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Re: [gNewSense-users] Proprietary software in gNewSense - 'Beneath a Ste

From: Mark H. Weaver
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Proprietary software in gNewSense - 'Beneath a Steel Sky' and 'Flight of the Amazon Queen'
Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 16:07:10 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

The Free Software Definition explicitly guarantees the right to sell copies.  
A license which prohibits this right is not a free software license. says:

  "You may have paid money to get copies of free software, or you may have
  obtained copies at no charge. But regardless of how you got your copies,
  you always have the freedom to copy and change the software, even to sell

Even if the prohibition against selling copies is removed, there are even more 
serious problems with these packages, namely that they don't contain the 
source code, i.e. the preferred form for editing.

For example, take a look at the "source" of flight-of-the-amazon-queen.  
Outside of the debian directory, it consists of exactly two files:
"readme.txt", and a 54 megabyte binary file "queen.1c".  If I want to exercise 
my freedom 1 to "study how the program works, and adapt it to [my] needs", 
how am I to proceed?

Finally, I tried actually running flight-of-the-amazon-queen, and it started 
by presenting an image containing the following notice:

  "Unauthorised copying, reproduction, adaptation, rental, public performance,
  broadcast or other exploitation of this product is strictly prohibited and
  constitutes a violation of applicable laws which may give rise to both civil
  liability and criminal penalties.

  "Copyright owned by Interactive Binary Illusions Pty. Ltd. (C) 1995
  Published by Warner Interactive Entertainment Ltd. 1995"


Brian Brazil wrote:
> On 5/19/07, Guy Johnston <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I've just found two pieces of proprietary software in the gNewSense
> > Universe repository. I've filed a bug report, but I think it's also worth
> > posting here. The programmes are two games called 'Beneath a Steel Sky'
> > and 'Flight of the Amazon Queen', which are designed to work with the
> > ScummVM interpreter. In the sourcecode of both, there's a file called
> > "readme.txt", containing the licence, which reads "You may not charge a
> > fee for the game itself. This includes reselling the game as an
> > individual item."
> That doesn't make it non-free software.
> The full license looks pretty okay to me, a form of copyleft with a
> restriction with charging for it in and of itself. It does allow
> distribution in aggregate and charging for that.
> Brian
> _______________________________________________
> gNewSense-users mailing list
> address@hidden

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