After all the ruckus recently about the Dolphin Emulator for Wii and GameCube coming to Steam, and then being blocked - the team has now given up with the Steam release.
They remained pretty silent on it since the initial announcement, which caused a lot of speculation and confusion but now they're explaining their side and how they feel about it going forward after seeking legal advice. The good news, is that nothing is going to happen to Dolphin and development sounds like it's just continuing as normal. It's just not able to have a release on Steam since Nintendo asked Valve not to allow it on the store.
So, after a long stay of silence, we have a difficult announcement to make. We are abandoning our efforts to release Dolphin on Steam. Valve ultimately runs the store and can set any condition they wish for software to appear on it. But given Nintendo's long-held stance on emulation, we find Valve's requirement for us to get approval from Nintendo for a Steam release to be impossible. Unfortunately, that's that. But there are some more serious matters to discuss, some that are much bigger than Dolphin's Steam Release.Dolphin Team
The big issue surrounds the inclusion of the Wii Common Key, which is required for the emulator to be able to run Wii games, which they said has been in their code for around 15 years without an issue.
The Dolphin team claim a lot of "armchair lawyers" talked about how foolish they have been for including it but they said "now that we have done our homework and talked to a lawyer, we are no longer concerned". They have no plans to remove it, as after getting legal advice they believe there's no issue since Dolphin itself is "not primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection".
After news about it spread around they claim they had "many requests, and even some demands, to remove all Wii keys from our codebase" but they don't think it matters and they think if they removed it and then relied on 3rd party applications it would "make the situation worse for everyone". Their message to the "armchair lawyers":
And to all the armchair lawyers out there, the letter to Valve did not make any claims that we were violating a US copyright by including the Wii Common Key, as a short string of entirely random letters and numbers generated by a machine is not copyrightable under current US copyright law. If that ever changes, the world will be far too busy to think about emulation.Dolphin Team
Not only will development carry on as normal, so you'll just need to grab Dolphin as you always have done from elsewhere, but some elements from the Steam release will still be continued like the big screen interface that can be used directly with a gamepad.