For review

Paul F. Johnson paul at
Thu Sep 1 00:12:59 UTC 2005


> > I think that can be said for just about any emulator. However, unless
> > you can get hold of an old compilation CD, you'll find that 99.99999% of
> > the images available have been authorised by either the original author
> > or company. Those which have not are removed from circulation.
> Are you speaking specifically about *this* emulator in particular? 


The ZX Spectrum was a 1980s UK 8 bit home computer which loaded games
from tape, not plug in ROMS. There was a small attempt (most notably
from Sinclair Research and Mikrotec) to use ROMS, but they failed badly.
The only ROM images used are the internal ROMS which contained BASIC and
what would pass as an OS today. In the US you had the Commodore 64,
TRS80 and TI99/4a. The Spectrum was released over there as the Timex

> Because the same *certainly* can not be said for images available for
> MAME, for instance.

Yes - I'm well aware of the fun and games with MAME!

> > I will, of course, respect the wishes of those on high over this. If
> > it's rejected from FCE, how do I get them into Livna?
> My thinking, and IANALBTTTO (I am not a lawyer but talk to them often):
> First, the emulator itself.  
> If it's intended to play ROMs that are not licensed for redistribution,
> then providing the emulator is an act of contributory infringement.

If you care to have a look at you'll find that the
distribution of the ROMS is blessed by the owners - and that is despite
Amstrad using the ROMS in a pile of new technologies now.

> If, however, it's intended to play ROMs that *are* licensed for 
> redistribution, and if we can prove this, then making the emulator 
> available is much lower risk.

Again, the answers lay here :

Anything not allowed is gone. This goes also for (I think it

> In either event, we shouldn't be redistributing ROMs themselves unless 
> they've been licensed *under an OSI license*, which seems unlikely.

The ROMS are distributed as images. They are useless without a Spectrum
emulator. I'm not sure what the licence condition would be, but given
the source is GPL (and this is known to the ROM owners who are aware of
what this means) and they still gave their blessing, then I can't see a

> So.  I'd say your options are: 1. make a defensible case that the majority
> of ROMs for this emulator are freely redistributable, or 2. read up on
> Livna at

I'll have a look at Livna at work later today (it's 1.10am here and I
need some sleep!), but would appreciate someone checking out and which should allay
fears of all naughtiness.


"A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the
best and then make sure that you are. In my time at Liverpool we always
said we had the best two teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool
Reserves." - Bill Shankly

More information about the fedora-extras-list mailing list