I think the idea of Open Source Software is generally miss understood.
Part of that may be because of the fact that certain groups prefer to
call it Free Software, which is associated with freeware.
Agreed. I use Linux myself, have done so for a long time, but unlike a
lot of people I've actually read the various license agreements. I
pretty much understand where the General Public License stands on
various issues, but I don't think your average Joe and Jane does. It
is just "legal mumbo jumbo" to them. They prefer to think of Linux as
a free OS when there certainly are commercial distros like Mandriva,
Suse, Red Hat, etc that make money off of selling the books, cds, and
technical support. It is just that the sourse code is available on
demand if you want it. Unfortunately, based on my discussions with
several Linux users on various mailing list they are under some
illusion that Linux is free and therefore all software for it should
be free too.
Open source software is not freeware and will never be. The idea of
Open Source Software is just that the source code
should be open and available to any one who would like to study or
modify it. That is also the reason that many people
including myself prefer to use Linux. If I want my computer to say
"hello" every time it begins the boot process, I can
do so without having to edit some binary file with a hex editor. Also
it encourage the studying of source code. Thus
if someone enters the audio gaming community, he/she can immediately
find out how a game engine works for instance
without having to reinvent the wheel.
Yes, that's exactly what interested me about Linux as well. If there
is something I wanted to modify I could make a change in the source,
recompile it with gcc, and happily go on my way with my custom
program/OS. Admitedly though, this advantage of having the source is
really only useful if you are a programmer with the skills to
modify'/study it in the first place. For the average Joe/Jane Linux
software is often viewed as freeware, and insist that products for
Linux remain freeware etc even though that isn't the intent of the
One thing I've thought about is to put
the game itself under an open source license, and sell the sounds and/or music.
That works. I've seen a few games do that. For example, after Loki
Games bit the dust ID Software decided to make Quake I open source,
putting the source code in the public domain, but the sounds, music,
and graphics were under a separate license.
There is a lot of advantages to doing this. One, you are still
offering the software itself under a open source license allowing
potential game developers to use your engine, code, etc for future
projects. Second, since the multimedia is under a separate license you
can sell the game giving the software away for free but make your
money off of the graphics, sounds, and music. The multimedia would be
held under standard copyrights while the software is public domain. It
is an interesting way of bridging the gap between open source and
commercial software. Unfortunately, if there is any kind of product
key system etc that can't be released as open source otherwise it
would compromise licensing the software.
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