Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by Siggy12, Jun 9, 2019.
The irony. They actually already lost the lawsuit that they'd file against you.
Sega vs Accolade was about TMSS protection, which is: put in ROM @100h "SEGA", write "SEGA" to specific VDP register. this information was reverse engineered (RE'd) by Accolade and used in theirs games. court's verdict was: this RE was "fair use".
impact of this case is: you can RE someone's else software and use information gained this way in your work.
in the case of Dreamcast you need to use about 13K bytes (0x3400) of Sega's intellectual property - copyrighted code and data (it is not far from half of whole IP.BIN).
does Sega v. Accolade case applicable to Dreamcast ? no, it doesn't. you'll be not able to RE anything in this case (which is allowed), but need to copy&paste 13KB of copyrighted code&data.
so, please stop telling not related bullshit.
speaking in general - here is 2 separate questions: 1 - is it legal ? 2 - can I be sued for this ?
the answers is: 1- no, it is not legal. and 2 - no, Sega is not cared about Dreamcast license violation during very many years.
It might not have been an issue for you but it was certainly an issue! Back in the day it was nearly impossible to find Xbox homebrew binaries on the web because Microsoft would take action against anyone hosting XDK or XDK-compiled binaries. That is why xbins existed, I assume they were using fileservers hosted in random places in hard to fight jurisdictions. It was certainly not "never an issue" when project pages could not even host binaries for their own projects.
It's easy to see how people at a site hosting binaries like DCEmulation, where all of these aforementioned politics were going on, would be careful.
During these days Sega had been known to aggressively go after some pirate sites, though later on they gave up.
Back and forth there were political arguments, but copyrighted code hosted at one time or another included the Smash Pack ROM Loader, Titanium Studios Quake port WITHOUT offical pak files, Sonic Adventure 2 demo disc pack-in from PSO, several software/emulator projects compiled with Katana/WinCE, and PlanetWeb browsers.
We'd been contacted by Sega lawyers and asked to remove 1 of the above, it's funny, I'll let you guess which one that was
Nobody here is saying he shouldn't play around with the Katana SDK / WinCE SDK for non-commercial/hobby purposes.
Yes and maybe this old internet politics also prevented turning away some people from DC development due to a potentially aggressive IP holder creating litigation problems. It's hard to call that an impossible scenario when it was literally happening with the Xbox in the same general time period, slightly later. We knew Sega knew about us and we'd been served a C&D in the past. And there were several developers inside and outside our staff who consistently threatened to leave and distance themselves if rules were drastically relaxed, due to possible legal consequences. For example Randy Linden of bleem! was part of our staff while in litigation with Sony. Randy was a wizard of SH4 assembly, had spent much effort and time professionally reverse engineering the Dreamcast as part of a real company with investment funding, developing unlicensed code for it, and was an invaluable source to have around for those years. His participation in the community was certainly more valuable than any laypeople tinkering with official SDK leaks.
The old politics of the DC scene sought to prevent the problems that happened with the Xbox, that is, people went so crazy writing software after the system was cracked and the XDK leaked that there was never enough community effort to say "hold on, let's try to develop software legally." We got Cromwell and Xbox Linux, giving a completely legal useful case scenario for a hacked Xbox, but most people wanted homebrew standalone software, and for that we got an OpenXDK that never took off or was properly adopted.
On the other hand, the early DC sceners did write a handful of software in Katana/WinCE like Dreamspec (Bigboy used Katana because he had access to it as an official developer) and Gleam, Sintendo, GypPlay, but soon after nearly every piece of software developed was using completely free code besides the required license screen code in the bootstrap. This is something that scene developers wanted from the larger community, this wasn't initiated by the community.
No one felt threatened by the bootstrap situation because LiENUS was already distributing replacement bootstrap code for everything that could be replaced, because of the Sega v. Accolade ruling (whether that's a correct precedent to cite or not), and ultimately because third parties were distributing unofficial software commercially in all markets where the DC was officially sold and there was no litigation.
Even still, I thought back then the DC scene was too strict in their rules, but those who criticize the positions of people 15+ years ago aren't really taking into account what actions other companies were taking 15+ years ago and the legal liabilities of some in the scene. Politics is complex
As of today, I don't think Sega gives the slightest bit of a shit about SDK use, and they have a track record of being great to fan projects with possible legal questions. I just don't think it's a good thing for the scene/community when commercial projects knowingly do this.
You totally missed my point. My point was nobody was SELLING XBMC, or other free homebrews for OG Xbox in the same way Dreamcast Indie games were being sold. So when I said it was "never an issue" I was referring to how the DC indie community is not the same way as free homebrews on Xbox. If there were retail indie games being sold on the OG Xbox made with official XDK's then it would have been an even worse fucking problem. I never said I had no problem with it lol. You are literally reading between the lines here bro.
So I will break it down again. I was referring to how there was no indie retail games being sold on OG Xbox, so it was a nonissue for that particular system. Not saying using the official SDK to make Xbox homebrew wasn't an issue.
Just to add to that, it's easy to say that it doesn't matter to use the official sdk as a hobbyist, but if you're a real-life programmer, you might not want your name associated with illegal practice, however harmless they are.
Personally, I don't put my FG SourceForge on my résumé as even if it's technically all legal code, the use case is grey and I don't want a potential employers to rule me out based on this. That is if I ever finish school, but that's a question for another day .
It could be the other way around you know, there might be no Commercial Homebrew because the community wasn't using a free SDK, and selling unlicensed software made with the official SDK of a current gen console is a big no-no (that and no easy Selfboot).
All in all the commercial Homebrew really let the DC have a vibrant life even after Sega pulled the plug. Which is exactly the motivation of the laws allowing circumvention of DRM in Canada: to allow for third party support once first party is either out of business or doesn't care (among others, antitrust too).
No doubt about that. I love the Dreamcast homebrew community so much because it keeps the system alive and thriving and still relevant to this very day. I hate to imagine a world where the Dreamcast didn't get so much homebrew and community hardware support as we do today. Here in 2019 the console is still pretty relevant amongst retro gamers as a whole, and still constantly something in the news about the system.
After learning that the Arcade Racing Legends and 4X4 Jam games were ported with the KOS SDK, my position has changed now that I see how capable the tools actually are. Sure they aren't as feature rich still as the official Katana and WinCE SDK's, but at least decent looking 3D graphics can be done with them. As long as games can be made with it that are pushing what is possible with homebrew and indie titles I will continue to have respect for it.
I do understand why you old timers with the community since the very beginning have stuck up for KOS. I am probably close to your and darcgan's age, but I didn't discover that the system could do all that homebrew until around 2009. I didn't have a computer or the internet until after we got rid of all of our DC hardware by 2003, and got online in 2004 and by that time all the other consoles were all we cared about. I didn't get back into the community until I discovered DCISOZONE and how much shit the console was capable of. After that I became one of it's biggest proponents. So while I don't have as much time as part of the online Dreamcast community as you guys, I do have as much love for the system and community as you guys I am sure.
KOS has singlehandedly kept the console alive all these years later, and will continue to. I doubt anybody is going to release a game for it commercially which was made using Katana or WinCE libraries.
Exactly. As an example, programmers in the scene have cited concerns about being able to get a security clearance in the future if their name were associated with illegal activity while being a member of DCEmu.
In reality there were never many people who even clamored to discuss using the official SDKs. Most of the clamoring about DCEmu's rules in the past were people wanting us to host or tolerate links to gray area copyrighted material or ROM files and our constant refusal to such stuff.
I always wanted to allow discussion of the official SDKs btw, but other people's politics meant some had very real concerns and it was never a pragmatic solution to run off knowledgeable people who were actively writing free code for the console to satisfy mostly warez kiddies, newbs that can't figure out how to download gray area stuff in back channels, and the rare odd person here or there interested in the SDK.
The only time this policy seriously disappointed me was when RetroSonic was put out and it was done with WinCE and there was controversy, I was not really into the site politics at that time because I was rebuilding my life after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, but there was some shit that went down about RetroSonic without people realizing they were putting down something a lot of time and effort had been put into, and then the author turned around and got a job with Sega years later. It was after this time, like a dozen years ago, that I felt it was really best to lax the rules a lot, and that Sega didn't care anymore, but I felt my hands were tied nonetheless. After this time, like many others I made gray area releases of dubious legality like beta builds, SDKs, and games under aliases on different sites instead
just to be clear i wasn't disrespecting the developers and anyone involved in KOS development and subsequent projects, i was just saying its about time we see some cool tech demos using katana or WCE
If the people that are able to wanted to write cool tech demos they would.
just saying for sake of an argument man, you don't have to be like that
It's not a dig, most people prefer working in Kos.
There's not a current tangible benefit for using Sega SDK
Besides, most people who like writing cool tech demos (like demoscene type people) like doing things the hard way to show off their skillz. I think using Katana SDK after nearly 20 years of precedent not using any official tools would seem like a punk move in the demoscene.
As for WinCE there is nothing you can do in that SDK that would be considered a cool tech demo.
In general it shouldn't ever be used for anything other than porting some existing Windows code.
My only hang up on writing an intro is not being able to make sound/music in a tiny amount of space.
So if anyone has any hints I'm all ears.
You seem to take very personal. I think what just being said it seems more streamlined to use katana sdk than Kos and better performance if you know what your is an extra. Meanwhile Sega most likely not come after you.
I support that people use Kos as it seems worry free even technically getting a game to boot is illegal as metallic has said. But even with people streamlining the process Kos seems harder to set up or the answer is oh just run Linux windows sucks. What happens if the person just doesn't want to run Linux or use any form of Linux under windows?
I can see how the official sdk seems alluring, just run all the installs , run a few .bat files to set the paths and your ready to start compiling in Windows. Not to mention so far home brew hasn't matched the official sdk quality just yet. I remember phenom had some really complex scenes but haven't seen much that can match that.
But then the question becomes, again not downing you,
Why aren't more people using it if it's so easy to get working? Versus struggling to setup Kos.
Also in current days between DreamSDK, multiple docker images, Kos itself being mostly 3 commands, the only issue is the people using Windows and not understanding posix and why the toolchain as it is compiles cleanest under plain Linux versus windows or mingw or cygwin.
TBH, then they aren't a developer in the first place. Linux is basically designed and structured for programming at its core.
Windows is, to say politely, very suboptimal for developers. Unless you're developing C# in visual studio targeting Windows only.
One might think this is by design; monopoly and stuff.
@Mrneo240 People aren't using the official SDK because they don't want to be ostracized for using something considered taboo.
I keep seeing a lot of posts with things like "SEGA won't care," etc, but, again, SEGA has very little say over a lot of what's actually in the official SDK.
The problem, as I said before, is that SEGA licensed a lot of the technology used in the Dreamcast itself and what's found in the official SDK. Once you start stripping that out, the official SDK loses some of its advantage. If SEGA gave the OK to use the libraries SEGA wrote (which are the only libraries they legally have any say over), you might be better off with KOS at this point in its development lifecycle.
That's an easy answer. They may not be worried about Sega but the dev community will come down them. Might be even get ugly for choosing the official sdk. Look what happened to 4x4jam and that new racing game. It got alot of criticism despite all bring wrong and it was indeed a Kos project. Just the thought it was using the Sega sdk ppl went nuts.
I think it was wrong if people to do that. I support Kos and makes me excited that one day it might get even more games on the system the better it becomes. But I think it's wrong to turn away or shun people just for using the official sdk is all. Who knows they might bring something interesting to the table.
What did I say in my reply that implied I took it personally?
What exactly is more streamlined about a Katana dev setup?
Is it really more streamlined to find tools and libraries to work with a 20 year old development environment targeted at Win9X?
Is it more streamlined to work with old proprietary file formats and finding tools for them?
There are workarounds and you can make it work in a modern environment but it's not really easier than setting up KOS...
If you are unwilling to use "any form of Linux under windows" then you are purposely being stubborn.
In 2019 "Linux under windows" means checking Windows Subsystem for Linux under Windows features, rebooting, and clicking "install" icon on Ubuntu in the Windows Store.
Run a script to install KOS/set up environment, and you are all set.
I remember what it was like to set up KOS 15 years ago. I was a kid, and it was time consuming and a pain in the ass. It's nothing like that anymore lol
Separate names with a comma.