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Old 10-31-2003, 04:42 PM   #81
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It doesn't matter what the intent is. If a rule says "don't do this," then don't do it. If you do it anyway, then you are breaking a rule.
It seems to me that you're saying Aardwolf's intent doesn't matter but the DIKU license's intent does.. there is no explicit definition of what the license means by 'profit' within the wording of the license itself.. so you are using the writer's intent as the basis of your argument..

you can't have it both ways..
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Old 10-31-2003, 06:21 PM   #82
 
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Originally Posted by (Stroh @ Oct. 31 2003,13:42)
I'm just trying to point out that any in game reward is really more of a token thank you than anything else.. When I donate to Aardwolf, I do it because I love the game and although I play rather sporadically, I'd hate to come back one day and find it missing, which is what happened last time I found a community I enjoyed..

Garrodyn of Aardwolf
I take it that Aardwolf players aren't willing to donate to keep the game alive without in-game rewards.   I would suggest that using the donations to pay for advertising goes beyond keeping the game alive, that they are being used to promote the game.
 
Old 10-31-2003, 10:40 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Stroh @ Oct. 31 2003,16:42)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
It doesn't matter what the intent is. If a rule says "don't do this," then don't do it. If you do it anyway, then you are breaking a rule.
It seems to me that you're saying Aardwolf's intent doesn't matter but the DIKU license's intent does.. there is no explicit definition of what the license means by 'profit' within the wording of the license itself.. so you are using the writer's intent as the basis of your argument..

you can't have it both ways..
I'd say "in any possible way" is about explicit as anyone can possibly be.

Profiting in any possible way would, by definition of the phrase "any possible way," include gross profit, net profit, yo mama's profit, stupid profit, cheesy profit, and profit with hot fudge sauce on top.

That isn't even the point I was making, and had nothing to do with my post. My post was regarding in-game rewards for out of game coin. THAT is not allowed. Even if they're not making any profit, in any possible way. I don't see how they're even breaking THAT rule. They are, however, breaking the rule of giving in-game rewards for out of game payment. And that is against the rules.

Not just a little against them, because you can't only "slightly" break a rule. You either are breaking it, or you're not.
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Old 11-01-2003, 03:27 AM   #84
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If the reward makes people donate when they weren't going to originally donate, then it's more then just a "little itty bitty reward". If it's so small, why is it necessary to get people to donate?
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:15 AM   #85
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Well I do not donate to Aardwolf to get the reward but now it is htere I migh as well take it.
I would donate nomatter if I get it or not, if I got the money to donate.
I do not belive it is nessesary. I am sure a rew donates to get it but I would not be suprised if we could do it without.

I do not know if it breaks the license but I doubt it breaks the spirit as the reward is so little that I in 1-1˝ hour I get what is donated for 1 dollar and this is just qp/tp not lvs and gold. It is exstremly rare people buy the qp to ge strong.
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:21 AM   #86
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I do not know if it breaks the license but I doubt it breaks the spirit
It does.
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Old 11-01-2003, 10:46 AM   #87
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My post was regarding in-game rewards for out of game coin. THAT is not allowed. Even if they're not making any profit, in any possible way. I don't see how they're even breaking THAT rule. They are, however, breaking the rule of giving in-game rewards for out of game payment. And that is against the rules.
To be clear: There is no such rule. The "rule" is an interpertation of the "no profit allowed" clause in the license.
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Old 11-01-2003, 02:10 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by (arkanes @ Nov. 01 2003,10:46)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
My post was regarding in-game rewards for out of game coin. THAT is not allowed. Even if they're not making any profit, in any possible way. I don't see how they're even breaking THAT rule. They are, however, breaking the rule of giving in-game rewards for out of game payment. And that is against the rules.
To be clear: There is no such rule. The "rule" is an interpertation of the "no profit allowed" clause in the license.
The rule is defined by the creator of the code and distributor and co-writer of the license, as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
"I feel it is important that i make clear how i see the limits of the licence; You should know i am not against donations as such, and he may sell his merchandise as he pleases, but he may not use the game directly for this. The way i usually define this is if the players get some tangible modification within the game for their donations. Then it becomes commercialized. They pay for a service that is within the game.

I have no wish, nor any legal background for stopping donations made from commercials on the website, that offer no compensation game-wise. Nor have i any wish for preventing people selling merchandise on their website, that is related to the game (titled tshirts, mousepads etc..) .. in fact i recommend that you get your money this way."

-- Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt (29th August 2000)

_

"I just want to make clear where exactly the licence applies. And that is of course where using the sourcecode we have supplied, or sourcecode derived from our work.

If you give people any in-game benefits for their donations, you are in fact giving a service for the money you have rescieved. That is a commercial transaction, and thus you are commercializing our work. This we object to.

What i wanted to make clear, is that legally and morally we have no control of what you do, that you do not use our work for. Thus, if you want to sell mousepads and whatever from your website, we will not object.

If people want to donate money to you, personally, without having any services rendered using our software, we will not object to this. But if you use our software to render services for money or goods you rescieve, this we object to, as you are then commercializing our software. That we object to."

-- Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt (1st September 2000)
Now, prior to August 2000, anyone who didn't know of Staerfeldt's intent, might have gotten away with breaking the intent, because it hadn't been discussed until then (to my knowledge). But this information has been around for over three years, and anyone who is currently offering in-game services for out-of-game money is breaking the license. I don't know about other countries, but in the USA, "ignorance of the law" is not an excusable justification for violating it. It is the game-creator's responsibility to find out what the intent is, prior to even thinking about teetering on any line within it.

The intent has been made clear, as of August and September 2000 (respectively), and Aardwolf should stop offering in-game rewards -of any sort- for out of game money, whether they want to call it a donation or a "thank you present" or a corned beef sandwich. The fact that they've only been giving in-game benefits as of a relatively recent timeframe indicates to me, that they probably knew it wasn't a good idea in the first place.

You can't justify it by saying "well it isn't much" or "anyone can get this benefit by just playing," because it doesn't matter. The point, is that if anyone can get it by just playing, then anyone SHOULD get it by just playing, without the added option of paying cash. That option - the option of paying cash to receive in-game ANYTHING - even if it's just a one-time hair color change for your character, is against the rules, as defined by the person who wrote the rules.
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:04 PM   #89
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there's so much quoting going on in this thread, it makes my eyes want to bleed. i kind of sit back on this forum and watch discussions, but i wanted to point something out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Is our real crime here being popular?
Whether you like it or not, if you are popular you have to take on a few responsibilites if you want to be seen well in the public eye. Because you are popular, you are a role model for the community. You should be proud of that. Other MUDs want to be like you. That's why its an outrage to the community that you break a rule even it it is only "a tiny teeny weeny little bit".

That's why the public freaked out at Kobe Bryant. All the little boys want to be Kobe Bryant, a great basketball player. But he raped (supposedly) a woman... does this mean its alright for the little boys to rape women in the future? If there is no public outcry then it may seem that way. Same thing with Martha Stewart. Same thing with every single celebrity that commits a crime.

So no, your crime isn't being popular. Your crime is you are a horrible role model in the community.

You've lost one fan.
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:09 PM   #90
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You all are still posting in this thread? Whoever continues posting on this pointless subject should have their balls ripped off so they can't contaminate the rest of the human gene pool. Wait a minute...
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Old 11-01-2003, 08:27 PM   #91
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I took the liberty of asking a lawyer. I know, a crazy idea. Why bother asking a real lawyer when we can all just vomit unqualified opinions?

Here is my question, and the response given so far. More responses may follow. If I receive any, I will post them.

Question: If a software license appears to mean one thing, but the copyright holders say they meant another thing in a logged discussion, but the copyright holders have made no efforts to alter the license agreement that is distributed with that software, what rule should the user follow? Should they follow the agreement or the proposed intent of the copyright holders, even though they have made no efforts to defend their product according to their intent and have made no efforts to correct the license agreement?

Reply: An agreement requires a "meeting of the minds." If the written agreement is clear in its meaning and was entered into by both parties, they cannot now say they didn't mean it. Clear meaning represents a meeting of the minds. Ambiguous meaning permits the parties to claim no "meeting of the minds" and, therefore, no contract.

Reply Posted By:
Sheldon G. Bardach
Law Offices of Sheldon G. Bardach
via LawGuru.com

This means that any claimed restriction on what you can or cannot do with the DikuMud code outside of the strict wording of the license is invalid (This is why EULAs are usually so strictly worded, duh). This means that if you allow donations to support server costs, then you allow such donations regardless of a reward system as no distinction is made in the distributed license agreement as long as no profit is made.

For the record, there is no gross profit made on this venture, so any distinction between net and gross profit is irrelevant.

---
I love you, Delerak, even if your threat is sexist.
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Old 11-02-2003, 04:13 AM   #92
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Question: If a software license appears to mean one thing, but the copyright holders say they meant another
Which is hardly the question here. We're talking about a software license which isn't completely clear in meaning, but which has later been clarified by the copyright holders in such a way as to still fall within the wording.

Quote:
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Clear meaning represents a meeting of the minds. Ambiguous meaning permits the parties to claim no "meeting of the minds" and, therefore, no contract.
Unfortunately for the budding license violators, this "contract" is the only thing giving them permission to copy, modify, distribute or display Diku mud. So yes, you can claim "no meeting of the minds" - but then you no longer have permission to run your mud.
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Old 11-02-2003, 02:41 PM   #93
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Oh, no. You misunderstand. The license is absolutely clear. It says you may make no profit. That's 100% clear. The copyright holders may not then go back many years later and say, "Wait a minute, we didn't mean that. We meant something else." That is the point of the lawyer's response. The changes that you claim they wanted to make, absolutely do not fall within the wording of "Thou shalt make no profit. Thus spaketh the lord." I'm sorry you missed it. I'll explain further.

Since this is the only document distributed with the software that stipulates any restrictions on use, then it IS the contract. The user must agree to whatever it says in order to use the DikuMUD code. The person has no legal obligation to agree to whatever else the copyright holder said later on that is not a part of the contract. This is not a case of the user claiming ambiguous meaning. It is a case of the copyright owner claiming ambiguous meaning. In that event, it is entirely the copyright holder's fault for not making a contract that says what they meant. Since both parties agreed at the time of the writing of the contract that the wording of the contract was accurate, then neither party can then go back and say "Wait a minute, this means something else." This means that the DikuMud copyright is not violated by a mud taking donations as long as donations do not constitute profit, regardless of in-game rewards, because that is exactly what the license says.

Please remember that this is all from a lawyer, and anything you say, until shown otherwise, is not.
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Old 11-02-2003, 03:18 PM   #94
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Interesting

Would be fun to hear more laywer feedback. In particular for muds accepting donations for in-game rewards without running with profit. Is it violating the licence, or it is not?

Input from some respectable laywer would shed some light on this "grey area".
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Old 11-02-2003, 04:32 PM   #95
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I wonder what the statute of limitations, if any, is on the ability of the diku holders to instigate a claim if they ever choose to. In other words, if sleazymud were to write to the diku team, "I'm going to use the code for commercial purposes." And if there is no response (or even if there is a response and sleazymud retorts with "I'm going to do it anyway"), the ability to make a claim against sleazymud may eventually lapse from the time the diku team knew of the violation. (I'd hazard a guess that the statute of limitations may run for 2-3 years before diku loses their rights to make a claim.) Anyone know if there's a statute of limitations (if any)?
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Old 11-03-2003, 04:26 AM   #96
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Oh, no. You misunderstand. The license is absolutely clear. It says you may make no profit.
Actually it says "You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way". And as I've already demonstrated, even going by the IRS definitions there is more than one "way" to define making a profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Please remember that this is all from a lawyer, and anything you say, until shown otherwise, is not.
A new poster appears, and with his first post claims to have spoken to a lawyer. Fair enough - except that not only did you ask him an extremely misleading question, you've also taken your own interpretation of his answer and started citing it as a legal opinion!

And FYI, the quote I gave in the previous thread concerning intent came from a Justice as part of a judgement in a case.
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Old 11-03-2003, 10:26 AM   #97
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Regarding the statute of limitations, I doubt it would even be relevant until A) the person actually offends the license (rather than simply stating an intent to do so) and B) the owners of the license learn of the actual offense (and not simply the intent).

The license owners might also be able to sue for the stated intent if the civil court sees it as the financial equivalent of assault before battery, but I doubt that as well. But if so, then the statue of limitations might be relevant to that offense, but it still wouldn't yet be relevant to the other, I don't think. I'm just going by what seems to make common sense to me, though, not any significant legal training.
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:23 AM   #98
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Please don't forget that the statute of limitations would apply for each violation. So unless we're talking about a mud which violated the license on one occasion then didn't do anything for a few years, the point is really moot.

As an example, the statute of limitations for property damage and theft of property (called conversion) is usually three years from the date of the incident. But if your "victim" doesn't bring a lawsuit against you, that doesn't give you free reign to destroy/steal their property as much as you like for the rest of your life.
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:32 AM   #99
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We're off topic. No one is suggested bringing legal action against Aardwolf to my knowledge. What they are seeking is the removal of Aardwolf from a privately owned website. If the owner(s) of the website decide that they don't like how Aardwolf sells in-game rewards, they can remove Aardwolf from the list.

In the past, this has been done to other games that violate the spirit of license agreements that led to solid, publically available codebases. Whether or not their actions would stand up once the lawyers get their paws on it doesn't matter at all.
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:14 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Deathwing @ Oct. 31 2003,06:51)
Quote:
Originally Posted by
The "problem" is that people who violate licenses discourage others from releasing back into the community - and I'm not just talking about the Diku team.
If anyone lets what Aardwolf is doing - giving a tiny reward in return for help with server costs - stop them from releasing anything, then I think, frankly, that they shouldn't be in the "community" in the first place.
Well Deathwing, you have completely missed the point of what KaVir was saying.  The reason it discourages individuals from contributing is not JUST because they are giving away rewards, it is because they (and everyone who supports them) is trying to twist the DIKU's intent behind releasing the code in the first place.

I wasn't going to post, because I felt everything was being said nicely already, until I came across your post Deathwing.  It makes me sick to know that there are many, many people out there like the Aardwolf Owner(s), yourself, and everyone else who is begging the others to shut up about the truth!  If this kind of behavior continues, it makes others not want to contribute because we know, that no matter how hard we try, there will always be someone out there trying to pervert and subvert our intentions.  No matter the DIKU team didn't want people to GET/MAKE money of any kind, no instead you guys just TRY to figure out a loophole around it.  People like that don't even try to make their own completely original code to make money on - they just use someone else's, and then break the rules for use claiming "no violation".  All the while sitting behind a human wall of zealots who defend for them saying "nothing can be done until the vanished DIKU team makes a claim against them".

Utterly sickening.  But, I guess when the dust settles, everyone out there on the other side of this legal fence will feel some sense of accomplishment for finding a loophole around what has been commonly stated.

And Fiendish - yes, you can claim "no meeting of the minds", but the Justice Dept has already ruled that that doesn't give the "end user" free legal right to continue to use the item/object/product.  I'll let you and Google find the rest.

And to all those people out there who wish to argue the legal stand point of "gross profit/net profit allows us to get around the agreement" ... better point your favorite browser to the IRS's webpage and take a look at the meaning of Non-Profit and Tax-Exempt.  As someone already said on this thread (that was completely ignored), just because you don't actually make any money from your venture, doesn't make you "non-profit".  The Feds only allow very specific types of business to be non-profit.  And by their qualifications, Aardwolf would never qualify as a Non-Proft venture.  And if you aren't considered "Non-Profit" by the Feds, then you are considered "For Profit" - no matter how good/bad your bottom line is.  And THAT IS AGAINST the letter of the agreement.

So you can try and twist the meaning of PROFIT around every way you want, but even under legal definitions, they are taking in money.  And even if their expenses = take in (which I doubt), they are still considered by the IRS as "making profit", just not doing a good job of running the business.
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