February 25th, 2012
Just spreading the rant...
So, what's this connection I mentioned? Well, I got a link to a document from KEEP. It stands for "KEEPING EMULATION ENVIRONMENTS PORTABLE" and it's EU-funded project aimed at preserving old games (well, multimedia in general). In theory it's great news that there are organizations like that and at least some politicians and/or civil servant could be convinced to fund them. In reality though the situation looks pretty grimm still.
Here's a link: http://www.keep-project.eu/ezpub2/in...s/Newsletter-4
I wrote about this several times already but I feel like I need to keep reminding you, and myself, every now and then - so that you don't take things for granted. I urge you people to read this document, it's not all that long. After I did, I came to realise three things:
1) These guys have money.
Apparently got more than 3 million euro so far. You can tour the world with it and have open, free meetings for people. Make no mistake, I'm not saying it's bad, far from it - we need people to understand what's at stake and what the problems are. I just hope this is not the only thing the money were used for.
2) All they did is code UI in JAVA.
Yes, the greatest achievement so far is some silly-looking UI for a couple of open-source emulators. I mean, seriously, most of the document praises this... thing... as if it was the ultimate solution to game preservation. I've seen high-school projects more ambitious than this. Are the authors of WinUAE or VICE aware that KEEP is using their work? I'm not sure so I might be somewhat out of line here, but it really angers me when open-source projects are used like this, just because these are free. Free as in free beer in this case.
3) They are fully aware it's illegal.
At least they worked that out. Even went as far as to specifically point out legal status of bypassing copy protection in Germany and France, and the fact that there are no exceptions, whatsoever, for individuals doing research. I'm willing to bet there were games for Amiga and C64 that were copy-protected, and that authors of WinUAE and VICE had to study those in order to properly emulate. Now, if you can play a game in emulator that was stored on a floppy or a tape in a way that prevented copying, then surely this system has now been bypassed. So, it's illegal. And yet... no-one cares if it's KEEP? I mean, if I was to throw a conference like this and show Makaron working, then I'd most likely have lawyers (and possibly police) knocking on my door the next morning.
Please spread this little rant of mine. I'd like to have these KEEP people made aware of my own existence, and all the other people that were doing emulation and preservation long before they even had the idea. And we are all individuals working for free in our spare time, to beat the clock. Because some of the systems are becoming dust as we speak and soon there won't be anything left to preserve. Whether it's dumping or emulation, we often have to bypass original protection systems to get results, which is illegal. As is storing software you're not licensed to have, even if it's the last copy on Earth. We have the skills and knowledge to do these things and must keep a low-profile, whereas organizations like KEEP do very little to actually change the law but have no problems boasting success when using existing emulators.
If you think I'm overreacting then just answer yourself this little question: What would KEEP be able to show during these meetings if they did not use free emulators? That's right, nothing. Not even that UI since there would be no point to it without actual emulation. And systems and games that were researched and dumped long before they started. I really love the idea of raising awareness on horrible laws we have and all, but to me it feels like KEEP is trying to grab the money while reinventing the wheel. Rather than try and help/fund/coordinate existing projects, they take what is free and claim to have done all the dirty work. As if.
2 comments on "Regarding KEEP (Keeping Emulation Enviroments Portable)"
Good idea, bad execution... I guess that's all you can say.
Hard core Rikki
Man, time to hit up the hills and get some research funds. Screw the rant, we need a call to arms. Emudevs could make legendary conferences.
Originally Posted byDamn nothing. 5, even 10 years is barely enough to document a single platform. Multiply that, and the only viable approach becomes to combine existing implementations and forego research completely (defeating the purpose, given KEEP would require accuracy higher than just approximative compatibility).
What would KEEP be able to show during these meetings if they did not use free emulators?
The saddest in this is that EU couldve just funded MAME and be done with it.