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Author Topic: This is what I have been saying about Open Source and fraud.  (Read 1602 times)
perkiset
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« on: February 06, 2011, 10:14:26 AM »

(Sorry ITTO, I know going to Cult Of Mac bugs you, but this was an easy link)

Check this story (this is just one of many postings:) http://www.cultofmac.com/humble-indie-bundle-devs-fight-off-mac-app-store-source-code-copycats/80362

I'd love comments from folks because I THINK that the Lugaru copycats are, in fact, pretty close to OK. Without rights to the assets of the game they've stepped out a bit and will probably get spanked, but what's to stop people from taking a game, of which the source has been "opened" then just resell (and oh BTW, completely undersell the authors)? How does this help either the notion of development or open source?
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 12:37:19 PM »

Under the GPLv3 you can't do this legally and will face legal issues unless you follow the rules therein.  By simply ripping and reselling without doing anything else, not to mention the inclusion of the branded assets the author chose to retain rights to, you are absolutely breaking the rules and will face charges similar to other copyright infringement cases.  The list is long but here's an example:  a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date.

This really has nothing to do with the merits of opening up source.  It's a flash-point issue for a brief moment in time and at a glance it appears both Apple and Wolfire will get this delisted ASAP.  Wolfire has an interesting view of it posted on their site:

Quote
Apple is billing the Mac App Store as the place to buy Mac software. It is auto-installed in your dock. It is listed in the Apple menu. We expect pirated copies of games to be available in shady corners of the internet, but not in well-known digital distribution channels with famously long review processes...

We wrote an article about this explaining how open-source software is not freeware. It's as legal for them to sell Lugaru as it would be for them to sell Quake 3, Marathon, Aquaria, or Arx Fatalis. That is to say, it is completely illegal.

Hope that explains it better.  Remember, open source is not the same as freeware.
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perkiset
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 01:09:46 PM »

My question is really not about open source per se, but the problems it opens for developers just trying to do good works.

They have now been completely distracted from bringing good works to the public sphere to try to protect what is theirs. (Although clearly, they were under no duress to release this as open source, they certainly created the mess themselves). The copycats *SAY* that they are protected. It'll all go to court, the copycats will disappear and the original artists will not only have made way less on their work, they will probably have to spend money to defend it. Meanwhile, scalliwags will have profited off their stuff.

It seems really unfortunate. The original authors will probably not be incentivised to ever do that again.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 04:44:35 PM »

My question is really not about open source per se, but the problems it opens for developers just trying to do good works.
The owners of the game deserve to get ripped off because they are stupid.

Even the founders of the modern open source (except for stallman who is a nut) movement state there are times when you should not open source.
Or if you are going to open source, you have to design your business model appropriately.

Basically why you might open source is so you can benefit from the community fixing bugs, improving the software.
Almost all games now days are extended in lua, so the user can make mods etc.

How could the owners ensure that they don't get ripped off ?
In the case of Blizzard with Warcraft,starcraft etc. (they are not open source, but just for illustration purposes)
Even if you pirate the game except for playing the missions the game is useless.
What makes the game interesting is battlenet, and playing other human players.
So even if blizzard open sourced the game, they still have battle net.
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