I donít like these dramatic ĎI quit the sceneí posts, but it seems like this might REALLY be the end.
MAMEdev are *aggressively* trying to move to a commercial use permitting license. It looks like anybody who doesnít agree will simply have their code segregated and eventually nuked / rewritten.
This in a nutshell would allow people to take MAME and package it up + sell it however they please, with no benefit to the actual project.
I simply canít agree with this, and am not willing to submit code under those terms.
I worked on this project for the good of civilization, to make a real difference to the world, nothing more. I did NOT work on this code so that somebody could make money off it.
Personally I consider this move to be unworkable, because Iíve touched or worked on almost every part of MAME outside the core at some point, almost every driver, several CPUs, even some sound cores, and it looks like itís going to turn into an internal battle to assert your rights over different drivers / cores, a process to which nobody will agree absolutely of course. Consent will ultimately be implied behind closed doors simply due to lack of will to fight.. this is meant to be a project about emulation, not having to fight to prove what you own.
So this just seems like the biggest possible Ď**** YOUí from the team, a slap in the face for the almost 15 years of my life Iíve dedicated to MAME and almost nothing else.
Iíd go as far as saying once this happens the new license should probably just be considered invalid, code will be taken and used in ways it was never intended to be used by people who have contributed to it regardless of how the team want to decide ownership, and it will just be one massive mess. If a single line of code Iíve contributed is placed under a commercial license without my explicit permission then I simply consider any distribution of that to be illegal because those are not the terms under which it was submitted. The team are simply counting on being able to walk over everybody who disagrees and not have them actually take legal action, presumably because they know it would simply be too much stress.
Iíve said many times before that I feel the team is rotten to the core, and this is just another example. Utterly disrespectful towards those who have contributed in the past.
Iím sure many will be celebrating the potential for things to be used commercially, rubbing it in my face etc. but believe me, I am NOT happy about this. I did this to better the world, document our culture, help preserve our history, not put money in pockets.
In addition to the above I do not feel it to be an especially safe move. In the eyes of 99% of the population ĎMAMEí the arcade emulator exists simply to play games. While that is not the reason for it being developed I feel it makes it less suitable for a commercial license than many other projects. With the non-commercial license we show greater intent regarding it being a Ďan academic project of cultural significance designed to documentí but by putting a commercial license on it that intent appears instead to be Ďa project to make moneyí which in turn paints a bullseye on the team as far as legal action is concerned. I could understand maybe the MESS code being placed under a commercial license because it has hundreds more legitimate and obvious use-cases, but I feel placing MAME under one is inviting trouble, and I donít wish to be associated with that either.
Even other former coordinators like Kale disagree with this move, but itís still being pushed ahead despite no technical gains.
As far as Iím concerned at this point MAME *is* dead.
If people want to do a Ďcommercial MAMEí they should create a new project, from scratch and not associate it with the hard work people have actually done on MAME over the years.