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The Voice of Emulation : Shane Monroe - May 12,1998 by JoseQ
Shane Monroe, owner and master of one of the most popular sites aroundhas been under the spotlight frequently this past few weeks. The reason? Whenit comes to defending the rights of the emulation world, without exception, he'lllet everyone know that we are here to stay and that no IDSA or FBI is going toscare us. Making us proud seems to be Shanes #1 priority, and he excels at it.Following is an in depth look at the man behind the Coin, Shane Monroe.

In view of the current state of the Emulation popularity out there, what do you think will happen in the short run, andthe long run?

In the short run, I think that we will continue to see the great classics uncovered and perfected in emulation. In thelong run, due to all the uproar of copyright issues, emulation may go underground. As it stands now, we can promote theemulators. In the future, we may be able to host the emu's ... but get the ROMs off of #exceed :) Emulation will become arace for perfection soon; vice a race for getting a higher number of games emulated .

At what rate do you see the emulation "popularity" growing? Too much, too little?

The future will tell ... it depends on if emulation gets easier for the end user. As it stands, you have to have an I.Q. atleast at room temperature to run MAME for DOS and such. The interest is rising steadily to be sure ... but there will alwaysbe an audience who will never 'get it'.

Would you rather see it shrink in hopes of not getting "unwanted" people to notice?

No. I love to see my boss's 11-year old daughter getting hopelessly addicted to ZOOKEEPER . Thecopyright issue will come to a head eventually - one way or another. If it goes to WAREZ, the audience will shrink. If theIDSA gets off everyone's back, it will grow the way it should.

Do you feel emulation would grow even faster if IDSA weren't there? why?

At this point, they aren't really stopping anything ... big sites are still up - little sites fold at a slightly faster rate thannormal 'Net attrition. If someone would 'bless' it, someone in a position of power, then sure; it will grow a tad faster,because the little guys would be keeping their heads above water too.

Dont you think IDSA not being there would make companies move into selling emulators, and all hell break loose?

First, I don't think companies can make nearly the money they THINK they can by shutting us down and making their'own' versions. Face it; most attempts at commercial emulations have been whimsical at best (William's Arcade Collection,Return to Arcade, etc.) and end up in bundles and in the bargain bin in a few months. Kicking emu authors/sites asses, pissingeveryone off, will do even LESS for their revenue.
Hasbro wants the rights to Atari games so they have the legal rights to make recreations... I doubt they will give arat's ass about the new ones. Sounds to me that IDSA is making more stink than ANY singular company ... except maybeNinbimbo ....

In your opinion, what happened to the Neo_Geo emu, and the N64 one? Do you think they got "bought"?

No, they got threatened. Those people who don't have the good sense to traceback fake email threats and not foldat the first sign of anything letigious will back out. Last I heard, emulation per se is NOT illegal - period... They can't force anemulation team to stop working. However, if they can actually PROVE some reverse engineering violation - and take it to courtand win - perhaps they can stop it. They guys just didn't care enough to keep it up. Besides, theyare probably U.S. based.
MAME's team being mainly foreign - well, the U.S./FBI/IDSA have absolutely NO juristiction over them.They just plain can't shut down MAME. Too bad about NEO GEO and N64, but frankly it doesn't bother me ...

Last you heard, was copying / dumping or distributing ROMs ilegal?

Well, IDSA will scream it is, but they have never EVER once shown an actual DOCUMENT that says WHY.Copyrights have expiration dates. You can't tell me that every game supported in MAME, say, have all had their copyrightsrenewed. The legal system allows users of software a legal backup of their software - period - and that should coverconsoles as well as arcade roms. They claim making these ROMs public is illegal. I am sure that is a grey area. I am no lawyer.

How come you're not afraid to speak out? (You're doing a tremendous job of voicing us out I might add)

I am probably an idiot. At this point in time, I have taken measures to make my site 'legal'. I have enough peopleoffering ROM storage space for Insert Coin that I can pick up and move anytime. They cannot legally serve me a cease anddesist order for linking another page's content. Besides, someone has to stand up for good people. Why the HELL are theychasing us around when there are assholes trading kiddy and puppy porn all over AOL? Why?when they could be going after the offer bots giving away 0-day warez that actually DO tap into the big gamecompanies' coffers?

I completely agree!

People have far too much time on their hands if they continue to pursue us for playing ASTRO FIGHTER (which,BTW, I dropped a quarter into at the drive-in last weekend - so you are actually MAKING money off me).

What can people do to help emulation get IDSA of its back if anything?

Complete professionalism ... no freaky ranting and raving like I do! Seriously, write to them (the address is ontheir site). Politely state your opinions, logically and sanely ... don't freak out. There are enough lunatics supporting the cause.Tell them you quite simply that you feel classic arcade emulation should be free , that you will NOT support commercial emulation or other commercial products offered by companies that pursuelegal recourse against emulation sites and authors. They can't ignore millions of voices .. Hasbro is ALREADY listening.Drop them a supportive line as well.

Thank you very much Shane for this interview, we really appreciate it.
I appreciate you folks taking the time to spread the word!

I think I speak for all of us when I say "We love you man!"
[blush] I won't drop the soap, then!

You mean you will give us your bud light?
LOL .. Maybe 100% clean samples for GORF someday.

Related Links
Insert Coin: Classic Arcade Game Emulation
Article Published in San Jose mercury News

One Article Up: The MAME Top Ten Games - Take II
One Article Down: Neo Geo Page updated

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