> Its the act of copying that troubles me, not the sitting on the source. Old games > from companies that have disappeared into the ether is one thing, dumping code from > an active company is another.
If I understand the DCMA correctly, the act of backing up purchased media, active company or not, isn't illegal. Having Gat help wouldn't be illegal either. As long as sales of said company aren't affected, things are pretty much kosher legal-wise. Having that backup "stored" offsite with a third party should, for all intents and purposes, be legally OK as well. I don't think things start getting "grey" until it is distributed beyond the legal copy.
> Does Mame have any policies in place with regards to ethics, and if so what are those > ethics in relation to capturing modern arcade machines and their software?
I can't speak for anyone involved with MAME, but again, they have always shown to be as ethical as you can be given the topic. As far as I've seen they have been very responsive to copyright holders requests.