yeah, would be nice to see progress in this area unlocked again, the way things were done before hasn't helped us, too many things others weren't able to reproduce / do for themselves. There were people who wanted to get on board with this in the past and couldn't because the software / exact instructions etc. weren't available to them, I'd view this as one of the darker parts of MAME history.
What a shame, I didn't know there was a dark back story. I thought the method to preserve the discs information was agreed upon.
IIRC, Microsoft's Direct Show was being used to encode the additional data.
Reading posts in the past it seemed as if the emulation part wasn't that difficult (correct me if I'm wrong)
I hope it is not a "capture" sticking point for MAME. LD is one of the last great frontiers for MAME and the discs just keep degrading.
Matt O's work had me excited that we might see Star Rider emulated in MAME. I've read it has really quirky hardware.