Hello all! We hope you had a Happy New Year. The PCSX2 team hopes to continue making further progress throughout 2018 and into 2019! However, today we are writing to both you and the emulation/open-source community on a more serious matter.
Introduction and Background Information
You may have heard from various sources that a second PS2 emulator for Android was seen on the Google Play Store called DamonPS2. Initially, we were very happy to learn that a new developer had taken the initiative to begin work on a new PS2 emulator for a mobile platform; a daunting task in itself that we applaud them for. After further investigation however, we learned that there were rather striking resemblances to PCSX2 contained in the new emulator.
The first piece of evidence that we learned was that the GameIndex.dbf file distributed with the emulator (screenshot) contained patches that were specific to PCSX2, and furthermore would not work elsewhere. We were also able to find matching CDVD strings using a text editor, such as the message returned by the PCSX2 console when an PSX/PSone disc is inserted. Further evidence included a matching file structure and graphical output that mirrors GSdx.
In response to this evidence, we contacted the developer to notify them about their violation of the GNU General Public License which PCSX2 is protected under, since by all evidence they are using PCSX2 code without releasing the source code and we gave them a time frame in which to correct this issue. We hoped the issue could be resolved amicably for both projects. However the developer would go on to claim that they did not steal the PCSX2 source code, yet they offered us an extortionate sum of money to stay silent, which as you can assert we did not accept. In addition, they said that they would become open-source once the emulator reached 80 million downloads (not very realistic...). In their final email to us (which we did not respond back to) the developers wanted to further "bargain" by setting up a licensing scheme; which we would not accept under any circumstances regardless.
Final Actions and Closing Comments
As a result of the circumstances and the time frame lapsing, the PCSX2 Team submitted a DMCA takedown for the "DamonPS2" app on the Google Play Store. The developer took down the emulator before the DMCA had a chance to go through as they would have been notified about the DMCA and probably wanted to avoid being banned from the Google Play Store, citing some reason to their users about the description being bad, something which we've never seen Google remove an app for. We will monitor the situation and see what happens when the developer returns the app to the store.
To further clarify any confusion you may have about this matter, our actions were not done for any sort of personal/reputable gain or out of spite. The PCSX2 team has always encouraged new developments to take place whether it be inside a pull request or outside of the repository as we've seen here. Ultimately, the developer's failure to comply with the GNU General Public License in a reasonable time-frame left the team with no choice but to take the appropriate actions. We would like to take this moment to send our sincerest thanks to the community for their wonderful support over the past 15 years!
-The PCSX2 team