[Dev] Confusion about game data

Fabio Pesari fabio at pesari.eu
Sat Mar 7 18:53:31 GMT 2015

On 03/07/2015 06:58 PM, Nicolás Reynolds wrote:
> so you would distribute a binary package that's only useful with artwork
> not available on repos?  that's like a *nudge nudge* to go use unfree
> stuff outside them :P

Well, we distribute emulators and they are only useful with nonfree ROMs
not available on repos, aren't they? What about PDF readers? Web browsers?

I personally would see it as a way to support free software and to
recognize it as such. Those programs are fully functional and free,
nothing stops users from providing their own assets (as long as the
required asset pipeline is also free, otherwise the game should be
blacklisted as a whole).

> http://freedomdefined.org/Licenses/NC

I just finished reading it. One interesting thing is that even they
could not find any conclusions for content users, aside from "ask the
authors to change the terms of the license".

If I run a free game, I can read its code and be 100% sure it's not
backdoored. If its assets are nonfree, I can still be 100% sure that
it's not backdoored. Let's say my main reason to use free software is
security or privacy, how would free assets affect me?

>From a content author perspective, I disagree with their conclusions. I
think the NC still offers a clear advantage: the end users are not
affected by it, only potential competitors. I think this article is
being overly optimistic regarding how people value their philosophical
integrity, especially when profit is concerned. I bet the developers of
games like UQM don't feel bad about themselves, and why should they?
They've done more for libre gaming than many other people. By releasing
a high-quality game, they made a lot of people realize that free gaming
does not necessarily mean Pac Man clones and text games and attracted
them to free software.

And that's why I say that while similar in spirit, Free Software and
Free Culture are separate movements. Free culture is for the most part
content author culture while Free software is for the most part user

Of course, a person which champions freedom in general will support
both, but in my opinion they do not hold the same importance.

> i've heard of many lawsuits were there wasn't any commercial
> interest... maybe the gamer community is more forgiving, which i doubt
> :P

Usually developers issue a cease-and-desist against noncommercial
developers, they go harder on those who profit from their IP.

> ?

The developers have agreed to free the code but the artists haven't
agreed to free the assets.

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