Discussion: Legally releasing Gambit

Most of you have read the article on the Palm Gameboy emulator: Gambit. What are some ways to release the emulator legally, without encouraging illegal copies of roms and how to aviod upsetting Nintendo, which isn't very keen on emulators. Post your ideas or possible solutions, who knows your input may help get the emulator released sooner.

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A task for the user.

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/6/1999 5:38:26 PM #
I think the standard for emulator releases has been to tell users that they are responsible for:
1) purchasing the cartridge, AND
2) securing the appropriate ROM, AND
3) coming to terms with the license/piracy issue.

It is noble of you to try to protect the user from being exposed to these issues, but I think they should expect it. Don't open yourself up to trouble by linking to the ROM repositories or shipping ROMs with your app.


I can only agree

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/6/1999 10:52:26 PM #
The other fellow has it right. Emulators are not illegal but putting links on your web site to Rom sites etc is asking for it.

Just simply release the emulator by itself with a test cardrige that you made yourself. Then it is up to the user to obtain the roms "legally".

Nintendo... Nintendo... Nintendo...

Aaron Ardiri (ardiri@hig.se) @ 9/7/1999 4:13:35 AM #
I had a read of Nintendo's web site, under their section they have specifically for "piracy" - one of the main clauses is the fact that they are trying to remove "emulators" from the market - they will focus on ROM ftp servers later. I dont know how Nintendo feels about the release of GameBit, as it is very easy to obtain illegal ROMS from various ftp servers..

I would suggest that Maven contacts Nintendo about the emulator, asking what and how he should get this out to the PalmPilot community.

Release the source code, make it look like a "teaching experience" on emulation of z80 code (specifically the gameboy) and they might be more leniant.

With the release of the *new* gameboy (in 2000), they may not even care.. :>

I have had "discussions" on the news groups relating to Nintendo about "piracy" - when i ported the Game and Watch games to the PalmPilot. My argument was that i wrote the games from scratch, and simply emulated (without ROMS) the original games.

With GameBit, you require ROM files.. This means that the emulator is totally legal (unless you ripped the boot ROMS - or have used 'undocumented' methods to decrypt ROM files) - but its use requires additional ROM files installed, which introduces the "illegal aspects".

I guess it is up to the courts to decide if the developer of GameBit is trying to promote piracy - even if he has no intend of it. Supplying the emulator means piracy will occur.

Release it to the public domain, document the techniques, and make it an 'educational' program. You will save yourself a lot of hardship this way.

// az



Gambit beta release!

Seth Cleaver @ 9/8/1999 2:05:33 AM #
I was thinking that there might be some people out there like me who couldn't be bothered to buy a gameboy because I wouldn't use it but if there is an emulator out there for my Palm I would be interested an would even buy some games to use with the emulator.

Therefore Nintendo aren't going to suffer its a plus for them becuase I will for one will probably buy some of their games that otherwise I would not buy!


kappy @ 9/8/1999 3:18:58 AM #
I hope after holding my breath for months waiting for the palm emu I wasn't just pissing in the wind.
Maven you never did answer my other Q's on the other thread "unclear points".
But I agree with the other posts about releasing the source, this could take
some work off your hands and use the net like like it was intended (everyone works together), other people could improve Gambit.
Nintendo WILL most likely protest, but releasing the source would be "legal" for educational purposes.
I would love to play Zelda on the palm...so I'm still waiting :)


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