Random email about mame.dk

13:06 Sun 09 Apr 2006. Updated: 19:14 23 Feb 2009
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A few years ago, I wrote this article about mame.dk closing. (mame.dk was a site hosting game files for MAME, an arcade game emulator.) I get more email in reference to that article than, I think, anything else I’ve put up. Most of the email is in agreement with my viewpoint, and some ask for where one can get ROMs now (sadly, I have no idea). Last week I got a negative email, from “Mark”, and decided to post it and my reply.

“Mark”‘s email:

>”www.mame.dk has stopped allowing downloads from its collection of MAME ROMs, the most complete resource of them on the Web, in response to legal threats from a “copyright holder”.

>This pisses me off. MAME is a fantastic”

Get a life! People make their living writing software and it dosen’t matter how old or obselete you think it is, dosn’t give you the right to steal it.

My response:

You appear to think that the essence of theft is getting something for nothing. It’s not. The essence of stealing something is depriving someone else of it. The concept of theft, or of stealing, simply does not apply to things like ideas and expressions that can be copied. To attempt to make it apply is to warp the meaning of the term, and is also an attempt to obscure the difference in favor of the copyright holders.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that copyright infringement is right (or wrong). It just means that, whether it’s right or wrong, it is not ‘theft’, but something different.

It is something different, something relatively new, and something that is clearly in flux, which is why the laws concerning copyright have altered significantly in most countries over the last one hundred years. The merits of these legal changes are certainly debatable. It’s also worthwhile to consider what changes to them would be better for society in general. The question of what would be most beneficial to society in the particular area of MAME ROMs is essentially what I was addressing in the article you reference—a question you didn’t really address, even implicitly, in your email.

4 Responses to “Random email about mame.dk”

  1. Ismael Says:

    03.18.07. Almost 5 years now since the mame.dk article in 02′, and I’m sending you a response to the negative email by Mark, you received in 06′. You had me think of what stealing is. It’s arguable but, I agree with your description. I also noticed a change in writing demeanor in your first article to the latter. It is improved, to a higher degree. I have not come across any of your other blogs and may never do so. I googled mame.dk, and your articles were on the top 3 links. You may get responses for years to come, or I may be the last. Whatever the case may be, I hope you come across your favorite games of all time. If not for you, for your children. I want my kids to enjoy the games I loved and played as a child. Heck, I still like playing those old games now and then. Anyhow, I leave you to your work. You have yourself a good day.

    PS. if you ever come across that library of games, you gimme a holler.

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Thank you for the comment and praise. I’m glad you found my post thought-provoking! As for finding the library, I haven’t found any replacement for mame.dk, but you could try searching Google for “dvd mame roms”—some of those results might prove useful.

  3. Jazz Says:

    Mame.dk is still fondly remembered and it’s now almost 8 years on.

    I thought your post above was well written and thought out. Makes a good argument.

    There are many emu sites with mame roms out there but alas none are worthy of mame.dk.

  4. bendermaster Says:

    Aaah, games, they’ve taken so much of my precious lifetime already. I wonder if I’ll get a bonusgame when I die =P

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