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

From: Taylan Ulrich Bayırlı/Kammer
Subject: Re: MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:58:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Jean Louis <address@hidden> writes:

> [...]
> Including MAME or any other emulator, even though non-free as such, if
> such emulator is practically of no use to free software users without
> non-free additions or parts, firmware, blobs, or ROMs, is giving
> incentive to free software users to use non-free.
> [...]

For the record, we have a couple Nintendo emulators in games.scm.  In
particular I packaged Nestopia and Mupen64Plus a while back, and was
planning to add higan once I have a solution to its license issue...

These would have to go as well I suppose, if MAME will have to go.
They're clearly for playing non-free games, at least as far as I'm

I don't have a strong opinion on the outcome of this.  Gaming is one
thing where I personally tolerate non-free software out of a lack of
meaningful alternatives.  (The artistic value of a well-made video game
cannot be duplicated, in contrast to its technical features as software,
which can be re-implemented.)  Having such emulators in the main package
repository is convenient for people like me, but I can't demand for this
to be supported by the project.

By the way, I'm no parenting expert, but I know that if I tried to
prohibit my child siblings from using their smartphones, tablets,
MS Windows laptops, and PlayStation, for playing non-free games and
using non-free software based services like YouTube, it would seem like
a stupid limitation to them "because everyone else does it" and they
would just go to their friends to do these things anyway.  It would just
not work.


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