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id Resolves DOSBox/GPL Issue 78

Posted by Zonk
from the and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after dept.
The British Gaming Blog is reporting that id Software has successfully resolved the minor issue it had with DOSBox, regarding older PC games being sold on Valve's Steam network. "The problem is all fixed up now with the proper licensing text in the game's readme. Developers working hand in hand with smaller application authors is not all that uncommon; SCUMM has worked closely with point and click masters Revolution and LucasArts to improve compatibility with their games, and hopefully this trend will continue so we can experience more old classics in the future."
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id Resolves DOSBox/GPL Issue

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  • Developers working hand in hand with smaller application authors is not all that uncommon

    That's true. I know it's offtopic, but for example Sega, in their old game compilations (like Sonic Mega Collection+ etc) always use open source emulators, like Gens.
    • Correction to parent (Score:2, Informative)

      by codefrog (302314)
      Actually at least the most recent titles Sega Genesis Collection (PS2/PSP) and Sega Vintage Collection (Xbox 360 Live Arcade) definitely do _not_ use open source emulation. Digital Eclipse (aka Backbone) has proprietary emulation code which is used in many many emulation compilations. Open source emulation code (such as Gens) tends to rely on a patchwork of code from various sources (68000 core, Z80 core, sound chips, and so on) which would make it extremely difficult (or impossible) to properly license it
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        In fact, sega used their own closed-source genesis emulator for some editions of the japanese dreamcast web browser (which included some sega genesis game roms) back in 2000 or so.
      • I'm sure I read that the Sega Smash Pack used a version of Kgen9x though. IIRC both Kgen and SSP have the same error on Sonic The Hedgehog's title screen (Sonic's torso is overlaid over the rest of the logo, rather than being under it).

        I don't know about newer stuff though...
    • Not really. What happened was that Sega hired Steve Snake who made KEGA et al and had him modify his emulator for them. However they didn't make him sign an exclusive or anything so while he hasn't released the special one he wrote for them he's allowed to use his knowledge to release free ones (which he's done).
      • (farther and farther off topic)
        Actually, the Genesis emulation for SGC was created 'from scratch' by Digital Eclipse (starting with existing 68k and Z80 cores). Steve Snake was indeed involved, primarily in the area of sound emulation, but the main emulation was not based on his fabulous Kega work.
  • Already Resolved (Score:4, Informative)

    by kaleco (801384) <greig@marshall2.btinternet@com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @07:10AM (#20154365)
    This issue was already resolved when the violation story was posted. This story would have been better served as a Slashback article.
  • Non-issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xiph (723935) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @07:54AM (#20154631)
    This really was a no-brainer non-issue from the start.
    It's obvious that ID are proponents of open software.
    The dosbox forums were not half-way as upset as slashdot.
    ID-software started fixing this, even before the /. article hit the frontpage.

    Nothing to see here, or for that matter in the previous article, move along.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      ID-software started fixing this, even before the /. article hit the frontpage.

      Copy GPL, paste into readme.txt. I still don't get why people where so upset in the first place.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jonadab (583620)
        > I still don't get why people where so upset in the first place.

        Oh, that's easy. People like to get upset. Any excuse will do.
  • by CrusadeR (555) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @08:20AM (#20154767) Homepage
    Here's an exchange from the QuakeCon keynote last Friday:

    Audience member:
    "I wanted to say thank you for open-sourcing the Quake 3 engine, it's made a huge difference to the community. I wanted to ask your opinion about the future of Linux and open source gaming."

    John Carmack:
    "I do take a great deal of personal pride and satisfaction with what I've been able to do with getting so much of the stuff out. Sometimes I think about it, and while I know it's not something I'm generally considered for, I may be one of the most prolific open source authors considering all the code that I've written over the last 15 years that I've made open source, or have made open source there. I do think it's very valuable. I'm very happy when I see both user gaming community stuff, or research universities, or people doing simulation tests, or bringing up things. Every new piece of hardware ends up having Doom or Quake titles used as an early form of test application. So I'm very happy to have done that. It's certainly going to continue. I mean I won't commit to a date, but the Doom 3 stuff will be open source. We still make those decisions even today when we're doing the Rage code when we have decisions about "do we want to integrate some other vendor's solution, some proprietary code into this". And the answer's usually no, because eventually id Tech 5 is going to be open source also. This is still the law of the land at id, that the policy is that we're not going to integrate stuff that's going to make it impossible for us to do an eventual open source release. We can argue the exact pros and cons from a pure business standpoint on it, and I can at least make some, perhaps somewhat, contrived cases that I think it's good for the business, but as a personal conviction it's still pretty important to me and I'm standing by that."

    Source: http://www.3ddownloads.com/Action/Rage/Movies/john _carmack-quakecon-keynote-2007.mp3 [3ddownloads.com] (about 1 hour 25 minutes in)
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Ah, God bless people like Carmack, industry leaders with enough clout in their companies that they can actually stick to their principles even if it isn't clear that said principle is good for business!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Walkingshark (711886)
      I'm glad that Carmack isn't evil.

      Who'd have thought this generation's Einstein would be making video games?
    • "because eventually id Tech 5 is going to be open source also. "

      I have to say that John is a visionary, I'm glad he's not so popertarian or wrapped in idealogy he cannot see the bigger picture in adding to the spread, understanding and improvement of human knowledge.
  • by DimGeo (694000) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @12:07PM (#20157793) Homepage
    Slightly off-topic. Here's a fix I wrote that patches the conf files of DoxBox inside Steam. Sorry for the code, wrote at 1-2 am last night and was a bit under influence. Ignore the silly and/or slow parts. SteamIDDosBoxFix.zip [dyndns.org] . Fixed are: aspect ratio under 1280x1024 TFT displays, sound stuttering, mouse sensitivity. You can edit dosbox.conf yourself, the fix simply replaces your entries into all .conf files (while keeping their format) it can find under Steam's install dir (which is taken from the registry).
  • Regardless of the article the issue has not been resolved, and I hope gpl-violations.org presses the issue.

    Not distributing the license text with the binary was only one issue, and a minor one at that. The larger issue is that they are distributing a modified and copy protected DOSBox without providing the modified source code, and the build files required to build the version they distribute. That's a definite violation of the GPL that still needs to be remedied.

    The modified DOSBox binary is also lin

    • by Tacvek (948259)
      They have used a minimalistic wrapper around the main executable. That wrapper simply checks the steam.dll. The main executable is not modified. They distribute the source to the main executable. Replacing the wrapped executable with the main executable works fine. (The main executable is a build of the unmodified DOSBox source).

      Nobody cares that they can't wrap the executable in the same way because it makes no difference.

      Disclaimer: The above is based on other people's comments in this article. I have no
      • by SETIGuy (33768) *
        They have used a minimalistic wrapper around the main executable.

        That makes no difference unless the wrapper can be removed and the executable extracted without needing to be a subscriber. Otherwise it's the same as linking in my book. And if I'm an author, it's my book that counts.

    • by Devir (671031)
      the above poster is trolling and is not worth a reply.

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