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Licensing: putting Steam in other Linux distro repositories #66

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slix opened this Issue Dec 20, 2012 · 21 comments

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slix commented Dec 20, 2012

It seems that some distributions, including Arch Linux, are hesitant to put Steam in their repositories because it is unclear whether they have legal permission to.

Is Valve going to do anything about this in the near future like create distribution agreements or create a general license?

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draeath Dec 20, 2012

A simple fix is for them (distro maintainers) to package a downloader, similar to how Adobe Flash is typically handled.

draeath commented Dec 20, 2012

A simple fix is for them (distro maintainers) to package a downloader, similar to how Adobe Flash is typically handled.

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damianb Dec 20, 2012

If that's the solution, then I don't see steam making it out of the AUR and into [community]; no point in it.

Would be best if VALVe granted special permission to specific distributions on request, allowing redistribution, tbh.

damianb commented Dec 20, 2012

If that's the solution, then I don't see steam making it out of the AUR and into [community]; no point in it.

Would be best if VALVe granted special permission to specific distributions on request, allowing redistribution, tbh.

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ghost Dec 20, 2012

I honestly don't think that it would be a huge issue as far as licensing goes because the bulk of steam is not actually packaged. Most of steam is stored in the user's home directory; the steam executable is just a bash script which downloads and runs the actual steam binary with a few extra bells and whistles.

I could be wrong, but this is what it seems to me.

ghost commented Dec 20, 2012

I honestly don't think that it would be a huge issue as far as licensing goes because the bulk of steam is not actually packaged. Most of steam is stored in the user's home directory; the steam executable is just a bash script which downloads and runs the actual steam binary with a few extra bells and whistles.

I could be wrong, but this is what it seems to me.

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sochotnicky Dec 20, 2012

Most free distributions (Fedora, Debian at least) would not accept software in official repositories without source code being available. Packaging just the downloader is maybe ok. But VALVE would need to explicitly license that with free software license (BSD/ASL/GPL/whatever) and allow redistribution

@damianb If redistribution was allowed only on request then most distributions would not be able to have steam installed in repositories. Free redistribution is the minimum requirement that has to be allowed even for firmwares that are to be included in repositories. Otherwise mirrors would need permissions as well and it's just a road to hell

Most free distributions (Fedora, Debian at least) would not accept software in official repositories without source code being available. Packaging just the downloader is maybe ok. But VALVE would need to explicitly license that with free software license (BSD/ASL/GPL/whatever) and allow redistribution

@damianb If redistribution was allowed only on request then most distributions would not be able to have steam installed in repositories. Free redistribution is the minimum requirement that has to be allowed even for firmwares that are to be included in repositories. Otherwise mirrors would need permissions as well and it's just a road to hell

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damianb Dec 20, 2012

@sochotnicky that is the current status quo - go read the steam license, redistribution is only allowed with prior written approval.

@Undeterminant regardless of how it is packaged, that is the current license for steam, and it applies no matter what the packaging is. An exception or a change to the license has to be made in order for the distributions to distribute it in their repositories.

damianb commented Dec 20, 2012

@sochotnicky that is the current status quo - go read the steam license, redistribution is only allowed with prior written approval.

@Undeterminant regardless of how it is packaged, that is the current license for steam, and it applies no matter what the packaging is. An exception or a change to the license has to be made in order for the distributions to distribute it in their repositories.

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ghost Dec 20, 2012

@damianb That was what I meant for the most part: it wouldn't be too much of a problem for Valve to allow redistribution of the downloader in their license because it's just a downloader without having to allow redistribution for the entire client.

ghost commented Dec 20, 2012

@damianb That was what I meant for the most part: it wouldn't be too much of a problem for Valve to allow redistribution of the downloader in their license because it's just a downloader without having to allow redistribution for the entire client.

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sjuxax Dec 21, 2012

Most distros will include non-free software in tertiary, opt-in repositories, so it is still helpful for the aggregate community if Valve sets up a standardized licensing/redistribution process.

sjuxax commented Dec 21, 2012

Most distros will include non-free software in tertiary, opt-in repositories, so it is still helpful for the aggregate community if Valve sets up a standardized licensing/redistribution process.

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scottlu Dec 22, 2012

We're working on getting the redistribution issues solved. More news soon!

scottlu commented Dec 22, 2012

We're working on getting the redistribution issues solved. More news soon!

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Freso Dec 27, 2012

@draeath The Flash installer also needs some sort of per-distribution license/agreement for the distributions to be allowed to package it, per https://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2012-November/024046.html

Freso commented Dec 27, 2012

@draeath The Flash installer also needs some sort of per-distribution license/agreement for the distributions to be allowed to package it, per https://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2012-November/024046.html

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Mailaender Jan 9, 2013

Hmm, I am no lawyer, but the Limited Installation License is not very permissible. You are not allowed to modify or create derivative works to the program. The question is if this applies to the steam client that is downloaded afterwards or to the whole Debian package which is mostly shell scripts, .desktop file and auto-updater.

Hmm, I am no lawyer, but the Limited Installation License is not very permissible. You are not allowed to modify or create derivative works to the program. The question is if this applies to the steam client that is downloaded afterwards or to the whole Debian package which is mostly shell scripts, .desktop file and auto-updater.

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gtmanfred Jan 9, 2013

I have been in contact with the steam engineers and lawyers ever since I originally put steam in the repositories for Arch Linux.

The license allow packages to re distribute should be finished in the next week or too.

I have been in contact with the steam engineers and lawyers ever since I originally put steam in the repositories for Arch Linux.

The license allow packages to re distribute should be finished in the next week or too.

@ghost ghost assigned slouken Jan 10, 2013

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RussianNeuroMancer Jan 24, 2013

Any news on this?

Any news on this?

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gtmanfred Jan 24, 2013

a license for redistribution will be in the next release

a license for redistribution will be in the next release

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draeath Jan 24, 2013

Excellent news!

draeath commented Jan 24, 2013

Excellent news!

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slouken Jan 31, 2013

We have a new license, but we need to add infrastructure to show it during the first run. It will be coming soon.

slouken commented Jan 31, 2013

We have a new license, but we need to add infrastructure to show it during the first run. It will be coming soon.

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mvdkleijn Feb 6, 2013

I suggest adding the license text to the core website too and not just showing it on first run... or is it already there?

I suggest adding the license text to the core website too and not just showing it on first run... or is it already there?

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Mailaender Feb 6, 2013

To workaround this licensing issue and to not violate OpenBuildService guidelines (they requires source packages, no pre-built binaries) I created https://build.opensuse.org/package/show?project=games&package=steam which is just has a small script inside the RPM which will download the DEB, extract it, remove the Ubuntu crap and install it to the system. It was inspired by openSUSE's Microsoft font and Debian's Adobe Flash download helper packages.

To workaround this licensing issue and to not violate OpenBuildService guidelines (they requires source packages, no pre-built binaries) I created https://build.opensuse.org/package/show?project=games&package=steam which is just has a small script inside the RPM which will download the DEB, extract it, remove the Ubuntu crap and install it to the system. It was inspired by openSUSE's Microsoft font and Debian's Adobe Flash download helper packages.

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boombatower Feb 7, 2013

There is also the skype wrapper package for suse that works much like this.

There is also the skype wrapper package for suse that works much like this.

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slouken Feb 8, 2013

Today's update has the new redistribution license!

slouken commented Feb 8, 2013

Today's update has the new redistribution license!

@slouken slouken closed this Feb 8, 2013

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Mailaender Feb 16, 2013

Is there a website or a text file displaying it?

Is there a website or a text file displaying it?

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