> 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.
A lot of this is in the PC area; Bochs, DOSBox, VirtualBox, and QEMU are all GPL and all have components we could use to get the later PC-based arcade games up and running in MAME. But of course it applies to many other systems too.
> 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.
Yeah, there'll always be clones and imitators (have you searched for "Angry Birds" lately in an app store? Yikes) but the original usually wins.
> 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.
That's correct. We wouldn't release any commercial version, of course, and so any commercial version would have to be a lot better and to stay ahead of our improvements. I like to think we're good enough that that wouldn't be a contest
> 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?).
iOS does if there's a fixed list of ROMs that you have the rights to. Apple briefly allowed ahh's version which only ran Gridlee until they found out it also enabled adding all the other ROMs. So that version would probably be more limited (and any commercial version someone else made would have the same limitations). Google Play is much easier (they openly encourage emulators). I'm not sure how things stand with Steam.
> 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?
If the re-license happens that will take effect. If it doesn't, or until it does, the current license applies.