Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and all-round Linux wizard, has labelled Steam’s decision to branch into Linux as “unethical”, but cautiously welcomed it as a way to bring new users to the platform.
“Valve, that distributes nonfree computer games with Digital Restrictions Management, recently announced it would distribute these games for GNU/Linux,” said Stallman. “What good and bad effects can this have? I suppose that availability of popular nonfree programs on GNU/Linux can boost adoption of the system. However, our goal goes beyond making this system a “success”; its purpose is to bring freedom to the users. Thus, the question is how this development affects users’ freedom. Nonfree game programs (like other nonfree programs) are unethical because they deny freedom to their users.”