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Stallman Calls Valve Games on Linux ‘Unethical’

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#1 Motoko.


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:13

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Richard M Stallman – one of the founding fathers of the Free Software movement – has expressed anxiety over games company Valve’s plan to bring their gaming wares to Linux.

The bone of contention in Stallman’s eyes is Valve’s frequent use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) within its software. Rights-encumbered software is, Stallman writes on his blog, ‘unethical’.
“They deny freedom to their users. If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having non-free programs on your computer.”
DRM is intended to prevent unauthorised copying or distribution of game titles – a mechanism vital the survival of many digital content distributers.
Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, has already ‘Ok’d’ the notion of companies releasing copy-protected software - despite the fact that he does not personally like the idea.

full story @ omgubuntu

“[This move] 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?

#2 trag3dy


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:15

Well if he doesn't like it he's free to not have it on his computer. It's not like if/when Steam ever gets made for Linux it will be hard coded or force installed into every single linux distribution out there.

Seems to me he's worrying about some ethical issue that doesn't exist.

#3 The Teej

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:11

Yes, because this is the first piece of DRM'd software to ever grace Linux

oh wait

#4 n_K


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:13

Meh, I'm all for open rights and whatnot but people like this guy are WAY too anal about it.
Great if something's open source and free to all but it's not a viable business model.

#5 ArialBlue


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:14

Everyone who lunches on their own foot skin agrees with this man. Everyone else does not.

#6 spenser.d


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:17

So the 7 people that are going to actually game on Linux will have to deal with some DRM. Woohoo...

#7 ichi


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:18

Well, he's Stallman. He's all about FOSS and more often than not comes as an extremists, but it's still nice to have people like him so we can just stay in a comfortable middle ground.

Anyway, even as an extremist he sees that "the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm".

#8 vetsanctified


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:19

Yes, because this is the first piece of DRM'd software to ever grace Linux

oh wait

And he's against it all.

I think most of Neowin members just plainly dont understand Stallman's stand on this.

Yes, he is highly questionable but not for the reasons many list. He is n ACTIVIST, and as one is his job to talk with hyperboles. His goal IS noble: To achieve a time where we can access the code and assets of our apps while developers still can earn money.

#9 spacer


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:20

THis guy's neckbeard just crit me for over 9000.

#10 -KJ



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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:20

Does anyone really take him seriously these days?

#11 Athernar



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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:21

If anything is unethical, it's calling the GPL free or open.

Rhetoric-source would be a more apt term for it.

I look forward to more projects using truly open licenses, rather than Stallman's own brand of hateful swill.

#12 Max Norris

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:23

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.

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.

Soooooo restricting choice and borderline censorship equates to freedom? I'm all for open source when it's desirable by the project, but this is just "our way or no way." Putting a stranglehold on end-users and developers alike doesn't sound free at all. If people don't want to fork over the money for commercial software nobody's forcing them to.. if he has his way people won't even have that option at all.

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.

Ah, so it's only "harmful" when it's on Windows. Gotcha.

The Linux community really needs to start distancing themselves from this guy.

#13 Riva


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:31

Took me a while but I just realised what is valves problem (besides STEAM sucking ass). Oh well good luck with people who like to compile their device drivers into the kernel

#14 theyarecomingforyou


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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:34

This is the man who launched a public attack on Steve Jobs within a week of his death. He's an attention seeking clown.

#15 Descartes



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Posted 04 August 2012 - 18:36

Well I'd rather have DRM'ed software on Linux than not have it.

Not to mention, that Steam is DRM done in a decent manner.