Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

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Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby DosFreak » 2018-11-30 @ 17:53

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/11/ ... n-ebay/#p3

developer has begun posting eBay listings for his entire source-code collection. (You read that correctly. The whole shebang.) The sale's opening has been accompanied by a MetalJesusRocks video (embedded below), which offers a 12-minute tour of backed-up files, original game boxes, original hint books, and more.


This is the only copy!" and "I backed everything up because I knew Sierra didn't."
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby konc » 2018-11-30 @ 18:58

Yep, true. Check out that MetalJesusRocks' video, it's like a promo for the listings.
Weird, very weird in my opinion, if not fishy. Such valuable disks, even from a historical perspective, are getting tossed across each other in the video. But hey, "this is the only copy!".
Also, according to his own words, he's selling (for a lot of money obviously) things he doesn't have the IP rights for. Not much different from me selling a disk with the source code of program xxx, 100% illegal.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby root42 » 2018-11-30 @ 20:10

konc wrote:Yep, true. Check out that MetalJesusRocks' video, it's like a promo for the listings.
Weird, very weird in my opinion, if not fishy. Such valuable disks, even from a historical perspective, are getting tossed across each other in the video. But hey, "this is the only copy!".
Also, according to his own words, he's selling (for a lot of money obviously) things he doesn't have the IP rights for. Not much different from me selling a disk with the source code of program xxx, 100% illegal.


The argument of him only selling the media is dubious at best. The IP on the disks might still be covered by some NDA that might be now due to the current owners of the games in question. However, it would be awesome to see the sources of such historic games. The historical significance is definitely there.

But honestly, if someone would let me take a guess which game programmer might do such a thing, Al Lowe would definitely be on my list. :)
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby realnc » 2018-12-01 @ 03:24

You know what? I don't care if he doesn't have the rights. He has the moral rights, and that's enough for me. The actual rights probalby belong to some business who knows nothing about the game anyway. They just bought the rights. They didn't create anything.

F them, I say :P
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-01 @ 04:03

I hope whoever buys this "crap" is kind enough to share it with the world!
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby krcroft » 2018-12-01 @ 05:03

This is exactly why I donate to archive.org, which is where I hope the full lot eventually lands.

Archiving unique material like this that gave us such broadly-recognized and cherished games has far more value preserving a portion of 80s and 90s gaming than whatever remaining IP rights or profits could be squeezed from the content.

I'm honestly surprised he didn't call up Jason Scott to ensure a proper legal and curated home. For all we know, some IP-fearing dweeb will win the auction and squirrel them away in the utmost of secrecy where they will decay into nothing. Let's hope archive.org wins :-)
Last edited by krcroft on 2018-12-01 @ 05:34, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-01 @ 05:26

krcroft wrote:This is exactly why I donate to archive.org, which is where I hope the full lot eventually lands.

Archiving unique material like this that gave us such broadly-recognized and cherished games has far more value preserving a portion of 80s and 90s gaming than whatever remaining IP rights or profits could be squeezed from the content.

I'm honestly surprised he didn't call up Jason Scott to ensure a proper legal and curated home. For all we know, some IP-fearing dweeb will win the auction and squirrel them away in the utmost of secrecy where they will decay into nothing. Let's hope archive.org wins :-)


Hey, maybe he did go through proper legal channels before posting it up to ebay. We don't know for sure do we?

I agree though. Please please please whoever buys this, archive.org!!!
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby borgie83 » 2018-12-01 @ 05:47

Wow! Over $5k US each for LSL1 and LSL2 so far. And the bidding only just started :p be great if the same buyer wins the whole collection. I mean you'd hate to win a couple and miss out on the rest. Then we'd have the source files all over the place.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby krcroft » 2018-12-01 @ 05:47

BeginnerGuy wrote:Hey, maybe he did go through proper legal channels before posting it up to ebay. We don't know for sure do we?


Indeed, I'm fully speculating, but given Jason Scott has blog entries like the following imploring people to come forward with old boxes of floppies - http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/3191

Tells me this might not have happened... or maybe it did but it won't be revealed until after Al Lowe's death when any carefully constructed legal terms against him are wiped clean. More speculation :-)
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby konc » 2018-12-01 @ 06:41

Let's just not confuse one thing: Nice guy Al is not "releasing" any source for preservation, he's selling them for good money and the sale is promoted by a famous youtuber.
Not that I judge this move or expected him to release everything for free, just saying though ;)
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby keropi » 2018-12-01 @ 07:20

^ adding to that I doubt the winning bidder(s) will release anything , it will be the same as with console games beta/protos that are kept private so they retain their value... I will be glad to be wrong though...
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby fitzpatr » 2018-12-01 @ 18:19

Al Lowe, one of the main people at Sierra is selling his backup copies of the source code for a ton of Sierra Games!
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-12-01 @ 20:31

konc wrote:Let's just not confuse one thing: Nice guy Al is not "releasing" any source for preservation, he's selling them for good money and the sale is promoted by a famous youtuber.
Not that I judge this move or expected him to release everything for free, just saying though ;)


Doesn't look like he needs the money either, that's a nice giant curved TV he uses for a monitor in the pictures :P

I guess not everybody will play as nice as John Carmack.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby Mister Xiado » 2018-12-01 @ 20:33

It is suggested that the price shot up to keep more community-minded archivists from acquiring and sharing the code through discrete and varied means, and a more sinister theory is that it is being done so that it may be destroyed. People will forever be angry about the Star Craft source code issue, and that has been brought up in conjunction with this event.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby root42 » 2018-12-01 @ 22:29

...and that's why open source is such a good idea. Look at all the good stuff that id software spawned by releasing their obsolete engines as open source.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2018-12-01 @ 22:42

I really hope something good comes of this. Considering nothing else of Sierra survived it's a miracle this exists at all! It's invaluable!
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby Mister Xiado » 2018-12-01 @ 23:50

Remember the Shadow Warrior expansion pack that was found on a random CDR in a closet by accident? Let's drink to forget the Xbox development system that was destroyed out of stupidity.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby realnc » 2018-12-02 @ 00:31

Don't forget that the source code is completely useless though. It's really not worth anything. We already know how it works and how it must look like, and other people have re-implemented the old Sierra engines already.

It would be nice to have the source code just for curiosity's sake, but realistically, it's not actually useful and is indeed only of historical value, not of a practical one.

It's a bit like the MS-DOS 2.x source code posted by Microsoft a while back. Completely useless. Just a curiosity.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby vvbee » 2018-12-02 @ 01:37

realnc wrote:You know what? I don't care if he doesn't have the rights. He has the moral rights, and that's enough for me. The actual rights probalby belong to some business who knows nothing about the game anyway. They just bought the rights. They didn't create anything.

You don't actually gain the moral anything by dehumanizing the legit instance though.

I don't see much indication that the buyer will be getting disks that work, just 'pieces of history' as it's worded. So whether this is a source release is up for debate.
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Re: Al Lowe releasing source code on ebay?

Postby realnc » 2018-12-02 @ 01:56

vvbee wrote:
realnc wrote:You know what? I don't care if he doesn't have the rights. He has the moral rights, and that's enough for me. The actual rights probalby belong to some business who knows nothing about the game anyway. They just bought the rights. They didn't create anything.

You don't actually gain the moral anything by dehumanizing the legit instance though.

I don't think it's owned by a human to begin with. Corporations are not people :)
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