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The various incarnations of Doom have been available under a variety of software licences.



A series of alphas and a press release beta version existed prior to the 1.0 release of Doom. These versions were for private testers only and were not intended for public distribution.

The alpha releases of doom carried various warnings about leaks, including the following in the Doom 0.4 menu:

HINTBOOKS GOODBYE.(c)1993 id Software

The alphas and press release version of doom carry the following disclaimer in their ENDOOM lumps:

This is the alpha version of DOOM. If you are not a beta
tester, then you are quite the bad person. Delete your
copy of DOOM right now and you will be safe from our wrath.

After the success of Doom, Id Software gave Frans P. de Vries, the then-Idgames archive maintainer, permission to upload the alphas and press release due to their historic interest.

Shareware episode

The episode Knee-Deep in the Dead was released as shareware on the University of Wisconsin FTP server on December 10, 1993.

Doom II

Doom 2 was the first traditionally commercial release of doom. It was first sold boxed in high street stores on September 30, 1994 and no shareware or demo version was released.

Source code release

ID Software released a modified version of the Doom source code to the public on December 23, 1997. This release was under the DOOM Source Code License, described within the file DOOMLIC.TXT.

This licence permitted use the source code for educational purposes only. It explicitly forbid selling the source code or using it for commercial gain as well as distributing the source code.

Heretic and Hexen source code release

GNU General Public License (GPL)

After the loss of the source code to glDoom in 1998 from a hard drive crash, some people, including John Carmack, suggested that if the author had been required to distribute the changes he made to the code, then it would have been more likely that others would have had copies of the source. As a result, id Software relicensed the source code to Doom under the terms of the GPL on October 3, 1999. Many existing source ports followed suit by obtaining permission from their copyright-holders to relicense their work.


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