Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

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Nininik
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Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Nininik » Post

Let's just say one day M$ Decided to buy minetest, (highly unlikely) and they offered the devs a pretty good sum of money. What would we do? What would the devs do? What would M$ do?
And yes this topic is gonna get pretty crazy. I'm sure as it's pretty controversial.
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Blockhead » Post

Minetest is the combined work of 729 contributors according to GitHub. Too many contributors would need to agree, many of whom may not be contactable any more. They probably wouldn't all agree, because someone would inevitably not do it out of principle. Also, in this hypothetical I suppose they would get control of all the associated services like these forums, ContentDB and the server list.

But even if the contributors could all be found and did agree and people got some kind payment, perhaps proportional to their work, then Microsoft couldn't stop people who already received a copy from continuing to use it or even continuing to run a community project. It's free software that was received under a licence and Microsoft can't revoke that licence.

We can only assume Microsoft would shelve and unpublished Minetest entirely after acquiring it. They stand to lose more interest in their real money makers like Minecraft Bedrock & Java by keeping it around. These forums, ContentDB and the server list would all go bye-bye. The Discord and Matrix would get shut down. The IRC might survive, as it's hosted independently by Libera Chat. Microsoft would probably succeed in taking it down, but if not, the contributors would probably all have it in their contract not to use it. Microsoft can't stop a new Discord, Matrix or IRC room from popping up though. But someone who isn't a contributor would have to do it. The subreddit might be taken down, I'm not sure what Reddit's policy on that sort of thing is. Again, Microsoft would have it in the contract that contributors must not to talk about Minetest on Reddit, or must not say much and must not post in the official subreddit, beyond maybe an official notice about the shutdown (which would get downvoted into oblivion of course).

GitHub says that when a repository is deleted, one of the forks is chosen to become the main upstream version. Microsoft would probably write it into the contract to delete all contributors' forks - but some Minetest forks would still exist on GitHub from people whose code never made it into the upstream version of Minetest, and on other websites.

Now, with all 729 contributors presumably under some kind of binding agreement in this hypothetical, nobody from the original project would be around to continue to add to it. People would have to work on other things: sfan5 would get more time for mpv, rubenwardy might continue to put out 2D and Jam Games (not the Minetest Game Jam, which presumably Microsoft would discontinue). The contributors would take some kind of breathing room probably and then move onto other things. If the hypothetical contract allowed it, some might go to other projects like Veloren or Vintage Story or Terasology.

There would probably still exist some "main" version of Minetest but which would not be called Minetest. It would probably be called Freeminer, as that's always been the name of some kind of notable fork of Minetest and has recognisability. It would not have any of the old contributors though, so it would basically be dead. In this hypothetical where all the Minetest contributors took a payout, Multicraft would do the same, guaranteed - we know MoNTE48 is in it for the money after all. The "Final Minetest" people would probably survive it or might not - it's hard to say. They have a free software licensed copy after all, and some of their own original code, and they aren't involved with the main Minetest(.net) project. But Final Minetest has never been about progressing the game like the main project, more like keeping infinite backwards compatibility, so I don't see anything interesting coming from them even in this hypothetical.

People still want to play their block games. Existing copies of the game would still work. Microsoft would probably order the shutdown of any servers run by contributors, so a whole bunch of them would be gone. You can run a server without being a contributor though, so some of them would remain. Someone would probably host a new server list, though not everybody would be able to figure out it exists as there would be no official place to communicate. A Discord "server" would probably pop up, since that's the most popular gaming chat platform. It's hard to say who would make it though, given all the contributors would be gone. The community would basically have to restart from scratch with new people, and I don't think it would ever become even as big as our current small community.

I don't think it would actually happen though, for all the reasons I mentioned prior. It would cost Microsoft a fair bit, they would have to track literally hundreds of people, get them to sign a contract that's legal each one's jurisdiction, and pay them in a way where they can actually send money to their country. Then they would still get a backlash from media coverage from non-contributors, plus the contributors themselves would probably get the usual when you do something scummy: death threats, doxxings, piles of negative comments. There's just no way it seems to make sense for Microsoft to go this route.
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Desour » Post

Topic exists already in offtopic:
viewtopic.php?t=20580
And also the other way around:
viewtopic.php?t=24004
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by rubenwardy » Post

Hopefully it'll be enough for me to buy a house and get a cat (or two)
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by LMD » Post

Blockhead basically already said this, but he entertained the hypothetical a fair bit, so I'm afraid the essence might not have come across clearly:
Let's just say one day M$ Decided to buy minetest, (highly unlikely) and they offered the devs a pretty good sum of money.
The blunt answer is: It's not possible. Nobody could ever buy Minetest (or any other open source software for that matter). The license is there; it can not be revoked. It is a copyleft license, so even in the absurd hypothetical that the entire dev team was "bought", we wouldn't be able to continue Minetest without making the new version publicly available.
What would we do? What would the devs do? What would M$ do?
We would do nothing, we would do nothing, and M$ would do nothing. Because it is simply impossible to buy Minetest.
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Nininik » Post

Nah but micro🅱️🅾️ft finna do about its not like they can just shut down every single server and prevent all the ppl who have it. Like they ain't gonna be able to remove every single one that is downloaded on people's computers as they don't have access to everyone's account. Lol
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by TumeniNodes » Post

rubenwardy wrote:
Wed May 08, 2024 14:37
Hopefully it'll be enough for me to buy a house and get a cat (or two)
idk man.. cats are really expensive. (I have two) and even though they're quite costly, I can't stand the thought of putting them through the traumas of their world here completely being taken from them and changes.
They have the entire house basically to themselves most of the time, and they love to run full speed and literally drift around corners on the hardwood floors.
They have their own room ( the sunroom) which gets amazing sunlight along the North and West

As far as the actual topic of this thread? I'm not even going to say anything.. we've had this come up a couple or few times before ( never even a slight chance of happening, so... pointless)
.. edit: Although, "if" something similar ever happened or was a possibility, I would urge those most and longest involved to go for it, and I would be very happy for them... Well deserved.
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Nininik » Post

TumeniNodes wrote:
Fri May 10, 2024 01:39
rubenwardy wrote:
Wed May 08, 2024 14:37
Hopefully it'll be enough for me to buy a house and get a cat (or two)
idk man.. cats are really expensive. (I have two) and even though they're quite costly, I can't stand the thought of putting them through the traumas of their world here completely being taken from them and changes.
They have the entire house basically to themselves most of the time, and they love to run full speed and literally drift around corners on the hardwood floors.
They have their own room ( the sunroom) which gets amazing sunlight along the North and West

As far as the actual topic of this thread? I'm not even going to say anything.. we've had this come up a couple or few times before ( never even a slight chance of happening, so... pointless)
.. edit: Although, "if" something similar ever happened or was a possibility, I would urge those most and longest involved to go for it, and I would be very happy for them... Well deserved.
I have a black cat and he is very chaotic.
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by ROllerozxa » Post

Minetest is currently on sale at rubenwardy's store, so M$ better get going quick before the deal expires: https://rubenwardy.com/store/

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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Nininik » Post

ROllerozxa wrote:
Fri May 10, 2024 14:32
Minetest is currently on sale at rubenwardy's store, so M$ better get going quick before the deal expires: https://rubenwardy.com/store/
Fr! Seems like a good deal to me... I don't have that kind of money xd
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by TumeniNodes » Post

ROllerozxa wrote:
Fri May 10, 2024 14:32
Minetest is currently on sale at rubenwardy's store, so M$ better get going quick before the deal expires
I'll let rubenwardy rent my spare room, super cheap (comes with access to the entire house aside from my room and studio)
and he can enjoy the cats and share in taking care of them. B )
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Re: Hear me out... what if M$ bought minetest?

by Nininik » Post

TumeniNodes wrote:
Sat May 11, 2024 01:14
ROllerozxa wrote:
Fri May 10, 2024 14:32
Minetest is currently on sale at rubenwardy's store, so BIGHARD XD better get going quick before the deal expires
I'll let rubenwardy rent my spare room, super cheap (comes with access to the entire house aside from my room and studio)
and he can enjoy the cats and share in taking care of them. >:) 🐈‍⬛
And can have my SD card! It has all my minetest footage and mods (even old ones) and also my left kidney XDDD hahahahahaAHAHHAHAHAHAAH *transforms into kettle*


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