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Re: MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 06:42:43 +0200

For further thinkering, for those people who shoule be deciding what
software shall be included in free software distribution and what not,
here are some arguments:

Guidelines, read them well, especially sections such as "Nonfree
Firmware", then section "Trademarks", and "Please Teach Users about Free

List of software that does not respect the Free System Distribution
Guidelines (this is work in progress):

What is going on at Trisquel:

At the Trisquel link, one can see "Mac-on-Linux emulator":
Description: Allows running MacOS inside a GNU/Linux system,
Problem: Only runs/supports proprietary software
Recommended Fix: Remove program/package
(Source) package name(s): mol, mol-drivers-linux
Trisquel Status: Fixed (removed upstream)

Compare the above to MAME issue, as it is similar.

Now is the time to think. It will be late in 3-5 years to correct

- decision to include MAME in a free GNU distribution directly
  influences users to use non-free software and promotes non-free

- the argument "let us search for one free software ROM" to justify the
  inclusion of MAME in such free distribution is one-sided, and does not
  foresee the future results. As MAME is made exclusively with the
  purpose to support non-free software, the practical future result is
  that people will be guided to download and use non-free ROMs,

- free software distribution shall not offer a platform for conservancy
  of non-free software for future,

- it can be clearly seen that website of MAME:
  offers under Download section, non-free ROMs: (disregard their definiton of "free" as they
  are not)

- why would free software distribution support and include software that
  was primarily made for usage of non-free software?! Single fact that
  such software is free does not demand and promote usage of free
  software. See Guidelines.

- MAME® is a U.S. registered trademark, that may be found with the
  by searching for: MAME, serial number: 78578919, where it says:

  Goods and Services      IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S:
  Downloadable computer software that enables the emulation of arcade
  games and their associated hardware, allowing them to run on a general
  purpose computer operating system. FIRST USE: 19981100. FIRST USE IN
  COMMERCE: 19981100

  Owner     (REGISTRANT) Salmoria, Nicola

  And the owner, clearly says on the website:
  "Please note that MAME is a registered trademark of Nicola Salmoria,
  and permission is required to use the "MAME" name, logo or wordmark. "
  which makes the whole software package under that name (MAME®) non-free and
  incompatible with GPL 2.0 -- for example, I cannot sell MAME package
  that I would get from GuixSD, as I would be required special
  permission to use MAME® trademark.

- or Nicola Salmoria could make to the distribution something like what
  KIK INTERACTIVE INC. did to kik package with the NPM: and trademark issues are
  the exact reason why some other packages are not included or have been

- using MAME is endorsement for the use of non-free ROMs, even if there
  would be 1-2 free ROMs, people would come to MAME website and download
  non-free ROMs.

Regarding Wine:

- Wine website is constantly endorsing non-free software, what is easy
  to see from their News: as they
  develop the software to run non-free software, I guess mostly for
  gamers, who don't care about free software philosophy.

- for that same reason I would reject Wine in ALL free software

- single fact that some piece of software is free software, shall not be
  the only factor to consider inclusion of software in free software

- Wine is not "freedom respecting" software (see guidelines), and as
  such, does not demand, rather it encourages users to use non-free

- few exceptional cases may exceptionally download it and run for their
  exceptional uses in the non-free world, without inclusion of Wine in
  the free software distribution.

All written above are my opinion, and not legal advices.

Jean Louis

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