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About the license of the C65 ROM

  • Today while having lunch, I had a chat with a colleague who works in the legal department of my current client. He knows about my interest in the MEGA65 and we talked a little about the DevKit. Among some other, he had an legal question, which I couldn't answer.


    It's 100% theoretical - without any practical use. :) But maybe it could be for interest for the Mega team?


    The DevKit and - I think - the MEGA65 will be deliviered with the "licensed Commodore™ 65 ROM" (e.g. see here).


    His question was: Licensed for what? Only for the use with the DevKit/MEGA65 or also for using it with an emulator? And can the license be sold from a buyer alone or only with the DevKit/MEGA65?


    As I wrote, it is 100% theorectial and not for my personal use ... but maybe someday someone asks the same questions to the Mega team with "legal interest"? So I thought, I write it down for the team for being "prepared" just in case. :guenni:;)

  • The license only comes together with the MEGA65 (DevKit and final MEGA65) not the emulator and is bundled to that

    machine, so it can't be sold or used separetely.

    Or to state it like this: the C65 ROM itself couldn't be sold as stand-alone as a licensed ROM, only together with the MEGA65.

    This is our deal and Cloanto receives for every sold MEGA65 DevKit / final MEGA65 a license fee.

  • It is very understandable that the license for the ROM is bundled with an actual piece of hardware - and that Cloanto receives a fee for each distributed ROM copy.


    However, maybe each end user who owns a machine with a licensed ROM could also gain the right to use the licensed ROM for development and testing in a mega65 emulator running on other hardware that they own (for instance on their laptop).


    I believe that would be aligned with the licensing practices of other operating systems.

  • However, maybe each end user who owns a machine with a licensed ROM could also gain the right to use the licensed ROM for development and testing in a mega65 emulator running on other hardware that they own (for instance on their laptop).


    I believe that would be aligned with the licensing practices of other operating systems.

    This is, what i believe as well and shouldn't violate the license deal at all as long as the end-user is not selling a product that contains this ROM

  • However, maybe each end user who owns a machine with a licensed ROM could also gain the right to use the licensed ROM for development and testing in a mega65 emulator running on other hardware that they own (for instance on their laptop).

    For this situation you can buy a second MEGA65. So you have the ROM also for the emulator and a new MEGA65 in reserve, if your first one gets broken. :D

  • If I was the copyright holder of the C65 ROM, I would sell an emulator license with digital download of the ROM file.


    The original C65 ROM is unfinished and for nearly no use besides for the MEGA65 and the emulator. So the only way to make some money with it, is to license it as much as it is needed. :)


    I think, I wouldn't be the only one who would pay a few Euros for an "official" licensed ROM for Xemu.

  • BTW: It would be much "easier" with a Sinclair Spectrum emulator. :)


    There is a newsgroup post from Cliff Lawson from Amstrad (the copyright holder of the Spectrum ROMS) in which he said (21 years ago now), that everyone can use the Spectrum ROM without any fees as long as the copyright message wasn't removed from the ROM:


  • That's a nice behaviour, good for the Spectrum community indeed :) It solves many things, though it still won't enable easily to integrate ROMs directly into an emulator, for example a GNU/GPL licensed open software emulator cannot contain something "binary blob" which has no source code and compatible license. But indeed, it's already a great thing to have something like this :D Also, AFAIK/IIRC Spectrum has kind of "open ROMs" since a while, re-implemented at a "free" manner, that's the another thing.