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lucky1

Important Note About The Future Of Pin2Dmd

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Hi pinheads,

 

in the last weeks some serious topics arised about our open source project which made it necessary to make some changes in

the way we deal with it. It has been reported that some try to make money out of pin2dmd and sell devices commercially. It

also has been reported that parts of our code (mainly the pin2dmd editor and its relating code on the device) are planned

to be used commercially. Last but not least Steve and I were "kindly asked" by the owner of a US patent to stop integrating

colorization techniques of any kind, like smartdmd and others, because he believes it is all his intellectual property.

We are sure that we don´t break any law, with what we are doing. As you may know Steve and I live in europe where every non commercial

DIY project is free of patent or copyright conflicts anyways, Since money eats brain and we don´t want to be a reason for a serious

damage done by a brain parasite, Steve and I decided to introduce a activation system coupled with the Unique ID of the

controller. That change makes it necessary to limit the access to the source code of pin2dmd to contributors only and publish updates

in binary form. The current release on github will stay opensource and from now on will only be updated in basic parts of the source.

However the functionality of the current version with a reduced feature set is still superior to other commercial products on the market.

 

Sorry that all this is necessary to make sure that PIN2DMD will stay a non commercial charityware project which its only goal is

to serve the community and in the charity aspect the people in need.

 

Thanks for your understanding

 

Lucky1

 

  • Upvote 3

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I'm a little confused as to what exactly this means...  Is this more related to the colorization for real machines?  Does these changes have anything at all to do with how this is handled with PinMAME?

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Since the source of the data is unified in pin2dmd before it is processed and

all processing is done independently it also affects pinmame data. Which means

that only a version with a valid activation key can e.g. display smartdmd colorized

stern ROMS or PIN2DMD Editor colorized ROMs for all other systems. The basic pinmame

features are part of the public github version.

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We removed all colorization options using SmartDMD or Pin2DMD editor features

from the public version . Well known members of the community, especially members

of the pin2dmd hall of fame and content contributors are the first which get their

free activation key. The whole project stays non profit and keeps on supporting

the charity project.

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Lovely. So you need to be a licensed Pinball Browser customer even to use frames edited by the PIN2DMD Editor?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Lovely. So you need to be a licensed Pinball Browser customer even to use frames edited by the PIN2DMD Editor?

No ! How do you get this idea. You can use the colored ROMS the same way you use them now.

You just need a activation key for your device. The idea is not to lock out anybody of the community.

The idea is to lock out those who want profit commercially from our community project.

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Thank you for the update.

If you've already received notice from someone regarding IP claims, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it also affects pindmd3 - I'm interested to see how they handle it. Since they're profiting from this it should set the bar for how you can move forward

 

So just to clarify:

The current open source project available, which will not see many further updates, has had the colorization options removed, correct? (I'm reading this as a yes) does that also mean the Pinmame colorization will not work? Or just the SmartDMD feature/keyframe (pin2dmd editor) features? Meaning we can still set the 4 colors in pinmame... (also assuming yes)

 

Future updates to users with a provided key, they can access SmartDMD and pin2dmd editor features with updates?

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I think the IP thing is mainly driven by the lack of a product which is comparable

to pin2dmd. Besides the fact that it is in many many points different from the product

described in the patent, we are also serving different users (one like LED the others like

LCD with upscaling smudging etc.) I´m pretty sure that they don´t lose any customer through us.

Last but not least the patent is only valid in the US. But to sell a commercial product in the US

which may or may not infringe a patent is something completely different.

Pinmame colorization is and stays part of the github source. It is just

the smartdmd / keyframe features that was removed.

The users with a key will have access to all features.

These are mainly :

- SmartDMD inframe palette switching

- PIN2DMD Editor supported features

- hardware accelerated keyframe recognition (including masked out scores/dynamic text)

- playback of frame sequences triggered by keyframe

- increase color depth of animations

As a side effect the upcoming version also has some features I worked on which out of laziness

I won´t port to the public version. e.g.

- USB dump from real pinball machine (e.g. to record spike animations)

- improved streaming routine for video and pictures like used in modified XDMD for pinballX

- file upload routine to SD Card (currently only for frame sequences)

- improved speed through the use of core coupled RAM instead of SRAM where possible.

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Commercial users, Patents.... what a headache to open source life.

That is a bummer but I guess you want to do what's best to avoid rocking the boat.

I'm sure you'll find a way to verify/ID all of us end users who are behaving, So we can enjoy the full power of our units!

I am super disappointed about the Keyframe thing because I'm not really good enough at pinball to use the "framegrabber" method that Pin2DMD Editor was on before and I was sure a complete capture like Pinball Browser has was the trick. I wanted to 16 colour some WPC titles. We should start a sign up list so we don't all work on the same things.

I'm sure we're down but not out, Lucky1  Thanks again for your amazing efforts (even if I didn't get my LEDs yet)

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I'm sure you'll find a way to verify/ID all of us end users who are behaving, So we can enjoy the full power of our units!

 

Sure ! If you behave ;)

 

I am super disappointed about the Keyframe thing because I'm not really good enough at pinball to use the "framegrabber" method that Pin2DMD Editor was on before and I was sure a complete capture like Pinball Browser has was the trick.

 

I think with the USB dump routine for real pinball users and the vpinmame dump for vpin users we have covered most usecases.

However we got contacted from a member of the community you wanted to add a routine to read directly in the ROM files using wpcedit source

as a starting point but I haven´t heard from him for a long time now.

  • Upvote 1

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I have no words to people who are using someone else's ideas for their own profit.   :angry:

 

 

 

When and how we can get the key ??

 

Thanks

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So the software will still be charityware, but there won't be any source code access to the public any longer?  Well, other than what's out there now?

 

So when you and Steve lose interest, or get hit by a bus, or whatever causes you to not care any more, this thing just stops where it is?

 

That would be a shame, and all but kills my interest in it.

 

I've been involved in open source software in kind of a big way since 1991.  I've never seen any project that was "almost" open source live a long and happy life.  Seen many that started out really good and ended up dead on the side of the road, though.  But it's your software and your decision to make.

 

 

--Donnie

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Maybe it wasn't exactly clear in Lucky's first post, but source access will be limited to contributers only doesn't mean just Lucky1 and me. If there is any serious interest from somebody she / he will of course get access to the repositories.

Cheers Steve

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Maybe it wasn't exactly clear in Lucky's first post, but source access will be limited to contributers only doesn't mean just Lucky1 and me. If there is any serious interest from somebody she / he will of course get access to the repositories.

Cheers Steve

... and since we don´t cross the street together very often, the possibility that we got hit by a bus together is really small.

The good thing is that the people we want to block are mostly not capable of doing anything like that on their own.

So it is pretty easy to sort them out.

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Still, while "friendware" is better than "closed source", it's still not "open source." 

 

Since you've outlined there's no way you can get in trouble, I'm just not sure why you care so much if someone does some rogue commercial sale of it.  I'm not saying *ignore* that situation, but you out the perpetrators and move on.  Any "damage" that might be done to patent holders in the country the patent is issued in is for the patent holders to sort out with the infringing party, which wouldn't be you.  *shrug*

 

FWIW, it's yours to draw the line in the sand anywhere you wish.  I'd prefer the line be even more open and allow for commercial sale, too, as long as source code was provided and whatnot.  But I can live with open source for non-commercial use.  Just don't think I can live with this.  Which I admit is my problem, not yours.  Just letting you know since I might not be alone.

 

 

--Donnie

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Since most of your posts are about the commercial use of PIN2DMD, I wonder what your real

interest in this project is. When you are really able to code something like this yourself,

as you stated in another post, you are welcome to contribute to this project by e.g.

integrating it full color into XDMD or UltraDMD or anything else.

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Yeah, I worried you might be suspicious of my motivations.  Folks who want to protect their source code so tightly usually are the suspicious type.  But man, I really hope you haven't made these new changes because of *me*.

 

You can believe me or not, but I have *zero* interest in ANY of this except as an end user.  I don't have the time or energy to bother.  There was a time that I did, as I was nearly a bidder to buy the WMS rights back when they first shuddered their pinball division.  But now?  I'm just a collector who really enjoys doing interesting mods to my games.  And as such, I love to see mod communities thrive.

 

I've been doing open source "stuff" since I first started using Linux in 1991.  I've seen many different communities rise and fall around software-only as well as software/hardware projects.  I've got a pretty good idea what works long and short term.  And while your community may survive under these conditions, you're not giving it the best chance to survive past your own interest.  Again, that's your call and your right to decide.  I'm just one user who may likely to choose to bow out.  Outside of that, I'm also a user who cares to see interesting projects like this do survive.  Call it a soft spot of mine.

 

I know it seems counter-intuitive when you're afraid of what commercial entities might do.  It did to me, too, before I made the leap.  But I joined a little start-up that gave away every bit of code we wrote as true open source and added it to a bunch of other open source and turned it into a product.  Yeah, we made money so I guess we were evil.  But we did that while making it such that anyone could download and use our code for free, in their own commercial product, even.  Anyone could have forked it at any time.  And they have, multiple times.  But the main code base lives on.  Anyway, again, it's yours.  I'm but a lone potential user.  Not a competitor.  You do what you need to do.  I'm just not sure why you care to protect it that tightly.  *shrug*

 

 

--Donnie

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Also please remember, while I would prefer an open source license that did allow commercial use (with source code distributed and all changes fed back), I was still fine with the previous situation. It's this latest change that's making me question if I care to continue.

--Donnie

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Since you are just a user it does make no difference for you anyways. Your decision if you like it more to use

a closed source commercial alternative or stay with pin2dmd where the main base code is still open source and lives

on as such.

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But that's just it, it's no longer open source at all. Sorry to see it go.

--Donnie

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But it is "open" for the ones who would participate and contribute to it, as Lucky said they would be let in to the repo if so.

The ones just using it dosen't have to access the source anyways. Can't see the reason for it, we are just users. Or am I wrong here? /mr non-coder

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Every step made to make source code and end licensing more restricted is a step that eliminates potential contributors to make the software better.

 

 

--Donnie

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If a project calls it self open source, then the code should be open to anyone. No restrictions. Adding restrictions to try and stop others for personal/financial gain does more harm to the project then good. It makes it "harder" for new commers, who might in the future improve or expand the code. Developers with spare time to spend on open source projects think twice before contributing to a not completely open project. There is no garantee that the code base will exist in the future,..

 

Instead of this key system I think it would be beter to take the project to a next level, update the manuals and documentations, so that any non tech savy guy can see how easy it is, and will think twice before spending tripple the price at a retailer. Make the project better found in google (a deddicated project website or so).  That is in my oppinion the best way to battle unofficial retailers...

 

Just my two cents....

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