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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Libre Gaming Manifesto

From: Lyberta
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Libre Gaming Manifesto
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:09:00 +0000

> Thinking about it again, perhaps it's ok to not have absolute clarity,
> something like: "a master server may have policies which specifically
> restrict listing of modified servers, but they must be in the same
> spirit as policies which restrict unmodified servers.

I've added this phrase verbatim. I like it.

>> Well some server admins add proprietary content to their servers and it
>> happens a lot. This situation is the same as with JavaScript.
> I understand the tendency, but I think there should be a policy that the
> game is libre, and if the master server shows modified servers, they
> should be libre too.

I'm on a fence here because I haven't seen a single game with this
policy yet. And how does copyright/copyleft can be applied here? For
example, Xonotic uses GPLv2 for its code. A server owner can modify it
and not release it to the public since GPL doesn't have that
requirement. And for the assets too. What if someone adds proprietary
asset on their server, does it create a derivative work? Ironically, one
of the main developers of Xonotic runs servers that use proprietary
assets from original Quake. I've notified him that this is a copyright
infringement but he didn't remove those assets yet.

> This reminds me of an awkward situation where I was looking for some
> server to play a game, Xonotic server at the time, when I was still
> hopeful for some Brazilian server to exist. After looking through, I
> found a server near Brazil, in the public server list, that required me
> to download lots of custom server content, and then I started seeing the
> file names of the character models being downloaded, and saw things like
> "Mr. Burns", "Dexter", "Superman", and many other known characters, I
> couldn't see them in reality because I had to leave shortly, but that
> kept in my head still today. Are these servers that resort to "popular"
> (non-free software, and non-shareable art) a good thing for the
> movement?

Absolutely not, but people still do it. I don't think most people have a
good understanding how copyright works and since there is no profit to
be made by suing server owners, they can go unpunished.

> While many people would just be happy to run proprietary games on a
free os, many more people would prefer to run free software games on a
free software os. The gradient isn’t quite so black and white either,
you could run free games with proprietary video card drivers, or work on
porting free software games to a non-free os. Maybe the gradient itself
isn’t so much the problem as the fact that it is hard enough to find the
game you want in any category and it seems like proprietary games on a
proprietary os outnumber them all. Another side to this is you can make
free code but non-free cultural assets. Without a real strong free
culture movement (as strong as the free software movement enforcing
ideology,) its hard to say why you need to make the assets free as well
other than to include in various free software distros.

There is value in supporting proprietary OSes because we can show people
that there is a great free software without needing to switch OS. I
don't consider games with non-free assets free.

> 4. Project goal disagreements
> 1. kitchen sink or light weight.
> 2. Game mechanics
> 3. graphics direction
> 4. specific features.
> 5. requirements for contributions

A good libre game is usually designed with 4 fundamental freedoms in
mind. It is a playground for your own imagination. I've been modding
games since I was 5 and I always loved it. When proprietary games
started restricting modding capabilities I became a free software
activist. As you can see from the text of the manifesto, it discusses
mostly the right to mod games because each person has their own idea how
they want to play the game and other people should not have the ability
to limit this.

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