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Thread: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

  1. #1
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    Question SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larabel at Phoronix on 07 January 2014 :
    Last month when SteamOS was publicly made available in beta form there were many surprised that Valve based their Linux distribution off Debian rather than Ubuntu, which they had been heavily promoting up to this point for Linux gaming. There was some speculation why Valve went with Debian, but Gabe Newell has now confirmed the reasoning for not basing their operating system off Ubuntu.

    Some speculated Valve went with Debian over Ubuntu due to not having to deal with the Mir Display Server, Canonical wanting to be paid for using Ubuntu Core, Valve not liking the direction of Ubuntu, etc. According to Gabe at yesterday's press conference, the reasoning for going with Debian over Ubuntu was simply described as "legal issues", according to our German friends at Heise.de.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTU2Mjc

  2. #2
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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    So is it according to Gabe or according to Heise.de? 'cuz so far I have read three articles on this and none of them quotes Gabe.

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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Great way to stir up rumors -- use cryptic phrases like "legal issues."

  4. #4
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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Indeed. If Canonical was asking for payment, and Steam preferred not to pay, would that not itself constitute a legal dispute? = /

    I'm anxious to hear facts about this, though. Steam was Canonical's ace in the hole. Frankly, they should be considering paying Valve.
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Jono Bacon was asked about this on his recent Q & A on Ubuntu On-Air

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H51N9...oMCChidCJZQruQ

    Stream is not distributed without charge, is it? It is a business venture. So, is Canonical but we do not get charged for using Ubuntu. If the Steam developers want to claim that their OS is a form of Ubuntu then they should pay a copyright fee as they are using Ubuntu for making a profit. They did not want to do that. They wanted to benefit financially from all the work being done by Ubuntu developers, many of whom work unpaid, but they did not want to pay a copyright fee for using Canonical copyrights.

    Now they have to do their own work setting up Debian to their liking. I think that this is a good move for Ubuntu. Any bugs in the Steam OS cannot now be put at the door of Ubuntu maintainers to fix.

    There is a big difference between an application user interface running on any install of Ubuntu and an OS that is self contained and comes pre-installed on hardware (Steam gaming machines). And all at a price.

    Regards.
    Last edited by grahammechanical; January 9th, 2014 at 02:31 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  6. #6
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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    That's fair. I'm just not 100% sure which party actually benefits from the Ubuntu splash screen coming up when the user boots his or her Steam Box.
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copper Bezel View Post
    That's fair. I'm just not 100% sure which party actually benefits from the Ubuntu splash screen coming up when the user boots his or her Steam Box.
    I agree with that. I think Canonical could benefit a lot from the publicity. Canonical may have the right to payment but in this instance it might have made sense to waive it in exchange for a big acknowledgement.

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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    I agree with that. I think Canonical could benefit a lot from the publicity. Canonical may have the right to payment but in this instance it might have made sense to waive it in exchange for a big acknowledgement.
    I tend to agree with this, but if the steamboxes flop that's a good bit of bad publicity for Ubuntu. I guess Steam would probably have to upstream changes to Canonical which would need more manpower to check, thus increasing cost. Steam would have had to offset that cost somehow and free publicity of a free product wouldn't cut it.
    HP Pavilion dv6, Core i3-3110M, 6GB RAM, nVIDIA Geforce GT 650M, 640GB HDD: Win7 / Xubuntu 13.10 64bit

  9. #9
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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Really, it just goes back to "Canonical has to make money somehow." I think it's less about increased costs and more about actually having an opportunity to turn a profit. More users is more free testing, right? But honestly, I didn't realize that Ubuntu was hoping to license out. I thought this was going to look more like their partnership with Google, where they get to say that the software is free while taking home a consulting fee.

    Really, though, I don't know why they're dinking around with the best chance they have to mainstream Mir. = /
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

  10. #10
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    Re: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Copper Bezel View Post
    Indeed. If Canonical was asking for payment, and Steam preferred not to pay, would that not itself constitute a legal dispute? = /

    I'm anxious to hear facts about this, though. Steam was Canonical's ace in the hole. Frankly, they should be considering paying Valve.
    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    Jono Bacon was asked about this on his recent Q & A on Ubuntu On-Air

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H51N9...oMCChidCJZQruQ

    Stream is not distributed without charge, is it? It is a business venture. So, is Canonical but we do not get charged for using Ubuntu. If the Steam developers want to claim that their OS is a form of Ubuntu then they should pay a copyright fee as they are using Ubuntu for making a profit. They did not want to do that. They wanted to benefit financially from all the work being done by Ubuntu developers, many of whom work unpaid, but they did not want to pay a copyright fee for using Canonical copyrights.

    Now they have to do their own work setting up Debian to their liking. I think that this is a good move for Ubuntu. Any bugs in the Steam OS cannot now be put at the door of Ubuntu maintainers to fix.

    There is a big difference between an application user interface running on any install of Ubuntu and an OS that is self contained and comes pre-installed on hardware (Steam gaming machines). And all at a price.

    Regards.
    This reminds me of a similar issue with linux mint. If Debian were to adopt the same approach towards Ubuntu what would the sentiment be then?

    I still think this is gonna turn nasty and their's gonna be some lashback at some stage.

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