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id and Valve May Be Violating GPL

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

GNU is Not Unix 399

frooge writes "With the recent release of iD's catalog on Steam, it appears DOSBox is being used to run the old DOS games for greater compatibility. According to a post on the Halflife2.net forums, however, this distribution does not contain a copy of the GPL license that DOSBox is distributed under, which violates the license. According to the DOSBox developers, they were not notified that it was being used for this release."

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lawls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124695)

prist post

Re:lawls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125283)

I still don't know how I feel, other than really, really sad. Is it pathetic that I was truly attached to this series and these characters? I mean, I thought for a long time that in the end, Bree would die. She would sacrifice herself for the others. But the problem is that this wasn't the end. I don't understand how I can go on watching this show the way I have. The Season 1 Recap really set the record straight for me: All along, everything we've put into this show, every string of hope we've held onto.... it's all been about Bree. I know there are those of you that say you didn't like her. That you watched it for the others. But, how could you watch for the others and be on their side, when all along they were driven by one thing: Bree. Saving her. I've been around a long time on these forums. Maybe I don't have the most posts on the forums, but I post when I have something to say. Maybe I've never received any direct acknowledgement from the Creators or the characters. I'm not in anyone's top 8, nor have I been thanked in a video for my solutions for a puzzle. But I've been there for every puzzle, trying to figure it out. I've analyzed and ripped apart every video, trying to find hints and themes. I've racked my brain out over the meaning of water, immortality, purity, feet, hair, and more for hours on end. I've sat in front of the computer and joked with my fellow fans. I've fought with people and been thoroughly annoyed by people on here. I've complained with people about boredom or disappointment. I've even shared my feelings with some of you regarding my family or friends. When I didn't know if my cousin was dead or alive, this is where I sat, and this is the screen at which I stared. And now I truly feel like I've lost someone important to me. I know it's just a show. I know it isn't real, and I can see Jess again in Greek on Monday. But I can't see Bree again. Never. I feel like Bree never truly opened up to us. Like I've spent the past year trying to understand her, and gain her trust so we could feel what she felt, and understand what she thought. I feel like she contained all these secrets in her heart that are now lost forever. I feel like I'll never truly understand. I suppose that's partly how the Creators wanted it. Perhaps because Jonas and Daniel will never be able to truly understand. Perhaps this "key to everything" is meant to suffice for our lack of understanding. But I doubt it will. She didn't even know that she had the option of being trait negative. Why couldn't they bust that door open? Why couldn't they use the same knife Daniel stabbed the shadow with to threaten Lucy until she gave some answers? WHY COULDN'T BREE LIVE? I just feel like she should have been able to live. I don't see how there can be a season 2 now. And of course, I'll keep watching. I kept watching through everything before. CiW was more compelling than LG15 in the beginning, but I kept watching without her. When Bree and Daniel were just on the run and homeless, everyone was bored and a lot of fans were lost, but I kept watching. When I was strongly opposed to Jonas entering the series, and he did, I kept watching. When I fell in love with the OpAphid ARG, and became truly attached to the people involved with it, and then it was lost over something seemingly meaningless, I kept watching. And that was really the worst blow of them all, thus far. But this? The death of Bree? I mean, the Bree I truly loved was lost months ago. After her dad died, we never saw her, truly, again. But there were short glimpses, here and there. And there was hope. There was faith. Now it's gone. She's really, really done. I'm still in denial. I still think there will be a big twist, and she'll be alive. But even I know that this is really the end of the lonelygirl15. After an entire year of laughing and talking to these characters as if they were real, of connecting to a community of fans of all ages, of seeing the community change and fans come and go while I remained, all driven towards the rescue of Bree, she is gone. It's like we failed. It's like we were going to fail all along but we blindly hoped to win. I've been a faithful lonelycracker for a year now, and I'm suffering from withdrawal symptoms worse than any crackpot I've ever known.

Does this mean (5, Funny)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124697)

I can get a copy of the source for Half-Life 2?

Re:Does this mean (5, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124757)

No. It means that they violate copyright law because they didn't conform to the GPL terms. If it's true, they are illegally distributing the software called: DOSbox.

It doesn't mean any code of the old DOS iD games has to be released. Only modifications they might have made to DOSbox will have to be made public.

It's due to the work of the DOSbox creators that VALVe and iD can sell their old software and people can enjoy it. Yet the DOSbox creators don't get any credit for their work. And that is a major shame.

Re:Does this mean (5, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124911)

This sort of thing isn't always on purpose. Some people think "open source" means they can use the code however they please. Programmers aren't always license experts. It seems so simple to us because we are around these terms on slashdot constantly, but there have been times where I made assumptions about close source code licenses that could have gotten me into the same trouble. The legal department doesn't review every single decision in an organization and its possible legal implications. It could have been a few guys that just didn't understand the GPL and it was missed because it wasn't the largest project in the company. Not defending them, but not everyone understands "open source" isn't the same as public domain.

Re:Does this mean (5, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124993)

This sort of thing isn't always on purpose. Some people think "open source" means they can use the code however they please.
John Carmack understands perfectly what the GPL is all about, and surely nobody needs to be reminded what a huge contributer he is to open source and open standards. Certainly an oversight and public humiliation is not in order.

Re:Does this mean (5, Insightful)

bluephone (200451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125139)

You're right, and I'm 100% certain that John did all the packaging of the old games himself, by hand, using DEBUG on an 8086 and monochrome screen.

In reality, this was a business deal between id and Valve, and id probably handed over the playable binaries, and Value handed them to a small group to prepare for distribution and installation over Steam. So rather than blaming id, or claiming Valve did this with evil intent, let us combine two very powerful pieces of wisdom, "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence," and Occam's razor. It is most easily assumed that when Valve handed off the data to be packaged, the worked had the best of intentions by using DOSbox, but was inadequately informed about it's proper use and redistribution.

Re:Does this mean (1)

Moniker42 (1131485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125175)

Well I guess we'll find out if they make any attempts to make amends for their error or not. If they don't and just ignore the GPL well... I'm sure they'll get a big Internet-media headache :)

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125245)

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence,"

Which is why the OP said:

Certainly an oversight and public humiliation is not in order.

Luckily I don't ascibe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence, otherwise I'd say are a total shunt [youtube.com] .

Re:Does this mean (5, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125409)

Yeah, I went to his keynote Friday night; there were a lot of technical questions, and at the same time a lot of questions about steam, etc. At one point someone asked him about porting Doom to Steam and he flat out said "wow, that's pretty cool, I hadn't heard about that yet, but it seems neat".... He's very much on the research side of things and made it very clear that while he's still the posterboy for iD, he has very little control or even desire to muck about with marketing and corperate politics, though at the same time he also said that they were very proud of their decision to ultimately open source everything, and have made many design decisions in the past that have limited them because they wouldn't then be able to open source fully at a later point (he also pointed out that at some point in the future, iD tech 5 would become open source, too).
 
+5, informative.
 

Re:Does this mean (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125183)

John Carmack understands perfectly what the GPL is all about, and surely nobody needs to be reminded what a huge contributer he is to open source and open standards. Certainly an oversight and public humiliation is not in order.
I agree, especially as he apparently just confirmed [linuxgames.com] at QuakeCon that also Doom III engine (aka id Tech 4) will be made Open Source at some point in the future, and eventually also the new engine they are working on right now - id Tech 5. We wouldn't want to piss him off so that he won't Open Source them after all, would we? ;)

Anyway, I don't think he personally had anything to do with this incident.

Re:Does this mean (1)

Tuna_Shooter (591794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125219)

Agreed...... the original post is irrelevant.....

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125197)

Some people think "open source" means they can use the code however they please.

I fail to see how. The term "open source" doesn't imply it. The documentation says otherwise. Any and all discussion on the Internet says otherwise. Where are these mythical people who have missed a world full of evidence to the contrary, while assuming something that isn't readily apparent?

Re:Does this mean (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125223)

Probably working at Valve. You know, the guys who got their source code stolen by running a beta copy of Outlook? Or at least that's what they claimed and you've got to have done something REALLY stupid if that's the best cover story you can come up with.

Re:Does this mean (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125235)

This sort of thing isn't always on purpose. Some people think "open source" means they can use the code however they please

It does. Perhaps you're referring to the GPL instead?

Re:Does this mean (3, Interesting)

wayward_bruce (988607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125453)

This sort of thing isn't always on purpose. Some people think "open source" means they can use the code however they please. Programmers aren't always license experts. It seems so simple to us because we are around these terms on slashdot constantly, but there have been times where I made assumptions about close source code licenses that could have gotten me into the same trouble. The legal department doesn't review every single decision in an organization and its possible legal implications. It could have been a few guys that just didn't understand the GPL and it was missed because it wasn't the largest project in the company. Not defending them, but not everyone understands "open source" isn't the same as public domain.
So I can say that copyright infringement isn't always on purpose, some people think that "sharing" means they can download music however they please, and people aren't always reading the fine print. It seems so simple to us because we're around those terms on Slashdot constantly, but there have been times when I might have downloaded a movie or two without knowing for certain that I have the right to do so. I'm not defending P2Pers, but not everyone understands that "available" isn't the same as public domain.

This sort of argument fares poorly in court, it seems. :)

Re:Does this mean (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125501)

It seems so simple to us because we are around these terms on slashdot constantly

It's not simple at all. Start a discussion here about under what circumstances you do or do not need to distribute source and you'll still get a 20 post long thread with people going back and forth about who's right and who's wrong, debating what the words used in the license mean, etc.

And people here should be some of the "experts" on the license.

Re:Does this mean (-1, Redundant)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124953)

This is untrue. It is a common misconception that you only have to release the changes to the code you have changed, but according the the GPL/LGPL you are supposed to re-release the entirety of the code as a redistributing party.

Also, since it appears DOSBox is under the GPL and not the LGPL, this WOULD require the source code of these games (as well as graphics, audio and any other components distributed along with DOSBox) to be publicly released. (That whole "viral" thing people talk about)

However, ID/Valve could easily get away with this just fine if DOSBox and the games were distributed as separate downloads and installations...much in the same way many Linux distros get around shipping proprietary drivers/codecs/programs/etc for their operating systems.

Re:Does this mean (5, Informative)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125057)

Also, since it appears DOSBox is under the GPL and not the LGPL, this WOULD require the source code of these games (as well as graphics, audio and any other components distributed along with DOSBox) to be publicly released. (That whole "viral" thing people talk about)

No, it would only require them to provide the source for their modified DOSBox.

The GPL is clear that using a Free program to execute or operate on proprietary data leaves the data under its original ownership and licensing.

- Nick

Re:Does this mean (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125423)

Also, since it appears DOSBox is under the GPL and not the LGPL, this WOULD require the source code of these games (as well as graphics, audio and any other components distributed along with DOSBox) to be publicly released. (That whole "viral" thing people talk about)

You have been listening to too much Microsoft propaganda. That whole viral nonsense was and is just FUD against open source in general and Linux in particular.

You can distribute separate programs together, each with their own license. Merely putting a single GPL'd program on a disk with other software does not make all the software on the disk GPL'd. Only if code that is under the GPL was put into the games would they be required to be GPL'd as well.

To use code under the GPL in your own project you must put all the code combined with the GPL'd code under the GPL. That is the way you pay the author for the right to use the code. Alternately you can contact the author and negotiate a different license for your use, likely he will want a different form of payment if he is willing to make the deal.

Re:Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125539)

> To use code under the GPL in your own project you must put all the code combined with the GPL'd code under the GPL.

Eh - no. Only if you want to distribute your project to other people/companies/clients. It is perfectly okay to use GPL'ed software for some company-internal project, but if you want to distribute it to someone else, then the GPL kicks in.

--
MiniMax

Re:Does this mean (0)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125095)

It doesn't mean any code of the old DOS iD games has to be released. Only modifications they might have made to DOSbox will have to be made public.

Not even that. The GPL isn't a contract that must be followed: it's a license grant. You can choose not to accept it, and pay the original authors compensation for your use, if you'd rather not follow the terms.

Re:Does this mean (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125241)

"You can choose not to accept it, and pay the original authors compensation for your use, if you'd rather not follow the terms."

If they'll accept your money.

In this case I bet the answer would be "yes" but I can think of others where the answer most certainly would be "we don't want your money, use our software under the terms of the GPL or don't use it alt all".
-nB

Re:Does this mean (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125263)

Well that's misleading. If you don't accept the terms of the GPL, you have to acquire a separate license from the authors on their terms (if they are even willing to license it under non-GPL terms). It isn't like you can just choose to throw money at the problem to make it go away. If the authors aren't willing to grant you a non-GPL license, then any use in violation of the GPL is piracy.

Re:Does this mean (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125329)

Considering the number of copies they've distributed, and the statutory damages that people like the RIAA have managed to get put in place, it looks like DOSBox development is going to be very well funded for the next few years...

you're wrong, too (3, Informative)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125549)

Only modifications they might have made to DOSbox will have to be made public.

Please let's get away from this thinking that you can automatically patch up a GPL violation by releasing your modified source code later.

When you violate the GPL, you immediately lose your license to the GPL'ed code and you are liable for your past and future license violations. You cannot make up for that past violation by coming into compliance, and you cannot restore your license to use the code under the GPL license by coming into compliance.

What that liability entails is something that you can negotiate with the authors about, and if you don't reach an agreement, it's for the courts to decide. Theoretically, if the GPL violation is egregious enough, a court might well hand control over other corporate assets, including unrelated software, to the author of the GPL'ed software.

Many GPL authors will be nice and permit you to remedy past GPL violations by coming into compliance, and they may also grant you permission to use the software under the GPL. But all of that is at their sole discretion.

Re:Does this mean (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124761)

Probably. It was leaked, remember. I still have it on disk here:)

Seriously though, I love open source, but it seems more and more of these GPL violations are occuring. Why is nobody in a position to do anything about actually DOING anything about this? I mean they can write what they want in the GPL. If nobody actually enforces it and goes after folks violating it, it's worthless, as is reporting about it. When I first read about the use of DOSBox for this yesterday my spider sense started tingling.

The GPL is a great license, but the EFF or whoever needs to start spanking people who violate it. I mean for christs sake the DMCA is used for so much evil. It's about time it was used for good, and this would be a violation of it, wouldn't it?

Re:Does this mean (2, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124891)

There already a handful of international groups that all they do is try and help with GPL enforcement. However, according to US copyright law, the actual person(s) would would need to handle the enforcement by way of trial would be the one(s) who own the copyright on DOSBox, and then licensed it via the GPL. Now of course, this could also potentially come from any of the subsequent authors or forks of the project as well, even those who redistribute it like the organizations behind various Linux distros. But, it would be probably still be much more powerful if the original or current copyright holder of the DOSBox code were to be the one to bring action against ID and Valve.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125025)

how is the snowball in hell project comming along?

Re:Does this mean (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125357)

I can get a copy of the source for Half-Life 2?

check your favorite torrent tracker.

Only copying bits (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124707)

They are only copying information, nothing is taken from anyone.

Avoiding The Viral GPL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124723)

Two more companies learn to avoid the viral GPL software in the future.

One more tiny step to a world with truly free software.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124813)

Bad troll is baaaaad.

PROTIP: There's nothing 'viral' in this instance. iD included the dosBox binary in their distribution sans the terms of the GPL and the authors file.

Go back to hiding under your bridge, mister troll.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124871)

You fucking piece of shit bearded GNU freak. As more and more of these GPL fiasco stories come up the more companies are learning to avoid the GPL quagmire.

Viral licenses that promote kooky ideologies have no place in the commercial world.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (0, Troll)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124929)

Why do we even bother?

This is not a "GPL fiasco" any more than pirating a movie is a "DVD fiasco".

And who's to say our ideology is the one that's kooky? You do realize that the "commercial world" is an ideology itself, and...

Never mind, it's over your head. Fucking troll.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125123)

Good argument, very coherent in defense of your cause. I can see why the world lines up behind you guys.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125295)

Yes, because

You fucking piece of shit bearded GNU freak. As more and more of these GPL fiasco stories come up the more companies are learning to avoid the GPL quagmire.

Viral licenses that promote kooky ideologies have no place in the commercial world.

demands a coherent defense.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125255)

in this case what the problem is is the GPL requires you to do 2 things if you are just doing a pass along distribution

1 distribute the COMPLETE COPY (with the readmes and credits.txt)
2 also distribute the source code (for something like dosbox you might need an extra disc cluster)

its also custom to like maybe oh pay the author something when you are raking in Mega$ because of the code in question (but thats ethics)

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125383)

They could have complied with the GPL easily, by bundling the DOSBox sources (or a notice saying that they would be supplied on request for a reasonable fee). Or, they could have developed their own DOS emulator.

This is not a GPL violation, it's a copyright law violation. They distributed a product that they did not have the right to distribute. I wonder how well they would take it if the DOSBox team decided to distribute Half Life 2 to a few thousand people - probably not very well. The fact that there was a non-discriminatory license available for free is irrelevant. A proprietary software company decided not to respect the copyrights of a piece of software, and distributed it without a license. Considering Valve's fondness for DRM, I wonder if they subscribe to the 'if it's not bolted down' philosophy...

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124823)

Yes. It's not like iD has released [slashdot.org] anything GLP [slashdot.org] before [slashdot.org] .

Oh, wait...

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125317)

Global Partners LP?

OpenGL to PostScript?

Global Land Project?

I'm confused about what GLP has to do with this.

Re:Avoiding The Viral GPL (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125535)

Yes. It's not like iD has released anything GLP before.

Because they have in the past released lots of cool stuff under GPL does not absolve them of the need to follow the GPL in the future. And, the are in the software business. They know where they got their code, they know what its licensing terms are.

Doesn't this go to show (0)

tadauphoenix (127728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124733)

copyright protection is a bit out of hand?

Not meaning TFA, but why do we care? Isn't it a bit ludicrous to be caught in this situation?

Re:Doesn't this go to show (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124747)

Umm....what does your comment have to do with the article? Likening the GPL with copy protection is like comparing apples and elephants...two completely unrelated topics.

Re:Doesn't this go to show (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125007)

copyRIGHT protection, not copy protection. The only way the GPL is enforceable is to apply copyright laws, since they grant the original creator of a work the right to license the work in the first place.

Re:Doesn't this go to show (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125159)

sorry, looks like I misread your original post...

Re:Doesn't this go to show (1)

tadauphoenix (127728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125001)

...and right on time, from Carmack's keynote at qcon:
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?st ory=14979 [gamasutra.com]

- Software patents. An audience member asked him about his thoughts. John Carmack does not like them. He calls the idea of software patent infringement a "sham." He tries not to think about -- or concern himself much with -- this controversial issue, because doing so just "depresses him."

Re:Doesn't this go to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125149)

There is a massive difference between software patents and copyright. You will find many people who do not like software patents and yet who support copyrights.

Re:Doesn't this go to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125049)

Umm except they haven't offered the source code or supplied it which means they have violated the GPL and still are.

Huh? (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125565)

These game companies produce proprietary software and take strong measures against copying and copyright infringement. Why do you think it is unreasonable to expect them to comply with other people's software licenses?

call me a noob... (1, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124741)

But I don't see what the big deal is here.

Re:call me a noob... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124781)

Yeah, I just warez them all. What's the big deal?

Re:call me a noob... (1, Informative)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124845)

"call me a noob... But I don't see what the big deal is here."

The problem is that DOSBox is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (aka GPL). This license is the foundation for the vast majority of open source software, and explicitly states that if you distribute software under it, you must also redistribute the souce code. Furthermore, as DOSBox appears to be under the GPL and not the LGPL (GNU Lesser/Library General Public License) it would mean that both DOSBox and the game shipping along with it would be required to release source code to the general public. Now I may be wrong on which license DB uses, as I just took a real quick look at their sourceforge page, but this means that either ID & Valve would need to find a new avenue for emulating these old games, release the code for the games along with a re-release of the dosbox code they used (including not only programming source code, but also graphics, audio, levels, etc), stop distributing them all together, or (the most logical version) treat the DOSBox component as a seperate distribution, requiring user specific request of it, just as Linux distributions like Ubuntu handle proprietary components like the NVidia drivers or a proprietary multimedia codec.

Re:call me a noob... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124925)

> Now I may be wrong on which license DB uses
It uses GLP v. 2.

> it would mean that both DOSBox and the game shipping along with it would be required to release source code.

No. They have not embedded DOSBox into their own code, so the GPL "virus" do not touch their code and do not apply to the games. They are however required to distribute (or offer to distribute) the source code for DOSBox.

--
MiniMax

Re:call me a noob... (2, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125097)

Since they distribute DOSBox in binary form they are obligated under the GPL to make the source to DOSBox available. They are not obligated to provide source for the games since DOSBox is an emulator, which is to say, a kind of interpreter, not a library with which the games are linked. The distribution of both the games and DOSBox on the same medium does not bring the games under the GPL. This is made explicit in the "aggregation" clause of the GPL. See also the GPL FAQ [gnu.org] .

Re:call me a noob... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125199)

would mean that both DOSBox and the game shipping along with it would be required to release source code to the general public
iD are not modifying DOSBox or linking to any of its components. Under the GPL 'mere aggregation' does not require that you change the licence for your software. Don't spread misinformation.

Outdated Article (5, Informative)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124759)

Valve/iD already updated the games with the required files. Old, incorrect news.

Re:Outdated Article (1)

r3f4rd30n (1030822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124787)

Heh, kinda shows the big advantage of Steam: They can correct oversights like this almost instantly, and most of the users never know, since most updates are downloaded in the background.

Re:Outdated Article (5, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124801)

Yes, here's the link:

http://www.halflife2.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1 28297&page=5 [halflife2.net]

Looks more like an oversight than a deliberate violation.

Re:Outdated Article (0, Flamebait)

cronot (530669) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125083)

I can't see how it could be an oversight. The license files are distributed along with the DOSBox binaries / sources, so they should have deliberately deleted the license text files at some point before publishing them.

Re:Outdated Article (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125261)

Sure, but that doesn't mean it wasn't innocently deliberate. They probably got a copy of the DOSBox source and started deleteing what the developers thought were irrelevant files in order to make their jobs customizing the software easier. Not a big deal. As mentioned elsewhere, this has already been fixed.

Re:Outdated Article (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125393)

I'd guess the license files (and other text files distributed with dosbox) were never copied to the final location in the first place. They probably just unpacked/installed dosbox once, then copied the minimum number of files required to get their own software to run to the relevant location. I've certainly done this sort of thing with GPL'd binaries and libraries (like gzip or the cygwin dll), but not for re-distribution - publishers need to be more careful! From other posts in the forums, it looks like they didn't even expend much effort in getting the games to run optimally under dosbox (players are likely to get better and more configurable results with their own dosbox installations), which also suggests not much thought went into this. And it's not as if the publishers have anything to gain by not including the license - the GPL allows them to use dosbox in exactly the way they need.

Re:Outdated Article (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124865)

But where's the source? The diff? Reminds me of the "from scratch" Source engine which is still Quake derived and had removed id software acknowledgments (as required by the commercial Quake engine license)

Re:Outdated Article (1)

Cannelbrae (157237) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124931)

Thats what happens when one company signs a deal with another - they get to set up their own licensing rules. Valve probably paid id a whole bunch of money back when they started re-licensing HalfLife tech. At that point, they probably removed the license notices as if they were reselling it, they must have had rights to do so.

Re:Outdated Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125133)

Looks like an honest mistake anyway. iD have released their old games under the GPL. I have no doubt that they know the license inside out and care about it themselves.

MOD PARENT DOWN FOR WRONGNESS (0)

HaloMan (314646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125165)

You're wrong. Tell me where they've offered to let me download the source of the build they're using.

You can't? That's because they're still violating the GPL.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN FOR WRONGNESS (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125345)

Um... I think you may be mistaking the GPL for something it's not. The GPL does not state that you must make your program open source. It only states that if you modify anything protected under said license, you have to publish those changes. This does not include your own privately protected source.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN FOR WRONGNESS (2, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125553)

Your mistaken too.

1. executables/binaries/object code distributed must have an offer to have a verbatim copy of the source code used to build that object code. this offer must be made available for at least 3 years.

2. the source you make available must include a copy of the GPL

Common misconceptions:

1. people assume GPL forces you to put anything you link to it into GPL as well. This is not the case, it just means you cannot distribute your changes. If you do, then you can be taken to court, but you can never be forced to license your changes as GPL. just forced to cease distributing

2. gpl covered application must include source. not exactly correct, the source just needs to be offered to be available to those you have distributed the binaries too. and at no charge.

The solution - make DOSbox source available on the company website with modification (if any). If it's as I assume and they just deleted a bunch of files and dropped in a custom configuration then there is nothing special that needs to be done. as long as individual binaries are built from that source that is all you have to do. GPL does not cover configuration files because they are already in a "source" form.

How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124777)

Appears to be? been told? How do they know its running dosbox? Wasn't there some previous comment on another article that says its running things that someone couldn't run in dosbox?

as far as I can tell, the whole of the accusation is that they are doing things that can be done with DOSbox, so they must be using DOSbox. Come on folks you can do better

Aren't they being lazy? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124799)

Why is DOSBox needed? They have the source codes for all their games, so why can't they make the games compatible with modern systems? The community did that for Doom and Quake (and not just once, because there are many, many different clients available for both games).

Re:Aren't they being lazy? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124857)

That requires effort. Now they get a lot more profit, no need to invest time.

Re:Aren't they being lazy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124869)

How do they know? Because each f.cking game comes with a dosbox.exe (with the real DOSBox icon) and with a stripped dosbox.conf file.

--
MiniMax

Re:Aren't they being lazy? (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124887)

Isn't that supposed to be one of the benefits of open source software? Not having to reinvent the wheel? Assuming one plays by the rules, of course.

Re:Aren't they being lazy? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125433)

The old games are largely written in x86 assembly language. They do not use libraries for interacting with the machine, they issue DOS system calls and [video] BIOS calls directly. Porting them to other platforms would effectively mean re-writing them. You could add an abstraction layer, replacing the low-level calls with library calls, and then write a library that would translate these into something higher-level. Or you could use a generic version of this; a DOS emulator. Doom and Quake were written in a mixture of C and assembly, and the assembly often had fall-back routines. Quake had an abstraction layer long before the open source release, with VESA, DirectDraw, X11 and OpenGL versions.

Developers not notified... so what! (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124839)

GPL violations aside, there is no need to notify the developers if you intend to use code under GPL.

The only time you'd need to contact the developers is if you want to get an alternative license. Quite often people will release code under GPL and also be prepared to release it under alternative licenses, perhaps for a fee.

Re:Developers not notified... so what! (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124949)

It is the courteous thing to do though. So if people are interested in whether or not a company behaves in a courteous manner, it's still worth mentioning.

Very seldom happens (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125047)

How many people contact Linus and the other thousand or so Linux contibutors when they load up Linux?

I release some kernel code under GPL. This is used in many Linux-based products (cell phones etc). I probably only get to hear from 5% or so of the people that actually use it.

Re:Developers not notified... so what! (2, Insightful)

Jare (790431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125063)

That's the point - if you don't see the license files, the next step before crying foul is to ask the developers if they arranged a different license. Since the developers say they hadn't been contacted, it's safe to assume they didn't arrange a different license.

Re:Developers not notified... so what! (3, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125085)

Yes, and so the fact that they hadn't contacted the developers in this case was relevant since otherwise they could've been using dosbox under another license that the developers OK'ed.

Just to be clear (5, Informative)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124851)

Before anyone jumps on the summary for being incorrect - there is no need to notify a developer when you use or distribute GPL software. However if you want to distribute in violation of the license then there are only two ways:

  1. Get the developer to waive the license (hasn't happened according to summary, which was worth mentioning as it means the only option is (2))
  2. Pile a huge stack of cash in a vault to pay off copyright violation damages


The third option, which isn't usually available when you screw up with non-free software, is to apologise really fast and comply with the GPL*. Although there are no guarantees free software developers are usually nice folks who can overlook a mistake.

It is one reason why all the 'viral' fud about the GPL is so annoying (not that it applies to this case, as there is no derivative product, but it usually rears it's ugly head in these threads). All the GPL does is give you an Option Three which isn't usually available - you would be in court for damages instead of sitting across a table from a bunch of altrustic techies seeking a negotiated solution.

*Historically stopping distribution and rewriting the offending module usually is an option too, depending on how antagonistic you were before admitting your mistake.

Doesn't this depend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124853)

It's no problem if the DosBox creators are rich and/or assholes.

As I don't know them and haven't read anything about them, I can't say whether iD should be allowed to do this. Anyone got any info on them?

Could you vultures wait? (5, Insightful)

Time Doctor (79352) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124855)

It hasn't even been a working week even before the people who gave us great things like the GPL'd quake 1/2/3 source got jumped on for slighting you trolls.

WTF? (0, Troll)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125417)

Vultures? Most of the comments are either wrong (like yours) or pointing out that the article is out-dated and id/Valve already corrected the issue. What vultures? Unless you mean the editors, but your number is low enough you should know they troll articles like the anyone else.

Re:Could you vultures wait? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125445)

I don't really know why ID are being blamed for this, since Valve is the distributor. Unlike ID, who gave us GPL'd Doom, Quake, etc, Valve gave us DRM'd Half Life, and deserve no sympathy when they get caught infringing copyright.

Re:Could you vultures wait? (3, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125561)

If any of us started distributing Id's copyrighted materials in violation of their license, I'm sure it'd take less than a week for their legal team to put an end to it.

And I'm sure they wouldn't be very nice about it, either.

Lol (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20124859)

I love how people think the GPL matters, what a fucking joke!

Valve thanks Steam once again (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124957)

Since Valve has a pretty intense lockdown on their games with Steam (a lockdown that I'm not entirely opposed to, since it is so good), they can lock access to any affected games until users update.

Said update should include a copy of the GPL.

Re:Valve thanks Steam once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125081)

The missing files have been added now.

--
MiniMax

Why is Hexen A doom engine game useing dosbox? (1, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20124983)

There is much better windows doom ports that can fully run that game and ID even has there own win32 port of doom. Also the low screen res of that game will look real bad on new big screen LCD or CRT. Even the old win32 doom port at a max of 640x480 will look better.

Mad outrage NOT in order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125045)

iD have been an amazing help to the free software community (do you really think OpenGL would have survived without them at the height of the Microsoft-mole-destroying-SGI fiasco?). Most likely this is just some underling's oversight. Don't panic or blow this out of all proportion folks, give them an honest chance to correct the issue.

Bah GPL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125201)

The GPL is stupid and probably doesn't hold up in a real court.

Intentional? (0, Redundant)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125267)

DOSBox's download contains the GPL in COPYING.txt. So it was intentionally stripped out by iD...?

DOSBox should have used the BSD license (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125271)

this wouldn't be a problem if they used the BSD license.

Re:DOSBox should have used the BSD license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125339)

this wouldn't be a problem if they used the BSD license.
No, it would still be a problem. And it's not like they foresaw people abusing their work anyways.

Re:DOSBox should have used the BSD license (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125387)

Yeah, and you wouldn't be here if your mom would have aborted you.

Transparently divisive rubbish. (5, Insightful)

Ed Black (973540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125325)

Small oversight by (on id's part) a hugely prolific developer of GPL'd software. Easily corrected and pushed out to clients straight away.

Attacking John Carmack for this precipitately is basically irrational. It also stinks of divisive trolling.

The man's licensed (a great deal of) his own software under the GPL, for goodness' sake.

Now there's a reason to port Steam to Linux (5, Interesting)

FliesLikeABrick (943848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125431)

Steam now has a reason to be ported to Linux. A lot of the new id games added to Steam play natively on Linux, there are others that use DOSbox, which conveniently works on Linux as well. If Valve ports Steam to Linux... it'd open the door for Linux users to easily buy and play these games, and I'm sure enough people would such that it makes business sense for them to do it.

Violating The GPL!?! (1, Redundant)

icedcool (446975) | more than 7 years ago | (#20125493)

Rabble rabble rabble rabble.

This is awesome viral marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20125511)

You know, under normal circumstances, the release of ten year old games on Steam wouldn't have garnered a nod from places like Slashdot. So what do they do? Spark a rumor that they're violating the GPL and suddenly all the Slashdotties are crying and stamping their feet.... and giving them lots of publicity.

Personally, I'm just glad I found out, so I could go and buy all those great games to play on my modern system. Thanks slashdot!

I'm also sure that if there is any "gpl violation" involved, that a steam game update will simply drop a .zip of source code in the directory with the game in a couple of days. I doubt there is though. If there is, it certainly won't be Valve's fault since id are the ones who pack up the games for them to distribute.
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