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Well, here it is, 2006 (The Earth has made it around the sun again... Yay!), and we have not one but two updates to MacMAME (A fact I'm even happier about!)

I'm preparing to start the next round of Screenshot Updates for the MacMAME Screenshot Library, and during my preparations, I had a thought -

I understand and support our policy of "No ROM-Begging" as specified in the Message Board Rules.

However, I am wondering if this rule might be modified to include allowing information for sites that direct folks to ROM Burners that do not charge users to provide ROM Sets on CDs / DVDs, and / or Bit-Torrent sites that would actually benefit from more users?

Also of interest would be any information about a site (or sites) that provide individual ROMs (Not ROM Sets) for users that need an individual ROM to fix or complete a set. (if, in fact, such a site exists)

This brings me to my request. If anyone can help, and would like to contact me off board, please do so at mamebase@mac.com.

I appear to be missing one ROM each from two sets -

- mjdchuka - Mahjong The Dai Chuuka Ken (China, v. D111) (1.1b)

- quiz211 - Quiz (Revision 2.1) (prom_6349-1n.bin)

I'm also having a problem where I appear to be unable to merge a couple of sets due to a ROM being listed as 'good' in the Parent Set is listed as either 'Bad CRC' or 'Length Mismatch' in the Clone.

The Parent sets are -

- dydduke - Dynamite Duke (US)

- astrof - Astro Fighter (set 1)

Finally, I have a small problem with a couple f clones of sf2049 - San Francisco Rush 2049 - specifically the 'se' and 'te' editions do not see the CHD file. Is this just a naming problem?

Thanks in advance for any help!


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I'm still inclined to forbid direct listings or linking to ROM-related sites of any kind. I think the message board has been far better off without it.

For one thing, we don't want this to turn into a "Hey d00d, I hear u can get ROMZ hear!" forum.

For another, I don't think the MAME team really wants to encourage ROM collecting (and by extension - ROM burning sites), and this is as close to an "official" message board as MacMAME has. (MAMEDevs - correct me if I'm wrong, please.)

Finally, one of the main reasons we don't allow linking to ROM sites, is so many got swamped with traffic and had to shut down (or had to shut down for legal reasons). I know some sites don't really want to be advertised, and how are we moderators to know someone has gotten specific permission from a site to do so? I'm not really interested in having to police something like that.

However... as with everything, there's always a loophole.

If someone were to know of such sites, and decided to create their own web page that included such information, there's no reason they couldn't link to their own webpage from here.

So for example, "MAMEBase's Handy Page of MacMAME Links" wouldn't be in violation of the rules, since technically it wouldn't be a ROM site. Just a page full of links that might happen to include them. In fact, such a page could indeed be handy, if someone were to maintain it, keep it updated with current links to sites, and perhaps include ratings as to which sites were good or not. I'd even be glad to link to it from MacMAME.net, although I have no desire to create such a page on my own.

Because, of course, I'm too lazy. wink


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FWIW, that loophole isn't allowed on any of the reputable PC MAME sites. You Mac guys have been out of the loop for a while, so let me fill you in: emulation is now the exclusive province of grownups with lawyers. The game all companies know about and are watching MAME and associates *very* closely now. You don't want to do *anything* that a jury could be convinced is "encouraging people to download ROMs" in any way, shape, or form.

You may have noticed that we recently made Brad fix macmame.net to not point to ROM sites (even long-dead ones).

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I stand corrected. Forget the loophole then. I'd prefer to remain reputable. (Or as much as I've been able to muster thus far.) smile

(BTW... Brad runs macmame.org, I run macmame.net.)

Edit: I just updated the Message Board rules to better reflect all of this. Sorry MAMEBase - looks like this had the opposite effect of what you were after. :rolleyes:


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Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:
You may have noticed that we recently made Brad fix macmame.net to not point to ROM sites (even long-dead ones).
Actually, MacMAME.org still points to at least one ROM site. I guess you visit it as much as I do. wink

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I just updated the Message Board rules to better reflect all of this. Sorry MAMEBase - looks like this had the opposite effect of what you were after. :rolleyes:
Not at all...

It's a new year, technology has changed and evolved, as has the MAME Community.

I simply thought it time to revisit the rules, whatever the outcome.

As far as the problems I listed in my original post, I guess I'm on my own... frown


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dynduke and astrof contain two ROM files which are different but have nevertheless the same name. Do not merge them and the audit will stop to complain.

Concerning sf2049, the se and te clones can't be aliased from the original (unlike for other CHDs). You will have to make two copies and put them in separate folders. Aaron explained that on the MAME Message Board (sorry, I don't remember the specifics).

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You can merge ROM sets with similarly named files, as long as you do it in a zip file. Rename one of the conflicting files, and MacMAME will pick it up by its CRC.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Carbon:
Concerning sf2049, the se and te clones can't be aliased from the original (unlike for other CHDs). You will have to make two copies and put them in separate folders.
You don't have to make copies at all, here's my alias trick. Make new empty folders in the "hard disk images" folder called sf2049se and sf2049te. Inside each put an alias to the sf2049.chd file and just rename the alias sf2049se.chd and sf2049te.chd. It works fine for me! It's just a silly waste of space to have 3 copies of the exact same 845MB file.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I'm still inclined to forbid direct listings or linking to ROM-related sites of any kind. I think the message board has been far better off without it.
I will not allow any ROM links on this board as long as it is hosted on bannister.org.

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Quote:
Originally posted by will:
You don't have to make copies at all, here's my alias trick. Make new empty folders in the "hard disk images" folder called sf2049se and sf2049te. Inside each put an alias to the sf2049.chd file and just rename the alias sf2049se.chd and sf2049te.chd. It works fine for me! It's just a silly waste of space to have 3 copies of the exact same 845MB file.
You don't have to do anything at all. The games don't work because they need voodoo 3 & you don't have the CHD's that will be required.

Finding ways to make the audit report good on all romsets is not something that is encouraged.

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This old chestnut.....Rom links on this site would be a bad idea.Plenty of other sites. Cant help but feel sorry for new users lost in the mire of creepy "top 100 vote for me" so called rom sites though....
Incidentally, why is "Finding ways to make the audit report good on all romsets not something that is encouraged?"

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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
I will not allow any ROM links on this board as long as it is hosted on bannister.org.
Then take the emluators off your site along with the program that you ask money for so that we can play them with controllers.

Look, I use them, but if we are to be really serious how can you post something like that? If there were no programs like RockNES, MacMAME and Boycott Advance there would be no need or desire to download roms illegally. The whole good for programmers who want to make homebrew argument is BS for the most part and so is the whole preservation thing.

I am fine with the whole we can't post roms here thing, but then at the same time there should be no links to the programs that run them. For that matter when people ask questions like "I can't get KI or Mortal Kombat to run right. What do I do?" The answer should honestly be to go find a KI or MK machine. To help them is like helping a car thief best know how to start a car with a screw driver. Are we saying that since you did the dirty work we will help you now? That is crap.

For 2006 I think all talk of games that you need a commercial ROM to run should be off limits and a bannible offense. No more "How do I get this to work?' or "These games work with MacMAME." topics. The whole we won't tell you where, but if you do find them we will help you however we can thing has to stop.

Just to be fair.

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What are you on ?

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What do you mean Mac2112?

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Courts have repeatedly declared that emulator programs are legal. And downloading ROMs is not. So Richard's position is perfectly defensible, and TBC's is that of a frustrated little kid. I'll bet from the misplaced aggression he plays a lot of fighting games.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I am fine with the whole we can't post roms here thing, but then at the same time there should be no links to the programs that run them.
Look, it's simple: emulation is legal, copyright infringement is not. Asking to remove links to emulators is completely silly, and you've been around long enough to know better than to argue a causation on this point.

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I was actually being sarcastic, but Belmonts anger pointed at me shows I probably have somewhat of a point.

You are right about emulators, but in a way I still don't think talk about ROMS like Marvel vs Capcom or games that need CHDs should be talked about. It isn't like everybody here has KI roms that they got legally. Topics about development are cool, but is talking about Copyright Infringed ROMS okay? I think that is a legit question.

Sorry if I bent anyone out of joint.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
You are right about emulators, but in a way I still don't think talk about ROMS like Marvel vs Capcom or games that need CHDs should be talked about. It isn't like everybody here has KI roms that they got legally. Topics about development are cool, but is talking about Copyright Infringed ROMS okay? I think that is a legit question.
There are two distinct issues here to my eye. The first is aiding people break the law - namely hunting down ROMs and the like for things they clearly don't own. I don't want to be a party to that. However, if you come on here asking for help getting game X to work, I also don't feel like it's my responsibility to verify that your acquisition is legit or not.

It's certainly not a foregone conclusion that everyone here is using illegal ROMs. StarROMs has many Atari games for sale, and a number of actual cabinet owners are MAME and MacMAME users -- and some of MAME's biggest fans. But neither am I stupid or blind - I'm pretty sure that many are using less-than-legitimate ROMs. If you break the law, that's your problem; you'd be foolish to come on here and ask for help doing that yet many people do. There are enough legit users and ROM owners that I also don't want to waste my time policing who's who as part of MacMAME support - that's between the end-users and the copyright holders as far as I'm concerned.

People like to say that there are grey areas to emulation. I think that's BS - it's pretty black and white from where I see it. If you are thinking about using ROMs with MacMAME, I feel most comfortable if you as the end-user know the legal ramifications, and I'm very appreciative that the other moderators and Richard feel that way as well.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
There are enough legit users and ROM owners that I also don't want to waste my time policing who's who as part of MacMAME support - that's between the end-users and the copyright holders as far as I'm concerned.
How many legit users is enough? One? A hundred? That quote comes off as you saying you know a ton of people use the program you code to do illegal things, but that isn't your problem. You admit that you are not blind to the fact that many(most) people use programs like MacMAME and other emulators to do illegal things. I think that is just a tad hypocritical that a man who makes his living making games that we all here think should never be pirated, contribute to the pirating community by coding a program that is used mostly to do illegal things.

Don't get me wrong. I see the value of a program like MAME. Maybe I am just being a devils advocate, but I think these are some legit questions. I also really think there should be a temporary ban on this board from talking about games that have 95% chance of being pirated. At least until it can really be discussed. It can't be that hard to go out there and find out what ROMS are legally for sale. You say there is no gray area in emulation, but then you say the thing I quoted you as saying. You say that even though someone probably got to the table in an inappropriate fashion you will still help them because it's not for you to say how they got there. That is pretty gray to me. Ask for the ban on the talk of these ROMS or admit you support piracy, even if you don't do it directly.

Hell, I maybe way off base here. It is just the facade of "we love these programs that play pirated games, but hate pirated games" that I guess bugs me the most. At least MAMEBase and even Nathan had the nads to admit what most people use this for. Then you have guys like Richard "I ported Boycott Advance right during the GBA's most popular time." Bannister getting all high and mighty about ROMS. I just wish people would be honest about it.

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I think TBC does make some valid points, but emulators aren't always used for illegal purposes. I know this is a bit OT, but here goes.

Six years ago or so I was developing software for TI and HP calculators in assembly language.

Now with the HPs it wasn't too bad to do development and testing on. You had MetaKernel's MASD to help you out, and a variety of on-calculator debuggers. Plus, if the thing crashed you could recover pretty quickly and easily.

But the TIs were a nightmare. You couldn't compile on the calculator, so you had to assemble on a computer then download, you couldn't debug on the calculator, and doing the slightest thing wrong would crash it in such a way that you had to do a hard reset. This required getting the case off, or shorting the battery terminals for ten minutes or so.

TI provided header files, and no help (fortunately this has since changed). The only salvation was an unofficial emulator called Virtual TI (VTI). It uses MAME's Z80 and 68k cores, with code to support the calculator hardware strapped on and a Windows GUI. The emulation wasn't perfect, but it was damn close, and plenty good enough to test and debug most software. All my calculator ROM dumps were from devices I owned, and I had more than ten of them, to with differences between firmware revisions.

Now I can see Boycott Advance being helpful for others in the same way that VTI was for me. Nintendo's official development environment costs a fortune, and if someone wants to get into GBA development, Boycott Advance is probably the path of least resistance for testing and debugging.

(I do realise that to release GBA software, you need to license the Nintendo logo for the cart to boot, and that isn't cheap. But saving the cost of the development environment is still significant. And if you don't actually want to distribute your software, you don't need to pay the logo license.)

Now VTI and Boycott Advance are a bit different - VTI on a PC could never replace a cheap, tough, handheld calculator when you're trying to collect data with a pulse Doppler radar in one hand and the smallest, cheapest, toughest device with enough memory in the other; Boycott Advance can actually be used to enjoy games you didn't pay for. But both of them can be used for development.

MAME isn't the same. You could never develop for arcade systems using MAME as a test bed. But it does provide a very interesting look into the minds of the people who developed the arcade platforms that are emulated.

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MAME is like a VCR. You can play only legal things or you can get $1 Hong Kong camcorder rips. (Or, as per Vas, you can get a camcorder and play home movies on it - there are a few "Eurodemos" for arcade hardware that run on MAME). It's not up to us to police you. Most of the devs own a pretty large stack of PCBs (especially PCBs they've emulated).

OTOH, I do consider emulation of active consoles like the GBA to be extremely lame. MAME won't touch anything under 3 years old *or* that is still on sale from the original manufacturer *or* that is requested by the original manufacturer to be removed (yes, that's happened).

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R. Belmont: Just out of curiosity, what games have been removed at the request of arcade developers/companies? smile

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Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
MAME isn't the same. You could never develop for arcade systems using MAME as a test bed.
There are several people that have proof that this statement isn't true.

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Belmont...

You are getting right smack dab in the middle of Mr. Oliver's gray area. 3 years? Who says? Just because some of these games are stuck out in limbo with the original manufacturer or developer not doing anything with them dosen't we have the right to snatch it up and make it playable for anyone with the smallest computer knowledge.

Would you list all of your ROMS and where you got them legally? You may have none, but I bet most people who jump down someones throat about ROM begging has a mega ton of illegally obtained ROMS.

I guess I see MAME different than a VCR. Movies are made with the intention that someday they will be put on DVDs or Tapes to be sold. No arcade game maker set out with the intention that someday their games would be played(sometimes very badly) on a small computer screen and played with a computer keyboard. All of that plus that they will never see a dime off it.

As far as I know Street Fighter 2 is still playable on MAME. Why is that okay even thought Capcom is out there still trying to make money off of it? It isn't just manufacturers that lose money. Even I know this is a stretch nowadays, but why would I go to a classic arcade and plug quarters into machines if I can go home and play it for free on my computer.

All I am asking for is a little bit of honesty here. I love MAME, but all this gray is getting old. I mean, I can't go around stealing old cars from people who don't use them and then say it is because I am collecting history that may someday be lost forever. Just like everything else digital, the fact that no real physical thing is being taken, no one seems to care as much. Hell, maybe we should just start pirating all programs so that someday we will have a huge historical database of old, no longer for sale programs? That way 3 years from now we can know what was going on in the mind of Richard Bannister when he created Emulator Enhancer. We might as well be proactive about it.

I am not even against MAME and programs like it, but I don't it when devs start standing on some imaginary high ground like they have nothing to do with the problem of piracy. A MK ROM does me no good if don't have MAME to make it work.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Movies are made with the intention that someday they will be put on DVDs or Tapes to be sold.
That may be true of movies nowadays, some especially are made only to be sold on DVD.

However if you go back to the eighties then disney and lucasfilm had major problems with putting out some of their content on VHS.

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Smf...

That actually helps prove my point you know. smile

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This conversation has quickly sidetracked the main and ONLY point that I can see. This forum is run by folks who made a rule that says 'NO rom requests' PERIOD. I really think that any discussion impugning the motives of Richard, Brad and others who are responsible for the forums and have been generous with their skills is extremely counterproductive. (at best)

Quite frankly, I think that anyone who can't find roms on their own with the power of google and other means we have these days... well... ;-) I think its fine to leave them to their own devices and point them to the forum rules.

If anyone disagrees with this rule, its not that hard to create your OWN website with links galore to whatever you want. Make the name of it 'MacMAME rom site' and be generous in your html keywords and you'll get the traffic I'm sure.


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Whoa there...I have never condoned putting ROMS on the site. I just say the disdain towards those who ask is unfounded. I think sometimes the lines are drawn just to be drawn or to serve as a moral buffer. You are right. As long as this forum is hosted on bannister.org, Richard has the right to keep it ROM link free.

I think it is perfectly exceptable to speak out to the motives of those who create these programs and any like it. They are probably all good intentioned. They also see how their programs are being used and do nothing.

All I hypothetically asked, is if the discussion of getting ROMS is off limits, why is the discussion of how to make them work not also off limits?

Can't get your controller to work? Ask away. MacMAME crashes at start up? Ask away. Can't get your copy of Strider 2 to work? I think the line should be rethought. I am not for the site adding ROM links. If anything, I am asking why the rules are not more strict. If this forum is about the program, that is where the discussion should stay. Leave game talk for PMs and e-mail.

This, I think is a very good thing to discuss. As I have said before, maybe I am way off base, but it is interesting how many feathers it has ruffled.

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It's very simple. Under international copyright law, "you need the ROMs" is not illegal. "You need the ROMs, get them at http://boomcamel.com/" is. It's called "contributatory infringement".

You have this odd notion that only you have ever thought of this stuff before. The fact is you're neither original nor clever - we see better stuff daily on mame.net.

PS: regarding all game companies hating MAME, check the credits on the new PC version of Taito Legends sometime. "Nicola Salmoria"? "Bryan McPhail"? "Aaron Giles"? Hmmmmm.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Smf...

That actually helps prove my point you know. smile
Really? So you're saying they should have banned VCR's in the 80's when they tried to stop video piracy? If that was your point, I didn't get it.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
As I have said before, maybe I am way off base, but it is interesting how many feathers it has ruffled.
I thought it was you that had ruffled feathers. Anyway, you are off base.

Someone who owns the arcade board and dumps the roms will have the same problems running MAME as someone who has obtained the roms illegally. If you don't mention where and how you got the roms then asking how to configure your joystick or change resolutions is not a problem.

Anyone that admits to, asks how to, or gives details on how to break copyright law is going to get a hard time.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
How many legit users is enough? One? A hundred? That quote comes off as you saying you know a ton of people use the program you code to do illegal things, but that isn't your problem. You admit that you are not blind to the fact that many(most) people use programs like MacMAME and other emulators to do illegal things.


You have interpreted my statements 100% correctly as far as I can tell. :-) It's not my problem if you break the law. It's my problem if I help you do it. As far as I'm concerned, just one legit user is all that matters to me. I feel very strongly about MAME's inherent legality as an emulator, so if a copyright holder feels MacMAME is somehow infringing, then I welcome their lawsuit. Beyond that, I have no real tolerance or desire for people who flaunt their law-breaking, and I don't wish to aid them either.

Quote:
I think that is just a tad hypocritical that a man who makes his living making games that we all here think should never be pirated, contribute to the pirating community by coding a program that is used mostly to do illegal things.
I'm a strong believer in copyright limits and patent limits. I believe that copyright holders are entitled to a limited "monopoly" for their works (only far more limited than what our current law allows). I also believe that copyright as applies to software is currently broken - it's far too restrictive for end-users.

With that in mind, I also believe we've got laws and they should be obeyed. I'm not going to be a party to helping people break them, but I also believe that this responsibility is yours and yours alone. MacMAME certainly has legitimate uses and (I believe) every ROM supported by MacMAME can currently be used legitimately if you're a licensed copyright holder. I will defend MacMAME's right to run these to the fullest extent of my ability. Beyond that, I don't have the energy or desire to police copyright infringement committed by other people for companies which I have no personal involvement. if Taito wants to bust you for downloading Space Invaders ROMs, that's their call, not mine.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I think it is perfectly exceptable to speak out to the motives of those who create these programs and any like it. They are probably all good intentioned. They also see how their programs are being used and do nothing.
Perhaps the question I should be asking is this: what would you have me do? Yeah, no doubt people are using illegal ROMs with MacMAME, but there's also no doubt that people are using legal sets too. I don't see a practical way to separate the two, and I don't see why this is my responsibility.

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Why are you getting mad at me R. Belmont? I am just asking questions and you attack me. You also didn't answer a single of my questions. There is nothing in your post I do not agree with. Except that I can sometimes be clever. smile

I guess you are right. The devs are completely blameless, and it is too bad that people take their good natured work and run completely amuck with it.

I just want a little honesty. I am not saying any dev makes a emulator with the sole purpose of stealing games, but it has to cross ones mind. I am just asking if that one was to write a program that in the back of their mind knew that a majority of people are going use in an illegal manner do they ever think of not doing it? I am just asking....

I take your PS to imply that the makers of MAME and what not are off the hook because a legit company had them help make a compliation. I could steal stuff from your house, get caught by you and have you forgive me. That still dosen't make what I did right.

I am just asking questions and mostly getting back scorn and no answers. I am not even saying it is a bad thing, but no one here is doing anything to say it is a good thing. All I am getting is that it is "legal".

PS: I am still waiting for your list of ROMS and all the legal ways you got them. Could be none, and if that is the case I apologize for accusing you.

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Brad...You answered your own question with your previous posts. You have obviously weighed the benfits of coding MacMAME vs the blatant piracy that goes along with doing it. You made your choice and that is exactly how I would have weighed it too. You also have views of copyrights that fit your rational in making MacMAME. I have never once said I think MacMAME was wrong. I was just arguing from the other side of the fence for a minute. Some answers are insightful(like yours) and some have been very much less. I guess all I was trying to say is that developers may not be doing anything wrong, but they are still enablers of the piracy to the extent that if not for them there wouldn't be a purpose for ROM burners or ROM sites.

Smf...
I was just trying to say that no one wants to see their original work in a less that flattering form. It had nothing to do with problems you or I may have running MK2.

I am all for you guys. It just is always funny when everyone gets worked up about ROMS.

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Considering that it is possible to buy legal copies of some Atari and Capcom games, saying that no game company likes MAME is a bit unfair.

Now I know that this isn't legal, but back when I was at university, the biggest spenders in the arcades were the same people who played the games at home on emulators. They practised at home in NeoRageX so they could do better when playing against each other in the arcades.

If anything, the illegal emulation increased the popularity of the games: King of Fighters 2000 and Street Fighter Zero 3 Alpha have such a steep learning curve that you'd waste far too much money before you could last one stage. No-one would play the games more than a couple of times before giving up. Illegal emulation let people get comfortable before paying to play "for real".

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Sorry to be the devils advocate, but as long as you leave intact the names of the roms the original poster is looking for you are still helping him/her get the roms he needs.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I take your PS to imply that the makers of MAME and what not are off the hook because a legit company had them help make a compliation. I could steal stuff from your house, get caught by you and have you forgive me. That still dosen't make what I did right.
I would again argue - strongly - that there is nothing illegal with MAME as an emulator. For MAME and MAMEDEV, it's not a case of doing something illegal, getting caught and then getting a pardon from a game company. MAME was legal before this, although it certainly helps to have companies explicitly acknowledge this in case another company got antsy.

Even though we *know* we're above-board, a prime motivator is not getting sued and having to try to prove that in court. To that end, licensing MAME to other companies is helpful, as is kowtowing to companies' requests to not support a certain game, as does proactively not supporting games we (somewhat arbitrarily, yes) decide are too new. Not doing these things does not make MAME illegal, but it (IMHO) helps keep companies with more money than sense from trying to pursue the point.

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Quote:
Originally posted by mangamuscle:
Sorry to be the devils advocate, but as long as you leave intact the names of the roms the original poster is looking for you are still helping him/her get the roms he needs.
How do you figure? If you own an Amidar board and dump the ROMs, you need to know at least one thing to use it with MAME - the name of the ROM set (amidar). The actual ROM names are only used for documentation purposes since MAME loads them by CRC.

In fact, since many of the individual ROM names use either the manufacturer's part # or the IC position, I'd argue that this helps board owners more than anyone else. If you've got an Amidar board with ROMs that vary slightly in CRC from what MAME expects, you've either a) got a bad ROM on your board, b) dumped your board incorrectly or c) have a new revision that we don't know about yet. If you're a casual "ROM pirate", the names are going to be irrelevant and ignored.

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TBC: Ok, this is gonna blow your mind then. Not only did ROM sites exist before MAME, ROM sites existed before emulators. The EPROMs used in arcade PCBs don't age particularly gracefully, so board owners ran and used ROM sites for years before PCs were fast enough to emulate Pacman in all-ASM.

Incidentally, this is why MAME is pedantic about the ROM names matching exactly what's found on the original PCB - it ensures that the dumps are easily usable by board owners to repair real machines. Ditto CHDs - CHDMAN can extract directly to a real arcade harddisk in order to repair wayward Killer Instinct machines (and several people have successfully done it).

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Thanks again for an insightful answer Brad. That makes perfect sense. Do you ever see something like has happened in the music industry, with some program makers being targeted and defeated? I guess probably not. I have only ever been curious where lines are drawn and why. I don't want to see anyone get in trouble.


Belmont...Fine and dandy. Nobody back then could leave their computer on before they went to bed and wake up with thousands of games ready to go. What you are talking about as far as I know is legal too. It is a new world, man. You keep defending illegal acts by citing legal ones. They have nothing to do with each other. If you would just admit you are a pirateer then your comments probably wouldn't bother me so much.

Is there anyway to take the playability of games out of MAME, but keep its ability to help board owners do the things you just talked about?

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Ok, I understand your confusion now.

You seem to think the fact that MAME plays the games is why distributing the ROMs is illegal.

It is not.

Running a ROM site in 1995 before emulators existed was still 100% illegal and you would be subject to the same penalties as now. The crime is unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. Full stop.

As a result, MAME itself is and remains completely and 100% legal, *including* the full playability of games. (This is the point Brad keeps trying to make, and it was legally confirmed by the judges in both Sony v. bleem! and Sony v. Connectix). It is the downloading and distribution of ROMs without permission (excepting the uncopyrighted ones on mame.net) that is the issue.

For example, I can legally play the System 32 game Arabian Fight. I have the actual PCB the game was dumped from in a box in my storage room. The Sega police (do they wear Sonic costumes?) can come and raid me but there are no charges that will stick other than "bad taste in games", and that's not illegal. I am the #1 all-time contributor to the Dumping Project so I can probably legally play more MAME games than anyone else on Planet Earth. (Not a Guinness-worthy accomplishment, but I think I'll have one anyway on general principle).

Again, this is similar for other forms of software - if you buy a DVD of "E.T." than you can legally watch it all you want. If Brad doesn't, he can't. In no case is it the fault of his DVD player.

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I thought those old school cats used the rom sites to fix their broken boards. I understand that piracy is piracy. I also never thought that MAME running the games made MAME itself illegal. I just said that it contributes to the piracy community. And from that I wondered if it had any effect on developers and their mindset while they continue to make the emulators even though the original intent of the idea is just a speck of dust in the world of piracy in gaming.

I am sorry if I jumped down on you. I understand you have a lot invested into it and that is why you defend it. How many games did you contribute to the Dumping Project anyway?

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Smf...
I was just trying to say that no one wants to see their original work in a less that flattering form. It had nothing to do with problems you or I may have running MK2.
I don't see how this is relevant. If you own the pcb then in certain countries, you are allowed to dump the roms. Otherwise you aren't allowed to have a copy of them at all. Whether you run them in MAME or just leave them on your hard disk there is no difference. As long as you don't break the law then whether the copyright holder likes what you do or not is irrelevant.

If you have an MK2 board and you can't run it in MAME then you've done nothing wrong by asking for help. I believe it was suggested that people shouldn't be allowed to ask for help in case they were doing something illegal.

You seem to be having trouble keeping up with the discussion, including what points you're arguing so I'm out of here.

smf

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Quote:
How many games did you contribute to the Dumping Project anyway?
You have been on this board since 2002 because of MacMame so I presume you've used the program how many arcade boards do you own.

Pics please.

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TBC: As far as the law is concerned, downloading ROMs for MAME and downloading ROMs to fix your PCB are both illegal, because in both cases neither you nor whoever's running the ROM site have permission from the copyright holder. (Exception: Midway/Williams posted ROMs for their pinball games on their own site to be used for repairs and bug-fixes, and of course in that case you have permission).

The law's a b***h. We don't always agree with it, but we do what we can within it.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Is there anyway to take the playability of games out of MAME, but keep its ability to help board owners do the things you just talked about?
If I own a board that is dead, but have dumped the roms from it previously, I'd like the ability to play games in MAME in order to play that game again.

You'll note that's not illegal to do either.

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Good point vitaflo...

I was just curious about the legalities of some things. I was also curious as to how devs felt about writing a program they know most use in an unscrupulous manner. Now that things have simmered a bit I am mostly getting the answers I sought.

About who has what ROMS and how they use/got them, I just asked if we could be honest about it. I think most of us have some ROM skeletons in our closets. I was never trying to be the pot calling the kettle black, I was trying point out those who do.

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Boom, while I admire your intellectual contructs, I must comment that I believe your propensity for prose matches only that of the soliloquy's in the works of one, Kevin Smith, creator and long sentenced writer of such classics as Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

smile

Me too...

Rom = copyrighted item.
Emulator = reproduceable device.

It would be like suing mp3 player makers because their devices are able to play mp3's that were downloaded on a P2P.

The reason P2P's are getting in trouble legally is because they're giving a method for people trading things which are most likely illegal.

If this bulletin board were to, in any way, support trading ROM's, then it would be venturing into illegal territory.

It's not about being "honest". It's about "Don't ask don't tell" for the guys who develop the emulators. They have to maintain a chinese wall between themselves and the people who might chose to illegally use their products.

It's like asking a gun dealer to be "honest" that someone will eventually murder someone with his gun. He knows that. Everyone knows it. But, it's not his fault unless he loads the bullets and helps him aim... you know?

Jon

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I was just curious about the legalities of some things. I was also curious as to how devs felt about writing a program they know most use in an unscrupulous manner.
I've been giving this a little more thought, and I can give another example that may shed some light on my line of thinking. As you guys may know, my day job is Mac game programming.

Now I'm not stupid - I know that many, many people are playing pirated copies of the games I've worked on. I'm sure that a lot of those people have, over time, asked for support. In most cases I can't make a distinction between legitimate owners and people who have downloaded pirated versions. Now the percentage of people who use MAME ROMs illegally is likely higher than those who run pirated Mac games, but I don't know for sure and I can't say with accuracy - I can only go with my gut feeling. Either way, in the absence of proof of crime, my best recourse is to assume innocent.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
How many games did you contribute to the Dumping Project anyway?
FYI, you're asking a question that's difficult and awkward to answer. The Dumping Project takes money, puts it in a pool and draws funds from that pool to purchase PCBs. In that regard, it's typically difficult to take credit for anything but a dollar amount, although some people contribute for a specific board purchase or donate boards and the like.

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Thank all you guys for the input. It started off rocky, but it turned into a good discussion. I also agree with everything said here. It is nice to know that the thought of how these emulators will be used does fit into the process of making them.

Like Brad said, there isn't much he can do to control anybody else. I completely agree.

Thanks again.

I never meant the question about the Dumping Project to come off in a negative way. I was honestly curious. It is cool to know the history of MAME.

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The Project's worked a lot of ways. Among other things, I've:

* bought boards and dumped them myself
* bought boards and sent them to Guru for dumping and return (and repair in some cases)
* bought boards and sent them to Guru for dumping and resale (the proceeds were used to buy more PCBs)
* sent Randy/Guru money for boards that were shipped to Guru from Japan and/or Hong Kong, dumped, then sent to me
* tracked down and bought various pieces of esoteric dumping equipment worth thousands of dollars then disguised it as old/broken and snuck it past customs (the VAT on that stuff would've bankrupted Guru if it was caught, but it wasn't)
* been an intermediary for deals where the seller only would ship to the US and/or take US credit cards

That's just some of the, err, excitement of MAMEami Vice.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
Then you have guys like Richard "I ported Boycott Advance right during the GBA's most popular time."
I wish I'd never done that, and I've said as much in several interviews over the last while. There's a reason why BA hasn't had any compatibility updates in a long time.

I do not see why we're arguing this. If you want to open a board where ROM links are acceptable, then go for it. On this one, however, they're not.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
That way 3 years from now we can know what was going on in the mind of Richard Bannister when he created Emulator Enhancer.
I can tell you that now. I have a mortgage to pay.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I am just asking if that one was to write a program that in the back of their mind knew that a majority of people are going use in an illegal manner do they ever think of not doing it?
Beer can be drunk by people under the legal age. Is this the responsibility of the brewery?

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I understand that piracy is piracy. I also never thought that MAME running the games made MAME itself illegal. I just said that it contributes to the piracy community.
From where I stand, the thing that contributes to the piracy community is (mostly due to) the fact that owning supported ROMs legally is an extremely difficult task. You can bet that if there was a place like an iGames Roms Store where you could easily, cheaply and legally buy all and any MAME's supported games for $0,99 each, this entire discussion would not have begun, don't you think ?

Related to the MAME community, such a place would certainly be a hit. Downloading and copying music illegally was possible years before the iTunes Music Store was born. Still, they manage to legally sell almost a billion songs since.
Not to forget that the iTunes application runs, with no difference at all, legal or illegal music. Does it contributes to the piracy community for that matter ? Does any major music company have tried to sue Apple for that ? Same for MAME I guess.

My 2 cents.

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The title of this thread looks like it's advertising a ROM site ;-)

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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
Beer can be drunk by people under the legal age. Is this the responsibility of the brewery?
No, it isn't. I think we all agree on that. I just wondered if that goes through the mind an emulator programmer while they are making/porting these programs while knowing the huge amount of people that will use it illegally. By stating your regret of making the Gameboy Advance emulator, and Brad giving insight to his thought processes it is easy to see that it does. I think you very fairly go on to make these programs because it is truly not your responsibility what others do with them.

All I was doing was playing devils advocate for a while, and while it probably went a little far, I got to learn some things I didn't know before.

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Marc Mame...

Your point about the availibility of ROMS is really good. I guess the only difference I see in an emulator and a program like iTunes is that iTunes is just the thing you play your music on, and the emulator is taking the place of a phyiscal thing the company made to sell in the first place.

I think this pertains more to programs like BA and Bleem than to emulators of older things. Nintendo sells GBA so they can make money from the games that are sold on it. For someone to come out with a thing that eliminates that cost for the consumer is wrong. Even if only 2 people chose BA or Bleem over a GBA or PS 1/2 it is wrong. With iTunes you just steal the music. With an emulator you don't just steal the games, you steal the systems. But like others have pointed out, it is all been deemed legal, making it a mute point.

I do like the idea of a iMAME store. It will probably never happen though.

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Not necessarily true. Xbox and PS2 are sold at a loss and the profit comes from games, so if MS/Sony can get away without losing on consoles and still get royalties from game sales for games played on emulators, they come out ahead. Trouble is, most people don't buy games for their emulators.

Calculators are different, the device is sold at a profit, and software is cheap/free. But emulators for calculators don't make the cut for use in the field, anyway. They're only really useful as development tools.

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Quote:
Originally posted by TheBoomCamel:
I guess the only difference I see in an emulator and a program like iTunes is that iTunes is just the thing you play your music on, and the emulator is taking the place of a phyiscal thing the company made to sell in the first place.
Not sure about that. I feel that music companies want to sell physical CD in the first place. CDs in a box with a nice design and a booklet. I guess Music and CDs were never "meant" or "designed" to be ripped and played as files on a computer. Since they never find a way to prevent that, they were *forced* to accept to sell immaterial products on the net, but it doesn't mean that they approve.


Quote:
Nintendo sells GBA so they can make money from the games that are sold on it.
Like you pointed out, the gaming industrie makes money out of games, not by selling empty consoles or cabinets. If they were still making money by selling their games for an emulator rather than their own systems, I still can't see what's wrong with that. My guess is that they are really afraid to loose control over their products (Copying / pirating / support for emulator's bugs they don't own etc...). I guess (hope) it's only a matter of time.

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For someone to come out with a thing that eliminates that cost for the consumer is wrong.
If you still buy them the games you'll play on those emulators, I can't see what's wrong with that.
PSX emulator from Connectix were on the shelf for a long time before Sony bought and then killed it after beeing tired of loosing lawsuit after lawsuit. At that time, it was easier to play a pirated PSX game on the (moded) real thing than on the emulator. wink

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With iTunes you just steal the music.
Even if you can, you have *every* ways to NOT steal the music you play on iTunes.

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Even if they do sell at a loss, it still isn't right to compound that loss. You can't convince Bic that stealing their razors is okay as long as you buy the blades.

You can build your own razor for the blades though. I think that is the argument to why emulators are legal. The only difference is that making your own razor doesn't make it possible for you and millions of others to tap into a mass underground supply of free razor blades. I know MAME doesn't make the games availible to you, but does increase the likely hood you will seek them out.

Why shouldn't companies be concerned about losing control of their products? Even you believe in the legality of emulators you have to understand their concern.

Like Marc Mame pointed out earlier, these arguments are a little different for MAME because the thing people are stealing is not an easily accessible resource. But does it still make it okay?

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Actually, most consoles only lose money at launch now (a redesign or two to eliminate the costliest things that developers aren't using cures that), and even that isn't universally true (the Gamecube was profitable on day 1). Of the 3 current-gen consoles only the Xbox has consistently lost money (Sony was able to force them to cut prices faster than they were able to cut costs - that's one of the advantages of a custom chipset vs. off-the-shelf PCs).

Incidentally, at any company other than Microsoft the amount they lost on the Xbox would've triggered a major shareholder revolt.

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Your argument seems to be along the lines of "What kills a man? The other man or the bullet?"

Crude analogy but it works in this case.

Emulation has been proven time and again to be legal. It's what you use the emulator for that's the legal gray area.

If you download Gridlee, Poly-Play or Robby Roto from mame.net and play them on your favorite MAME variant, you are 100% in the right.

If you download Donkey Kong from wherever and play it on your favorite MAME variant, Nintendo will not be pleased. Moreover, if you don't own a PCB of Donkey Kong, or have permission from Nintendo to use it, you are in the wrong.

In the end, it's up to the person whether they want to make the moral decision to seek out and find these games and play them.

There are thousands of games that MAME can emulate that will never be seen in an arcade again and with a large number of those, nobody is sure who owns the rights to them. Maybe there should be a push to find those and seek the rights to make them Public Domain, like the Apple ][ and C64 folks have. That way the legalities on some of these games can be resolved.


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Quote:
Originally posted by EvilWraith:
Your argument seems to be along the lines of "What kills a man? The other man or the bullet?"
Well, usually it's the loss of blood that does it. wink


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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Quote:
Originally posted by EvilWraith:
[b] Your argument seems to be along the lines of "What kills a man? The other man or the bullet?"
Well, usually it's the loss of blood that does it. wink [/b]
Legally it's when brain activity stops. I say it's their own damn fault.

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iTunes for MAME ROMs...this would be a good thing and I would fully support it. Frankly I'm surprised that game companies wouldn't jump on board. It wouldn't take anything away from putting out new Greatest Hits collections for every new console that comes along, so what gives?


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It exists, and it's called StarROMs . Only some early Atari ROMs are there, but it's something.

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star roms is a Laudeable endeavour that suffers from a limitation
through copyright to provide what the market requires.Moral argument? Applies only to the developers who must remain neutral in any such discussion. otherwise...GET REAL, goody two shoes(!) and download roms to USE MAME TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL!!!!..........(giggle)

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Troublemaker. wink

I keep hoping (against all reason) that GameTap will eventually offer ROMs for sale for use with MAME. They've already got an infrastructure in place that would allow for it. I'd be far more likely to use GameTap for that, than the way it's set up now.

I'm not sure why StarROMs hasn't been able to expand their selection. Money? Lack of cooperation from companies? They have a good start, but really need to ramp up the number of games.


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FWIW, Ultracade was supposedly setting up to provide an "iRoms" service (yes that was the actual name). On the plus side, he already has licenses for lots of ROMs from lots of companies. On the minus side, GlobalVR's bought out Ultracade now and I can't see them caring about MAME users.

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Perhaps Nintendo will refresh the debate with an enlightened approach to accessing the back catalogue through the revolution!(Smartass) wink

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I am not a lawyer.

I have no desire to be a lawyer.

I have never played a lawyer on stage or screen.

Some of you, however, might find this of interest.

It may not apply to this debate, but it's worth a look.


The following statement is true...
The preceding statement is false.
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I have one question, that I've always wanted to know the answer to (and i have to admit to not having read ALL the way through every post in this thread - life's too short, and i wanted to go out and buy some new video games smile )

I've contributed 3 games to mame. Lady Bug on galaxian hardware, Crazy Kong with alternative levels and JIN. By contributed, i mean i dumped them from real boards, added the code to the relevent driver (actually, i didn't do that for JIN i just passed on the roms, but i did for the other two) and then passed the code on to one of a couple of the mame devs that i know to get it submitted.

Now then, first time, with the Lady Bug one, i declined to submit the rom dumps with it, but someone pointed out to me that it could not be verified as working without them, which, okay was fair comment so off they went.

When I put forward my reasons for not being overly keen i was accused of elitist bullsh** (or something like that - smf will probably remember!), and understandably i was pretty put out by this so i did no more to help with dumping and things for quite some time (i've had a few undumped games go through my hands and i just thought "to hell with them" - admittedlt, i don't really do very much).

Eventually i came round from this and submitted the other two. And i now have another two that i must find the time to do the code for.

Now then, answer me this!

When the rom dumps were submitted AFAIK they just go to an FTP server somewhere that allegedly only certain registered mame people have access to.

So how come that <enter your favourite rom site here> have the rom sets available for download???

Someone somewhere HAS to be not quite as squeeky clean as they make out. These things don't walk out into the wild on their own. Tron really was a made up film you know!

For this reason and this reason alone, while i can understand most sides of any rom arguement, i don't beleive any official word anyone says on the subject. Sorry.

On a slightly more posistive note, i'm very much looking forward to being able to afford an intel based mac later on and can't wait to see what evolves over the course of the year.

2006 should prove very interesting if you ask me smile

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Thanks heavens MAME is not run by people that think like martin, we would have endlesss bykering about "who gave what rom to whom and why" instead of the endless source updates we have seen over the years. I mean, shesh, you do not own the copyright of any game but you act like if you did.

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mangamuscle, you're the one with a problem. Martin submitted the ROM to the developers for verification that his driver worked, not so people could pirate it. It subsequently appeared on ROM sites. He's understandably upset.

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Thank heavens someone saw the point i was trying to make!!

Incidentally, i'm not particularly upset. I admit i might have been at the time but that was a few years ago. On the whole, the ones i play about with are normally bootlegs or alternatives anyway, so from a copyright point of view they're up the creek anyway. But that's not down to me, that was done about 20 years ago.

I'm just making the point that the whole holier than though attitude that often get's put forward about mame not condoning the distribution of roms and such doesn't wash with me and that's basically why.

I still love mame, almost certainly wouldn't be able to fix as many boards as i do without it (usually a few a week), and if and when i can i will continue to add anything in that i can. Just pointing out a bit of a flaw in the whole process, that's all.

And, incidentally, would welcome any insight (on or off list) as to how this happens. I think it highly unlikely that an unheard of, undumped, unmame'd game would suddenly also be found by someone else within days of it's submission to mame.

If something i had dumped suddenly appeared on eBay making the seller a lot of money then that would be another matter. Otherwise, i don't care who downloads it and plays it.

Anyway, i'm starting to waffle.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
mangamuscle, you're the one with a problem.
If loving MAME's opennes is a problem, then I rahter have that problem to the day I die. You see, MAME receives fixes from non mamedevs from time to time and old time mamedevs lose interest and stop contributing source updates. Having an "iron grip" over the ftp site is not in MAMEs best interest since it would reduce the talent pool MAME is built upon.

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Are you saying there is a way for non mamedev's to get access to the FTP site? (If there is, DONT post it!) I'm just curious since i know that there are a lot of incomplete dumps and things.

This is OT to this topic, but i've had boards in the past that didn't work because a rom was missing. Later on, i found out that a partial dump existed and what do you know? The two together made a complete dump smile

At least knowing what partial dumps are there would be somewhat handy. Getting access to them would be a whole 'nother matter!

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Quote:
Originally posted by Martin:
I'm just making the point that the whole holier than though attitude that often get's put forward about mame not condoning the distribution of roms and such doesn't wash with me
There have been several people removed from the MAME list because of selling rom dvd's and such like. There has also been discussions on how to remove the need people have for obtaining all the roms supported by MAME. It's not about being holy, it's about doing whats going to keep MAME out of trouble.

smf

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