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Re: Free emulators that run free games

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On 11/11/2010 09:12 PM, Damian Yerrick wrote:
> There exist emulators distributed under a free software license that
> run games designed for NES.  There also exist games for NES that
> are free software and other games for NES that are proprietary yet
> licensed by the author for distribution over the Internet.  So if the
> emulator is free, and the users have "express written permission" to
> make and distribute copies of the ROMs, would the emulators become
> acceptable for inclusion?  If not, why not?  The wiki page didn't
> link to any archived discussion on legal establishing the context
> behind this policy.

We deal with such items on a case by case basis, but in the case of the
"Nintendo" emulators, it is clear that the use of such emulators is
primarily for use with non-free ROMs, and the few exceptions (27 games
on the website link you propose, compared to the thousands of illegal
ROMS for the NES platform) do not fundamentally meet the criteria here.

Also, in the case of Nintendo, their stance on such emulators is well
documented, which increases the risk of lawsuit on Red Hat significantly:

http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp

To be succinct, it is not worth the likely risk of lawsuit to include
"Nintendo" emulators, even if the emulators themselves are in a grey
area, defending against such a lawsuit would be extremely costly.

~spot
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