PaulsCode Forum

Mupen64Plus AE => General Discussion => Topic started by: scorpio16v on January 14, 2012, 12:30:21 AM

Title: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: scorpio16v on January 14, 2012, 12:30:21 AM
Oh, I see in the market a new N64 emulator. It seems not only based of yongzh's work.
No, in this case some bytes were lend from mupen64plus - ae.

Anyone bought this s**t ?  ???

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.techworkzx.n644droid&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS50ZWNod29ya3p4Lm42NDRkcm9pZCJd
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on January 14, 2012, 06:01:58 AM
I don't mind folks starting new branches, but here's again another example of someone ignoring the GPL.  I'll email him to ask for the source code, but I don't expect to get it because at least some of the components appear to be from decompiling the N64oid closed-source components (judging from the screenshots)
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on January 14, 2012, 07:29:28 AM
I bought it just to see how much of it is from N64oid.  Turns out it is an exact copy of Mupen64Plus AE ver 1.3, with (as far as I can tell) no components from N64oid at all.  The "screenshots" are complete bogus (taken from an early version of N64oid and not from this app).  The only difference from Mupen64Plus AE, that I can tell, is the application icon and the statusbar icon (the later of which is the official Nintendo 64 logo, so someone could potentially report him to Nintendo for stealing copyright material).  It is such an exact copy of Mupen64Plus AE, that it uses [sdcard]/Android/data/paulscode.android.mupen64plus to store its settings, and starts in /data/data/paulscode.android.mupen64plus/libs when you choose to change a plug-in.  In other words, it won't even fully work on someone's device unless they have Mupen64Plus AE (the non-Xperia Play branch) installed! (or if their device is rooted to allow them to browse /data/data)  Well, at least we'll see if the developer opens the source and works to improve the project.  Perhaps I'm just cynical, but for some reason I think his goal is probably just to list the exact same emulator for $.99 instead of $1.00, so his version is more likely to be installed before Mupen64Plus AE (maybe I should lower the price of my listing by 1 cent, haha).

Interestingly, on my Droid X, it shows the app is "Not compatible with my device" (I had to install it on my wife's Droid Razer).  I'm wondering what restriction he put on the app.. the description mentions it is supposed to be compatible back to ARM6 ???
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on January 14, 2012, 08:21:34 AM
The developer (Tim Wong) got back to me, which is a good sign (more than Yongzh did when I contacted him for the full N64oid source code).  He stated:

Quote
Hey Paul
I'm providing the source as soon as possible,
this will be something
like in 2 weeks, not all is working atm cause I'm taking different source from Mupen64, Paul oO Thats you =) and another source which is not already open
for everyone, just want to be shre most off it is working :)
Thanks for your patient

It should be noted, that the GPL does not allow this (the entire source must be licensed by the GPL and opened BEFORE distribution is legal).  However, it is at least a good sign that he is at least planning to open the source in a couple weeks.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see.  Another open-source N64 emulator for Android would definitely be a good thing!
Title: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Epic_bubble on January 22, 2012, 05:59:45 PM
The guy who made n64 4 droid uploaded the source code, Its probably no different to yours but here it is anyway. http://sourceforge.net/projects/n644droid/

EDIT: I poked through the code and the only differences I have found so far is the app icon and data installer icon, and the metadata has a different package name. The rest of the code still has all the references to paulscode and seems to be unchanged.
Title: Re: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Paul on January 22, 2012, 06:12:49 PM
Yes, I did a line-by-line comparison using  Beyond Compare, and there are nothing but superficial changes.  He added another STL-port static library, but his project isn't linking with it (maybe this is an indication he will be doing something with Kris' video plug-in, since that is the only component in the project that uses STL).  It's a poorly done copy at that - he has the Android target messed up in the make files (which is why it is showing incompatible on a lot of devices, I think), and it even uses [sdcard]/Android/data/paulscode.android.mupen64plus to store the configurations (so changing settings in either app affects both apps).  Still waiting for his "big update" that is supposed to have some new component that "hasn't been released yet" (Is it foolish of me to hope this will be a new video plug-in?  haha!)
Title: Re: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Epic_bubble on January 22, 2012, 06:18:23 PM
Yeah I just noticed it uses the same app data, I compiled it and it didn't try to download anything. And know its open source and now that he has released the source code for his version now (which is basically the same) but I dont think its right that he can profit off it without actually contributing anything. If he did manage to port a video plugin I would change my mind haha.

Title: Re: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Paul on January 22, 2012, 06:24:34 PM
Goes to show the difference between "right" and "legal".  I think the low rating he has is an indication that people recognize that.  I'm still hoping he has enough programming experience (and the intention) to actually fix some things.  It would be nice to have him on board this project instead, or at least coordinate our development efforts here on the forum so we aren't duplicating effort by working on the same things at the same time, though.
Title: Re: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Paul on January 22, 2012, 06:34:10 PM
He has also added some source for "regtests" which has something about r4300 profiling.  None of these files are hooked up to the project either at the moment, but could also indicate future intent.  It could mean he is versed in R4300 which could be a good thing (I would have no use for this profiling ability, since I don't understand R4300 instructions anyway).  If so, he may be better suited to optimize the core than I am.

Yeah I just noticed it uses the same app data, I compiled it and it didn't try to download anything.
Interesting thing about this, is if someone has both Mupen64Plus AE and N64 4 Droid installed, if they uninstall Mupen64Plus AE, it will delete the app data, and N64 4 Droid will be forced to restore it.  Not sure why I find that humorous.  ;D
Title: Re: N64 4 Droid
Post by: Epic_bubble on January 22, 2012, 06:55:49 PM
Interesting. Hopefully these new files are a sign of something new coming to the emulator. If he does add some new stuff maybe we could persuade him to join the forums. :)
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on January 22, 2012, 07:16:24 PM
To be honest, even if Tim's motivation is just to make money, I don't really have a problem with that if he is able to contribute useful code to the project :)  My goal is to contribute to the open source community and the emulation effort, any way I can.  The two projects could even merge the other way at some point in the distant future if he shows strong leadership and ability to get folks involved.  I mentioned this before, but if N64oid had been truly open-source I would have helped Yongzh with development on his project rather than starting a separate project and creating competition for him.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 02, 2012, 04:54:22 AM
I see that N64 4 Droid has reached the 10,000-50,000 installs bracket on the Market.  Mupen64Plus AE is also in this bracket, meaning Tim's build has been installed almost as many times as mine (possibly even more).  That truly amazes me.  I wonder if it is just the 1-cent difference in price, or the icon artwork, or just the same people are installing both apps, hoping for different game compatibilities between the two.  I sure hope Tim puts some effort into helping further develop this project now that he's making a good bit of money from it.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: shuy3n on February 02, 2012, 05:10:53 AM
Possibly the dumbed down name and the n64 controller logo, I suppose people see mupen and don't quite know what it is
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: hortino on February 13, 2012, 11:08:17 PM
Another mupen copy has shown up on the market it appears.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: scorpio16v on February 14, 2012, 12:06:51 AM
Is it a license violation, if you give the source only to people who asked you ?

That couldn't be the spirit of open source.
These people are only interested to make money with other people's work.

You should really decide to contact google. Even if it ends with a bann for all N64 emulators from market. At least Mupen64plus -AE.  >:(
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 14, 2012, 06:28:47 AM
Well, I could do that according to the GPL, but I'd rather keep the project as open as possible.  It's worth it to me to make this a community effort, even if a few people copy it just to make a quick buck.  I'd also rather not get google involved, or they could just rip every emulator from the market.  Now, when I eventually do post a closed-source commercial app at some point in the future (have to come up with an idea first, haha), then I would bee furious if someone posted a copy, and would complain to google about it.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: trev186 on February 14, 2012, 09:50:52 AM
Well, I could do that according to the GPL, but I'd rather keep the project as open as possible.  It's worth it to me to make this a community effort, even if a few people copy it just to make a quick buck.  I'd also rather not get google involved, or they could just rip every emulator from the market.  Now, when I eventually do post a closed-source commercial app at some point in the future (have to come up with an idea first, haha), then I would bee furious if someone posted a copy, and would complain to google about it.


I agree don't draw Google's wrath .

Just buy ,leave a bad review and then refund;
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 15, 2012, 04:06:58 PM
It looks like DM N64 and N64 Player have been pulled from the Android Market.  Those were the two that violated the GPL by either posting the wrong source code (or none at all).  N64 4 Droid is still up, though.  I'd guess that's because Tim is abiding by the GPL... at least I hope that's the reason, and our apps aren't going to get pulled next :-[)
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: shuy3n on February 15, 2012, 04:20:36 PM
I Think this is why the cyanogen market cant come quick enough
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 15, 2012, 05:59:12 PM
I've been carefully reading the Android Market agreement to see if there is anything in there that would apply to emulators.  The only obvious clauses are things like don't violate someone else's intellectual property rights, and don't violate the terms of other licenses the product is bound by (GPL falls into this category).  That being said, there is one clause of the Android Market agreement, under section 7.2 that is a bit worrisome:

Quote
In the event that your Product is involuntarily removed because it is defective, malicious, infringes intellectual property rights of another person, defames, violates a third party's right of publicity or privacy, or does not comply with applicable law, and an end user purchased such Product within a year before the date of takedown,: (i) you must refund to Google, all amounts received, plus any associated fees (i.e. chargebacks and payment transaction fees), and (ii) Google may, at its sole discretion, withhold from your future sales the amount in subsection (i) above.

The word "defective" is my main worry, because it is not clearly defined by the agreement.  It could potentially be argued that an emulator which doesn't emulate the hardware perfectly is "defective".  The other term is "does not comply with applicable law" (in theory, future laws could potentially outlaw emulators).  In either of these cases, Google could, by the terms of the agreement, pull Mupen64Plus AE from the market and require me to refund all amounts received plus fees.  Seriously, if that were to happen, it would be financially devastating.. I think I'd better get a non-emulator commercial app or two on the market to generate some buffer revenues in the event that something like this could happen.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: scorpio16v on February 15, 2012, 11:45:23 PM
That's a point I don't understand. How can google force to pay back the money, the users have paied ?
That's my money, not Googles.

I never got my cash back for the 2 psx4droid versions and for n64oid !

Maybe we should take a lawyer then, if Goggle holds the cash back !  ;D

Is it a typical silly US law. So google have only to bann Apps to make money twice, or what ???
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: dmapps on February 21, 2012, 09:16:38 AM
Hi Paul and the others,

Im the guy who made DM 64. The reason i made my version of your emulator was for 3 reasons. 1. i though it was awesome, 2. i thought i could make it look better and 3. to make a quick buck. I figured it wouldn't hurt the project and people mostly have it now anyway.

Maybe i was wrong that's an opinion. I just thought id give you the heads up though as you mentioned paul that my app was pulled because of failure to follow the GPL or whatever. Thing is it wasnt that DM 64 app that had the problem it was my other (legitimate) fantasy premier league app which i did make. (quick karma you would say right?)

That is also why the other guy is still there with his crappy version also. As he hasn't broken any google laws so to speak or they havent noticed them at least. Google take their reporting system quite seriously (user moderated market) and my app was shut down because some cretin (competitor) didnt like the fact i had a similar app for a cheaper price so he reported me for using the premier league logo and i was insta banned for copyright. They took my $25 dollars and failed to reply to my 100 emails.

So if you really wanna get this guys app taken down. Get a few people to report the fact he is using an N64 controller in logo and also Nintendo is shown on his screenshots.

Also another thing. Disclaimer notes mean jack shit in google terms so you have several cases for copyright including the use of your work (code).

One last thing. He has no intentions of improving the code AT ALL! He is purely doing as i did in "borrowing" open source apps and reproducing them under a new name. (note his new psx bios app)

So all in all im here to say sorry and i did buy your app aswell before stealing it so i contributed at least. You guys are doing a great thing here. Dont let anyone including myself screw with your project. I'm working on a new website at the moment and if you like i can stick an ad on it to feed some traffic your way if you like.

All the best

Dave
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 21, 2012, 03:19:32 PM
Hey, dmapps, thanks for the donation.  Personally, I do not consider it stealing if people are posting branches of the app (they have a legal right to do so under the GPL, as long as they don't claim to be the author of components they didn't write or modify themselves).  I am more concerned if they are only posting them make money and not contributing anything, or to "get back" at me for getting them pulled from the market (eg. N64 Player, which is now re-listed on the market for free after being pulled the same time DM 64 was  --EDIT-- nvm, this is just an AirPush version, to make money from adds.. probably not listed to get revenge  :D).  Assuming you aren't banned from the Android Market forever (or if you switch to a different market like SlideMe), I encourage you to continue your own branch and contribute back to the open-source community (both branches can benifit from everyone's efforts).

With regards to the copyright infringements, what are they specifically in the market listing for Mupen64Plus AE?  Just the screenshots?  I could use screenshots from homebrew ROMs instead, however I honestly think it is unlikely that google would pull the app just for the screenshots (N64 Arcade, for example, has been up for almost a year with screenshots of commercial games posted).  I will write them to ask (assuming they respond).
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: dmapps on February 22, 2012, 08:59:46 AM
No probs for the donation its a great app. I understand your points and fair play for still remaining positive about the whole situation.

As for the screenshots google doesn't do anything unless they are told. Nobody has probably gone out their way to notify them. Take for example my app that got banned recently. It was on their for 3-4 months until my competitor complained.
  Now google have banned my account and they don't ever plan to lift this ban which sucks. I've pretty much given up on my app development past time now because of google and its silly moderators. They didn't even email me to say change the image, they just took it down and banned me which i feel is ridiculous.
  I don't feel my level of expertise is anywhere near the level of yours so i doubt i can really contribute on a coding sense. Perhaps graphically (i see you have a few good designers already on here) or maybe just to chuck some ideas your way.

In short google don't wanna get sued by anyone so hate copyright. Your screens will be ok (i think) but the other guy guy who ripped has nintendo etc on his screens and the controller in his feature logo.

I made a pokedex app which displayed all the pokemon with their stats etc. Now this got banned beause of the name and the content. This lasted literally 2 mins before i got an email from google telling me so. They must employ people to watch the market for such apps. It was a simple app, as web design is my thing i just used a webview to show a mobile website i made linked to a database for the stats etc with a basic menu and browser functions. It worked well and wasted 2 weeks of my life lol.

So yeh i think your app will be fine on there but the other guys who have ripped can easily be taken down due to the nature of their imaging.

Apologies for the long post and history lesson my app dev :D
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on February 22, 2012, 04:04:04 PM
Thanks for the long post, I am definitely interested in studying this topic some more, because I have other ideas for (non-emulator) apps that I want to post, and being perma-banned would really stink.

I am holding a screenshot competition (http://www.paulscode.com/forum/index.php?topic=242.msg3415#msg3415), if you'd like to contribute and get some of the money from the donations.  Especially wth the hires texture support that will be in the next update and a lot more games without graphics glitches, there's a lot of potential for creativity in this area.  If you have some graphics design experience, that could give you a leg-up in the competition too (you are free to get "artistic" as you like with the screenshots, as long as they don't misrepresent the emulator's capabilities).  If screenshots aren't your thing, I'll be holding other competitions in the future as well (probably a video competition next).
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: dmapps on February 26, 2012, 07:46:04 AM
cheers Paul I've posted a screenshot and ill keep an eye out in the future for other competitions. If there's any other way i can help ill do my best to get stuck in.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: hortino on March 06, 2012, 11:32:18 PM
Hey paul, with a number of these replicas popping up and just copying your updates and such, i propose a sneaky " bait and switch" if you will. You could release a fake update that, when loading anything on the app it simply displays a message from you, i trust you could come up with something clever and amusing. Now all of us in the Paul's code community would be warned of such an update and not do it.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Paul on March 07, 2012, 02:12:01 PM
Funny idea, but I doubt anyone would fall for it.  I'm sure these devs at least run the app once to make sure it works before they upload it to the market.  And besides, if I were to release an update without the real source code posted, there is a chance that Google would pull Mupen64Plus AE from the market for violating the GPL.
Title: Re: N64 4 DroiD - another rip-off
Post by: Mateorod on March 13, 2012, 03:37:50 AM
If this is the same rip-off as the "free" w/ads version, then I came by just to say I downloaded/uninstalled so I could 1* it and then flag it as inappropriate..

And if there is a new one, paul, feel free to move this post to the appropriate thread.

Thanks for all the work. No doubt the best emulator out there, and I have tried the others.