If you go right now to the Mac App store and do a search for a game called Lugaru, you’ll see one called Lugaru HD selling for $9.99, and another called Lugaru selling for $1.99. They are the same game, except that the more expensive one is sold by its developer Wolfire Games, and the other cheaper one is sold by a Michael Latour at a company called iCoder.
How did this happen? In May of 2010, Wolfire Games open sourced the code for Lugaru, in an effort to encourage the modding community. While the source code is available under the GPL2 licence, it is not meant for commercial redistribution. iCoder seems to have simply taken the code and re-released it commercially on the Mac App Store.
Wolfire is understandably upset, and has contacted Apple about this issue. According to Kotaku, one of Lugaru’s creators at Wolfire Games, Jeffrey Rosen, said “We are not happy about this situation. It is not uncommon for people to sell pirated copies of our game, but we were completely caught off guard that Apple would approve this for sale on the App Store without any due-diligence.”
Kotaku also interviewed one of the development team at iCoder, Alex Matlin, who had the following response, “The license we were granted allows for non-exclusive redistribution of the source code or the compiled product, modified or unmodified, for a fee or free of charge.” Apparently they believed they had the rights to sell the game, even before the Mac App Store launched, according to Kotaku.
Is Apple at fault here? I’m not entirely sure. If there is a licensing violation, should the owner of the store deal with that issue, or should the developer being ripped off take action against the offender? Clearly there needs to be a better process put in place to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. However, and I say this not to lay blame but just to point it out, if Wolfire hadn’t open sourced the code, no one would have been able to release their game without their knowledge.
Article Via thenextweb