> 2) A large number of Bad Guys are making and selling commercial MAME ripoffs; they're
> in even big-name stores in Europe and Asia, there's the XXX-in-1 PCBs, there's the
> PS2 arcade discs Hamster made for Konami, there's Raiden Legacy, etc, etc. So it's
> not like the license is stopping anyone from doing unspeakable things.
I see this as no reason whatsoever to embark on such a large re-licence undertaking. 'Let's re-licence so as to make it easier on those ripping us off', you could have skipped this point imo.
> 3) The license has been a barrier to cooperation with other emulators. For those who
> haven't noticed, MAME has had it's clock thoroughly cleaned for fast and accurate
> emulation of modern and 3D systems by a parade of true open source emulators
> including SuperModel, PCSX2, Dolphin, DeSMuME, and nullDC. (Disclaimer: I'm involved
> with the SuperModel project, and I'm a fan of the rest of that list). Similarly, in
> many cases where other emulators have wanted to use MAME components, we've had to
> tell them "no", which doesn't exactly make them have warm feelings about the project.
This I can buy into, except I think this can be solved on a individual author to author or possible author(s) basis rather than a complete re-licencing of the project.
> On the MESS side, there's an even more formidable list of open source code which
> could be used to improve things if not for the license; our C64 audio emulation is
> terrible by any measure, and being able to drop in reSID like everyone else would be
> a large instant improvement.
This is where I have to admit I'm starting to side with you, I didn't think there were code Mame/Mess needed in this day from external and licence incompatible projects. If there are indeed still key components that Mame/Mess can't use due to licence incompability then I can certainly see reason for this re-licence proposal.
> Note also that nobody is selling any of those emulators in spite of their use of
> standard licenses which allow it; the GPL has proven legal teeth in both the US and
> EU, and it's hard to compete with free.
The GPL doesn't prevent commercial distribution, but yes a free version would be hard to compete with unless it drowns in a sea of commercial offerings with 'tweaks' to lure users in.
> If we end up
> in a license situation where we can offer official iOS and Android versions FOR FREE
> in the app stores, that would be amazing, but I'm not counting on it.
What would prevent you from doing this given the proposed licence changes? From what I can see with these changes anyone could release both free and commercial versions of Mame if it was licenced under BSD and/or LGPL which seems to be the proposed re-licence choices.
I'd like to state that I sure wouldn't mind seeing officially supported fully open versions of Mame/Mess on places like Steam, Google Play, iOS (do they allow emulators at all?).
> 5) Nobody's forcing anyone to do anything, nor will they be forced in the future.
> We're currently identifying the contributors to each of the source files and having
> them tag acceptable licenses. Nobody knows the final outcome yet, and MAME will
> continue to be distributed under the current terms.
So it will continue to be distributed under the current Mame licence, but also be dual licenced as either BSD or LGPL if they are to be included in the project as per the re-licence plans?
I'm glad to hear that my fears were by the sound of it unfounded, thanks for the info R.B