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SubjectIs Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/04/05 12:38 PM



I just read this post over on the Arcade Controls forums and thought it was interesting and worth mentioning here.


In reply to:

I got a copy of a letter today that is being sent by Aaron Giles to vendors on eBay whose auctions got yanked today because of "trademark violations":

From: Aaron Giles [mailto:ebay@mamedev.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:25 AM
Cc: Nicola Salmoria
Subject: Re: VeRO NOTICE: eBay Listing(s) Removed - VeRO Program

We are in the process of auditing auctions that violate the MAME trademark.
We are concerned about a number of auctions which attempt to associate themselves with MAME without having any formal connection to the project.

Based on the abuses we have seen in the auctions on eBay and elsewhere, we are attempting to define rules surrounding the usage of the MAME trademark.

Below is what we currently have defined.

1. You cannot use the trademark "MAME" in the title of your auction.

2. You may use the phrases "compatible with MAME(tm)" or "works with MAME(tm)", but you may only mention it once in your ad.

3. You must not use the trademark "MAME" in the name of your product. This only implies official endorsement and we do not endorse products.

4. You must not use the MAME logo under any circumstances; this again implies official endorsement.

5. You cannot include MAME or a derivative thereof with what you are selling unless you obtain permission. At this time, we are still discussing under what circumstances, if any, MAME will be permitted to be included with commercial products. If you have already requested permission, your request will be answered once a decision has been made.

6. You must not include any unlicensed game software (ROMs or CHDs) or artwork with your product. Furthermore, you must not provide information to those who purchase your product concerning where to obtain unlicensed game software.

7. You must not mislead the buyer with pictures or lists of games that do not come included with your product. Any games or pictures you use must refer to properly-licensed games that are included with the purchased product.

Please note that the situation is evolving, and we will likely be modifying/expanding these rules based on future violations we discover. For more information on the license and trademark, please see http://mamedev.com.

Thank you for your cooperation,
The MAME Development Team



I think I know what the Mame team is trying to do here (protect their trademark) but does anyone else have a problem with some of these terms and think that they're overstepping their authority? I'm curious about #6 and #7 particulary. If I were to package roms or post a picture of a game shouldn't the original game developer and not the Mame team be the ones to have a beef with me?

Thoughts?




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byDukeFett
Posted on06/04/05 12:59 PM



yeah i agree w/ you about 6 and 7, they don't own the games, they have no authority over them at all.



'cause a big nothin it'll be for me


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byTourniquet
Posted on06/04/05 01:31 PM



> I just read this post over on the Arcade Controls forums and thought it was
> interesting and worth mentioning here.

Jesus, we've already had a thread on MAME.net and Arcade Controls.
Do we really need another one here?

It's now MAME's Trademark, defend it or lose it.
This hasn't been drawn up out of thin air, Aaron has had legal advice and this is what needs to be done. If your listing got killed, sorry but you can easily follow the above conditions and get it relisted.



--
Paul


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/04/05 02:07 PM



> > I just read this post over on the Arcade Controls forums and thought it was
> > interesting and worth mentioning here.
>
> Jesus, we've already had a thread on MAME.net and Arcade Controls.
> Do we really need another one here?
>
> It's now MAME's Trademark, defend it or lose it.
> This hasn't been drawn up out of thin air, Aaron has had legal advice and this
> is what needs to be done. If your listing got killed, sorry but you can easily
> follow the above conditions and get it relisted.


I don't usually read mame.net because of all the attitudes and inflated egos there. I did notice the thread on Arcade Controls (duh, I quoted it) but I'm not registered there and didn't feel like registering just to respond.

There were some good points made in the Arcade control thread though.

Moinkeybomb made this point which I think is very valid.

Can HP pull auctions for ink cartridges that are claiming to work with one of their printers? Can Ford pull an auction for floormats if the are listed as fitting nice in a ford mustang?

Oh and for the record, I've never listed any Mame (can I legally say this word anymore?) related items on ebay or anything with roms. I only sell actual game cartridges so this really wont affect me at all on ebay.




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byLando242
Posted on06/04/05 02:39 PM



> yeah i agree w/ you about 6 and 7, they don't own the games, they have no
> authority over them at all.

They don't need authority, its illegal, they are just restating it for the morons and shysters. If you want to get technical only a representative from an applicable government agency can say weather anything is illegal or not, but you still get people saying "distrubiting ROMs is illegal", or "you can't park here" or whatever.

Lando242




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/04/05 02:42 PM



> > yeah i agree w/ you about 6 and 7, they don't own the games, they have no
> > authority over them at all.
>
> They don't need authority, its illegal, they are just restating it for the
> morons and shysters. If you want to get technical only a representative from an
> applicable government agency can say weather anything is illegal or not, but you
> still get people saying "distrubiting ROMs is illegal", or "you can't park here"
> or whatever.
>


Yeah, but what a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Mame starts argueing about trademark infringement.




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byLando242
Posted on06/04/05 02:49 PM



> Yeah, but what a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Mame starts
> argueing about trademark infringement.

AFAIK MAME does not infringe on any trademarks. Its like saying Sony is infringing trademarks if I use one of there DVD players to play bootlegged movies.

Lando242




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/04/05 03:06 PM



> > Yeah, but what a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Mame starts
> > argueing about trademark infringement.
>
> AFAIK MAME does not infringe on any trademarks. Its like saying Sony is
> infringing trademarks if I use one of there DVD players to play bootlegged
> movies.


Bad example. What legitimate function does Mame provide without the use of illegal roms?




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted by[Haze]
Posted on06/04/05 04:53 PM



> > > Yeah, but what a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Mame starts
> > > argueing about trademark infringement.
> >
> > AFAIK MAME does not infringe on any trademarks. Its like saying Sony is
> > infringing trademarks if I use one of there DVD players to play bootlegged
> > movies.
>
>
> Bad example. What legitimate function does Mame provide without the use of
> illegal roms?
>

you can use it with legal roms you've purchased through starroms.

its a technical referenece to the inner workings of various arcade machines

its a historical document detailing what was released when, on what hardware, and by who.

its a useful repair resource, the functions of each rom can be identified from the source and aid in tracking down problems, likewise ram failures can be simulated with simple modifications.

it can be used to identify roms read from unknown, non-working boards and thus what the board should be, and if its worth spending time fixing.

It can be a reference, for example when purchasing boards, comparing the rom names in Mame with those shown on images of the board to determine the verison of it.

MAME has been used for all these things, look beyond the games.

>


Tell Me Why You're Here, I Came To Disappear
http://haze.mame.net/


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted by[Pi]
Posted on06/04/05 05:12 PM



> I think I know what the Mame team is trying to do here (protect their trademark)
> but does anyone else have a problem with some of these terms and think that
> they're overstepping their authority? I'm curious about #6 and #7 particulary.
> If I were to package roms or post a picture of a game shouldn't the original
> game developer and not the Mame team be the ones to have a beef with me?
>
> Thoughts?

MAME is trying to get totally deattached from any illegal activity, hence those 2 points. They're not trying to tell you that you don't have any rights for posting game snaps with your auction or product advertisement, but they are telling you that you can't use the MAME trademark in such situations.

Beyond the fair use, you can't use the trademark as you want, you don't have those rights. And MAMEdevs have now made a set of simple rules which state to which extent they'll allow the trademark to be used and what do they consider fair use. I think that it's a simple and logical step and the rules have been made with a good amount of common sense. I can also agree that they're kind of restrictive, but that should be considered normal compared to the absolute freedom people has had with using the MAME name. But if they want to change the situation of the abuse of the MAME name, they have to start with this kind of actions.

And if you'd go to the thread at mame.net/gen and read the post by Aaron Giles, you'd get more information from the origin.

Just my two or three cents.

Pi - Every Precious Dream and Vision Underneath the Stars
Arcade news, emulator archives and gamelists at CAESAR


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/04/05 07:16 PM




> you can use it with legal roms you've purchased through starroms.
>
> its a technical referenece to the inner workings of various arcade machines
>
> its a historical document detailing what was released when, on what hardware,
> and by who.
>
> its a useful repair resource, the functions of each rom can be identified from
> the source and aid in tracking down problems, likewise ram failures can be
> simulated with simple modifications.
>
> it can be used to identify roms read from unknown, non-working boards and thus
> what the board should be, and if its worth spending time fixing.
>
> It can be a reference, for example when purchasing boards, comparing the rom
> names in Mame with those shown on images of the board to determine the verison
> of it.
>
> MAME has been used for all these things, look beyond the games.
>
> >
>
>
> Tell Me Why You're Here, I Came To Disappear
> http://haze.mame.net/
>

While I'm sure that Mame can do a lot of the things that you mention almost all of these abilities have been added after the fact. When it was first released and even now Mame's primary fuction seems to be to let you play old (and not so old) arcade game roms.

Just for the hell of it I downloaded the latest Mame release which is linked on the front page here. I then went to the docs folder and opened the windows.txt file to read how to use the program. The very first lines of the instructions said;

"Using the program
-----------------

mame [name of the game to run] [options]"


Notice how it didn't give instructions on how to do any of the wonderful things that you listed, no the very first thing it explained how to do was how to run a game.





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted bysmf
Posted on06/05/05 00:22 AM



> While I'm sure that Mame can do a lot of the things that you mention almost all
> of these abilities have been added after the fact. When it was first released
> and even now Mame's primary fuction seems to be to let you play old (and not so
> old) arcade game roms.

The primary function of MAME is what the devs use it for. Most devs do not play games in emulators. I'm not you, so I can't comment on what your primary use of MAME is.

> Notice how it didn't give instructions on how to do any of the wonderful things
> that you listed, no the very first thing it explained how to do was how to run a
> game.

What do you expect? Thats the help for the windows version, if you go in alphabetical order then you'd have found docs/mame.txt.

"----------------
III. Image Files
----------------
ROM, CD, and hard disk images are all copyrighted material. They cannot
be distributed without the explicit permission of the copyright owner. "

smf





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted bysmf
Posted on06/05/05 00:28 AM



> Can HP pull auctions for ink cartridges that are claiming to work with one of
> their printers?

If they infringe on their trademark then yes. Putting HP all over the auction and using their logo. However they probably won't bother. It's a bad analogy though, alot of people that use MAME as part of the auction description are involved in illegal activity. That illegal activity is then associated with MAME. Would you be upset if you got blamed for other peoples crimes?

If you're that bothered then create your own emulator & register the trademark.

smf





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byGriking
Posted on06/05/05 01:08 AM




> > Notice how it didn't give instructions on how to do any of the wonderful
> things
> > that you listed, no the very first thing it explained how to do was how to run
> a
> > game.
>
> What do you expect? Thats the help for the windows version, if you go in
> alphabetical order then you'd have found docs/mame.txt.


Actually I did read that document first but it only contained legal crap, nothing about the program itself and how to use it. The only document that I found that explains how to actually use Mame described how to start a game.




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted by[Haze]
Posted on06/05/05 06:27 AM



>
> > > Notice how it didn't give instructions on how to do any of the wonderful
> > things
> > > that you listed, no the very first thing it explained how to do was how to
> run
> > a
> > > game.
> >
> > What do you expect? Thats the help for the windows version, if you go in
> > alphabetical order then you'd have found docs/mame.txt.
>
>
> Actually I did read that document first but it only contained legal crap,
> nothing about the program itself and how to use it. The only document that I
> found that explains how to actually use Mame described how to start a game.
>

ok, maybe the first versions didn't have all the functions, its called development. first stage , proof of concept , produce something that works , improve software snd usefulness of software from there. Its also a learning experience , what information is useful to have in the drivers , what isn't etc.

you point out the syntax for running mame (which amazingly many people don't seem to understand anyway) the basic fact is that that is the correct way to execute the emulator, and most other command line options are built around that. (-romident being an exception)

The rest of the options are also detailed in appropriate sections.

Aside from that a lot of what I mentioned comes from studying the source anyway, and if you notice the official mame site doesn't even offer binaries, there is simply a note saying if you want them go to mame.net instead.

>


Tell Me Why You're Here, I Came To Disappear
http://haze.mame.net/


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byQun Mang
Posted on06/05/05 02:48 PM



As long as unrelated auctions aren't being pulled, the trademark owners are well within their rights to make the rules of when you're allowed to use their property.

What do I mean by unrelated? Well, they'd better not be pulling/having pulled any auctions for the musical Mame, for example, or a rare first edition of the book Auntie Mame.




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byTourniquet
Posted on06/05/05 03:02 PM




> What do I mean by unrelated? Well, they'd better not be pulling/having pulled
> any auctions for the musical Mame, for example, or a rare first edition of the
> book Auntie Mame.

Nope, they most certainly aren't.


--
Paul


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byDukeFett
Posted on06/05/05 11:35 PM



I hate the holier than thou sentiment that most people in the emulation field have, you know that like 99% or greater of the people that use these products do not own even 1 damn arcade board, let alone everyone they have a rom for.

You say you're doing it for keeping a historical record, what good are records if you cannot use them, no one will EVER use the mapping of an arcade boards inner workings for anything but playing that game, or perhaps using it to figure out how to emulate another arcade board so they can emulate that game.

MAME is great, i just don't see why so many people who are 'high up' with MAME seem to think that anyone actually only emulates the games they own. Get real.

There's no reason for the MAME team to include 6 and 7 in their little legal statement. It's not their responsibility so they have no legal bearing on this issue. They say you can't even drop a name of a game that isn't included in the auction, why not? There are so many ridiculously misleading auctions on eBay, someone looking for a MAME cabinet knows exactly what they are getting, we don't need this BS from the team to just drive people nuts.

'cause a big nothin it'll be for me


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted bygalibert
Posted on06/06/05 08:27 AM



> no one will EVER use the mapping of an arcade boards
> inner workings for anything but playing that game

Lots of people already use mame to help repair real arcade boards.


> There's no reason for the MAME team to include 6 and 7 in their little legal
> statement. It's not their responsibility so they have no legal bearing on this
> issue.

We have every legal right to control what you can do with the name we own, TYVM. If you want to sell things we know are illegal and eventually damaging to the project, we won't let you use the Mame name to help you. What's so hard to understand?

OG.





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byLando242
Posted on06/06/05 07:17 PM




> Bad example.

Not really. Lets say I go to a country where there is little to no legal DVD sales; if I own a DVD player and the only movies I can get are bootlegs wouldn't it be safe to say that my DVD player would have no "legitimate function"? What if I owned a region 2 player in a region one country? Since I could only play imported DVDs (and many companies are trying to make that illegal) wouldn't my player again have no "legitimate function" from the complaies point of view?

> What legitimate function does Mame provide without the use of illegal roms?

MAME plays ROMs, weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not MAMEs job to determine what is legal and what is not. DVD players play movies, weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not the players job to make sure your copy is legit. But what it comes down to in a legal sence is that there are "substantial non-infringing uses", and thats all you need by law.

Just because there is not a large base of established, legal ROM distribution does not mean that the usege of emulators is illegal. VCRs had the very same problem when they were getting off the ground, the movie industry attacked them tooth and nail to kill them, but now they back them as legal and make billions off them.

Lando242




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byskydoune
Posted on06/07/05 00:49 AM




> > There's no reason for the MAME team to include 6 and 7 in their little legal
> > statement. It's not their responsibility so they have no legal bearing on this
> > issue.
>
> We have every legal right to control what you can do with the name we own, TYVM.
> If you want to sell things we know are illegal and eventually damaging to the
> project, we won't let you use the Mame name to help you. What's so hard to
> understand?
>
> OG.
>

To me it sounds like Nullsoft would sue people because they copied WinAMP to a friend with some mp3s... that's the RIAA job, well in the states.

On the other hand, all those warning not to distribute an emu with commercial roms, it must be legal in some way, god I'm even more confused now


Testing underwear in outer space


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted bysmf
Posted on06/07/05 03:04 AM



> To me it sounds like Nullsoft would sue people because they copied WinAMP to a
> friend with some mp3s... that's the RIAA job, well in the states.

No, bad analogy. It's like saying that WinAMP won't allow you to trade using their trademark if you're selling mp3's. Well WinAMP won't allow you to trade using their trademark no matter what because they don't want to let you do that.

I don't see how arguing that you should be able to commit crimes and still be legally allowed to use the MAME trademark are going to get you anywhere.

smf





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted bysmf
Posted on06/07/05 03:09 AM



> There are so many ridiculously misleading auctions on eBay,
> someone looking for a MAME cabinet knows exactly what they are getting,

All MAME cabs on ebay are a rip off. Why would someone want to get ripped off on ebay on purpose?

> we don't need this BS from the team to just drive people nuts.

Who deserves to be driven nuts, people that make no contribution whatsoever or the MAME team ( who own the name ). Maybe you should argue it out with ebay, they seem to agree with us.

smf





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byskydoune
Posted on06/07/05 01:27 PM



all this trademark mombo jumbo is messing with my brain that's all hehe

So I guess if someone would sell something like "Emulator Arcade Cabinet" with mame in it, without mentioning it, it would be ok because he's not using the trademark. I haven't been to law school so please bare with me ;) Sounds legal, hypocrite but legal... Not that I want to sell that kind of stuff, hell I'm keeping my cabinet that doesn't even run mame (I use it for my consoles now) but I'm quite curious about this, and I'm trying to understand eh


Testing underwear in outer space


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byeevert
Posted on06/07/05 01:44 PM



> all this trademark mombo jumbo is messing with my brain that's all hehe
>
> So I guess if someone would sell something like "Emulator Arcade Cabinet" with
> mame in it, without mentioning it, it would be ok because he's not using the
> trademark. I haven't been to law school so please bare with me ;) Sounds legal,
> hypocrite but legal... Not that I want to sell that kind of stuff, hell I'm
> keeping my cabinet that doesn't even run mame (I use it for my consoles now) but
> I'm quite curious about this, and I'm trying to understand eh

Sure, that wouldn't violate the trademark. However, it would violate the MAME license.





Subjectah, touché -nt- new Reply to this message
Posted byskydoune
Posted on06/07/05 05:18 PM



> > all this trademark mombo jumbo is messing with my brain that's all hehe
> >
> > So I guess if someone would sell something like "Emulator Arcade Cabinet" with
> > mame in it, without mentioning it, it would be ok because he's not using the
> > trademark. I haven't been to law school so please bare with me ;) Sounds
> legal,
> > hypocrite but legal... Not that I want to sell that kind of stuff, hell I'm
> > keeping my cabinet that doesn't even run mame (I use it for my consoles now)
> but
> > I'm quite curious about this, and I'm trying to understand eh
>
> Sure, that wouldn't violate the trademark. However, it would violate the MAME
> license.
>



Testing underwear in outer space


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byFakester
Posted on06/09/05 10:16 AM




> > What legitimate function does Mame provide without the use of illegal roms?
>
> MAME plays ROMs, weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not
> MAMEs job to determine what is legal and what is not. DVD players play movies,
> weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not the players job
> to make sure your copy is legit. But what it comes down to in a legal sence is
> that there are "substantial non-infringing uses", and thats all you need by law.
>
> Just because there is not a large base of established, legal ROM distribution
> does not mean that the usege of emulators is illegal.


Actually, under the DMCA, it probably is.

... Calvin Klein's no friend o' mine, don't want nobody's name on my be-hind...


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? Reply to this message
Posted byfinaldave
Posted on06/09/05 03:58 PM



> > To me it sounds like Nullsoft would sue people because they copied WinAMP to a
> > friend with some mp3s... that's the RIAA job, well in the states.
>
> No, bad analogy. It's like saying that WinAMP won't allow you to trade using
> their trademark if you're selling mp3's.

Agreed, that was an analogy missing the point slightly, this is a better analogy to the MAME situation: an advert on eBay saying "WinAMP+MP3s - A special version of WinAMP ready to play back-catalogue of Metallica, included in the same directory, visit www.nullsoft.com for technical info!"

Newsdee's Love, Glory, and Discussion Boards



SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byFakester
Posted on06/11/05 11:10 AM



> > To me it sounds like Nullsoft would sue people because they copied WinAMP to a
> > friend with some mp3s... that's the RIAA job, well in the states.
>
> No, bad analogy. It's like saying that WinAMP won't allow you to trade using
> their trademark if you're selling mp3's. Well WinAMP won't allow you to trade
> using their trademark no matter what because they don't want to let you do that.
>
> I don't see how arguing that you should be able to commit crimes and still be
> legally allowed to use the MAME trademark are going to get you anywhere.


MAME is probably illegal under the DMCA.


... Calvin Klein's no friend o' mine, don't want nobody's name on my be-hind...


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byR. Belmont
Posted on06/11/05 12:27 PM



> MAME is probably illegal under the DMCA.

Nope. Emulators themselves are legal as per Sony v Bleem and Sony v Connectix. Plus there's a DMCA exemption for interoperability with no longer produced hardware.

EUCD is ironically less MAME friendly than DMCA.


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byVideoman
Posted on06/18/05 05:45 PM



> Beyond the fair use, you can't use the trademark as you want, you don't have
> those rights. And MAMEdevs have now made a set of simple rules which state to
> which extent they'll allow the trademark to be used and what do they consider
> fair use.

Except that they don't have the right to make those declarations either - acceptable (non-infringing) use of the marks, absent explicit grants of license to use that mark, are based on current and existing legal precidents. MAMEdev can't arbitrarily state restrictions on use that are more constricting than those allowed by law. It's that simple. Certainly, they do have the ability to grant *more* rights to use their mark, above and beyond what is allowed usage under the law, but that's a slightly different issue.

> And if you'd go to the thread at mame.net/gen and read the post by Aaron Giles,
> you'd get more information from the origin.

Yep. Personally, I find this whole thing funny. Again, MAMEdev shows their: 1) inflated egotistical nature, 2) misunderstanding of law, which results in 3) publically-displayed acts of hypocrasy, of the highest order. This is just too much. LOL!




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byVideoman
Posted on06/18/05 07:25 PM



> > I just read this post over on the Arcade Controls forums and thought it was
> > interesting and worth mentioning here.
>
> Jesus, we've already had a thread on MAME.net and Arcade Controls.
> Do we really need another one here?
>
> It's now MAME's Trademark, defend it or lose it.

Is it really? In what manner of commerce is MAME(tm) involved with, using the mark of MAME(tm)?

As far as the federal trademark registration application goes - http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78578919&action=Request Status
It doesn't even look like it has been viewed by a trademark examiner yet. If/when it is, these dates may be an issue:
"First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)"
I can't tell from the site whether or not those fields are simply blacked-out from viewing during the application process, or whether they weren't present on the original application form. If they weren't present, then my guess is that the registration application is likely to be tossed out on its ear. Just a hunch.

> This hasn't been drawn up out of thin air, Aaron has had legal advice and this
> is what needs to be done. If your listing got killed, sorry but you can easily
> follow the above conditions and get it relisted.

Does that cost more money? I think those ebay'ers, if they were using the mark in a legal manner, should send the bill for the re-listing to MAMEdev. Just IMHO.



Edit: I was wrong, above - the reason for those dates not to be shown, is that the filings was under a "Basis: 1(b)", which is a registration for a trademark that isn't already being used in commerce, but soon will be. So it follows naturally that those dates wouldn't be present, until they are filled in later by a statement of usage regarding the mark.


SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byVideoman
Posted on06/18/05 07:38 PM



> > While I'm sure that Mame can do a lot of the things that you mention almost
> all
> > of these abilities have been added after the fact. When it was first released
> > and even now Mame's primary fuction seems to be to let you play old (and not
> so
> > old) arcade game roms.
>
> The primary function of MAME is what the devs use it for. Most devs do not play
> games in emulators. I'm not you, so I can't comment on what your primary use of
> MAME is.

I've suggested this several times before - MAME should segregate the "ROM descriptor" data out from the actual program, and have it loaded as a sort of meta-data file, which is then subsequently used to load the ROM files. Kind of like HISTORY.DAT, etc.

By not doing so, MAME arguably has a direct "connection" to those ROMs, having their loading and meta-data information directly encoded into the source code of MAME itself, and thus MAME essentially cannot function without them.

Now that MAME has applied for a trade mark, they have to prove that MAME is used commercially to obtain that mark, legally. But if MAME is used commercially, and is directly connected to the various ROMs, by way of the source, and cannot effectively function without them, that that implies logically that MAME's commercial activities are being done, based on the "goodwill" of those ROMs, and thus is an infringement on the rights of the copyright owners of those ROMs. Thus opening MAME up for quite a few lawsuits.

Do some research on "Google News", and how and why there are NO advertisements on that page, at all. The reason why, is that Google walks a very fine line in offering that service, the very same sort of line that MAME walks, by operating based on the copyrighted content of others. As long as that stays 100% non-commercial in nature, then there is a legal defense. But now MAME has abandoned that defense, in a prima-facie way, by applying for a federal trade mark on MAME, implying commercial usage.

Good luck guys. I hope MAMEdev has a good lawyer.

> ROM, CD, and hard disk images are all copyrighted material. They cannot
> be distributed without the explicit permission of the copyright owner. "
>
> smf

Nor can they be used legally as the basis for some third-party to profit off of. In essence, MAMEdev is being supremely hypocritical here, because the *same* reasoning that they are using to smackdown ebay auctions for using MAME, is the *same* reasoning that any one of the many game companies who's games are found referenced by MAME, could lay the smackdown on the MAME project itself. It could end up so supremely gutted, that the only thing left is a testdriver for a homebrew game. That would be ironic indeed. MAME started small.. and could end small.




SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byVideoman
Posted on06/18/05 07:50 PM



>
> > Bad example.
>
> Not really. Lets say I go to a country where there is little to no legal DVD
> sales; if I own a DVD player and the only movies I can get are bootlegs wouldn't
> it be safe to say that my DVD player would have no "legitimate function"? What
> if I owned a region 2 player in a region one country? Since I could only play
> imported DVDs (and many companies are trying to make that illegal) wouldn't my
> player again have no "legitimate function" from the complaies point of view?
>
> > What legitimate function does Mame provide without the use of illegal roms?
>
> MAME plays ROMs, weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not
> MAMEs job to determine what is legal and what is not. DVD players play movies,
> weather your copy is legal or not is besides the point; its not the players job
> to make sure your copy is legit. But what it comes down to in a legal sence is
> that there are "substantial non-infringing uses", and thats all you need by law.

On the other hand, DeCSS has been banned (not that I agree with that decision, mind you), when in fact, it was intended for the purpose of "substantial non-infringing uses" - playing DVDs on Linux. But the fact that it was an software embodiment of a device designed to circumvent copy-protection measures (as is MAME!), then it was found infringing and essentially "banned" by a court of law. MAME really isn't in a different boat, no matter how interested parties want to paint it that way. It's designed to crack protection measures, used to protect copyrighted content, to ensure that it is only played using an "approved" device - namely, the original arcade board. NOT an emulator.

So while MAME might have a valid use IFF it were used PURELY for repairing ORIGINAL arcade boards, such that when the games were played, they weren't played on the computer, but rather on those (repaired, if need be) arcade boards - that's not the reality. MAME is primarily (IMHO) designed to allow playing those games on a computer, any computer, apart from the devices that the games were originally intended to only be played on (by way of various protection / lockout mechanisms implemented on the original hardware.)

> Just because there is not a large base of established, legal ROM distribution
> does not mean that the usege of emulators is illegal. VCRs had the very same
> problem when they were getting off the ground, the movie industry attacked them
> tooth and nail to kill them, but now they back them as legal and make billions
> off them.
>
> Lando242

Do you see MAME being used as a primary means for development or distribution of new game content? I certainly don't. (Exception for some small quality of non-commercial homebrew games and hacks noted.)

So in short, MAME is designed for infringement. If MAME were designed *only* for use in repairing and then playing *original* game boards, then MAME would and could easily be disabled from "playing" games on PCs, and limited solely to diagnostic functionality instead. The proof is in the code, should anything like this ever be played out in court.





SubjectRe: Is Mame Overstepping their Authority Here? new Reply to this message
Posted byVideoman
Posted on06/18/05 07:52 PM



> > MAME is probably illegal under the DMCA.
>
> Nope. Emulators themselves are legal as per Sony v Bleem and Sony v Connectix.
> Plus there's a DMCA exemption for interoperability with no longer produced
> hardware.
>
> EUCD is ironically less MAME friendly than DMCA.

Don't forget that Canada (and I think Sweden) are now getting their own DMCA laws soon. The interoperability exception is up for review in 2006, if it doesn't get renewed, does that mean that MAME will die or "go underground" at that point, should development continue?




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