Sega Dreamcast, Saturn And Mega Drive Hardware Coming From Retro-Bit in 2018

Discussion in 'Everything else' started by Ian J, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    And anyway the creation and use of emulators is an ethically grey area to begin with... ironic... but yes we all use emulation...

    Anyhow ED does try to follow an honest path. Not many do nowadays...

    I think autchere should talk in private with ed instead of throwing this out in public. But it is some much needed drama on these somewhat stilled boards recently... munch, munch... mmm popcorn...
     
  2. Autechre

    Autechre Member

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    People should stop throwing this in emulator developers' faces, especially when it's untrue -

    https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/Lar...make_the_Right_Way_Chrono_Trigger_Edition.php

    So no, less and less people are falling for this weak propaganda, and it's starting to break through into the mainstream.

    I was all too willing to discuss this in private. What I didn't expect was that two months later, I would find on the frontpage store something like this, after everything that has been said and done, showing that even the head moderator/leader of this site has learned exactly NOTHING from the article.

    I feel personally disappointed, insulted and demotivated by people I presume to be honest brokers still engaging in the same crap, and that's when it starts to seem like they are perpetrating a practical joke on me. I do not take well to that, and that is what I feel is going on here. If I'm wrong, then I certainly don't see the products being pulled from sale, so all I can arrive back to is that somebody is laughing all the way to the bank.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  3. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

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    I'm embarrassed that my anxiety about the Pyra got the better of me back there. I'd like to apologize for freaking out.

    Of course the licenses in question are important, but I don't think ED is the type of person to violate them, at least not on purpose. I'm sure he'll do something about this issue.
     
  4. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    This statement is so wrong. Think about running powerpc software on an Intel Mac: unethical ? Dumping your Megadrive cartridge and playing it on a hacked Vita: unethical ?
    I didn't think I would ever need to have that argument on these boards.
     
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  5. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    @EvilDragon ED please have a look at this thread and resolve this please. pretty disappointed here too, I thought this whole mess was already cleared up and ED would stop selling shady stuff like this? (why do rpi3s need to come with emulator software at all? installing some binaries is soooo easy, apt-get or no apt-get)
     
  6. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Member

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    ED will be along shortly with some excuses and smiley faces and all will be ok.I hope Craigix is not involved in this! j/k:p
     
  7. pmprog

    pmprog Advanced Member

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    Really? Why do you think people are buying the "minis" and "classics"... Because they don't want to do that. I've seen places that not only sell the pi with emulators installed, but also filled with all the ROMs they probably torrented...
     
  8. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Sure there are probably places selling illegal things. I think we don't want ED's shop to be in the same bag.
     
  9. NetBLOKS

    NetBLOKS Finally on-board

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    @Autechre If I remember correctly, ED normaly wipes devices with licence problems and sells them with just the OS installed and a script for installing the emulators.
    At least that was the case with all the GPD stuff he sells.
    He is an honorable businessman, give him the chance to explain himself.
    And do something about your anger management.
     
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  10. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    exactly my point. if you are too lazy and/or stupid to set it up, then get a freaking console or mini. rpi was not made to please fratboys that want to play some NINTENDUH with their bros. it was made to enable people easy accessible hardware for homebrew/hacking/learning how to compute. there is enough iDumb devices out there for those who are unwilling to learn and especially for those who do not want to learn about open source and licensing.
     
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  11. Wally

    Wally I am a banana! Staff Member

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    @Autechre I would suggest you please be patient as time is a precious thing (even for those who are running shops and moderating forums), I don't think Michael would overlook this and is likely on his never ending to-do list, not to mention his IRC presence since last year has been lacking where as normally he'd be very active which is a very good indicator that a lot is on.
    It'll be looked into, just not now.
     
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  12. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Yay, the war continues... okay, let me start with everything. I'll split it into two posts.

    First, regarding RetroBit:

    1. The deal autechre is talking about

    The deal RetroBit and autechre were working on, was PURELY for the work on RetroArch itself (as SNES9x, etc. can't be licensed anyways). While RetroArch is GPLv3 and COULD be used for commercial purposes anyways (if the sourcecode is being released, which they agreed to me at least they'll do), RetroBit wanted to give something back (links on the website, a "powered by RetroBit", even a small profit share).
    I haven't followed their discussions (as autechre requested that I am not involved and CC'ed), I have heard from RetroBit that the profit share autechre would like to get per sold unit was very high - even higher than anything a license holder for the game gets and higher than the profit they make themselves with the unit.
    So yeah, they would've had to increase the price to an amount that no one buys it anymore.

    Please note: I do NOT know the details and why the deal failed according to autechre, I just know that Ron said that to me, and as I've been left out of the discussion per autechrens request, I can not say much more here.


    2. The emulators

    There are actually three emulators that are problematic:
    SNES, MegaDrive/Genesis and MAME.

    While MAME has been made open for commercial usage a few years ago, most of the systems use an older MAME version which is NOT licensed to be used commercially.
    That's why we (yes, I'll help with the testing) are now looking into using a more recent version of MAME. While these have become more accurate and therefore slower on older systems, it could be that the games RetroBit licensed would still be fast enough.
    We'll check that.

    SNES will be removed with the next version of the RetroCade until a solution is found.
    Solutions RetroBit are currently thinking of is licensing higan (which can be licensed) and either using a faster CPU with future multigameconsole-releases or looking for a paid developer who will write a new emulator. Their games don't need any custom or special chips emulation, so basic SNES emulation would be enough.
    AFAIK they also wanted to ask the author of Higan whether he would be willing to make higan playable (sacrificing accuracy) as a paid job.

    Genesis is an interesting thing.
    While autechre claims it can't licensed, there are different views about that.
    Genesis-GX WAS GPL before but have been relicensed (didn't even know that works), but the authors CAN actually license the emulator to companies for commercial purposes.

    There's an interesting post here on the GIT of Genesis-GX:
    https://github.com/ekeeke/Genesis-Plus-GX/issues/111

    ekeeke is the author of Genesis-Plus-GX and twinaphex is non other than autechren.
    It's made pretty clear here they can license the emulator to any company they like.

    On the other side, Sega has also released classic MegaDrive games running on Android (using an emulator).
    As RetroBit is working together with Sega, it could also be possible they can use this emulator.
    I can even imagine that it's a licensed version of Genesis Plus GX

    The RetroCade only has ONE Genesis game included anyways, so this could also be easily scrapped.


    3. In the long run...

    So in the short run (for the next release of the Super Retrocade), the SNES games will probably be replaced by other games (that can be used with a licensed emulator).

    MAME will be checked (and as autechren posted himself:
    "They'd rather even consider scrapping the entire product altogether" - true. If it can't be released legally for a reasonable price, they'll scrap it, as it would either be illegal or make a loss.

    In the long run, RetroBit is looking for their own field engineer (not using a chinese contractor) to have more controls over the development, licensing and own programming.

    They're also looking into FPGAs for future systems. These are only ideas yet though, we'll see what the future brings.

    The important thing is that they're trying to get the system fully legal.


    4. Some more thoughts.

    Well, there is something I find a bit disturbing over all that...

    Yes, the RetroN5, RetroFreak, SuperRetroCade, etc. are / were not respecting licenses, which is pretty annoying and any dev involved has the full right to complain about that.

    However, they all tried to offer LEGAL emulation to normal non-techy customers.

    Then again, there are so many manufacturers (like the Pandora Box (https://geekculture.co/geek-review-pandora-box-4s-arcade-game-console/)) which have not even illegally used the emulators, but include thousands of illegal games as well...
    And NO one complains about these?

    So yay, let's bash the ones who are at least TRYING to get things right but ignore the REAL bad guys here?

    That is a bit sad in my opinion.
    And no, I don't want to use that as a defense for what RetroBit, etc. did. What they did wasn't right.
    But I still think this is worse.

    BTW:
    If you want to read some controverse stuff about autechren (or Twinaphex, as he also is nicknamed), check his... "fan" site:
    https://retroarchleaks.wordpress.com

    These are IRC logs from stuff he posted there. You might see him in a different light now.

    Okay, I'll have to leave now, will post more about the TimeMachine later.
     
  13. Autechre

    Autechre Member

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    Wow. And here I thought you actually had good intent. Guess it's par for the course considering how much 'backstabbing' you get in this slime-infested 'huckster retro scene'.

    Whatever it takes to pay off that debt that Craigix sattled you with, eh? Is this how the creator of the Pyra/OpenPandora is going to treat opensource authors by openly siding against them and siding with the low-down shady two-bit salesmen instead? Don't be surprised if you won't get support then for your handheld projects.

    Know what's so sad about all this? All people will take from this, is that open source software is a sure fire way to get abused and taken advantage of by low-down shady entrepreneurs. So if you want the well to dry up, by all means continue on this parasitic path, but you'll happen to find that respect and support is a two-way street. You don't show any of it to others, you won't get any back either.

    Complete nonsense, and you had heard wrong or weren't updated then since that was not the final percentage that they negotiated on, and we were willing to take a meagre percentage, PROVIDED they obliged by the GPLv3. Which they have no interest in doing as it transpires, just like all the rest.

    And the minute it appeared that they might have to uphold an anti-TIVOization clause in the GPLv3 and that no amount of money was going to make me look the other way and break our own license, they were out anyway. None of you have good intent in the end anyway, it's all about abusing the host.

    Corporate usage of RetroArch is not going to be 'lock it down and have nobody tinker with it'. If you want that, you need to find yourself another project that doesn't have anti-TIVOization rules in place. GPLv3 was designed to ensure consumers and techies still have that right, and that hardware is not a black box they cannot tinker with.

    I'm so sorry that some meagre percentages are not enough to basically nullify and void the rights of hundreds of contributors to our project. Golly gee, that must make me such a bad person, that I am not willing to take clear anti-TIVOization clauses in a license and go 'hey, RetroBit guy wants to pay me royalties, so I better pretend like those don't exist, eh?'.

    I'm sorry, I have integrity and I'm not screwing over my teammembers. That is why despite all the low-grade slander and demonization that is done, people ultimately respect and trust me. If you want to use RetroArch, you have to respect and follow the rules the GPLv3 sets forth. If a company cannot do that or is unwilling to do that, tough luck. No amount of money offered can change the fact they need to follow these rules.

    Again, that is you releasing more FUD. They simply don't want to follow standard GPL version 3 license stipulations. It has nothing to do with a 'reasonable price' or 'released legally', they simply cannot accept that you cannot take a codebase that hundreds of contributors contributed code to, and then 'gut' certain crucial parts of that license like anti-TIVOization. Simply put, you cannot lock up a codebase that was epxressly made to right the wrongs of TIVO devices that would take the Linux kernel and then lock it up again so you couldn't modify it. That is exactly what GPLv3 is designed to combat.

    So while they want to drink from the deep well of open source and view it as a profit center where you don't have to kick anything downstream to the actual creators, they don't want the necessary responsibilities or license stipulations that ensures everything remains free and nobody can gain an unfair advantage. Typical, but GPL was not designed to please parasitic corporate usage like this, and no amount of money is going to turn it into BSD-lite either.

    As it is, Retro Bit's Super Retro Cade is already violating the GPLv3's anti-TIVOization clauses by basically being a TIVO-ized box. And they already started selling this since December. You cannot right a wrong after it has already been perpetrated. And what certainly does NOT make you look better is if despite all that has went on, you continue telegraphing to everybody you are not willing to do it right and you just look at these projects as a meal ticket, and not like equal opportunity partners.

    Hate to burst your bubble. but that is never going to run acceptable on the crap hardware they have. It won't even run acceptable on a desktop-class PC.

    On the contrary, I always send people Ekeeke's way if/when they want to make some license sale. So don't start lying now to make yourself look better.

    Not that it matters since none of you who used this software and started selling it in this capacity ever cut him a license deal to begin with, so it's all hypotheticals and just trying to correct some window dressing after you have already started the initial sale. It's scummy business and you know it.

    What kind of nonsense is this? Why do you keep bringing back old topics that is old water under the bridge and stuff that isn't even relevant to the conversation just in order to spread more FUD?

    You don't even know what you're talking about or how these things tie together in the first place.

    I repeat again, I have always tried to send people ekeeke's way in case he wanted to make a license sale. But note, that is not what you and other entrepreneurs did in the first place - you straight up took that software in its non-commercial form without paying so much as a dime for it.

    Don't try to create attack vectors here just to deflect from the actual wrongdoing you are committing, especially when those attack vectors lead to nowhere and it's simply some ignorant person coming in from the outside without bothering to do any research. We have good amicable relations with Ekeeke, and I defended him against similar profiteering way back in 2011.

    It isn't a 'licensed version' of Genesis Plus GX and I know that for a fact, don't talk on subject matters you have zero understanding of.

    And that Android-based Genesis emulator has been almost universally panned by now, by all means if they want the quality of their emulation even worse, they should totally go and do that. A Unity-based C# Genesis emulator must run great on cheap ARM hardware!

    Same scenario as with MAME, that will never run acceptably.

    There was nothing "legal" about the emulation they provided, and neither is the Time Machine device you are selling right now. It is LITERALLY a Raspberry Pi 3 thrown into a joystick case. Zero software engineering by those 1 to 10 people working in a 'store'. What it is, quite clearly, is parasitism and shady business to the nth degree.

    It's quite embarrassing when a guy from Germany can't write proper English. And what's with the misspelling all the time of a nickname?

    So now you're resorting to unsubstantiated slander and spreading FUD as well just to try to demonize me? Wow.

    You turned out to be shadier and more lowdown than I thought. Guess it's apparent which side you are on - the shady vulture low-down entrepreneur, not the actual creators.

    Honestly dude, don't do this whole 'playing to your audience' and all this deflection and scapegoating. This doesn't make you look better, if anything, it makes it seem like you have something to hide and to overcompensate you need to throw the other person's character into doubt.

    Forget you and me ever talked amicably, and you can forget about any support for the Pyra or OpenPandora handhelds now. I am dropping support for that like a stone.

    Yeah, wonder what kind of crap you can spin around that. Not that it matters since I won't be around to read it anyway. Tell your fans whatever yarn or fantasy they want to hear, there is no way in Hell that Snes9x, Final Burn Alpha, or any old MAME core can be 'licensed', it cannot be sold, and they sure as hell did not pay Ekeeke a dime for Genesis Plus GX.

    I want nothing to do with you anymore considering the kind of character you have shown to the entire world you are. As if it isn't bad enough the 'aloof' way you present this crap, you resort to demonization and unsubstantiated slander as well. I could say some choice words but I think it's best for all involved if I just leave instead since it's pretty apparent you lack class and character and are mainly concerned about parasitizing and profiting off projects that do not want it, and just because 'you want to make money' with your shady biz partners.

    You have learned nothing from that article, you don't care to respect the actual creators or make them feel comfortable with your selling antics, and you are unwilling to learn anything either since you are a mirror image of these shady crony entrepreneurs. I guess it was not only Craigix that lacked integrity in the end. Consider this the last time you and me ever talk again, as I have seen your true character emerge now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  14. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    I hope ED won't waste his time answering this post (his time is worth so much more) and only give us details about the TimeMachine.

    You don't need to worry about that. I for example don't have 1% of your skills in developing software but will still be supporting the Pyra project in documentation, support, scripts, translations for example. We are a small but involved community.

    Not nice to attack on abilities to speak a foreign language. It's not easy to keep up with your nicknames, you seem to use a lot.

    Now I'm hoping you keep your word on that one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
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  15. JDTAY

    JDTAY Half Pepperoni, All Cheese

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    Wait, you're telling me EvilDragon is... evil?? :confused:

    On a more serious note, I feel like Autechre is probably right, but I'm also not inclined to put up much of a fight against the mythical creature that delivered Pandora when mortals failed to, and is now hard at work to bring us Pyra. I guess I believe in moral capital, where your good deeds can make up for your bad ones. I mean, it sounds like a shady system, but it's not like anyone is without sin. Better to put evil dragons to work for our own good.
     
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  16. Autechre

    Autechre Member

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    Not that it's relevant, but I come from the Netherlands, a neighboring country of Germany no less, so it's not like English is my native language either and I know for a fact that English is pretty much considered a compulsory secondary language in both countries. So there is literally zero excuse here, especially if one purports to be a businessman.
     
  17. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

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    Not everyone is (nor is required to be) as skilled as you, please accept that fact.
     
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  18. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    woah... okay that escalated quickly. I think @EvilDragon 's reasoning is plausible and he gave you enough cooperation and good will to justify the outcome. It's an ongoing process and I am still convinced, that ED is going to try persistently and pro-actively, to make all of this right. That he pointed out what kind of a person you are @Autechre by linking some chatlogs was a bad move in my opinion, but the way you react and start slinging shit towards people who are trying to cooperate with you, I really don't need to read those logs to get what EDs point is.

    Step down from your shiny horse and stop the hysterical rampage, it is not helping your cause at all.

    Apart from that, I think autechres intentions are to be taken very seriously. The lax attitude towards open source licensing issues is hurting us all in the long run and abusing peoples hard mostly unpaid work to make a quick buck or a hip gadget. So I am willing to accept his outrage as a consequence to the long history of abuse.

    Still we need to stay on the ground here and stop personal attacks right now.
     
  19. Autechre

    Autechre Member

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    There has been very little 'cooperation' going on. Most of the time they just think that playing a business version of Catfish causes you to drop and ignore the parts of the GPL they choose to not like or not want to follow. There is almost zero intent by these companies to do things the right and proper way, they just want to make a quick buck and they don't care how they have to get it.

    I had to be specifically reminded by one of my teammembers to remind that company that EvilDragon mentioned that they would need to abide by the anti-TIVOization clause of the GPLv3. I thought that would speak for itself, apparently they start to freak out the moment it becomes apparent they cannot just make another locked-down TIVO box out of RetroArch. So what do they think open source is there for? A case of 'take whatever you want, try to shop out the parts you don't like, make max profit'? That is not how it works. And you don't start selling incompatibly licensed together works and then worry later about 'doing it all right'. A license violation caused in December 2017 is still a license violation in March 2018. And in the meantime said company is laughing all the way to the bank while creating some BS about wanting to 'rectify the issue' (for which you have zero substantial promises that something is actually being done).

    And as of this moment, Super Retro Cade is indeed violating the GPLv3 by basically TIVOizing RetroArch, and apparently there seems to be little willingness to honor this part of it either. They'd rather prefer even scrapping it outright vs. actually honoring their commitments and making sure that the GPL software they use is being used in a license-compatible way. Such 'legit' way of doing business - let's start selling a product with RetroArch, then when the author contacts you and reminds you that you need to respect anti-TIVOization clauses of the GPLv3, then go 'nah I don't like that part of the GPL - even though I pretend to be abiding by the rules of the GPL, but only if it's GPLv2 because I like to have my cake and eat it! Oh damn, so GPLv3 compels us to give up something and there are no easy loopholes to exploit! Let's try to cancel the product and let's try to go with something else'. Maybe the only language these companies indeed understand is litigation, since you don't have to expect good conduct from these startup companies.

    Imagine the joy of having to go through this process. Time and time. And time again. Always the same bullshit. Always the same entrepreneurial antics. Always the same empty promises. Always having your faith in humanity destroyed. And that's where I come from. It's all too easy looking from the outside and going 'what is the outrage all about?'. That is because others don't have to go through this perpetual Groundhog Day and see both the spirit and intent of their work being destroyed, violated and raped.

    I thank you at least for recognizing this.

    And I'd like to add to that, abuse that continues to this day in fact, including I'd add by EvilDragon himself right now. I could not be more disappointed and demoralized.

    Honestly, it's at a point where my own teammembers consider me nuts for not just changing the license altogether, close-sourcing it, or just abandoning/stopping the project.
    And it's already led several emulator authors to stop open sourcing their work. All this activity does immense damage to the goodwill and preservation of console emulation in general.

    I'd like to, but EvilDragon makes that very hard right now, who started throwing mud by pointing to an unsubstantiated hitpiece blog whose only intent is to do damage to our project (and you can pretty much guess why that is, it is not for any legitimate reasons, but because of certain crappy contractors from Hong Kong who are all butthurt that we are exposing them). It consists of misstatement of facts, slander, taking quotes out of context that might have been said in frustration after being on the receiving end of so many past abuses. And what it also doesn't point out is that most of these feuds have long been rectified already, we have made peace with byuu, and byuu also defended us in the Eurogamer article. What that blog intends to do is to keep the feud going for some reason. It really does not help out anybody in the emulation scene ,it just wants to keep hate going.

    And at this point I don't think I can assume good faith any longer if this is how things started out to begin with. Apparently he values his business interests (no matter how 'legit' they are) more than the actual creators behind all this software. Bodes very ill of the Pandora/Pyra project too if this is the kind of toxic environment for open source software that he'd like to engender. That is completely unacceptable, and that is why I cannot in good faith assume good intent anymore until I see him cleaning up his act here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  20. xnopasaranx

    xnopasaranx Superbad!

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    you do not know him personally and his dedication to the opensource/openhardware scene apparently. You did the same thing in the dirt slinging competition this has resulted in by pointing towards the whole craigix scandal, and ED has done nothing less but save this whole community (which used to be about gp32 and gp2x back in the day) and even went out of his way to make up for the damage craigix caused. Further more, we have been burned ourselves multiple times, be it by people ripping of software that our devs wrote (emulators as well, which suddenly appeared on chinese handhelds without attribution or giving a fuck about license/opensource... even gamepark themselves who produced the gp2x with a linux kernel they never cared to release the source for), let alone the binary blobs we have to use because there are no truly completely open hardware solutions on the market for us to build the pyra/pandora.

    That is why I think you should also recognize the effort ED has invested over countless years to actually play a huge part in the open handhelds/homebrew scene. You are attacking the wrong guy here. Regardless of wether he hasn't stopped selling the handhelds in question, I am convinced he's trying to make your quest his and actually pursue this issue long term by opening a communication channel with his vendors and the producers. If someone has a chance to get them to change their behaviour, I am sure it is him.

    The companies involved as it seems to me, have been screwed as well but chose not to acknowledge the damage they have done. Probably because their ass is on the line financially. If they listen to somebody who can actually offer a bit of long term advice in getting out of these licensing issues without having to stop selling their product, I think that is the correct way to achieve a proper handling and respect for the licenses/software devs in the future.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
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