Shareware - yes or no?

Is it appropriate to upload shareware to the snap store? There are games from the 1990s which could live a new life if bundled with dosbox in a snap. Reading through the licence for “Epic Pinball”, for example, appears to permit sharing over a modem connection but, of course, the licence does not anticipate the internet and global app stores. Thoughts?

I’m not speaking on behalf of Canonical but my understanding is that there is no problem as far as the store goes, it already allows proprietary licences. It would depend on the specific terms and conditions of the particular shareware (assuming that you are not the author). There is really no such thing as “Shareware”, it’s a broad umbrella term that encompasses a myriad of very different situations. In short: contact the author.

Thanks. I’ve contacted the copyright holders and await their reply. I may try a different approach, anyway, and get the snap to download the files from on first run. That way I wouldn’t be distributing the files in the store.


Provided it’s truly “share” ware in that the license permits you to distribute it then it is perfectly fine for you to do so, in my opinion, but as the terribly risqué acronym says: IANAL.

Yes. I don’t think it is worth the risk. I’ve taken the approach of downloading the game files rather than bundling them.

You may never hear from the copyright holders for very old software.

Can you send the license here so we can have a look? We are not lawyers, but we can read what says on the tin. If it explicitly says it may be distributed, then it may.

Surprisingly I got an email back from Canon Pence at Epic giving me permission to bundle the files. I wasn’t expecting to hear from them. In the meantime, though, I’ve switched to the downloading method. I think that is cleaner over all, and I can use the same method for different games without distributing the game files myself.

I love when companies are amenable to such requests.

1 Like