Originally posted by Antiriad
i dont charge for my retro related activities!
Neither do you!
Neither does CAPS!
Neither does HOL!
Neither does RCK!
And thats how it should be
Well here are my thoughts:
o Cody (+others + meaning APoV) - original work - perfectly okay to charge
o RCK (meaning this board) - GPL'ed software, supplies "service" - perfectly okay to charge
o HOL - reproducing covers/screenshots - should be free - however, if it was just the data, it would be collectively classed as an original work (a collection of data) and so that would be okay
o CAPS - purely content produced by other people - should be free
Emulators - completely legal (though reverse engineering, so unless using stolen resources to make it, it is legal), an original work, not reproducing any content.
Therefore it is perfectly okay legally to charge for an emulator. I can't see anything morally wrong with it either, even next-gen systems. After all, bleem! successfully won their court case, and they were claiming that Sony had a monopoly on the "platform" (meaning hardware).
If you charge for an emulator then it should be pretty good or have no competition, because otherwise people won't buy it and it will be pointless. Other that that - I fail to see a problem with it.
Having written a few (partial) emulator systems myself, I know how much work it is. Pure intellectual challege. Lovely stuff. However, I did it on relatively small 8/16 bit systems where there was plenty of documentation - even the ASM source code to the OS in one case - which was legally obtained from the author btw
Reverse engineering stuff can be a chore, and can be a very boring case of producing tests and recording results - so it is not like you can even say it is done for the fun of it. Sure, some reverse engineering might be fun, but only when you are looking for something specific.
Reverse engineering is widely accepted to be legal, there is no grey area of the law here. Sure, some companies don't like that very much when used in the entertainment domain - but that doesn't change the fact that it is a very much needed right. Imagine what the world would be like if you were not allowed to look at (for example) Microsoft network protocols...
Why do people think the world is any different when it comes to playing games? I remember when there was a load of bad feeling against Marat and his emulators. I just don't understand it...
If all that has not made you think:
What is the difference between WHDLoad and an emulator? Conceptually nothing! WHDLoad still provides a virtual machine for games to run in, it even needs a ROM in some cases! It is original content, the reverse engineering is legal... And they do
charge for it. Is that wrong?
Anyway, just my 2 Euro dollars
No offense intended here Antiriad - I just disagree.