written Jan 2004
IF you're an American, no matter what age, you may make an attempt to
copyright portions of your source code. Diku's liscense expires
in 2007, so you may at that time copyright anything based on Diku,
but not Merc. For Merc 2.2 derivatives you must wait until 2010.
Any source code which contains the comment 'copyright to '
is a valid state-level copyrighting tag. To be protected on a federal,
and thus national, level, you must inform the Library of Congress
and the U.S. Copyrights Office, in Washington, DC, USA.
Dikumud creators have 'given up' on their attempts to go commercial
with their product, and have given Dikumud][ to Whistler, who is
developing Valhalla Mud Engine (VME). This occured after an incident
in New York at the Replay: Gaming conference when Sony's Bernie Yee
made the comment 'you know, it's like Diku' -- I was present and
informed the Dikumud team, and created a media stir, whereby Sony
quickly silenced the team. I believe, completely, that Dikumud
and its variants were the basis for Everquest and similar engines,
however I believe also that Dikumud was based on Gygax pen-and-paper
games, and also rooted in basic group psychology, and thus they,
too, could not hold 'control of concepts' as the concepts are
considered to be general public knowledge and not owned by any
What you must do is print out a copy of your souce code,
any other documents, and fill out a form which is available
from the U.S. Copyright Office Website: http://www.copyright.gov
Then you must enclosed $35 and mail the packet to:
U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
If you have questions or are interested in finding out more
about U.S. Copyrighting, the U.S. Copyright Office:
'Note that we are prohibited from giving specific legal advice
and opinions. In addition, we are unable effectively to answer
questions that raise complex issues and require a dialogue.
In such situations, we may encourage you to contact us by
telephone at (202) 707-5959.'
Please note that source codes which are derived works are not
considered to be valid for copyrighting, only the new work
can be copyrighted.
What does a copyright do? Well, it provides you a legal and
notorized way of protecting your intellectual property from
being stolen, used, unlawfully distributed or otherwise used
to make money without your consent.
Also, if your copyright is approved, it will be added to the
Library of Congress records on U.S. held copyrights. Then
may go to Washington, DC and request to see your source code.