nman64 at n-man.com
Thu Sep 1 04:45:08 UTC 2005
Paul F. Johnson wrote:
>>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 worldofspectrum.org 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 ftp.nvg.org (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
Even if the ROMs are licensed freely, and I'll assume that you have done
your research and they are, they are most likely not released under an
OSI license. If you can't access the source code for the images, it
isn't an OSI license. The license status of the emulator does not
matter in this regard. This doesn't necessarily mean that the emulator
cannot be included in Extras, but it does mean we wouldn't want to
distribute the ROMs. If you can find some demo programs that have been
released under an OSI license, you might make a small package of those
that can be placed in Extras to provide immediate usefulness to the
emulator. This would definitely help the case for getting it into
Extras. If you can build a complete OSS environment around this
emulator, perhaps including things such as a few demo programs, asm
compiler, and maybe some other supporting tools, it would be easy to
demonstrate that the program has significant non-infringing uses, and
would allow it to compared to the likes of Wine rather than MAME or ZSNES.
Patrick "The N-Man" Barnes
nman64 at n-man.com
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