12:46 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

I wouldn't have a problem with DRM, per say. I think it's a bit anti-social, but it's not a terrible thing. Sort of acting like having a kid that won't shut up in a restaurant.

The problem with DRM is the legal baggage. Specifically DMCA. What we don't want is ending up with a situation were it becomes illegal to modify the functionality of something on Linux because it breaks somebody's craptastic DRM implementation.

Which is what already has happened with DVDs and Bluerays as well as having a dramatic negative effect on efforts to write open source drivers.

The GNOME project at 15

Posted Aug 27, 2012 9:07 UTC (Mon) by kragil (guest, #34373) [Link]


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