> > While I'm sure that Mame can do a lot of the things that you mention almost
> > 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
> > 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. "
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.