Neverwinter Nights is a game by Bioware. They have released a Linux version which is inconvenient to install. It's nothing more than copying stuff around but it can be messed up. The game files can be downloaded on their website but require your serial key to run the game. This can be bought online if you do not have the CD-version of the game (Windows only).

I tried and failed in creating a .deb package (never done that before) to automate this and am now interested in using quickly to create a GUI version Ubuntu installer for Neverwinter Nights. If possible, I would link to the "buy serial key online" URL directly from the GUI installer.

If I am successful I would like to see this in the Ubuntu Software Center. Having a highly popular classic RPG in there cannot hurt. I am not sure if this is prohibited by copyright laws and if I should even bother with it if it is.

What do you think?

  • In its current state I'm afraid that this is more of discussion fitted for the forums. What exactly is your question? If having the game in the software center is allowed by copyright laws? – N.N. Sep 27 '11 at 9:14
  • @N.N. It sounds to me like he's asking whether he would run into copyright issues by packaging Bioware's game and submitting it for inclusion in the Ubuntu Software Center. Specifically, is it legal for him to submit something he packaged when does not actually own the copyright on the software itself? – Knowledge Cube Sep 27 '11 at 13:17
  • @ Warrioring64 That is exactly what I am asking. Forgive my non existent eloquence. – Alexander Langanke Sep 27 '11 at 19:34

I can think of two ways in which you can put up an application

  • A game which is Open Source as per Open Source Initiative definition
  • Proprietory game whose copyrights is held by you

It would be worth telling how flash is installed on your computer. When you select to install the package flashplugin-nonfree the package actually downloads the flash plugin at that moment and copies the file to appropriate place. This is why this package is not present in main or universe repository

I am not a lawyer, but I think you can create a small application which downloads the game and the serial key. Distributing it would be tricky.

  • Many games want to control how their software is being distributed. They might not like that you are circumventing their distribution model. They might have ads on their download page.
  • Even if it won't be illegal, legal department of those companies might want to clock extra hours by showing that they are working to protect the Intellectual property. You might receive a warning letter. Even worse, they might call it "voluntary copyright violation"

It is more of trust. Distros know that Adobe wants flash to be installed everywhere, so Adobe won't come after them. The case of these games is not clear.

My best solution would be to contact those game developers and ask them to put their games in Ubuntu Software Center. That is the safest bet.

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