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A whole, new, worldwide distribution channel, predominantly for the Windows platform. It sounds intriguing. A few issues come to mind based on my (limited) experience w/ the current Steam client and Valve, in no particular order:

   * a mature, robust & widespread distribution channel
   * a possible new channel for donation streams
   * wonderful platform stats (
   * client license is problematic
   * client launch is intrusive (lose mouse & window focus)
   * client updates are frequent and mildly intrusive (~2/month)
   * client acts as licensing enforcer (and can be pretty draconian)
   * support for both Windows & Mac OSX - planned support for Linux dropped

Valve is one of the early SaaS pioneers and, like SalesForce, attempted to cater to businesses. They couldn't move past the gaming industry (until now) though and it hasn't always been a pleasant ride. For those who remember, there was a time when a person could go to a store, purchase and install a SteamPowered game but not be able to run the product unless the user had

   * a working internet connection
   * an account on Steam delivery/licensing servers

This was done purely for considerations related to DRM/anti-piracy.

I'm not trying to paint a completely bleak picture here but, for those who are unfamiliar with the software gaming industry, it's important to keep in mind that some of the (fully legal and ethical) tactics used by Valve for distributing/licensing games will probably conflict with F/OSS licensing and norms. In short, the licensing terms for their planned app store (and its "servicing client") will have to represent a departure from Valve's current gaming-centric "enforcement" policies.

There's a lot more I could address, if there's any interest. Apart from the concerns above, this represents a marvelous, marvelous opportunity. It makes me wonder whether we should be talking with other app stores (i.e. Apple?).

Tom... good move passing this along.


On 06/24/2011 06:31 AM, Benjamin Horst wrote:
This could be a great channel to spread LibreOffice! Please let us know what you hear back from 
Mark at Valve Software.


On Jun 24, 2011, at 7:46 AM, Tom Davies wrote:

Hi :)
The users list got an unusual email from a fairly vast organisation that is
primarily a vast distribution network.

A couple of people pointed them towards the marketing list but i think there are
other issues that might require a dialogue with the Steering Committee and/or
BoD and/or the Advisory Board.

I have included my verbose response to their initial enquiry but please skip
that and focus on their request at the bottom of this email.  Two other people
responded before me with RTFM type answers pointing them towards Marketing.  I
think we need to be more prepared next time but it's not really something that
is easy to prepare for as it is unlikely to happen again.

Regards from
Tom :)

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Tom Davies<>
Sent: Fri, 24 June, 2011 10:51:58
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Steam Distribution Inquiry

Hi :)

I think the main people you need to contact are the Steering Committee
General discussions about other aspects of TDF are on a separate list
but the steering discuss is the more useful list for your needs i think.

LibreOffice is released under copyleft agreements so you don't really need to
even ask permission to copy and distribute.  There are a few caveats of course.
The original source code must be made available to anyone that wants it.

If you want to mirror the TDF download sites then this list might be helpful for
a quick result

Further Detail
If you make a profit then it would be best to give a percentage or just an
amount of that back to TDF.  Steam personel can modify the code but licensing
and maintaining the result is tricky unless you choose the same copyleft
agreement as the original.  Many organisations put resources (time, personnel,
whatever) into TDF to develop code, documentation, translations and so on to get
some control over which issues are addressed in those areas.  This will happen
more although the individual volunteers base also grows rapidly and everyone is
treated equally within TDF as it is a meritocracy.  Some organisations such as
Google, RedHat, Novell and so on have put people on an advisory board that
advises the Steering Committee and the Board of Directors.  Steam could become a
full member at that level but it costs a bit and i am not sure about the
details.  Again  that is an issue for the Steering Committee

Side Issues
If you want to create Dvds to distribute then there are various 'localised'
versions available.  I think the North American, German, Spanish, possibly
Brazilian 'localised' versions are already available but you could have people
join in to help develop those or others.  The marketting list is useful for that
and things such as the international magazine (developed originally by the
Brazilian Team)
As other people have already stated that might be a good place to deal with most
of the issues you asked about.  Personally i think Steam are large enough to
have issues that the Steering Committee might  be more helpful with

Perhaps join the websites list to find out about whether TDF have torrenting

If you would like to develop a UI, perhaps as an "add-on" (we call them
"Extensions") then the Design Team might be interested and might be keen to help
with the work

As you can see there are a lot of groups working at different aspects and it
just depends how quickly you want Steam to integrate into those areas to
maximise their usefulness to Steam.  For a fast result i would talk to the
Mirrors group and then also join the Steering group list for discussions about
expanding the potential  for Steam.

Good luck and regards from
Tom Davies

From: Mark Richardson<>
To: ""<>
Sent: Thu, 23 June, 2011 18:27:13
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Steam Distribution Inquiry


We would like to discuss distributing LibreOffice through our worldwide digital
platform, Steam.  We are a leader in video game distribution and service.  We
are launching an application store in October and would like to include
LibreOffice.  You can  find us at

We are a worldwide distributor with 30 million customers, in 22 languages, 21
localized payment forms and 3 currencies.

Let me know when you might have a chance to discuss.

Mark Richardson<>


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