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Old 10-24-2003, 01:16 PM   #61
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KaVir:
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I am also saying that until tested in a court of law, there is no way to know which interpretation is correct - and regardless of how you like it, that is the way the law works.
You make repeated and public claims that Medievia is in violation of the Diku and Merc licenses when no court has ever found them to be so.

Yet now you're suddenly arguing that we need a court to find out what the license means when the wording is much clearer in this case ("profit") than in other points you choose to pursue in other license arguments regarding something comparatively vague like "login sequence".

The fact is that you're probably right on those other things and wrong here: you may need a court decision to be 100% sure (and even then there are other jurisdictions) but for simple licenses/contracts you can get awfully close to 100% by reading the document.

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You cannot simply decide that you prefer your own interpretation of a license!
You really don't see the irony when you say that, do you?  YOU are the one arguing for the non-obvious interpretation.

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Tyche and kaylus1 agree that the license will most likely be interpetted as "for non-commercial use only", which was the main part of my original post which you replied to.
Edit: I went back and looked at the original post of yours I replied to. That was the one in which you did a smooth definition slide from commercial use to profit to "gross profit" and then attempted to redefine "gross profit", a well-understood accounting term, to be synonymous with total revenue before any expenses. End Edit.

Are you saying that you agree with Tyche and Kaylus1's interpretation that revenue is fine as long as the use is noncommercial and doesn't generate a profit?

My claims are very close to those of Tyche and Kaylus1.  "Commercial use" is, almost as an axiom, intended to be "for profit."

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Old 10-26-2003, 08:19 AM   #62
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You make repeated and public claims that Medievia is in violation of the Diku and Merc licenses when no court has ever found them to be so.

Yet now you're suddenly arguing that we need a court to find out what the license means when the wording is much clearer in this case ("profit") than in other points you choose to pursue in other license arguments regarding something comparatively vague like "login sequence".
The wording in the other parts of the license is relatively clear. The wording in regard to the exactly meaning of "profit" is not so clear, although the intent of the authors is, as it is my firm belief that the license can be interpreted in such way as to enforce their wishes.

My stance on this matter has always been that I defend the intentions of the author, whenever such intentions are known, at least until such time as a court determines a ruling to the contry.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:14 PM   #63
 
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Originally Posted by (Stilton @ Oct. 20 2003,22:22)

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I've previous claimed that a US court would most likely interpret the Diku "no profit" clause as "for non-commercial use only" as they have done so before.
Yes.  Someone would be hard-pressed to argue that a commercial enterprise was not attempting to earn a profit.

At the same time, I can't see a court ordering damages against a hobbyist for recouping $200 in money from players against $500 in hosting costs that he has receipts for.
Right.  Neither do I.

But the implications of that would be that it would be impossible for a proprietorship, corporation, or LLC to run a Diku server regardless of whether they charged for the service or not.  For example, IBM or Bob's Hardware could not run a DikuMud server as a customer service or even internal message board.  However a not-for-profit corporation or educational institution could run a DikuMud server regardless of whether they charged for the service or not.  For example, a church, or the Boy or Girl Scouts of America could run a DikuMud and solicit donations via that medium.  I'm really suggesting that all the talk about a commercial entity operating a Dikumud at a loss is moot if interpreted as for non-commercial use only.   And that for-profit corporations and propreitorships cannot run DikuMud without violating the license.  But of course the combination of lawyers and judges and money makes any result possible.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:32 PM   #64
 
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Originally Posted by (kaylus1 @ Oct. 21 2003,13:48)
Of course, they agree to the letter of the license and that is why we are discussing it. The letter of the license says no PROFIT can be made in anyway. When a license is vague in something we look at the implied parts of the license (implied terms, conditions and promises)  I, personally, see no implied condition or term in there, instead I see it expressed that no *PROFIT* be made.

It's also been ignored that the license can be revoked at anytime by the Diku group as it contains no provisions for unlimited use.   It could also be reissued under new license by them.
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:45 PM   #65
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KaVir:
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The wording in the other parts of the license is relatively clear.  The wording in regard to the exactly meaning of "profit" is not so clear, although the intent of the authors is, as it is my firm belief that the license can be interpreted in such way as to enforce their wishes.
I would contend that "profit" is much more clearly defined in law than something like "login sequence" or the helpfile provisions.

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My stance on this matter has always been that I defend the intentions of the author, whenever such intentions are known, at least until such time as a court determines a ruling to the contry.
Yes, except that you've provided no legal basis for your statements. It does a disservice to the community when people are given the impression by your claims that the license means something that it really doesn't.

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But the implications of that would be that it would be impossible for a proprietorship, corporation, or LLC to run a Diku server regardless of whether they charged for the service or not.
I wouldn't say that unconditionally- what if a company ran one for educational purposes and charged schools which used the service at or below the cost of providing it?

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I'm really suggesting that all the talk about a commercial entity operating a Dikumud at a loss is moot if interpreted as for non-commercial use only. And that for-profit corporations and propreitorships cannot run DikuMud without violating the license.
That would depend on to what extent a commercial entity (company) can be said to engage in non-commercial activities. IANAL, and here I'd have to do a little research. As an example, can a corporation buy non-commercial software licenses to give to a school or do they need some more complicated way (ie, donate money to the school, which then buys the software) to keep their hands clean?

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Old 10-27-2003, 05:56 PM   #66
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I perceived the original post that started this free-for-all as “We slapped Medievia on TMS, Aardwolf is doing similar and allowed to survive here, why?” That’s actually a valid point regardless of what ulterior motives if any, might have prompted it.

Strictly speaking from my own observations of the Medievia discussions and this one, there is a huge difference in degree, intent and implications between the two. I wouldn’t even risk comparing the two usually without first lighting my own barbecue pit in preparation for the roasting I would get. Should Synozeer treat them both the same way or others doing exactly the same thing as Aardwolf? I don’t think he has either the time or patience to become “the board cop” especially when the community is so divided and without legal precedent to guide us.

I think when push comes to shove someday in the courts; the discussions and resultant community standards that we establish will have great weight in the courts. Towards that eventuality, we hash and rehash the same points over and over just like this board was meant to do. We learn a bit more each time it’s discussed and I think that’s healthy and should rarely result in a shunning unless blatant theft of code is involved and proven. That shouldn’t mean condoning advertised violations of licenses since if you chip at the tree it eventually falls over, it means keep it out in the open and discuss it, we all benefit.
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Old 10-28-2003, 03:17 AM   #67
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Yes, except that you've provided no legal basis for your statements. It does a disservice to the community when people are given the impression by your claims that the license means something that it really doesn't.
No, it really does mean that. That is how it was intended, and that is how it was written. The fact that it could also be interpretted differently (due to being written by computing students who were non-native English speakers) does not mean that the intended meaning is wrong, much as you'd like everyone to accept your interpretation rather than that of the copyright holders.

As an example, SCO currently claims that the GPL is invalid. On that basis, which do you think would be the more appropriate course of action? (1) ignore the GPL and do whatever you like with code that had previously been protected by it, or (2) continue to follow the GPL until such time as it is proven to be invalid.
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Old 10-28-2003, 04:38 AM   #68
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Do you consider the legality of something to be more important then the morality of it?

I think morals far outweigh laws, but then again morals do tend to be extremly different from person to person.
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Old 10-28-2003, 01:32 PM   #69
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No, it really does mean that.
I repeat: you have provided no legal justification for that claim.

You are the one who wants the license to mean more than is actually written into it. You have the burden of proof, and have thus far failed to attempt to meet it.

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As an example, SCO currently claims that the GPL is invalid. On that basis, which do you think would be the more appropriate course of action? (1) ignore the GPL and do whatever you like with code that had previously been protected by it, or (2) continue to follow the GPL until such time as it is proven to be invalid.
Obviously, (2) seems to be the course that many businesses with competent legal representation are choosing: to honor the license and source distribution as published, not as any other party (whether they are SCO, a Linux contributor having second thoughts 5 years later, or some random guy off the street) wishes that they were published.

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Do you consider the legality of something to be more important then the morality of it?
No, but we're not discussing morality here, or what any one of us actually intends to do- this is the legal forum.

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Old 10-28-2003, 02:13 PM   #70
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I repeat: you have provided no legal justification for that claim.
I have provided just as much as you. The difference is that I also have the intent of the license on my side.

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You are the one who wants the license to mean more than is actually written into it.
No, what I am stating is written into it. It's a matter of interpretation, as I have pointed out repeatedly. You interpret it one way, myself and the Diku team interpret it another (and Vryce yet another still).

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You have the burden of proof, and have thus far failed to attempt to meet it.
I am not a plaintiff, so please don't throw around legal terms that imply otherwise.
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Old 10-28-2003, 02:34 PM   #71
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KaVir:
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:I repeat: you have provided no legal justification for that
:claim.

I have provided just as much as you. The difference is that I also have the intent of the license on my side.
To justify my views on profit, I have, in this thread alone, referred to a specific IRS guideline and an SEC filing demonstrating common accounting practice.

You have not provided anything at all to justify your redefinition of "profit" to mean "gross profit" or your subsequent redefinition of "gross profit" to apparently mean total revenue.

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No, what I am stating is written into it. It's a matter of interpretation, as I have pointed out repeatedly.
Yes, it's a matter of interpretation. I have justified my interpretation with facts; all I ask is that you do the same if you wish others to be convinced that your view is correct.

If you believe that the emails you have from one or two contributing authors as to intent are factually relevant, please come up with a cite.

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:You have the burden of proof, and have thus far failed to
:attempt to meet it.

I am not a plaintiff, so please don't throw around legal terms that imply otherwise.
Stating that you have a burden of proof to meet doesn't imply anything of the sort.

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Old 10-29-2003, 05:03 AM   #72
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If you believe that the emails you have from one or two contributing authors as to intent are factually relevant, please come up with a cite.
You didn't seem to disagree with Tyche when he stated "Intent is a consideration in contract law."

However here is a cite for you: http://www.blupete.com/Law/Commentaries/C/TermsImp.htm

In particular (from Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701) "...terms may be implied on the basis of custom or usage, presumed intention, and as legal incidents of a particular class or kind of contract, the nature and content of which have to be largely determined by implication" and "the implication of a term as legal incident need only be necessary in the sense that it is required by the nature of the contract rather than the presumed intentions of the particular parties". Now note the part of the Diku license which states "By breaking these rules you violate the agreement between us and the University". The question then becomes, what was their agreement with the University.
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Old 10-29-2003, 06:59 AM   #73
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Now note the part of the Diku license which states "By breaking these rules you violate the agreement between us and the University".  The question then becomes, what was their agreement with the University.
Actually, I'd like to know that too. At our university theres nothing that prohbit us from doing whatever we wish with the software we produce. Their university must be a ****ty place if they STEAL the students work or force them to not use it as they wish.

I might actually call DIKU and check what they say.

It is even likely that their IS NO agreement between the DIKUmud team and the DIKU university regarding the software, just because there doesn't need to be one. They may have written this poorly because they thought they couldn't use their software as they wish... I know some people at our university think the same, even though we're free to do whatever we want with it.

Who would want to do projects or other univeristy materials or research IF the things you research cannot be used commercially? A restrictive rule like that (which is the "intent" of the diku licence) would severely harm the progress of technology.

Take for example if DIKUmud was actually a medical tool to cure cancer or similar. No hospitals could use it, because they were prohibited to use it commercially. Whatta pile of horsedung.
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Old 10-29-2003, 07:11 AM   #74
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At our university theres nothing that prohbit us from doing whatever we wish with the software we produce. Their university must be a ****ty place if they STEAL the students work or force them to not use it as they wish.
As I mentioned in my other post, at my University it was their policy (and required signatures) that, unless there were some special considerations such as industry-requested projects, all work produced by the students for the University course belonged to the University. I believe this is very common across the UK. I wouldn't be suprised if it's common elsewhere too. I wouldn't be suprised if you've signed such a form yourself in fresher week and completely forgotten about it in a haze of beer and sex ... err ... never mind.
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Old 10-29-2003, 07:20 AM   #75
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Yup Kastagaar, I think it's common over our side of the pond - I've even heard of students deliberately "failing" their courses because they decided to sell their final projects to a company for large sums of cash (and thus had to pretend that they hadn't actually done any work).
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Old 10-29-2003, 10:11 AM   #76
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This whole debate seems like a no-brainer to me. The spirit of diku and circle is uncommercial, and simply put, the creators of those didn't want games where individuals could buy their way to any sort of in-game advantage, even if those funds are put to good "everyone will benefit from it" use.

This doesn't at all preclude players and imms getting together to buy a better server, more memory. The latter is just a nice cooperative venture for people, both imms and players, to make their favourite hangout a bit zippier. Having spearheaded such a fundraising effort myself, that was the reply I got when I contacted Olsen to check if what I was doing was ok. He was cool with it - so long as there wasn't any in-game gain.
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Old 10-29-2003, 10:46 AM   #77
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The intent of the license is of minimal importance in court - not totally unimportant, but certainly less important than the actual wording. This, after all, is why we have contracts at all and why people pay lawyers to write and interpert them.

The fact that they were non-english speaking students doesn't really matter - the license is as it is, and if it doesn't make thier intent clear, then thats tough luck.

Theres a variety of ways that the profit clause can be interperted - the others are pretty cut and dried. Obviously, a US court is likely to use the IRS definition of profit, as Stilton posted.
Something to bear in mind is that the license does NOT make a difference between donations for in-game benefit and donations in general. If you make money off of running your DIKU mud, then you're in violation. Period. Note also that the license doesn't care about commercialism per se, only profit.

The Diku's team intentions, as quoted by KaVir are more about commercialism than profit, so it was a poor choice of words on thier part. However, the quote provided (that by providing an in game reward it becomes a commercial transaction and not a donation) doesn't reflect US law that I'm aware of. For example, the "free gifts" you recieve by making donations to any variety of nonprofit organizations.

One last point - reading the license and then acting on your own interertation of it is actually the normal course of action (well, having your legal counsel read it, anyway). Thats another reason why, in general, they're written to be unambiguous. If the other party to the license doesn't like the way you're interpeting the license, then the normal recourse is negotiations and then court if it can't be resolved through discussion. The SCO/IBM case is an excellent example of this - SCO tells IBM that they believe IBM has violated thier license, IBM replies that they have not, and the case procedes from there.

The license certainly does NOT mean what KaVir says it does. It means what it says. KaVirs interpertation is (of course) legally meaningless - even the Dikus team is only meaningful in that they have the power to go to court if they want to.
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Old 10-29-2003, 11:58 AM   #78
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The intent of the license is of minimal importance in court - not totally unimportant, but certainly less important than the actual wording
Intent is a consideration upon which implied terms can be based. We're not talking about adding implied terms which are inconsistent with the contract - we're talking about those which are based upon the intention of the Diku team.

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Something to bear in mind is that the license does NOT make a difference between donations for in-game benefit and donations in general.
It doesn't need to. Activities outside of the mud fall outside the scope of the license. The license only provides the conditions under which you can copy, modify, distribute, display or perform Diku mud.

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Note also that the license doesn't care about commercialism per se, only profit.
Yet according to Tyche, courts have previously intepretted similar clauses as "for non-commercial use only".

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The license certainly does NOT mean what KaVir says it does
My interpretation is the same as that of the Diku team. And as I've already pointed out - with cites - intent is one of the considerations used by a court when interpreting the license. I'd therefore be interested to hear what legal background you have that you are able to claim with such certainty in what way the license would be interpretted in court.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:47 PM   #79
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Unhappy

Technical point:
Since the DIKU licence was written in Denmark, under Danish law, with assumption of use on a world scale, I have a couple questions-

Why is this being argued using United States law?

Wouldn't Danish law, or International Copyright/Commerce law be the more appropriate source of cites?

--QS
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Old 10-29-2003, 01:14 PM   #80
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My interpretation is the same as that of the Diku team.  And as I've already pointed out - with cites - intent is one of the considerations used by a court when interpreting the license.  I'd therefore be interested to hear what legal background you have that you are able to claim with such certainty in what way the license would be interpretted in court.
As far as I know, you don't have a legal background either, Kavir, yet you seem to be claiming pretty specifically how the license would apply, and how a court would interpert that license.

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Why is this being argued using United States law?
Possibly because the MUD in question is based in the US. I speculate ( I don't know this for certain, Koryon ) that maybe the DikuMUD creators either don't care enough or don't have the resources to drag the violators to Denmark for court proceedings, so everyone's just sorta defaulting to arguing everything under US law.

This entire discussion is pretty much moot in the end if the creators don't at least speak up on the issue, whether the license is truly being violated or not. Maybe i'll go ahead and send them an email, but beyond that, it pretty much seems like they've vanished from the face of the online earth.

Was the whole thing with Vryce really that bad that the 5 of them no longer participate in public discussions anywhere, despite having one of the most widely used codebases around?
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