Letter to Microsoft to open-source MSX Bios and MSX Basic

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بواسطة muffie

Paladin (933)

صورة muffie

02-02-2011, 18:15

Why, can't we?
Because he asked me to. And I think he's doing us a huge favor.

بواسطة RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

صورة RetroTechie

02-02-2011, 18:25

I dont think we should ask for permission,practically laws are laws,and we had better be careful when dealing with bios stuff.But for a standar like msx that is not supported?would microsoft sue us?For something that came out in 1983?Why would it hurt them ?
That's the popular approach, but it still prevents inclusion of emulator+bios ROM in any software collection whose maintainers fear lawyers and/or care about respecting copyright laws (whether those laws are silly or not). Sad

Just tell them that they should release the bios like amstrad did for cpc and spectrums,and they will be ok.
Indeed that would be enough in most cases. But without permission to release modifications (like source-based ones), it would be impossible to co-develop MSX hardware & software, and for example sell hardware which includes a bios ROM, based on that. Enough for emulator use, not enough to take [the MSX platform as a whole] forward.

بواسطة muffie

Paladin (933)

صورة muffie

02-02-2011, 18:39

So, let's change tcruise's 1st draft to include permission to mod it. If it's common sense that MS would not allow the Debian like (as Quibus asked), let's try to find another one. I must confess: I'm confused....

بواسطة Manuel

Ascended (18384)

صورة Manuel

02-02-2011, 19:08

pitpan: have you read those guidelines? "A Debian license" is not into question. Those Guidelines were the basics of the OSI open source definition and are very generic. They are not a license, but describe terms with which many licenses are compatible (e.g. BSD license, which is also used for C-BIOS).

بواسطة muffie

Paladin (933)

صورة muffie

02-02-2011, 19:54

Manuel, can you write down what you would like to be added/modded to the following text:


To whom it may concern,

This is an open letter from the current members of the MSX community to request the general release or license of the MSX BIOS, BASIC and documentation.
This release does not have to be fully open-sourced, but at least have a license that makes it easy to copy and modify it, without restrictions.

Benefits to Microsoft:
• No loss to Microsoft, as there is very little chance of future revenues.
• Increasing goodwill to a community that loves their BIOS and who provide free promotion of Microsoft as a whole.
• Boosting retro computing (which has been gaining broad consumer appeal), especially a system Microsoft was involved in.
• The MSX 1 BIOS listing has already been released in the past (See MSX BIOS published by Quest Publishing in 1985)
• Other software companies such as Borland and Hitech have already released or relaxed rights on software to retro communities, so there is good precedent for agreements of this sort.
• It brings to light Microsoft’s early attempts at developing standards based operating systems which can surely only help to further Microsoft’s community image.

Why is this license/release needed?
openMSX is an emulator that runs on numerous operating systems, including Windows, that allows the expanding MSX community members to experience a MSX computer without having to obtain physical hardware (which is getting harder to obtain in working condition). This allows entry to retro computing to a much wider audience, previously restricted to owners of physical hardware.
In order to also make the use of openMSX available to a wider community it would be better for the MSX BIOS and Basic to be able to be distributed with the openMSX distributions, thus the catalyst for this request.

We do understand that there may be other parties (perhaps ASCII Corporation) that will need to be jointly involved in this request if it is to come to pass. But we are unclear as a community as to the current status of where any ownership lies. As a first step it would be good to have clarification on the status of each of the components.

بواسطة Manuel

Ascended (18384)

صورة Manuel

02-02-2011, 20:35

I'm not good at writing letters like these, sorry.

بواسطة karloch

Prophet (2156)

صورة karloch

02-02-2011, 21:27

This is actually a good initiative. You can consider suggesting for the letter the Ms-PL, but I think it would be good enough to release them in a free closed-source way.

بواسطة Vampier

Prophet (2386)

صورة Vampier

02-02-2011, 21:37

muffie: dont' limit it to one emulator.

Also keep in mind the person who first reads this goes 'WTF?!?!?!' and doesn't even know where to start... or to even put time and energy into this. Explain what MSX is and how microsoft is related.

I mailed last night with someone who works at microsoft and he doesn't think it's a waste of time though.

بواسطة Tanni

Hero (556)

صورة Tanni

02-02-2011, 22:28

Why, can't we?
Because he asked me to. And I think he's doing us a huge favor.

Yes, he's doing us a huge favor. I appreciate that. But you came up with it on February 1., and the letter must be ready on February 4. A very short time for such an important letter, especially if it is supposed to be backed up by the community.

بواسطة Tanni

Hero (556)

صورة Tanni

02-02-2011, 22:33

This release does not have to be fully open-sourced, but at least have a license that makes it easy to copy and modify it, without restrictions.
Doesn't the one thing (easy to copy and modify) implies the other (fully open-sourced), even if it doesn't mean to be put to an open source repository? Easy to copy means that there will be various copies around, and easy to modify means that there is lots of documentation available.

صفحة 3/10
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