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You Do Not Need to Buy 0 A.D. on eBay


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#1 Jeru

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:11 PM

We on the 0 A.D. development team have just learned that copies of 0 A.D. on physical media, such as CDs and DVDs, are being sold on eBay, by independent stores, unrelated to us.

This is probably perfectly legal under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which 0 A.D. is released under. The license clearly states that people are free to make copies of 0 A.D. and distribute them for any price or no price, as long as they meet certain conditions, such as including the source code or indicating where it is available.

(We have not inspected these CDs/DVDs closely to verify they do meet all the conditions. So the distributors might be operating under the GPL, or not. We don't know for sure.)

However, in either case, we wish to emphasize that 0 A.D. is available for free download and always will be. You do not have to buy it from anywhere.

The latest version to date is Alpha 10, available here. Alpha 11 is due within a few days.

Thanks for listening!
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#2 zoot

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:27 PM

Yeah, basically that's how Red Hat (the Linux vendor which is now the main commercial contributor to the Linux kernel) got started. But all that aside - aren't there some way to leave comments on such eBay 'stores' (or whatever it's called)? Seems that would be the most important place to make this known.

Edited by zoot, 31 August 2012 - 07:27 PM.

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#3 fcxSanya

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:34 PM

But all that aside - aren't there some way to leave comments on such eBay 'stores' (or whatever it's called)? Seems that would be the most important place to make this known.

Most of items here are from the same seller: mediaplusmobile (but there are other sellers too). And he (it?) already have 9 negative comments in last 12 months, a couple of which are about 0 A.D.:

Item was decribed as new, but was a copied disc with no case. V. Dissapointed.

nor what I expected. it is a home burntcopy of a game that is free to download.

But there is also 2581 positive comments, what outweigh negative comments count. Some of them about 0 A.D. too:

as expected

excellent service

fantastic, thank you


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#4 zoot

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:58 PM

I wonder if there would be basis for filing some kind of complaint with eBay on the basis that the description misleads the buyer (even though not explicitly) to think it's an original product? It's not even stated that the software is a development version, and many of the features listed haven't been implemented yet.

Edited by zoot, 01 September 2012 - 10:28 AM.

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#5 myconid

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:41 AM

I don't mind at all that they are selling the game, but I do rather mind the horrible marketing/packaging and the fact there is no indication that it's still unfinished and buggy.

So why don't we do it?

If some crappy company can sell DVDs of an outdated version of an unfinished game for £3.50, why is there no official version with better packaging, and at least a link to our website?
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#6 Almin

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:41 AM

lol...he "sells" other open-source-software, too...for example

The Gimp:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/PHOTO-EDITING-GRAPHICS-SOFTWARE-Photoshop-Alternative-/170733677498?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item27c0852bba
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/GIMP-PHOTO-EDITING-GRAPHICS-IMAGING-SOFTWARE-Photoshop-Compatible-Alternative-/170900893929?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item27ca7cb0e9
SuperTuxKart:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPER-TUX-KART-Mario-Kart-Style-Cart-Racing-Game-for-PC-/170901067211?pt=UK_PC_Video_Games_Video_Games_JS&hash=item27ca7f55cb
TuxGuitar:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/Guitar-Tab-Tablature-Song-Writing-Creation-Notation-Scoring-Software-for-PC-/170864245681?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item27c84d7bb1
7-Zip:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/Unzip-Unpack-Compressed-Zipped-Files-Folders-zip-rar-tar-taz-gz-jar-r00-/180863867377?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item2a1c5399f1
Sweet Home 3D:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-Floor-Plan-Interior-Design-PC-software-House-Home-Room-Apartment-Kitchen-/180959980565?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item2a220e2c15
Glest:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/Glest-3D-real-time-Strategy-Fantasy-Action-Game-PC-Windows-Game-/180960189294?pt=UK_PC_Video_Games_Video_Games_JS&hash=item2a22115b6e
Parted Magic:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/Parted-Magic-Partition-Manager-Software-Create-re-size-manage-hard-drive-disc-/180864148242?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item2a1c57e312
Another little open-source game called Invade Earth:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/Invade-Earth-War-Strategy-Game-Risk-Style-PC-Windows-Game-/170826684551?pt=UK_PC_Video_Games_Video_Games_JS&hash=item27c6105887


..AND Nero - The commercial CD/DVD Burning software for Windows...I wonder whether that's (even) legal?:
hxxp://www.ebay.com/itm/CD-DVD-BURNER-CREATER-BURNING-COPY-BACKUP-FULL-SOFTWARE-SUITE-NERO-ALTERNATIVE-/170733676492?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item27c08527cc



edit: myconid was faster...@myconid: my word

edit2: What annoys me the most, is that he even gets a very positive feedback on his site with an average rate of five stars(!)(and 99,6%) That's not fair!:
http://myworld.ebay....mediaplusmobile

edit3: I forgot the (angry) smiley(s): :fool: :unknw: :rtfm:

edit4: We definitly need more angry smileys here in the forums! Is there any possibility to enhance the amount of smileys? (For example a smiley with blood is missing!!!1) ;)

Edited by historic_bruno, 01 September 2012 - 04:34 PM.
Removing urls

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sry for my english

#7 myconid

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:15 AM

..AND Nero - The commercial CD/DVD Burning software for Windows...I wonder whether that's (even) legal?:
http://www.ebay.com/...=item27c08527cc

You've been scammed! That's not Nero, it's a FOSS program called Infrarecorder. He edits out the name of the software in the screenshots to stop people from finding out he's actually selling them free stuff. Also, he labels the software as "X alternative", so they show up when people search for the real things.

What a douche.
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#8 fabio

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:33 AM

You've been scammed! That's not Nero, it's a FOSS program called Infrarecorder. He edits out the name of the software in the screenshots to stop people from finding out he's actually selling them free stuff. Also, he labels the software as "X alternative", so they show up when people search for the real things.

What a douche.


It seems it's selling well:

More than 10 available / 195 sold
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#9 myconid

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

More than 10 available / 195 sold

Sucks for all those people who are getting ripped off, I suppose.

The only reason trademarks exist is to prevent BS like this, and it's Roxio's/Adobe's job to protect their trademarks if they want to keep them. We can't do anything about this, unless anyone here is interested in buying an item with a misleading title just to file a complaint with Ebay/Roxio/Adobe/etc. ;) (I'm joking, FYI)
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#10 Jeru

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:09 PM

My sole solace is that the prices are pretty low.

If people can't be bothered to Google something before buying, say to make sure it is a good product and find out where else it might be available, they deserve to be fined a few pounds sterling.

As long as we keep offering 0 A.D. for free, nobody is going to make a real killing. It is kind of hard to compete with free.
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#11 zoot

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:14 PM

I wouldn't say they deserve it - the seller is clearly acting in bad faith. But it is what they can expect.
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#12 Jeru

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

Point well taken.
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#13 historic_bruno

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

As long as we keep offering 0 A.D. for free, nobody is going to make a real killing. It is kind of hard to compete with free.

You would think, but really it's about context and advertising. If you're good at advertising, you can sell almost anything to anyone. Personally I have seen people sell some of my free works in the past which were not GPL or even open source and explicitly forbade reselling in the license, going for upwards of $10 for a digital copy, simply because people found that ***hole before they found me offering the same thing for free. In some markets there is actually a reward for selling other people's work even in violation of license, because the marketplace earns a percentage of the sale (e.g. eBay, Amazon, etc) and the profit can be used in turn for advertising and enhanced listings which further supports the site, and also search results tend to favor pricier items (for this reason), so there is very little incentive for them to do anything about it - everyone benefits it seems, except the original author.

Also in my experience, there is a price people will pay because it seems reasonable for the quality of the product or how it's presented, they'll never think that it could be free?! let alone less expensive. People in the FOSS community think differently than the "outside" world.
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#14 fireprog

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:55 PM

Man if I were to do something like that I would do it quite differently.

No misleading information and I would add something of value for people who know they're buying free open source software eg. a custom case & manual or the svn/git repo on usb (pita to download for people with bad internet connections)

Then donate half of the profits back to 0 A.D. :)

And some people actually buy this, knowing that they can also download it for free...
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#15 zoot

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:07 PM

Hmm.

I wonder if we couldn't actually in the art license require distributors to state something like "This product can be freely downloaded from www.wildfiregames.com" in any 'sales presentations' they give. GPL won't let you add such clauses for the code/binaries, but CC-BY-SA will.

If a vendor fails to meet this requirement we can file a complaint with eBay for copyright violation (software piracy) or ultimately sue the sucker.

Edited by zoot, 01 September 2012 - 05:30 PM.

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#16 Jeru

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

ultimately sue the sucker.


I'm afraid this is not a viable option because we probably cannot pay the required legal fees.
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Aviv Sharon [ aka Jeru ]

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#17 zoot

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:36 PM

I'm afraid this is not a viable option because we probably cannot pay the required legal fees.

There's excellent lawyers who will take such cases pro-bono for open source projects.

Edited by zoot, 01 September 2012 - 05:37 PM.

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#18 Pureon

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:58 PM

I wonder if we couldn't actually in the art license require distributors to state something like "This product can be freely downloaded from www.wildfiregames.com" in any 'sales presentations' they give. GPL won't let you add such clauses for the code/binaries, but CC-BY-SA will.


That sounds very reasonable to me, can we do this before A11 is released?
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#19 zoot

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

That sounds very reasonable to me, can we do this before A11 is released?

It should be formulated in some lawyerly way, at least for the long term, which would take a bit of preparation. But there is no harm in putting in a some 'draft' clause now - we just can't be 100% certain it would hold up in court. But it's better than nothing.

Edited by zoot, 01 September 2012 - 06:08 PM.

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#20 fabio

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:09 PM

While the source code is GPL you can restrict the use of the binaries. Red Hat make a lot of $$$ selling their software, others (Centos) can recompile the source but you cannot redistribute the binaries.

But anyway I'll not add this legal restriction, it may scary someone that want to provide it for free (e.g. on a DVD on a magazine) and if someone want to cheat it can remove it anyway. What you can do is add a note in the installer or in the main menu screen (a button with a page with it and also other useful informations).
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