>Reasonable attempts at contact ... Is that common sense talking or someone who actually practices law? I don't mean this as any kind of insult, but let's admit that copyright disputes are rarely straight-forward affairs. "We posted a notice on some websites" strikes me as a weak defense but hey ... IANAL.
>Its all about how defensible you want your stance to be Precisely, exactly the point. Either admit that it's a practical,best-effort, good-faith attempt that will be imperfect and open to legitimate challenge or go whole-hog and do it right. Either approach is fine, but don't do one and claim it to be the other.
I recall it being mentioned somewhere in one of these recent threads that a long term desire is to be able to move MAME/MESS in whole or part to an OSI approved license that, if the need arose, would actually be defensible. If that is truly the jewel in some peoples eyes then I can't fathom why there isn't a clamor to seek the opinion/advice of a real IP lawyer. Heck, the EFF/FSF might do so gratis. Certainly in the cabal of developers that is MAME/MESS someone knows someone.