> > 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.
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.