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Old 19 June 2004, 14:07   #25
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: New York
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Read this shit

Originally Posted by Ruud Baltissen
Hallo allemaal,

As some of you already know, yesterday the new Commodore presented itself to
the world. I was invited as well to speak to the community as one of the
users. I felt awfull when on stage :( 

Most important thing: I have spoken with the top of Tulip and Commodore,
four men. One thing we have discussed are the sites like FUNET and ARNOLD,
sites that archive ROMs and games. Regarding the games, utilities and other
non-system-ROMs they were clear: they considered that as there legal
property and as they wanted to make money with it, they would protect these
rights. And with reason, see later.

Personal point of view: I understand completely and accept it. (But I cannot
say I like it). 

The system-ROMs are another matter. They realise that the C= community is as
it is nowadays, thanks to you guys and the information that is available
worldwide. Three of the four agree that there has to be made an arrangement
or whatever where both parties, Commodore and we developers, could live
with. I spoke with the fourth guy, one of the original Tulip-guys and merely
money orientated, and showed him things the community had developed on their
own the last ten years: Retro Replay, X1541, IDE64, 64HDD and.... Marko's
CD. He was impressed and would think things over. But don't blame him as a
person, he is a nice guy IMHO, but one that has to run a bussines.

A small problem is that they want to sell or include an emulator with one of
their products. But they realise that the community as it is now probably is
not waiting for their emulator as there are some very good ones available
for free. With this emulator they have a reason to forbid publishing
systemROMs as wel but.....

I spoke with Darren Melbourne, the man behind Ironstone, as well. Ironstone
is responsible for the C64-joystick C= will start to sell around
october/november. I, of course, asked him about the hardware. 
The bad news: it will a single chip ASIC. I only forgot to ask him if the
ROM with OS and games were inside the ASIC or apart.
The good news: I know about who is behind the development of this C64 and
therefor we can expect quite some suprises:
- The new C64 will have at least 265 colours
- It will have higher resolutions
- It will have two SID's onboard
- The ASIC runs on 27 MHz. I hardly can imagine it needs 27 cycles to
emulate one of the original C64. 
- I asked Darren if there are plans to produce a big C64 based on this
print. So he revealed that, although it resembles a joystick, all
connections of the normal ports are available in the form of pads. So one
could solder his own expansionport, userport or whatever to this stick.
- Regarding the extra features: they want to publish the memorymap and other
technical details so programmers are able to develop new games etc. for this
new C64. 

The disclaimer: The above info is given by me as it was told me. I'm only
human and I could have understood some things wrong. Etc., etc., etc. 

About the person: Darren doesn't mind to tell me who it is but the person
self does because of a personal reason.

This C64-joystick is the reason they want to protect their legal rights
about the games. But they also want to stimulate the old community to
develop programs for this new C64, the community that has thrived on the
availability of ROMs and other information. And you won't be making friends
by taking away that where those friends are thriving on :)

Another point is the makers of hardware like Maurice Randall but also people
like Markus Brenner and the Czechs who produce the IDE64. Particulary those
who produce hardware that is to be connected to the userport or
expansionport. I didn't realise it but these ports are intellectual
properties of Commodore as well. So actually anyone building hardware for
these ports has to pay C= a fee as well. 
Regarding Maurice, he bought the stuff from CMD and Tulip/Commodore doesn't
know what agreement CMD had with the original C=. 
Regarding others: three of the four agreed that as long as no big money is
involved, they leave the situation as it is.
I mentioned the above in my speach and the fourth guy told me he started to
realise that actions against these people would loose them a lot of sympathy
of the old community as well.

The fact is: Commodore/Tulip thrives on the fact that the name Commodore is
know worlwide and on the sympathy created (merely) by the C64. So they want
to avoid any action that will loose this precious sympathy. But they have a
bussiness to run so some things are unavoidable.

- sites publishing games and related software owned by Commodore have to
remove it.
- sites publishing kernals/systemROMs are tolerated for the moment [1].
- producers of hardware are tolerated as long as there is not really big
money involved for the moment [1].

Rereading the above I may sound a bit pro-Tulip but it is a fact that they
have the law on their side. Yesterday I used this example: imagine you
inherit a fruitgarden with apples and pears, which has been left alone for
ten years. Because nobody cared, the neighbouhood got used to pick their own
fruit every autumn. 
You as the new owner, are only interested in the apples as the pears have no
real commercial value for you. So you can leave them hanging to rot or....
tell the neighbourhood generously to help themself with the pears as you
don't have a really need for them for the moment [1]. 
As you have the law on your side, most people will accept the situation. But
what are you going to do with people that still pick (thus steal) your
apples as well?

[1] notice the "for the moment". Lets face it, things can change in the
future. But I have been there and I left with a good feeling.

And now you can shoot.....

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