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historical question about fceu in contrib


Just a quick note to ask you about the fceu Debian package, as its story
kind of relates to some existing software in contrib.

In this message to debian-legal:


you said:
        I currently maintain an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)
        emulator for Debian called fceu (FCE Ultra).  Although it is
        licensed under the GPLit is currently in contrib since it is
        mainly useful to play non-free ROMs (eg. Super Mario Brothers,
        Legend of Zelda, etc...).  I would like to do what I can to move
        it into main.

It seems kind of strange to me and some other debian-legal people that a
package was kept out of main because the data files it uses are
non-free. Even for emulators and interpreters, this is kind of unusual.

Can you explain, for my benefit, why fceu wasn't in main in the first
place? Was it your decision, or did you get advice on the matter from
others? Was it just because the game ROMs are usually non-free, or was
there other software (such as an operating-system ROM) that was

Thanks for your help.

Evan Prodromou <evan@debian.org>

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