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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME

From: J.B. Nicholson
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 12:18:33 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/38.7.0

Felipe Sanches wrote:
Such museum (without any ROM file) is now fully free, regardless of
what you might attempt to do with it at runtime after compiling it.

Practical emulator usage requires some program to run, and in MAME's case those programs are nonfree perhaps with a few exceptions.

The source code is the most important portion of the MAME project,
because it is though the source code that the goal of "preserving the
history of gaming and computing hardware" is achieved. The runtime
binaries tend to be seen as a mere collateral effect of the hardware
documentation efforts (also providing evidence that the hw
documentation is probably accurate).

I think it's important not to conflate goals. Despite reaching the goals MAME's developers set out for MAME, why should MAME be included as part of an FSF-approved free software distribution ( when practical usage appears to violate the requirement that "A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so."?

If MAME's practical use can't meet this requirement, MAME's description on should change to something that explains MAME "steer[s or encourages] users towards obtaining nonfree information for practical use".

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