Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > Mud Development and Administration > Legal Issues
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-03-2003, 05:28 PM   #41
Traithe
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Name: Kite
Posts: 131
Traithe is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by
They're both run by thieves
Quote:
Originally Posted by
It's reprehensible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Yes, I don't believe the law deserves to be respected merely because it is the law.
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I'm firmly on the side of believing that infringing on someone else's copyright is wrong.
Here we are... mired in the sticky mess of a conflict of opinions, yet again. While I respect your right to have a viewpoint on the matter, I don't particularly respect your tendency to employ ad hominems (see quotes #1 and #2) without any backing of legal fact or logical consistency.

Until you have one or the other, perhaps you should consider avoiding the use of such tactics on public fora? Name-calling without a leg to stand on, so to speak, doesn't do much for your image.


-T.
Traithe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 05:51 PM   #42
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
You took the IP and are using it without any permission whatsoever. (You can't even be bothered to point out on your website that you have no permission to be using it and that all the Tolkien material in your world is copyright to Tolkien Enterprises.) You've admitted that you took the IP without permission. Therefore, you're a thief. If you don't like the word, stop stealing. I have no problems calling Vryce a thief, and I have no problems calling you a thief.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 06:01 PM   #43
Traithe
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Name: Kite
Posts: 131
Traithe is on a distinguished road
Hmm. The lack of a notice on the website was an oversight on my part, and one which I'll issue a public apology for - it'll be remedied shortly. However, I have in fact had such a notice within the game's help system for quite some time, as demonstrated below:

[code] > help world_credit
Miscellaneous -> World_credit

Middle-earth and its denizens are the singularly wonderful
creation of the good professor, J.R.R. Tolkien, and thus
are protected by various and sundry international copyright
laws. Shadows of Isildur MUD is in no way affiliated with
J.R.R. Tolkien, nor the Tolkien Estate, and uses this
material to construct a representation of his world under
the Fair Use Clause of the United States Copyright Law.

[Sun May 19 10;54;29 2002 - Traithe]
[/quote]
Traithe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 06:14 PM   #44
Stilton
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 100
Stilton is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by
uses this
material to construct a representation of his world under
the Fair Use Clause of the United States Copyright Law.
Awkward time to step into a discussion once it gets personal, but:

I've never seen a large derivative work claim fair use except for parody.  Which type of fair use are you engaging in? Small excerpts? Research?

Stilton
Stilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 06:21 PM   #45
Traithe
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Name: Kite
Posts: 131
Traithe is on a distinguished road
No worries, Stilton. That's actually a good question. Primarily, I decided to place it under Fair Use at the time due to the large number of fanfiction/derivative works out there that do the same. While in the strictest sense the wording of the law wouldn't apply to a project like SoI, a decent case could likely be made; the advent of the internet has really had a huge impact on IP law, and so I wouldn't be surprised if more liberal interpretations of it had already become precedents somewhere.

If you have any other ideas regarding possible exceptions that might cover the usage, they'd certainly be appreciated - I'm going to investigate the 'contract law' approach pointed out above by Burr when I have the opportunity.

[EDIT] Bah, just realized I didn't even really answer your question. Heh. Yes, the "case" I think that might be made with Fair Use would likely center around the research/education wording built into the law. Sorry about totally missing your point. <g> [/EDIT]

-T.
Traithe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 06:34 PM   #46
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traithe @ June 03 2003,17:21)
No worries, Stilton. That's actually a good question. Primarily, I decided to place it under Fair Use at the time due to the large number of fanfiction/derivative works out there that do the same. While in the strictest sense the wording of the law wouldn't apply to a project like SoI, a decent case could likely be made; the advent of the internet has really had a huge impact on IP law, and so I wouldn't be surprised if more liberal interpretations of it had already become precedents somewhere.
And just how does running a mud constitute research? I also haven't seen -any- indication whatsoever that your mud exists for the purposes of education.

The wide-spread use of Napster sure didn't make stealing music legal. Why do you think a handful of muds that also steal IP make your doing the same thing legal or ethical?
--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 06:53 PM   #47
Brody
Moderator
 
Brody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Carolina
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 1,599
Brody will become famous soon enoughBrody will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Skype™ to Brody
Smile

Lacking any actual response from Tolkien Enterprises, I highly recommend you pay a visit to the Writers University, which keeps a running tally of authors and their tolerance for fan fiction and other derivative works. Tolkien Enterprises and New Line Cinemas, for example, are listed as tolerating such works. Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth) and Anne McCaffrey (Pern), on the other hand...

http://www.writersu.net/?link=authpo...licy=tolerated
Brody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 07:10 PM   #48
Brody
Moderator
 
Brody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Carolina
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 1,599
Brody will become famous soon enoughBrody will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Skype™ to Brody
Smile

Another point of interest in my exploration of authors and their concerns about derivative works: Those that *do* lack tolerance for it, or have concerns about it, are more worried about people claiming the author turned around and stole a fan's idea for a work of fiction - not so much about the development of a community of enthusiasts. For example, J. Michael Straczynski and Terry Pratchett don't seem to *mind* fan fiction inspired by their works, they just don't want them in easily reachable public domains where THEY are known to hang out.

It seems they want to avoid being sued themselves, rather than worrying that these fanfic sites might be detrimental to their works/profits/etc.
Brody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 07:52 PM   #49
Loriel
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 49
Loriel is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Brody : Another point of interest in my exploration of authors and their concerns about derivative works: Those that *do* lack tolerance for it, or have concerns about it, are more worried about people claiming the author turned around and stole a fan's idea for a work of fiction - not so much about the development of a community of enthusiasts.
True in some (perhaps many) cases, though not very relevant in this case as Tolkien won't  be creating any new works.

In addition, some authors are on record as refusing permission for "derivative" muds to avoid "dilution" of the value of their electronic rights (Raymond E Feist for example).

Another point which is relevant to this particular case is that  IP rights appear to be split between the Tolkien Estate and Tolkien Enterprises. I've not found a clear description of the split, but it appears that the Tolkien Estate retains copyright over literary works, but before his death JRR Tolkien granted various licences to Tolkien Enterprises covering movies and (probably) merchandise.

It's therefore possible that lack of a reply from Tolkien Enterprises indicates lack of interest (as well as lack of courtesy), but that the Tolkien Estate could still have something relevant to say.
Loriel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 07:59 PM   #50
Brody
Moderator
 
Brody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Carolina
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 1,599
Brody will become famous soon enoughBrody will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Skype™ to Brody
Smile

Loriel,

Absolutely valid points. I'm suggesting, however, that *many* authors probably prefer to turn a blind eye to such works. It's like the Bugblatter Beast of Traal - all apologies to the estate of Douglas Adams. If you wear a towel over your head, the beast can't see you. Remove the towel, and you get eaten. Who's the towel-wearer and who's the beast? That depends - sometimes it's the author and sometimes it's the creator of the derivative work. If you don't know it's there, it can't hurt you. If they call attention to themselves, you must acknowledge their existence and risk legal exposure if a game's ideas somehow end up in your work of fiction.
Brody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:37 PM   #51
KaVir
Legend
 
KaVir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Name: Richard
Home MUD: God Wars II
Posts: 2,052
KaVir will become famous soon enoughKaVir will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I would just like to see some consistency from the mud crowd on these boards. You even mention Medievia and people throw fits and spend lots of time posting links copyright law, but you mention all the other violators out there and all you hear are the crickets.
I have spoken with members of the Diku and Merc teams, and they have made it very clear that Medievia went against their wishes. Vryce's actions harm the mudding community as a whole, but it seems there is little we can do except ostracise him, and inform the public about his activities. Many of us do this in an attempt to protect our hobby, so that other mud developers will continue to release their work, knowing that someone will stick up for them. In most cases, the approach works, and the muds in question will return to following the licenses. There are the occasional exceptions, but we cannot selectively ignore them or it would undermine our efforts with all other muds.

I have not spoken with the Tolkien estate, and apparently so far neither have you. There is a considerable amount of Tolkien fan-fiction such as muds, and an equal amount of precedent for the Tolkien estate rapidly (and heavily) "dealing" with those it doesn't want using its work. The mud owner has told them that he's planning to use their work (as they requested), and is using it in a similar way to numerous existing muds, some of which have been around for over a decade. Furthermore, the Tolkien copyright is not a mud issue - and while I would most likely report someone who I knew was violating such a copyright, I cannot right all of the worlds wrongs. You'll notice that people don't complain about abortions here, either, or about animal testing, or hungry children in third world countries. This is Top Mud Sites - a site about muds - and it is aspects of mudding that should be discussed. It doesn't make is inconsistent, it just means that we fight our battles in the appropriate places. When charities ask me for a donation, I don't berate them for giving all that money to old people when it could be used to enforce mud licenses - do you?

Let's imagine a scenario where this forum wasn't about muds, but instead about fantasy fiction. Within this scenario, let's imagine that there's someone called "Traithe" who had claimed credit for Tolkien's work, and earned large sums of money from it. Within this scenario, let's say that Tolkien didn't have the resources to deal with Traithe, and so he gave up writing after book 1, telling us that "Traithe was indeed one of the major reasons I stopped writing books, and found other places to spend my energy". Now, that would be comparible.

Your points, however, are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Nonsense. Without express permission, it's illegal.
Nonsense. Implied licenses are perfectly valid within certain situations.
KaVir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:43 PM   #52
Wik
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 140
Wik is on a distinguished road
Angry

Just because it needs to be said, an obvious difference between Vryce and Traithe is that one was done through secrecy, lies, and denial, while the other one has put warnings in his game, is willing to put disclaimers on his website, and is level-headed enough to discuss issues rationally in this forum.

Vryce has operated under the false premise that his work is not a derivative, but made from scratch, and appears to live his life upholding that lie, deleting any evidence found that would uncover said lie. He has been actively censured by the original creators of the work that he stole, and actively makes money off of something he didn't create.

Traithe is very open about the fact that his work is, in fact, a Tolkien work, and has not made any statement that would lead any rational being to believe that he claims to have created any part of Middle Earth or any of Tolkien's creations. He does not profit from this usage, and has not been commented on for good or for bad by the original work's creators (or representatives thereof). He has taken all steps that are required of him to do this the correct, legal way.

Bottom line, I'd stick with the legal argument. Because morally, there really isn't any comparison. Call them both thieves, but I think we all know which one of them we'd rather meet in a dark alley.
Wik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:46 PM   #53
Burr
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 123
Burr is on a distinguished road
the_logos wrote the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Nonsense. Without express permission, it's illegal. The Tolkien people are certainly not required to formally deny him permission. He is required to fomally obtan permission.
Here is a quote from another thread of Raymond Feist, author of many fantasy books, and someone probaby more knowledgeable about this than any of us:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Now, if a bunch of college students in East Toad Strangle State College get
together and create something on the Chem Lab computer that other people
are accessing, and the main Wizard is "Gandalf" or "Macros" as long as the
Tolkein Estate or I don't hear about it, we're "protected." In other
words, we can not (in the eyes of the law) be considered lax about
protecting our rights if we are ignorant of the infringement.
This implies that if an owner does know about the work and does not make a reasonable attempt to protect their rights (and one simple way of doing this would be by making a public statement about the use in question, or else sending a form letter to the rejected party), then they can be considered lax in the eyes of the law, which further implies that their rights can thus be given away.

Here is a quote from Robert Jordan from an interview with (jointly) Dragonmount.com and wotmania.com. It addresses his feelings about WoT-oriented fan fiction:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I am really only barely aware that it exists, I'm afraid, and the question is a delicate one. I don't go looking for it, but if I find out that someone is writing using my characters, and publishing it (including posting it on-line) then I MUST do something about it as a matter of protecting my copyrights. (Although this is a different matter, some other time, I'll go into why pirating books and stories to post them on-line is no different from taking somebody's ATM card and making a series of withdrawals from their bank account. Whenever I see anyone post a defense of pirating, I really, really want to get my hands on his ATM card and PIN.) Writing in my world is a different matter I think; my lawyer may tell me I'm dead wrong on that.
If I were with RJ when he was writing that, I would have disagreed with him on his world being a different matter; nevertheless, with that statement he made it clear that he doesn't care one way or another at this time.  So as long as a mud is just using the world and not the characters, it can generally be assumed that the mud goes along with RJ's wishes.  While I suppose it might be a grey area, I would advise people to remove even NPCs that are actual WoT characters.  From RJ's quote, a mud using his characters does go against his wishes, unless he explicitely makes an exception. (On the other hand, simply mentioning characters such as current rulers as part of the setting rather than as part of the action would probably be okay, though care should be taken.)

But another important part of the quote is that RJ said he "MUST" do something about it as a matter of protecting his copyrights.  While this quote doesn't say it as plainly as Feist's, I infer from it added evidence that the owner of the copyright does indeed have some limited obligation.  Without further research (which I don't desire to do at this time), I don't know what this obligation would amount to exactly.  But I would guess that consistent failure to deny permission when a person has done everything you have specifically requested and more in order to receive permission amounts to being "lax" in the eyes of the law.
Burr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:51 PM   #54
Brody
Moderator
 
Brody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: North Carolina
Home MUD: OtherSpace
Posts: 1,599
Brody will become famous soon enoughBrody will become famous soon enough
Send a message via Skype™ to Brody
Smile

What Feist also seems to be saying is pretty much what I pointed out earlier: If he doesn't know about it, if it's in a relatively private venue, then it's a case of "no blood, no foul." He's not lax if he doesn't know about it. Don't ask, don't tell mentality. The problems seem to arise once he and Robert Jordan become specifically (and publicly) aware of the games.
Brody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:56 PM   #55
Caris
New Member
 
Caris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Idaho
Home MUD: SciallaMud
Posts: 7
Caris is on a distinguished road
I guess what's really confusing me about Logos' working himself into a hysterical, froth-mouthed mess on the issue is that Traithe did say he was looking into T-Ent's response. He sent them a snail mail long before Logos began to flip out and said he'd drive down personally to ask them directly if he didn't see an answer. He's also said that if he gets a refusal, he'd be the first to take down his game. I'm not real sure where Logos is justifying action on his own part. It looks vindictive and over-hasty -- and is wholly unncecessary right now.

I guess I don't see where reprehensible, thievery, comparisons to King Twit Vryce, and whatnot fit into this. Those are awfully strong words and accusations, for someone who implicitly claims to be logical, moral, and rational. Unlike Vryce, particularly, Traithe -does- care about this issue and is actively working it. I trust Traithe's integrity way more than I trust Logos', who needs to seriously remove the beam in his eye (and read 1 Corinthians 13 lots, since he does appear to be of that faith) before going after the mote in others'. He looks like more and more of an overreactive, inappropriately-behaving prig the further he goes. You'd think he'd be -thrilled- Traithe is so proactive about the matter, but no, he just blasts in calling names and making threats and accusations. Is he even vaguely aware how ridiculous it looks that he called T-Ent -and- emailed them to hound them into action, when Traithe has already contacted them appropriately and has stated more than once his firm intent to do as they tell him? Just what is Logos' malfunction here?

The time for action against Traithe would be when T-Ent turns him down and he -doesn't- close his mud. At that time, I expect Logos will gloat wickedly, and then move on to one of the other 50 kabillion muds using established game settings. I fully expect to see him froth at the mouth just as bad about them as he does about this mud. Oh yeah, though.... few of those others are actually anywhere near the top 30 in votes, are they? I hope Logos gets his mess figured out. Till then, this childish, stubborn display doesn't make him, or his mud, look very good.

Caris, SciallaMud
Caris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 09:09 PM   #56
Caris
New Member
 
Caris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Idaho
Home MUD: SciallaMud
Posts: 7
Caris is on a distinguished road
PS: It's the height of boorish insensitivity that Logos has compared theft of a codebase to losing his own child to cancer. That is actually what made me want to stick my nose into this discussion to start with. Got news for ya, Logos. I've got a mom dying of cancer. If it'd cure her, I'd leave my car, my house, my codebase, my computer, you name it, open and unlocked -- and I'd advertise in the Sunday paper for thieves to come take whatever makes them happy. Nothing I own will make up for her death or comfort me when she is gone. A codebase is just a thing, when it comes down to it, and it's a shame you have such a lack of perspective and such misordered priorities that you'd compare theft of a thing to the death of a family member. Comparing it to theft of a car or of your wallet, sure. I can see that easily. But to the death of your own child? Gods forbid you ever actually have any and see just how wrong you are. Maybe you need to get out a bit more.

It's odd that those who are worst at analogies seem fondest of them.

Caris
Caris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2003, 01:32 AM   #57
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Furthermore, the Tolkien copyright is not a mud issue - and while I would most likely report someone who I knew was violating such a copyright, I cannot right all of the worlds wrongs.
Funny you'd say that since we're talking about a mud.
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Nonsense. Implied licenses are perfectly valid within certain situations.
Can't say I've ever heard of any such thing as an implied license.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2003, 01:36 AM   #58
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
He has taken all steps that are required of him to do this the correct, legal way.
No, he hasn't. He has not been granted a license from either Tolkien group or Vivendi Universal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Bottom line, I'd stick with the legal argument. Because morally, there really isn't any comparison. Call them both thieves, but I think we all know which one of them we'd rather meet in a dark alley.
What he's doing is illegal. What he's doing is immoral in my opinion. And what he's doing is most certainly rude if nothing else. His entire argument seems to be based on some sort of sense of entitlement: I DESERVE to be using the Tolkien IP, and #### it, if they don't reply to my letter requesting a license, why I'll just go ahead and use it anyway.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2003, 01:39 AM   #59
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
PS: It's the height of boorish insensitivity that Logos has compared theft of a codebase to losing his own child to cancer.
Sorry you've trouble with the concept of analogy. In no case did I even imply that the pain caused by those two actions are similar. They are obviously not.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2003, 01:47 AM   #60
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,301
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by
He's also said that if he gets a refusal, he'd be the first to take down his game. I'm not real sure where Logos is justifying action on his own part. It looks vindictive and over-hasty -- and is wholly unncecessary right now.
This is a messed up attitude to me. Is it ok if I rob your house because I sent you a letter asking to do so and you failed to reply? Of course not. It would not be ok until I got permission from you to use your stuff.

If Traithe was ethical, he'd behave in an ethical manner. He would gain permission -first-. He has no right to run a mud based on someone else's IP without permission.


Quote:
Originally Posted by
I fully expect to see him froth at the mouth just as bad about them as he does about this mud. Oh yeah, though.... few of those others are actually anywhere near the top 30 in votes, are they? I hope Logos gets his mess figured out. Till then, this childish, stubborn display doesn't make him, or his mud, look very good.
Actually, I used SoL purely as an example originally, and only because I saw them operating banner ads on this site. I've got no more problem with SoL than I do with any of the other IP thieves out there.

And you're right, I AM stubborn. I'm completely unwilling to excuse his behavior simply because he's better mannered than Vyrce. In fact, I do'nt care if he's Mother f*cking Theresa. He's still engaging in IP theft.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Shadows of Isildur - Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shadows of Isildur: The Mines of Moria Traithe MUD Announcements 1 08-02-2007 08:06 PM
Shadows of Isildur: Siege of Osgiliath! Erebus MUD Announcements 2 06-28-2006 11:11 PM
Shadows of Isildur Back Online! Traithe MUD Announcements 6 08-10-2004 11:38 PM
Shadows of Isildur: Weekend Events. Traithe MUD Announcements 0 04-29-2004 06:15 AM
Shadows of Isildur: Huge RPT! Traithe Advertising for Players 1 01-07-2004 06:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014