RetroArch – being the reference frontend for libretro – is meant to be a no-strings attached project. That means there is no in-app advertising in it, there is no ‘donate here’ button – there is no crippled ‘Pro version’. That means there is only ‘one’ version – the full, official, real deal.

RetroArch is/was licensed under the GPL for pragmatic reasons. Had we known about the fact that app store ‘developers’ use the ‘GPL’ as a cloak for their illegitimate money racketeering ways by stating that the ‘GPL allows this’ – we probably would have thought twice about licensing it this way. But it is what it is – and RetroArch has been in existence in one form or another since early 2010 – well predating the point when emulators on tablets/phones became truly popular.

I have seen two examples now over the past weeks of ‘forks’ of RetroArch being published littered with advertising and/or other unscrupulous money-making means. Below are the two examples that have recently come to my attention:

* – Emu4iOS/AllEmu. This is a guy who also goes by the alias ‘PyroFilmsFX’. He apparently provides an ‘Over-The-Air’ service to non-jailbroken iPhones and iPads that lets them install emulators and other apps that wouldn’t be allowed to exist on the official Apple App Store. RetroArch has apparently been added to this ‘app collection’ at a certain point – and it would be an understatement to say this version of RetroArch has proven to be more popular in terms of download hits than the Cydia version for jailbroken devices ever was.

Unfortunately, there are some nasty elements to this version that makes me disapprove of this version entirely:

1 – It comes with in-game iAd advertising. Apparently, not only does it show long iAd Movies before the start of a ROM, but apparently ads also pop up while you are running a game. This ad revenue is obviously going to somebody’s account – and that somebody is certainly not us. The guy running Emu4iOS claims it is not him that is receiving the money but the ‘distributor’ of this ‘RetroArch version’ – a guy by the name of AllEmu who ‘purportedly ‘lives in Russia. I have severe doubts about whether or not that is true, but as this is the Internet there’s no way to truly know whether what somebody claims is the truth or not.

2 – Neither Emu4iOS/AllEmu offers any ‘support’ for this version. Instead, users of this ‘version’ send me e-mails and post on our forum badgering us with questions and inquiries about this version. On more than one occassion I have received e-mails questioning why I say on my site RetroArch will never have in-app advertising, yet this version does so. They don’t seem to understand that this version is not provided by us and moreover, it is making a mockery of our mission statement.

3 – These versions of ‘RetroArch’ can be installed on non-jailbroken iPhones/iPads by way of an enterprise account ‘hack’. Apple has already put a stop to this illegitimate way of ‘abusing’ enterprise accounts – but apparently you can still install these apps by setting the clock on your iDevice back by a year.

Because of ‘3’, we can not in good conscience provide a ‘competing’ version with no ads in it. We are simply not going to tip toe in these hot waters  especially when we still want to maintain good relations with Apple so that we can eventually appear on the Apple App Store with legitimate versions of Dinothawr and a non-emulator focused RetroArch (and I  still maintain that RetroArch is NOT an ‘all-in-one’ emulator frontend).

** – RetroArch Blackberry 10 – There has existed a void for some time ever since CatalystG no longer provides updated versions of RetroArch on Blackberry 10. Several guys have popped up on the Crackberry forums and started to offer ‘fixed’ versions. We have not received any upstream patches for these even though GPL requires these people to provide them. Instead, they have started entertaining the thought of soliciting for donations or even – worse – in-app advertising.

We humbly asked that if people wanted to see further development of RetroArch for the Blackberry 10 that we were prepared to take on that additional development time if somebody were to provide a Blackberry 10 to us.  We don’t have a Blackberry 10 and we don’t have the monetary means to buy just about any device under the sun just for this project’s sake.

Instead, not only have we seen other people popping up and offering their own version, but even trying to start up ‘revenue chains’ around these fork versions.

When I saw this, I entered their forums to tell them that I disapproved of this and that I didn’t want them to start generating revenue off ads in RetroArch. What followed was a callous treatment by some of the Crackberry guys that I had no right to deny them this ‘revenue stream’ and that this is what the GPL ‘allowed for’.

The sad part about this is that the GPL indeed ‘allows’ for this. It is for that same reason that the GPL and the FLOSS community are frankly becoming ever-more toothless and undesirable by the way because the ‘mobile scene’ just sees it as an open letter to generating money off the work provided by others.

I find it incredibly insulting that we are in an age and an era where people no longer pay tribute and respect to authors who make it well known they DO NOT WANT RetroArch to be monetarily ‘used’ this way. You can say what you want about the GPL or whatever ‘license’ you think is a justifying excuse for your dishonest way of wanting to ‘make money off intellectual copyright infringement’ – but there is a stronger moral framework at play here that overrides all this – we DO NOT WANT YOU TO DO THIS. We are the engine behind this project – we are the ones who have invested countless amount of hours and time into this project to make it what it is now, and THIS is how we are ultimately treated by the community?

On one end we have people like the MAMEdevs blasting us and calling RA “dangerous” even though we have done everything possible to make RetroArch “free” in beer and “free” in libre. We also implemented all of the possible checks and balances to make it as undesirable as possible to ‘fork’ RA and use it in a money-racketeering way by simply offering a superior version for free with no ads or whatever. And on the other end we have this ‘mobile slime’ dev circle that just takes open source software and tries to create a revenue channel out of it. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

I don’t know what the proper response to this is going to be but what is ultimately clear is that this is a continuing trend and that this is causing a massive amount of damage to the RetroArch project – to the point where I no longer enjoy working on it knowing that it’s just being used by people in this way. And what gets me even more is the lack of ‘respect’ this ultimately signals and the ‘dishonesty’ involved.

Maybe I should have expected this all along and this  is just us being the victim of our own ‘success’. Maybe we can still beat these people and not let them damage RetroArch’s reputation and crap all over it with their ‘ads’. But as more and more devices start springing up and more and more of these ‘app developers’ come up that all want to be ‘reimbursed for their owrk’, it will become ever harder to keep up with it all.

I felt like making this blog post because honestly things have gotten to a head over the past two days and it’s gotten to the point where it’s starting to negatively affect my passion for this project and the goals I’ve set for it. Make of it what you will.

72 thoughts on “RetroArch and ‘illegitimate’ crippled versions

  1. That’s sad… Don’t give up guys, don’t let them win.

  2. Matías Ferrero

    April 23, 2014 — 5:04 pm

    Please do not abandon this project. It’s reallt great.

    Bad people with bad intentions always existed, and will continue to exist forever. Sadly, not all people care about like you do. The thing is, it all depends on what you want/can do. You could simply try to not care so much as the project continues to grow in quality and popularity and continue with this project, and occasionally make some efforts to clarify that this is the real deal, or maybe take some drastic measures like switching to another license (which I really don’t know if you can).

    I still can’t believe that this project is “free” in beer and “free” in libre, as it is one of the most unbelievable great apps that I use a lot. Don’t let them bring you down. Hope this words help you.

  3. That’s the thing when you opensource things – people might do things with it that you might not personally approve of. Sucks for you – if you are this jealous and protective of your code, you should have never opensourced it to begin with. Your mindset reeks of a closed-source mentality.

    1. One thing is legal and one thing is ethical. Repacking and slapping ads should not be tolerated.

      It refers to developers, people doing actual development, contributing to the project in some form, if someone built a big game core, and used RetroArch there is nothing the team could do to stop them, but slapping ads and calling it a day is just terrible.

      It’s pretty clear that the GPL allows this and more, it just wasn’t designed with this app store culture in mind.

  4. “The wonderful devs behind the BlackBerry update rejected the idea of in
    app advertising prior to Retroarch asking them not to include

    This is bullshit.

    You guys were discussing ways of “profiting” from RetroArch as recently as yesterday and as “far back” as two days ago. Hardly “yester year’s news”.

    Here – let me give you a rundown on this since you seem to have short-term memory loss.

    “jtokarchuk – 04-21-2014, 10:24 AM – Ps: would anyone have an objection to an advert on app open?

    This would allow me to devote more time to the project and incorporate updates faster.”

    Oh yeah – adding insult to injury – they KNEW that the project was vehemently against it – it was pointed out to him by another Crackberry forumite on there, EchoesFX – but he (the ‘wonderful dev’ you are talking about) still wanted to go through with it –

    “jtokarchuk – 04-21-2014, 10:46 AM – While that’s their view, their open source license allows for this.

    The source is free. You are allowed to profit from your work. They are free to step up and support bb10.”

    So really, you guys have no goddamn leg to stand on. As recently as TWO DAYS AGO this guy wanted to make money off my back. Let him make his OWN DAMN MONEY WITH HIS OWN WORK. You freeloaders are not going to use MY SHIT to make some chump change on the side.

    1. Yes indeed I did point out that you would probably not be too happy with any advertising being added onto RetroArch. But let’s be 100% real about the conversation.

      I also voiced support for the idea of raising up some funds to get you a BB10 device since you missed the chances last year at scoring multiple freebies from BlackBerry. Whatever it takes to get the software we need on the platform of our choice. $10 per person, I’m sure we could get 25 people or so to toss that in. Also, you don’t even NEED a device to update the PlayBook version which has been stale for a year and lacks features that would be trivial to add and would actually make action games playable.

      Before that had been organized, Justin stepped up to the plate and put out a few builds that fixed problems that have been lingering in the BB10 version for quite a while, and *entertained the idea* of possibly monetizing things to make it worth the time and effort he is putting into making it work. Just like you said, I did let him know you would not approve, but legally the license you chose to release your code under would allow him to do so. I can’t argue with that even if I don’t personally want advertising in it.

      In the end, Justin said, and I quote:

      “Realistically I’m just going to add a donation link at most. If even that.”

      To date, he has not released a single build that has any advertising bundled in.

      Seriously, a year with zero updates – including none for a device that you actually DO own (PlayBook), bugs that have gone unaddressed, zero build instructions for PlayBook/BB10 posted (although you do provide them for other platforms) and you don’t expect others to get sick of waiting and make an attempt to pick up where things left off?

      1. “”Realistically I’m just going to add a donation link at most. If even that.””

        That doesn’t mean anything, and you know it.

        He did tell me in one of his ‘deleted posts’ that he wanted to get donations and ad money because his wifey was bitching at him for spending so much time on RA packaging and wanted to see him make some money on it.

        So we all know what is going down here. Please don’t give me the whole ‘he is really sincere about this’ BS when we have this here dating back just BARELY two days ago –

        No wonder he has a snake around his neck in his Github profile pic. It’s really fitting.

        I was fully within my right to let you guys know exactly how I felt about this BS and that it needs to stop NOW.

        1. He has said several times that adverts and donations were a no-go. Looking at the thread, I agree, you probably didn’t see those messages (as most everyone in that thread is in a chatroom on BBM).

          Just to be clear, adverts & donation links were dead the moment you first replied from a viewable-from-the-thread-angle – and maybe that wasn’t communicated well to you. But it was actually dead before then. You didn’t divert a disaster here 😉

          But the 4 posts after that you wrote that were 6 pages long and 1,000 words were a bit much on an “old” and outdated (closed) subject when its just a community group of devs & electrical engineers trying to find a good way to get RetroArch working on BBRY irregardless of adverts.

          Are you having the fit because no one gave you a free phone?

          1. Why the hell would you need “electrical engineers” when none of you can even write C code by the looks of your ‘code commits’ on your Github fork?

            You only touched trivial Cascades code at this point which any code monkey could do.

            Seriously, if you want this to be patched up, I’d have to be assured you are going to commit back and that we won’t be seeing any more talk of “donations” or “advertising”. Otherwise there is no way in hell I’d ever consider working with any of you. This guy has already showcased his intent to disregard my wishes for this project and he has already shown he does not respect me or my project’s goals.

          2. The ‘electrical engineers’ refers to peoples’ day job…

        2. Unfortunately I missed ALL of those “deleted posts”, (including the ones that allegedly devolved into insults and bad behavior on your part) due to sleep.

          Yes, that does date back to barely two days ago. Did you check when the first release was even posted? Less than 10 days ago. He hasn’t even been working on this for half a month. It was an inquiry to see how the community would feel about it, and at this point he states isn’t going to happen.

        3. Did the link get added? No. Did the advertisement get added? Also no. Was it a question on a USER forum? Yes.

          Question, why are you always so quick to be rude to people that are happy to help — yet quiet when we respond?

          1. This is how the Dutch roll. They’re blunt and hold nothing back.

        4. You can certainly let people know how you feel about it, and everyone agreed to do what you wanted. Not because anyone has to (because, like it or not, under GPL no one does), but out of respect for you as a developer. IMO it makes a lot more sense to appreciate that your wish is being respected than getting upset about the rights you’ve granted under a specific license.

    2. Now before readers start feeling bad for Libretro or RetroArch —checkout how he trolled MAME for hours on end. Or how he claims to be set against any possibility of a kickstarter as part of the Mission Statement itself for RetroArch, yet he suggested the very thing on iOS as one of his aliases Squarepusher. Belittling users that just ask questions is common place and generally considered rude or trolling everywhere he goes even with Ouya. In fact, all you have to do is google RetroArch or Libretro & Rude to see how much time he spends complaining.

      Point is, he’s a troll looking for a fight.

      1. So, you’re coming here and saying that HE is a troll looking for a fight?… just sayin

        1. Totally fair statement. I’m just saying for everyone, anything posted is going to result in him lighting the world on fire 😀

    3. Many legs to stand on.

      Nothing I said in there was a lie. You are free to step up and support bb10. You ahve not thus far (and I do seem to remember you asking for a donation phone) however you condemn all other sorts of donations that do not directly serve you, apparently.

      Have you even run the application? Did you read the entire thread? (and the giant thread of someone please support this application on bb10?)

      You really have no actual understanding of open source, do you? The source is free, the binary does not have to be (nor do I actually care to monetize it, and if you had read the rest of the thread(s) rather than focusing on a few posts, you would know that.

      Also, stop warping the GPL to suit your arguments. No one is required to push upstream. They are required to make the source available.

      After doing some research, you clearly have a Totalitarian approach to the emulator game. Join us or get flamed seems to be the approach you took with Mr. Haze. You seemed to condemn them for not being interested in your project.

      You have clearly made comments that you have then redacted upon (re: haze and open source) — and you warp the idea of open source to suit your arguments.

      My inquiry (which was dropped), may have upset you morally, but it was well within the GPL rights, whether you like it or not, you clearly entered into a licensing format that you didn’t care to understand.

      Sure, you can continue to flail your arms and call me immoral, go ahead, I’m past it. I would however be embarrassed to be on a team with you at the moment, as you are very clearly and publicly putting a bad face on your project with your angry fouled mouth deliveries.

      I have implemented a front end that works on bb10. Period. You however admittedly have a PlayBook, but the playbook app has not had an update in over a year, yet you expect people to believe a bb10 version will come officially as soon as they send you a donation phone.

      Long story short, your attitude towards developers who will not kneel and call you god is condemnable. Take a look in the mirror. You are the problem with open-source and emulation today, not the solution.

      1. > I have implemented a front end that works on bb10. Period.

        You did nothing on the ‘Cascades’ frontend. CatalystG provided most of the work there – and in the end – it’s just a launcher for the main code.

        Nothing you did has been of any significance whatsoever.

        Please don’t start bringing all kinds of other shit into this – your scumbaggery ways have been well exposed by now.

        One more peep out of both you and KermEd and you will both be banned for you.

        1. Please do. PS: Your scumbaggery ways also seem to be well documented.

          1. At least I don’t have “wifey ” there telling me “gee, quit putting so much time into RA – find some way to monetize off it”.

            Now away you go scumbag.

          2. Thats possibly because women wouldn’t touch you if they were paid 😀 #justsaying

        2. First, understand, CB is a small community. Very small. The thread you posted in, is pretty much a relatively closed group. So, if you want to threaten to ban Justin for friends on CB, your going to have to grow that list to ANYONE in that thread except for 2 or 3 people.

          But, for curiosity sake, what are we being banned from? 😉

      2. “My inquiry (which was dropped), may have upset you morally, but it was
        well within the GPL rights, whether you like it or not, you clearly
        entered into a licensing format that you didn’t care to understand.”

        You don’t “understand” anything – you are just an immoral person that decides to go against authors’ personal wishes just because a certain license does not cover clear ethical abuses.

        You would have been for TIVO-ization as well if GPLv3 had never covered it either.

        I’m just ahead of the curve of what are clear unethical and unwarranted misappropriations of the GPL. You on the other hand are a piece of dogshit that thinks this is all “fine” and dandy.

        All I had to do to expose you was to make a “screencap” of what you said. Two posts. That was it. Enough to expose your conmen ass.

        Now please leave out of your own accord before I have to ban your ass for good.

        1. Ah, gotta contest this one. Immoral would be theft, or killing. Taking open source GPL code and helping build it out for BlackBerry. And then asking a single question on a user forum is FAR from immoral.

          Flipping out on thousands of people on hundreds of forums and acting like your queen of the world… thats a bit more immoral don’tcha think?

        2. GPL exists to ensure that things stay open and can be modified. If I were to release something under GPL, I would make darn sure beforehand that I’m ok with people ripping, raping, and pillaging the code for whatever they want (most people don’t, because they have to release their code too).

          No one who worked on the BlackBerry 10 version was intending to disregard any request you made regarding advertising. But we are pointing out to you that your request isn’t in line with the license you’re using, and you probably should change that before other people who won’t respect your request decide to use your code.

          1. > GPL exists to ensure that things stay open and can be modified.

            You don’t have to tell me what GPL stands for. Nor are you any kind of authoritative source on it to begin with.

            Fact of the matter is, you have no leg to stand on when you say ‘by not being able to add monetization crap, this code is not open and cannot be modified’. Please stop this kind of dishonest talk. You know full well that monetization is only about one thing – ENRICHING YOURSELF. It doesn’t have a damn thing to do about catering to your users, making the project better, or anything else.

            Also, I think it’s important to know for everybody reading this with us that this guy is another ‘Crackberry’ forumite and hence his mindset is of a similar ilk as the rest of his posse.

          2. I’ve not tried to hide that. I consider KermEd and jtokarchuk to be good amigos. And I agree with them 100% that none of us had any intent to attempt to monetize your code if you were opposed to it. I’m really not even sure what we’re disagreeing about here.

          3. If that’s the case, then I’m open to resolving this issue.

      3. “but it was well within the GPL rights”

        Sorry, but it’s disgusting to profit off of other people’s work.

        1. Alejandro Díaz

          April 23, 2014 — 9:05 pm

          Retroarch’s devs allowed for people to make profit off their work when they licensed it under GPL, they could’ve used any other license, they could’ve even created their own.

          1. No we couldn’t have used ‘any other license’ because there are clear penalties for using ‘any other license’ when certain cores are licensed under the GPL.

            You can thank the GPL’s virulent nature for that one. We had to go with what was most pragmatic.

            Doesn’t mean you have to go and be a scumbag and rip us off. There are still clear ethical and moral guidelines that come with it. See also the ‘Mission’ page.

            This ‘jtokarchuk’ had this pointed out to him and yet this low-life scumbag still wanted to go through with it. That disqualifies his moral fibre in any way, shape or form.

            Now I don’t want to hear any more ‘debates’ about this – it’s very clear that the GPL was never written with these abuses in mind – the kind of clear abuses attempted to by the jtokarchuk’s of this world or the App Store ‘conmen’ developers who can’t program their way out of a wooden HTML shoebox . Most likely a GPLv4 will start to address these abuses just like the GPLv3 addressed the TIVO-ization abuses. That you guys want to deem this as being ‘alright’ and all just goes to show you lack any kind of moral or ethical character – and it’s even further exemplified when you want to DISREGARD the authors’ wishes.

          2. Alejandro Díaz

            April 23, 2014 — 9:18 pm

            How about dropping the cores that use GPL? Geez, NOBODY forced you to use GPL, or GPL-licensed code, by releasing your code under GPL you’re accepting that people will be able to make a profit off your work, if you don’t like that then don’t use GPL-licensed code and don’t use GPL at all.

          3. That’s where the GPL waiver comes in son. See, RetroArch is not a ‘monolithic’ entity. It is a frontend merely to an API. An API which isn’t even GPL BTW and which can “implement” an app which can be differently licensed as well.

            “by releasing your code under GPL you’re accepting that people will be able to make a profit off your work”

            Thing is – without ‘cores’ as the input, RetroArch as the ‘frontend’ won’t do you any good. It only becomes useful in combination with ‘cores’.

            Which are their entities.

            And since their cores can adopt whichever license they want – things are not so “clear cut” as you would like them to be.

            So sorry – but you’re not going to be able to have your cake and eat it with RA – unless you want to delete over half of the cores (which are all non-commercially licensed) which people actually want. Tough luck son. Find some other program to “monetize” off – because this one isn’t going to do you any damn good.

          4. Alejandro Díaz

            April 23, 2014 — 9:49 pm

            I can do whatever I want with RetroArch’s code as long as I keep the GPL license.

          5. RetroArch is useless without any cores.

            You DO understand that RetroArch is just a ‘libretro frontend’, right? It’s not a ‘collection of emulators’ like Mednafen is.

            If you don’t understand this, there is a ‘Technical Brochure’ PDF on this site that could help explain this to you.

          6. So contact the devs of the cores and request a GPL waiver, or don’t include them with RA, and release RA as whatever license you prefer.

      4. yet another dev

        April 24, 2014 — 8:24 am

        As an emu developper myself, my opinion is that anyone requesting money for his time recomping my work, porting it or even adding a frontend to it, WITHOUT contributing anything to me in return, simply has no respect for me and my work in the first place and is only interested by the benefits he could gain for himself (and his users eventually).

        You can hide behind the GPL argument like people of your kind always did but the truth is that GPL was initially chosen to promote open-source but also encourage contributions and improvements to the projects: adding a frontend, recompiling existing code or publishing an app on a mobile payware platform does not actually benefits to ANYONE but a few users willing to pay for the convenience of playing roms and the people getting 100% of the money for merely 5% of what they are selling, the remaing 95% being the original emulator codebase, barely modified, without which your whole app wouldn’t even exist.

        You do not seem to realize but those are people like you who actually destroy the open-source communities, because no developpers in their right mind would accept to work for others profiting of their work. All it is going to achieve is stagnant open-source emulators with tons of basic frontends bringing nothing to emulation and true emulation work being done in closed-source projects because the appmarket and the mentality of his business babies ruined everything that open-source was initially made for.

  5. You chose the license 🙂 Don’t blame the forkers.

  6. Another big reason why ‘monetizing’ RetroArch in its current form is a sore spot in any way or shape is a very thorny issue –

    RetroArch in its mobile/console form comes ‘packaged’ with all of the libretro core implementations. Some of these are cores licensed under proprietary or non-commercial licenses.

    This is quite a big portion of cores at this point – Genesis Plus GX, MAME, Final Burn Alpha, SNES9x, and other cores.

    Any ‘fork’ of RetroArch that has any monetization bits in it would have to make sure that all those cores are removed first from the overall package – as it would go against their respective licenses.

    RetroArch the ‘frontend’ is licensed under the GPL. The libretro API is MIT-licensed. But the cores can be licensed any which way they want.

    Simply put – you aren’t going to be able to have your cake and eat it when it comes to monetizing off our work. And you can be rest assured that any such project seeking monetization and which does not take the time to remove any of the non-commercial cores out of the package – I will personally contact the respective authors of all those emulators and they will be all too eager to come after you in order to pressure you to take it down themselves.

    This is also why I maintain a hard-line stance against any ‘fork’ seeking monetization – RetroArch as the ‘frontend’ might be GPL, but for mobile ‘usability’ purposes it comes packaged with a lot of bundled cores and a ‘GPL waiver’ which gives us the right to bundle non-GPL cores with it. Any person sullying RetroArch’s image by adding ‘monetization’ to the mix is entering muddy waters, and we try to go for “self-enforcement” instead of some other authority (the FSF or whatever) having to come in and having to do it.

    1. I think I speak for the mass group from BlackBerry when I say that assessment is totally fair – and from our group, its already a non-starter. Big red line through the idea, it was scrapped before you came in by users via chat, and we probably didn’t clarify that well enough. And we certainly don’t support the folks who pushed ahead without your approval for adverts. Trust me when I say we really are not your enemy here. The GPL debate is simply to underline a danger from other groups and to provide a caution.

      It wasn’t our intent to ever bypass you, and I for one apologize if it seems that way. With that said I think both of our groups are agreeing to go separate ways anyway. And I do wish you luck going forward, as you have the potential for something great here.

      But please don’t turn on people who are allies, we would have done a lot to help champion you and retroarch through the platforms before this mess came about – heck we’ve been working on EMU’s on BBRY for years without monetizing them – its a non-issue for us and was a kicking-around the concept idea at best. You would have been engaged before any of those changes would have gone in.

      With that said, I think the relationship here is fractured beyond repair by both parties. So we will raise back up the earlier EMU’s we were working on and retire RetroArch and leave you in peace.

      1. I have no problem with your current Blackberry 10 port as long as I don’t see any monetization.

        If there is going to be monetization, then you will have to go over all the noncommercial cores and hand-delete them. It’s as simple as that. It will devalue the overall package so I doubt it’s something you’d want to do anyway. And that doesn’t even factor in that I REALLY don’t want you to monetize it – but in case you do – you’ll end up with an inferior package anyway.

        > With that said, I think the relationship here is fractured beyond repair by both parties

        I see people talking about “monetization of a fork” while this entire Emu4iOS/AllEmu debacle is ongoing and I see all sorts of forks spring around us which seem to completely negate our mission statements and make sidechannel revenue behind our back. You can’t blame me for not stating in the very strongest possible terms that this is not something I want to see happen and that I would do anything in my power to combat this from getting out of hand.

        You seem to give yourself and your group a fair amount of leeway on this when if anything – my position is perfectly understandable. It always has been from the start, and with the above explanation it should be even more understandable.

        I am not stopping any of you from making RA forks – I am just saying that I will voice my strongest disapproval with anybody entertaining the thought of monetizing off RA and its cores, and if such things will happen, there are several complications that 1) would make it an inferior package, 2) would be a further roadblock to prevent any monetization from being successful (ie. a core being non-commercial), and 3) I would actively keep an eye on it and make sure that whenever something is done that is legally non-permissible (ie. using RetroArch in conjunction with a non-commercial emu), that the respective authorities get informed on it. Several takedowns requested by FBA have already been carried out on the Play Store.

        And lastly, RetroArch is just the frontend. RetroArch is not a monolithic piece of software like Mednafen. It comes with no ’embedded cores’ – these are all separate dynamic libraries, and they are all individually licensed.

        1. Justin Tokarchuk

          April 23, 2014 — 10:11 pm

          Apologies upfront for having to circumvent your ban.

          I would like to personally apologize to you for such a notation. Thinking about it, I would be just as defensive of my baby if someone did the same thing to me. You are 100% correct to defend your hard work as such.

          Your wishes will be strictly adhered to, and it will remain free as in beer forever as intended.

          Things got out of hand here, and really we just want to provide blackberry users access to your product.

          I can understand why emu4ios has angered you, I would be throwing things. I am truly sorry that this came up around the same time, I probably would have had a coronary.

          You have my solemn promise that there will be no altering of your work in any way to suit alterior motives such as monetization, and apologize to you for even tilting at the idea, it was wrong.

          Took a lot to put aside my ego to do this, but here it is.

          PS: I had crackberry thread removed to hopefully stop other people from getting the idea.

          1. Thanks for replying in this way.

            I too did not like seeing things get bent out of shape like this so (against all odds) I’ll consider this to be a sincere response and we can put it down to a misunderstanding.

            I have taken down the screencap on Twitter and I’ll assume good faith for now. I respectfully ask that the Crackberry members forget about the stuff that I said about them today and that they will do the same with regard to me. We can communicate further on Crackberry forums.

          2. Justin Tokarchuk

            April 23, 2014 — 10:17 pm

            Consider it a misunderstanding.

            I would be happy to work with you in the future to push updates upstream.

            I appreciate your willingness to work together after all of this. — and if you have any suggestions to better suit the bb10 to your vision, please let me know.

  7. Good question – Thats from 2 days ago dude. This all spun up this morning.

  8. So you’re going to fork it and build an ad-supported version out of spite… and in the process make some moneiz.

    How nice of you to show your true colors.

    1. Alejandro Díaz

      April 23, 2014 — 9:52 pm

      I could send you the money if you want, I don’t really care about money.

      1. We don’t accept monetary donations.

        Read the Mission page.

      2. Then you have way too much free time in your hands, go plant some trees or something

  9. But who would use your ‘fork’ when you have nothing to offer over the ‘original’ – and ours isn’t crippled and doesn’t come with ads?

    See, there has to be some kind of ‘differential advantage’ to what you do for people to put up with ads.

    And that’s kinda where you guys would be lacking if I could do the BB10 port inhouse. You’d had nothing to offer to anybody since most of you can’t even code.

    I know this important ‘recipe’ to dealing with these ‘payware’ ‘crippled’ version all too well which is why I request for hardware to be ‘gifted’ – so that we can nip this thing in the bud before it gets to be too severe.

    See, I have all avenues cornered dude. I don’t even have to be a license fetishist and try to enforce the unenforcable in order to beat you.

    1. Alejandro Díaz

      April 23, 2014 — 9:51 pm

      I don’t care if someone would use it, as I said I’ll do it just piss you off, I don’t care about money, RetroArch is nice a project that I actually enjoy and I would love to work on it and submit patches upstream(not anymore because you don’t seem really pleasant to work with), how’s that PB version going? No updates at all eh? KermEd would’ve probably donated you a BlackBerry10 device if you would’ve asked him politely btw but that ship has sailed.

  10. I love it when they start playing the “but the license allows it” card.

    “Cheating doesn’t break any laws so go hog wild! Let’s go all WBC and start picketing funerals! Hey, nothing illegal about it so you can’t complain!”

    Really shows where their priorities are.

  11. Squarepusher, I hope the current negatively doesn’t affect your future contributions to this project. I haven’t had time to read all the comments in here but you and Libretro game have created an amazing project and by far one of the best applications I have ever used for gaming on a PC. I just recently discovered RetroArch a couple of months ago and it’s definitely has become the ‘all in one’ for all my emulation needs since it already has all my favorite cores. This helps a lot since I don’t have to use higan/bsnes retarded file load system or switching from one emulator to another. So Thank You, I appreciate your work and hope the best for you and the future of this project.

  12. CuriosityKilledTheCat

    April 26, 2014 — 8:41 pm


    Hello, Mr SquarePusher, I would like to just ask a few questions to better understand.

    1. What is your proof emu4ios is Allemu?
    2. Why do you not just host a non jailbroken version yourself?
    3. Why are you being such a douche (I mean this in the most respectful way possible)?

    1. He can’t host a non jailbroken version since he doesn’t have stolen/leaked/whatever signing certificates.

      Wouldn’t you be protective of a project you dedicate yourself for countless hours every single day?

      Now I have one question. Why did you edit your post?

    2. 3. Would you love someone basically repackaging your work and make money out of it while you personally do not make any financial gain from it yourself ? Probably not. The fact is that you probably don’t care as long as you are not personally involved (and the only thing you are interested in is to keep being able to play with ROMs on your Ipad/Ipod).

  13. nice. My comments have been moderated. Keep living under your rock Squarepusher

    1. Libretro RetroArch

      April 28, 2014 — 1:07 pm

      Your comments were not moderated by me. But if another moderator deemed your post to be non-constructive, then he can feel free to do what he wants.

      And I somehow very much doubt you want to do anything but troll at this stage.

      BTW – you have no leg to stand on given your choice of ‘friends’ in those abominable console scenes. xorloser, soniciso – need I say more? Be glad I didn’t call you guys out on the BS sooner.

    2. > There is no way you can stop it either apart from yelling and screaming
      on some forums and by way of some ridiculous blog post that you think
      will stop people making builds with ads. It wont.

      Actually, it will. And it did.

      In response to this blog post, Emu4iOS has now dropped the AllEmu build and now comes with an ad-free version of RetroArch.

      And we have resolved our differences with the Blackberry 10 guys which are not going to do any ads or any monetization of any kind.

    3. > I also like to add the following : Folks, for some unknown reason
      Squarepusher loves the drama. He loved it in the PS3 scene, in the Xbox
      360 scene and now this.

      There is no ‘PS3 scene’ and there is no ‘Xbox 360 scene’. There is no development of any worth going on in those gutter trash ‘scenes’ other than holding onto ‘secrets’ for monetization purposes – and groups in their little cliques holding onto the ‘secrets’ as long as they can until Sony/MS plug the leaks.

      Those ‘scenes’ you are talking about are multi-level marketing conjob scenes where ‘entrepreneurs’ make money off DRM-crippled dongles (read: xorloser and the Cobra dongle), or doing highly illegal stuff (very stupidly I might add) that can help land themselves in prison (

      You feel free to ally yourself with those people all you want. But I have always had the brains not to ally myself with dangerous loons like that. I knew they were bad news from Day One, and I don’t like being made an accessory to their crimes – both ethically as well as legally.

      You eventually chose to prefer your interaction with those folks over me – which is why you let people like ‘rowdy’ tell you never to interact with me again and you went for it. I hope it’s working out for you because I can’t see it being of any use to anybody really considering their irresponsible behavior that only adds to their rep sheet.

  14. > There is no way you can stop it either apart from yelling and screaming
    on some forums and by way of some ridiculous blog post that you think
    will stop people making builds with ads. It wont.

    Actually, it will. And it did.

    In response to this blog post, Emu4iOS has now dropped the AllEmu build and now comes with an ad-free version of RetroArch.

    we have resolved our differences with the Blackberry 10 guys which are
    not going to do any ads or any monetization of any kind.

  15. > I also like to add the following : Folks, for some unknown reason
    Squarepusher loves the drama. He loved it in the PS3 scene, in the Xbox
    360 scene and now this.

    There is no ‘PS3 scene’ and there is no ‘Xbox 360 scene’. There is no
    development of any worth going on in those gutter trash ‘scenes’ other
    than a bunch of ‘bi-polar nerds’ (touche eh?) holding onto ‘secrets’ for
    monetization purposes – and groups in their little cliques holding onto
    the ‘secrets’ as long as they can until Sony/MS plug the leaks and they
    can no longer ‘freeload’.

    Those ‘scenes’ you are talking about are multi-level marketing conjob scenes that falsely misadvertise themselves as ‘homebrew scenes’. What they are in actuality is a MLM
    pyramid scheme where self-styled ‘entrepreneurs’ make money off people
    with DRM-crippled dongles (read: xorloser and the Cobra dongle), or
    doing highly illegal stuff (very stupidly I might add) that can help
    land themselves in prison ( ).

    You feel free to ally yourself with those people all you want. But I have
    always had the brains not to ally myself with dangerous loons like that.
    I knew they were bad news from Day One, and I don’t like being made an
    accessory to their crimes – both ethically as well as legally.

    You eventually chose to prefer your interaction with those folks over me
    back in 2011 – which is why you let certain people tell you never to
    interact with me again and you went for it (I won’t be naming names
    since you all like your ‘anonymity’ so much). I hope it’s working out
    for you because I can’t see it being of any use to interact with shady
    characters like this really considering their irresponsible behavior
    that only adds to their rap sheet.

  16. > *No-one* gets this worked up about this stuff, except for you.

    How fitting then, because I respect and pay tribute to people who *do* get worked up about stuff. Whatever that happens to be in life. If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything.

  17. Good to hear at least you don’t defend xorloser, soniciso or any other of these people.

    Good that you got out of the 360 ‘scene’. I did pretty much the same thing with all these console scenes in fact after that fallout with those guys and I don’t regret it one bit. At least I have built up a project with some substance and with some redeeming value. I couldn’t have ever done that in those console scenes and being tied to such dubious figures.

    > I just find it sad that years later i still hear/see you chewing out
    whatever person/group you don’t agree with. you’ve made lots of enemies
    over the years and for what?

    Most of the people whom I have made ‘enemies with’ over the years, I made enemies with for a very good reason.

    It may not be a big thing to you, but I need to be able to respect people whom I work with. And ultimately I respect people based on the choices they make in their life. When I see people compromising on their values and compromising on what they think is right, I disassociate myself from them entirely. Because I don’t adopt cult-like mindsets.

    I don’t like seeing this ‘monetization’ fetish and I don’t like this whole ‘mobile bubble economy’ period. Art is no longer elevated but ‘product’. ‘Artists’ are no longer celebrated but CEOs. Artists and designers/programmers no longer get decent wages but have to compete with substandard third-world Indian service wages. And in response, because this economy is totally in the gutter, you see every pathetic wannabe ‘developer’ thinking he needs to ‘steal’ money from some other guy in his own dubious ‘get rich quick’ scheme. Basically, people are getting wise to the fact that this economy is in a bad shape, but instead of doing something positive to make it better for ‘everybody’, they instead adopt a predatory and primitive accumulation mode that benefits nobody – not themselves, not the people around them, not anybody. People think they can ‘make it big’ by emulating a Wall Street hedge fund guy when if anything it makes this economy even more flat out broke. More and more fraud piled on top of itself can not fix a broken foundation.

    It wasn’t always like this, it IS disgusting and more people need to care and start making a positive difference so that it can change. But you don’t ‘change it’ by just ignoring the problem and pretending it isn’t there and doing nothing about it.

    This kind of behavior [the get-rich-quick parasitical enterpreneuralism, the fetishization-of-CEOs] is destroying the essence of civilization in general. It isn’t good for anybody – it’s not good for students, it is not good for middle-class families, it is not good for any kind of sustainable economy. And (to apply this to IT), it is also not good for IT period. First of all, by placing money over anything else, you are basically saying ‘goodbye’ to the entire concept of ‘standing on the shoulder of giants’ and ‘science for science’s sake’. As with anything, this is creating a lot of copycat behavior where everybody all of a sudden wants to see ‘money’ for whatever it is no matter how inconsequential – whether it’s a ROM hack, an emulator port or whatever. I just feel like this mindset should be fought against. So far, I have not seen anybody who has really stepped up to the plate and attacked this heads-on with constructive solutions. Instead, the people who should have been supporting me in this endeavor have instead been attacking me like Haze. And that is just something I can not let slide.

    Being in groups often means you adopt a group ideology or mindset – one which might not be what you thought it was in the beginning or which might be against your own moral conduct. Malcolm X found himself in a similar situation as well when he was still part of the Nation of Islam – and seeing a mental and cultural degradation of their values after he had devoted himself for over 12 years to the cause. And even despite all that, he was able to adopt a non-cult like mode of thinking, investigate the facts, and based on the preponderance of the facts, make his decision to leave the group and start up his own. I view people like that with the greatest amount of respect. To be able to critically and analytically analyze any group/organization you’re part of and recognize that the thing you’re involved in is really up to no good and that you need to get out even if it means having to give up some ‘riches’ or if it means being ‘dangerous’.

    That’s the path I’m trying to walk. Others might think it’s ‘stupid’ or that it’s ‘counterproductive’ or ‘destructive’ – I consider it being ‘real’.

    People who are about being real and who stick to their own code of ethics regardless of group herd mentality often make enemies. I can’t help it that so far I’m one of the few people that practices what he preaches. If I badmouth emulators selling for money on app stores, I do something about it that ‘deters’ these from making any money by offering a competing alternative that does the exact opposite of what they are doing.

    All I see on the opposite end of the spectrum are people like Haze who are crying about this stuff yet they offer no solutions – they offer no alternative. I have at least done *something* – maybe it was not perfect, but what else is? At least I tried *something*. And that needs to be recognized at least.

    I get a lot of undeserved shit from a lot of these people when most people (even my biggest critics) can acknowledge that I am sincere about this and that not a lot of people could fill my shoes in terms of walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

    If anything, more devs should get behind what I’m trying to do with this project. I invested a lot of time, effort and energy into this thing and rejected every possible offer of monetizating off emulation at every turn – in a way that frankly I doubt anybody else would follow in my footsteps.

    > Finally, i have no ill will against you Square. you just need to lighten
    the fuck up. It seems that this stuff causes you so much stress and
    angst *constantly*, you really need to weigh up the value of if its
    really worth it.

    It is worth a lot to me – and I have invested too much time in it at this point anyway for me to just pack up my stuff and ‘leave’ just because of person #A or person #B not wanting to get behind it.

    I still have a lot of goals I want to achieve with this project that extend far beyond emulation, and I’m not going to let anybody or some other group tell me what I am able to achieve or what it can amount to.

    If these groups like MAMEdev would get off my back and stop misrepresenting what this project stands for, I *could* lighten up. It’s Haze that stirred up something where previously nothing existed. Nobody asked him to drag RA/LR down the mud and calling it things like ‘dangerous’ or whatever – and I wouldn’t even have gotten involved if he had stopped shitstirring about it. After four/five days, I had enough. I don’t know what your capacity for abuse is, but my personal limit is five days of continuous, malintently lying about something.

    At least the subject of this thread (the Emu4iOS/Blackberry thing) got resolved – that is good to see.

    > Like i said i wouldn’t have cared if you didn’t come after me on
    Twitter for my views about (the death of) Japanese gaming. So there you
    have it.

    Yeah maybe that comment came out of the blue and it’s something I shouldn’t have said in such a manner. Sorry for that. At the same time, I vehemently disagree with a lot of the things you said about gaming but then again there are ways to say that without calling somebody a ‘has-been’ and whatever.

    So yeah I take that back. It might also have been the fact that I was still under the impression that ever since 2011 you had been told by rowdy not to get involved in anything I do anymore so I still felt like there was something there. Maybe there wasn’t. I had always hoped for libretro/RA to be something you could get behind and I just felt disappointed I guess when I didn’t see any kind of support after all these years. But yeah – not really anything I can blame people for and people will support what they want to support.

    And honestly I have no ill will towards you as well other than some of these ‘characters’ you had in your posse like the sonicisos, rowdys and what else. But if you disassociated from them then no big deal.

  18. I feel that you would be standing in front of a ‘THE Best Of ME’ poster soon.

    Seriously, I find irritated that others would do this. I mean, while I support liberty software and the GPL, I wish that there was a license that ONLY prohibited commercial use (something that a lot of programmes can find a use), yet, unfortunately, ‘commercial use’ is rather nebulous. Maybe you should make a ‘Libretro License’/’RetroArch License’?

    (A parenthesis: given how MAME snubbed license issues despite warnings, I doubt that MAME is at a good position of calling you ‘dangerous’. )

    1. The problem with writing one’s own proprietary custom license is though –

      1) A lot of the Linux distributions that are big on ‘libre’ and think ‘libre’ == GPL would drop us from ever appearing in their official repositories, or they would not consider doing so in the first place. So that kills off a lot of adoption right there.
      2) Given the vague nature of the GPL’s position on dynamically loadable cores that slot into a frontend, going with a non-GPL frontend could be a big problem given the virulent demands imposed by GPL (that everything else must be GPL as well). At least going with a GPL frontend allows us to include a GPL waiver so that we can still include non-commercial cores – and in the case the user decides to decline the waiver, the non-commercial cores get deleted from the package.
      3) Your license is only as good as your ability to enforce it. So most of it is just an exercise in futility anyway since none of us have the money or the ability to ‘enforce’ this through the court system.

      Anyway, I think what is far more effective than retreating into ‘la-la-land’ and writing up fancy licenses that nobody will ever bother to enforce, is to hit them where it hurts – and offer no-strings attached, free official versions of RetroArch anywhere – so the thought will never occur in somebody’s mind to ever download or install an ad-ridden version. This is how you successfully beat this kind of misappropriation of intent.

      We just need the community’s willing cooperation to agree on a simple set of rules for the greater good and then – barring a few apples here and there – I think there will be no great problem really. And if self-enforcement isn’t applied in the emulation scene, the authorities will come in sooner or later anyway. Paypal and Google are already working together to block or seize people’s accounts that profit from copyright infringement – Broglia has already been hit a number of times with this – and I’d say deservedly so. The actions of a few here reflect badly on an entire scene, so self-regulation here is the solution before platform holders decide to take matters in their own hands. Were it not for the Google Play store allowing emulators in the first place, most of this problem wouldn’t even exist right now anyway. It all pretty much traces back to that. (I think the only reason Microsoft allows it on their end with the Windows App Store is the lack of a sizable userbase for Surface/Winphone so they can’t afford to alienate a major attraction like emulation).

      1. Given the possible copyright infringement, I am surprised that Google Play allowed emulators in the 1st place!

  19. GPL allows this? Well, yes, as long they can provide advertisements code when asked. In most cases, they cannot. For example, Google AdMob’s code is not released under any open source license. Therefore, ports that added non-free advertisements code, and released the version with ads broke the license.

  20. Thatsy why GPL is useless is modern age, custom license with non-commercial usage clause would better. Problem is non-commercial usage licenses seems to be incompatible with GPL software.

  21. Nothing said hasn’t already been said. No point stirring the pot so much after the fact.

    1. you come here a few months later on an issue long forgotten and say “no point stirring the pot”??

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