> > I'm not sure what at this point is considered stirring things up, kicking a dead
> > horse, or what, but what exactly is Haze going on about here? Has he opened some
> > of can of worms over his opposing views, is he just being dramatic for effect, or
> > what...? He makes a vague statement about "seeking legal counsel" and the
> > (il)legality of mame without any further explanation, and of course, comments
> > disallowed. I waited a little bit to see if the topic would come up on its own
> > without having to ask, but...it has not.
> Well, the only specific problem he went into with that post is the presence of a ROM
> directly in the MAME source code. While that probably is a copyright violation, it's
> an isolated one and apparently not one the rights holder has been too concerned with
> since it's been there 11 years.
> But in general, he talked more about this here:
> Basically, he's afraid that in the past, MAME has changed its license when it was not
> legally able to do so because it didn't have the consent of all contributors. I
> definitely don't know enough about the history of MAME and about copyright law to say
> whether this is correct. I will say that, when the whole licensing dust-up started,
> one of the first things I asked myself was why MAMEdev would need to seek the
> permission of every contributor to change the license of their code, when in the
> past, the entire MAME license was changed without unanimous consent. But a lot of
> those changes were smaller than moving to GPL or BSD, so it may not be a perfect
Ah. The one thing that stands out to me about the whole thing is that, yes, I understand the stance of "I don't want to do it this way, and since I have a share in this, I object" except that it seems like people keep bringing up things as stand-ins, like the various past contributors of MAME who may have vanished into obscurity that might conceivably object to this. It's propping up your argument with something that can't be proven true or false, one would think that people who contributed to a project such as this would stand for whatever promoted the overall health of the project.*
certainly, splitting hairs over who owns the copyright over what and therefore has the power to stand in the way of their code being used and the intricacies of intellectual property seems a bit odd when it's for a project whose goal has been creating a monumental beast of emulating previously invented hardware, and from the early days, a group collaboration with dozens of hands conceivably assisting along the lifespan of the driver, especially when you start introducing the concept that everyone who has touched the code, ever, needs to have a say in the matter. I mean, I understand that on one hand, yes, after various mamedevs have had to reinvent the wheel with expense and incredible personal effort, such as with decryption or many of the various deductions and innovations, that they wouldn't want some other random individual to steal their code and use it for commercial reasons without them getting any profit/credit for it, but it seems like that is a boogeyman that is being dragged out for this argument as it has already happened (presumably, with some supporting evidence) under the existing license with no recourse or actions other than some swearing and shaking of fists, and that none of these license changes are ensuring commercialization, much less suggesting it. I'm sure that their intention upon writing their code was simply in the spirit of "I want to emulate and document this system or hardware in this project" not "...but if and only if I agree with the licensing structure of this forever and ever. Otherwise, I want my code back, suckers."...and the "spirit" is the relevant part in these manufactured dilemmas.
OTOH, I understand the idea of not including ROM data hard coded into the code for liability reasons, but the timing suggests that this somehow contributes meaningfully to the issue at hand, rather than being an unrelated issue brought to light randomly during the discussion and just thrown out there.
(* even though this began as something that did not directly affect the health of MAME as a whole, it is now something like a room full of people with buckets fighting over which bucket to put handfuls of sand into out of one communal sandbox, and creating a schism that it would seem doesn't need to exist)