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Re: Steam for Linux? No thanks.



Steam started Greenlight not so long ago. And there is Black Mesa game there (a HL 1 remake with HL 2 quality visuals). All its sources (scripts, meshes, textures, etc.) are open and free (CC-BY-NC). So Steam becomes pretty much Flash #2.

2013/2/16 Dmitry Smirnov <onlyjob@member.fsf.org>
On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 04:53:33 Boris Pek wrote:
> Non-free branch in not a part of Debian.

Yet we are responsible for its content. I wouldn't object your intention to
upload Steam packaging to your home page.

You asked if there are objections so here is mine.


> > To my understanding, the only reason for Steam to exist is to enforce DRM
> > control -- this is pure evil and it should not be.
> > Restriction management software does not belong here.
>
> Do you feel the same in applying to flashplugin-nonfree and its alternates?
> Flash plugin is usually used for executing non-free programs and playing
> non-free content (music, video) and etc. There is no big difference between
> them.

What I feel about Flash or anything else is irrelevant. I reckon it only
matters if you're trying to discredit my argument.

Flash is bad enough indeed but there is a big difference: Steam was created
for the only purpose -- enforcing DRM. Flash may or may not be used for evil
while Steam was designed for evil.

Besides Flash is not for *installing* applications. Using Flash for accessing
multimedia content is certainly not nearly as bad as gigantic-Steam-backdoor.


> > Besides through Steam they are distributing proprietary content that is
> > most likely is not suitable for non-free as well.
>
> This content does not come with a package, it will be downloaded by user.

We do not want to help our users to download such content.

I suggest making game downloader(s) if you want to bring a particular game to
Debian. A downloader for a particular game will have less implications than
Steam.

> > If that's not matching the definition of "opening pandora's box" then I
> > don't know what is.
> >
> > IMHO Steam is entirely off the scope of non-free and shouldn't be there.
>
> Should I remind you about point 5 in Debian Social Contract?

Please don't use Social Contract against me.
Have you ever thought what it was written for?

Besides by packaging Steam you're supporting the very thing we should be
fighting against.


> > We should be fighting against DRM whenever we can. I encourage you to
> > read more about DRM and consider joining FSF campaingn against DRM.
> >
> > See also
> >
> >         https://www.fsf.org/campaigns/drm.html
> >         https://www.eff.org/issues/drm
> >         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management
>
> Thanks, I am aware of this problem. Have you also read an article [1]?
>
> [1] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/nonfree-games.html

Packaging some non-free games that are "not-for-sale" is on my TODO list.
But non-free has its limits and Steam should not be part of it.


> I am respect your position. But we live in not perfect world,

In the perfect world you wouldn't want to package such thing as Steam.
IMHO world would be slightly worse if you continue your effort.

You could help making the world a better place if you refrain from wasting
your time on Steam and focus your talents on more ethical tasks.


> and huge
> amount of users will be not agree with you on this issue.

Are we playing numbers here?? That kind of poor rhetoric will bring you
nowhere. If million people say silly thing it is still a silly thing.

I would argue that "huge amount of users" are only about to discover the
importance of ethics and therefore their opinion on this subject don't matter
yet.

Besides minority is responsible for all the progress and scientific
breakthrough.

I'm sure in our (Debian) community most developers would not welcome Steam.

Less concerned people may stick to Ubuntu or other distros with little/less
respect for ethics.


Best wishes,
 Dmitry Smirnov
 GPG key : 4096R/53968D1B

---

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
        -- David Hume, "An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding"


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