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Why one free software pioneer takes issue with Steam on Linux

Why one free software pioneer takes issue with Steam on Linux

August 1, 2012 | By Staff

August 1, 2012 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"If you want freedom, one requisite for it is not having non-free programs on your computer. That much is clear."
- GNU Project founder Richard Stallman voices his concerns about the implications of putting Steam on the open Linux platform.

Just last week, Valve announced that it's looking to bring its popular Steam distribution service to Linux, noting that adding games to the operating system could boost its adoption in the long term.

But for Stallman, adoption is only one piece of the puzzle. He'd love to see more people use GNU/Linux, but he doesn't want to compromise the spirit of the platform.

"I suppose that availability of popular non-free programs on GNU/Linux can boost adoption of the system. However, our goal goes beyond making this system a 'success'; its purpose is to bring freedom to the users. Thus, the question is how this development affects users' freedom."

It's not a debate we often see in the game industry, but does Stallman have a point? Is it wrong to bring a commercial platform to an operating system that encourages free and open source software?


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