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Is greenlight page officially linked with Twine development?

edited December 2015 in Chit-Chat
I have doubts about whether it is legal that anyone get a
open source software and publishing on the greenlight (Steam) , asking for donations
does not represent the official development community, or not being any forked project.
Just get copy/paste and attempt to exploit taking advantage for own benefit. This is permitted in good sense?
If not and is illegal, help to report it.
If allowed , then i suppose that anyone can pick up any open source and try to donations or to sell with dubious support and updates.


  • I'm not sure how much work is entailed in packaging something for Steam. If the entire project had to be recoded to work in Steam, or whether it's just simply adding a different wrapper around it, I don't know. If it requires a fair amount of recoding then it's understandable that the person doing the conversion may want to receive some recompense for the effort. If it's something that is just a case of being wrapped differently then it's blatant theft, although there's a "but".

    The question of whether it's legal or not depends on how he's receiving recompense and how much work is done. If it's a donation or "pay what it's worth" system, given that Twine is open source, he can ask for donations for coffee money if he's doing minimal work. One of my friends forks an open source project and he asks for coffee money (although he does a lot of work). Getting your hands on the code isn't dependent on money exchanging hands, but if you want to buy him a jar of coffee you can.

    If he's saying you've got to pay $19.99 to get your hands on it, then he may find himself in an interesting position, especially if he tries to exert any copyright or IP rights. Once something is given away for free on the internet it's almost impossible to get it back. There are also clauses in certain licenses I've seen with "free" software that have commercial use limitations. Given that Twine is free software, it doesn't mean I can pick it up as-is and start selling it. I can place it on a storage medium (a CD for instance) and sell the storage medium, but I can't explicitly sell Twine. I then can't also claim any legal standing if people start copying the CD and distributing their own versions of it. An example of this is the CDs and collections of retro games packaged with emulators that you occasionally see in computer shops (not the Cloanto ones as they contain Amiga ROMs they own the copyright on). If you read the back or the readme on the CD, they state you're paying for the actual packaging and NOT the actual software.

    There's also how much recoding needs doing. If he's rewriting large parts of it, then he can kind of get away with it by stating that it contains part of open source software, attributing it, and assuming he's not breaching license conditions, he can then charge for that. He's basically taken open source code, added his own proprietary (not free) code and can charge for that. At that point he can get quite heavy handed legally. If you read the license and legal stuff in quite a few games, you'll see they state that they're using some form of open source software, license agreements, and other stuff. World of Warcraft includes open source software and they do have a reputation for being pretty quick with their legal department the moment you try and do anything with their "propietary" software that they don't like (as an asides they also forced an add-on called Carbonite to go free when they introduced a policy of all add-ons being free).

    I think Chris also needs to make a statement about this as well. For all any of us know Chris could be giving this project his full blessing and/or Twine may be benefiting from it if there's some sort of recompense situation going on for the Twine development team. If this is happening then great, but if the guy is trying to make a quick buck out of something that is becoming increasingly popular then something needs to be done. I've noticed the screenshots are using the Twine website and Twine 2 application, and if he's trying to monetise them for his own gain without Chris's agreement, regardless of the legalities, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

    On a practical point, what purpose would it serve? I have Steam and I use that to play games. If I want to use Twine 2 then I've got a browser and I can open that. I know there's the Steam Shield device, and I don't know whether these have issues with Twine 2, and that's where the guy is coming from, but coding on a console sounds like a nightmare to me.
  • edited December 2015
    AntonMuerte comment

    It is understandable to me that the person monetize your work if is a fork project ,and there were changes or improvements according to your needs and redistribute to community. (like you friend doing ,after all it is hard work and you put much of his life on it)
    Open source softwares offer the freedom of fork and who gain is the community.
    But i can not agree that someone took something already done and redistribute the same non-modifyed thing, a same non-alter name, and profit it without at least asking for agreement of the original developer community or the credits, Not that obligatory need concerning about this , but will be nicely and respectful.

    In this specific case the 'indiegogo Twine on Steam page' show the amount $5,000 USD goal. Not believe that packaging and implementation of steamworks would justify this expesive abusive cost. The good point of this ,is that if keeping doing a maintainer, managing updates... would be comprehensible (no one can guarantee since it is not the original dev maintainer). However if to occur that leave as abandonment and irresponsibility, the new interesting users on steam would have a bad impression.

    I asked on the greenlit Twine page that if the indigogo donations is for the official development or to a fork project? (i got my comment deleted and and unanswered.)
    I do not know what the author's intention to publish Twine in greenlit/steam and and refuse clarify the things.
    Both on greenlit and indigogo page I noticed that the same video is linked to HomersGhost Youtube channel. (why anyone would use a third-party video, and not own uploaded video in own account) Anyway :/

    Open source tools on steam is not a bad idea , many users like the integration with the steam, the forums,etc... Since the steam is not only for games consumption but also to for producing them .
    Like Blender (fully free, only the tutorials are charged)
    and Krita (I do not agree with the business model there , but this is decision of dev team and i respect)

  • Well, it appears that the same guy is doing the same with Ren'Py, the project opened on the 17th. The Twine project was opened on the 7th.

    I think it's probably something very dodgy if he hasn't been in contact with Chris with this. I really don't like the feel of it.
  • edited December 2015
    The developer maintainer and creator of Ren'Py project made it clear that has NO responsibility or relationship with greenlight campaign.

  • The short answer is no, I'm not affiliated with this.

    I wrote a longer answer on my blog. Sorry to make you jump over there to read it, but I'm hoping writing it there will make it more visible on search engines and the like!
  • Thanks for the clarifications Chris. : )
    Then according to Gnu public licenses, have no problem with that.
    Just to make it clear to inform the users that the main development has no affiliation/relationship with the others sources of redistributions.
    I think that's all.

    Thanks all for the discussion.
  • Yeah, so this has been an increasing Steam Greenlight problem. There are a number of ,usually teenagers, who steal or repackage games or systems and spend $100 with the expectation that most people won't realize what they're doing. This person is doing the exact same tactic. It unfortunately has some real consequences for people. A mod maker recently has his seven year old project stolen and put on steam by a 12 year old, and because of that kids actions he may potentially face backlash from Nintendo even though he never monetized their property.

    I would say watch this carefully. I would also make it clear on those pages that these programs are free. That guy is pretty sketchy and I believe he has tried to redistribute other programs for monetary gain.
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