Re: R: [stella] ethics

Subject: Re: R: [stella] ethics
From: Glenn Saunders <krishna@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 10:04:21 -0700 (PDT)
On Sat, 13 Sep 1997, Piero Cavina wrote:
> hmmm... couldn't a pirate could buy a copy, record/sample the audio signal
> and turn this into a .bin again...?

The only utility out there to do this is tape2bin and it's MAC-only and
was only on the Supercharger CD.  I don't think this would happen.  And
WAV is not a viable piracy file format, IMHO.

My point is that some people won't program for the 2600 because they can't
make money.  If there really is a lot of interest in playing these games,
then there is money to be made if it's done properly.  A utility that at
least hinders piracy could make .BINs commercially viable distribution as

> Sincerely, I like what Bob Colbert has done with Okie Dokie.

It would be odd, though having a free 6K version that is better than the $
4K version, in which case the cart won't seem like such a great deal.

> This is exactly the opposite of Ed's choice, which I respect but don't
> really agree with. I may be wrong, and this is especially a matter of
> preferences, but I prefer the fact that my game can be enjoyed by the
> largest number of classic videogames enthusiasts, to the money I could make
> from it if it wasn't free.

I am in the middle.

I would prefer stellalist to be about shareware games.  Freely
distributable 4-6K (or multiload) .BINs, but with a plea for shareware

That's why I've been on the .BIN side of the cart vs. bin debate.  I think
that SC .BINs are the superior programming environment and the more
convenient distribution format.

But I recognize the lack of tangibility of them.  However, it's true that
the entire world is moving more and more towards virtuality.  Online
manuals, online everything.

But I recognize the higher production value of a cartridge (or physical
CD) and manual. 

There should still be a way to get a pleasing manual.

Bill Heineman was working on a new file format for his emulator that would
embed it with all the artwork and manual stuff.  I believe it was going to
be in HTML format.  This may be a good way to go.

> There's also another problem with commercial-only projects...: how could
> one share with the other people on this list the code he's working on, if
> it can't be distributed?

The only option would be to make stella a private list so that only
other developers (that you trust) could sample the code.

Sometimes I regret how the archive is publically available for this
reason.  It kind of defeats the purpose of a mailing list being available
only to subscribers.

For instance, if I post source code to a game that I got from my
interviews which isn't technically PD, I'd like this to be only for the
eyes of developers and I wouldn't want it to wind up on every 2600-related
site out in the open.

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