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Old 08-27-2003, 06:35 AM   #1
Hephos
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Yes, that is our current offer. It will be increased in a near future.

We use a custom building tool which can be downloaded from the website. The areas are used in a custom java codebase.

If you are interested to build and be part of a real project (and not a kindergarden mud without a future) check us out.

Building offer

Emil aka "Hephos"
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Mythicscape Entertainment
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Old 08-27-2003, 07:45 AM   #2
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I think I should point out that this "real project" has no more security than any other "kindergarden mud" - despite the fancy "Mythicscape Entertainment" name, there is no company, nor any commercial backing. It's just another guy working on a mud.

But in particular, you should be warned that the $20 (which would generally work out at around 1 or 2 cents per hour) "may be changed at any time by Mythicscape", and isn't just for the area - but for the entire copyright itself. In other words you give up all rights to your own work. You cannot take your area elsewhere, you cannot later use it in your own mud, you cannot distribute it to other muds, etc.

The agreement on the website is also extremely dubious looking, and I would strongly advice anyone considering the offer to have a lawyer check it over first. From my understanding, it seems to suggest that once you've signed it, Hephos can claim the copyright of anything you have ever produced or will ever produce with his tools, or anything submitted to the mud. If legally valid, that would mean that once you've signed the agreement, he will automatically own the copyright to any further areas you produce (and thus not be required to give any additional payment). You also give up the right to take any sort of legal action should such occur. In addition, the agreement seems to act somewhat like an NDA, which might even be used to prevent you from taking your own ideas elsewhere.

While I'm sure Hephos doesn't have bad intentions, the fact still remains this "offer" is extremely misleading, and personally I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot barge pole. I would very strongly advice anyone considering it to first consult a legal expert, because otherwise you have the potential to be royally screwed.

So in summary: Be careful. I wouldn't want to see someone get ripped off.
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:44 AM   #3
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Also; building a normal 100 room area takes 80-100 hours of effective work.

Apart from the lousy payment offered and the legal applications that KaVir so aptly pointed out, I'd avoid throwing that amount of work down the drain, just for the pleasure of being ripped off by some get-rich-quick jerk.
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Old 08-27-2003, 10:11 AM   #4
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On the other hand, how many mud admins give you pizza money for completing a zone? It doesn't look like it's money to wholly compenstate the large amount of work that goes into creating a zone. That would be stupid. It very much appears to be something to show appreciation, like when your boss pays for pizza on friday after work.

Anyway, I don't think it's a very big deal =).
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:31 PM   #5
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On the other hand, how many mud admins give you pizza money for completing a zone?
I'd say around the same number that try to strip you of your rights to that zone, and all future zones, for the price of a pizza.

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It very much appears to be something to show appreciation, like when your boss pays for pizza on friday after work.
Yeah, but he also pays me a salary...

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Anyway, I don't think it's a very big deal =).
It might not be a very big deal for you or me, but it could be for someone else. It looks like it has the potential to seriously screw the unwary builder. I'm just trying to make sure that such builders actually realise what they are getting themselves into before they commit themselves.
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:56 PM   #6
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Plenty of people don't mind giving up their copyright for some of their works, but I'm not contesting your rightly pointing out the consequences of it. I'm primarily referring to Molly's statement about it being a "lousy payment".

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It very much appears to be something to show appreciation, like when your boss pays for pizza on friday after work.
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Yeah, but he also pays me a salary...
So? =)
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:15 PM   #7
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I'm primarily referring to Molly's statement about it being a "lousy payment".
Well I'm not really sure how else you could interpret a thread entitled "Get paid for building areas". Following the link clarifies the issue further, by stating "This offer does in no way give you a job at Mythicscape. It is a contracted hire. You work for yourself and sell the copyrights of the material to Mythicscape. You will be paid only for the submitted work once it has been approved."

Sounds like a payment to me. Thus my response to your analogy - my boss does not pay me a pizza per month.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:33 PM   #8
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First, mythicscape is a registed company in sweden.

Well, 20 might be "lousy" payment to you guys that got your jobs (kavir mainly, since he been bragging about his salary in the past).

20 is not lousy to someone that does not have a job, that can't even afford to play a pay2play game that cost you 10/month (eq, daoc) etc.

If they build 1 area for us, they can play daoc for 2 months or more.

Also, 20 is our beginning offer, it will be HIGHER in a near future.

We haven't ripped off anyone so far, and are not planning to, so you can mind your own business kavir and go pester someone else, please.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:40 PM   #9
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I'm confused why there is so much fuss about this offer. $20 per area may not be much compared to someones professional salary, but it is significant when compared to the big fat nothing that you would get for building on most MUDs. I've never played one of your MUDs, Kavir, so I'm not sure if you've ever paid your builders. Have you?

Also, why would someone be paid a salary for a work for hire job? The point is that you're contracted to do a job, and then you get compensated for it.

Regarding assigning the copyright... well duuuh! Why would this guy pay someone to make an area for his MUD without getting the copyright to it? Doing so would allow anyone who ever built for him to yank their work away at any time. Of course he wants the copyright.

And if you don't want your future work being assigned over, don't submit it to Sharune MUD. If you don't submit your work, you retain your copyright. I don't see how this is sneaky in any way. In fact, that agreement looks pretty standard for a work for hire.

Where is all this hostility coming from? Bias against the commercial guys?

- Ryan
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:35 PM   #10
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Where is all this hostility coming from? Bias against the commercial guys?
More likely bias against commercial guys who prey on the work of others.

Builders usually gets a lousy deal in all muds. this is just taking the lousy deal a bit further.

Ideally a mud is a teamwork, where code and zones are valued equally high. In reality Coders usually get all the best positions, and Builders - even good, productive, experienced Builders - are looked upon as second rate imms.

Now it seems this is extended to being second rate serfs for commercial muds too. I bet people who start commercial Muds don't expect their coders to work for 2 cents an hour and give up all right to their work on top of that. Or?
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:46 PM   #11
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I'm also confused. That agreement looks unobjectionable. Of course they're going to own your work if they pay you to do it. Besides, it's hardly as if there's some big payoff for being able to take your area to another mud. Few muds of quality are going to accept an area from an unrelated mud.

And while Kavir is correct that there is not some guarantee that this project will get off the ground it already looks like a more professional and organized effort than 95% of the muds out there.

--matt
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:55 PM   #12
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Well consider builder X builds an area for a mud.

Why would he not give the copyright to that mud, along with receiving a written agreement that the mud will ALWAYS give credit WHEREVER the work is used?

The only reason would be to use the work elsewhere...

Now any mud accepting this, would not have unique or original material = crappy (in my opinion). All good muds, will not accept their builders to send off the work elsewhere.

Now considering MOST muds out there, whenever a builder submits an area (or builds it online the mud with olc) they get NO written agreements that they will always have credits for it. In fact, mostly they have to agree that their work will not be used elsewhere, and that the mud owners can do whatever they want with it.

Getting paid, and getting a written agreement that credits will always be there, is in my opinion better, even though the salary might not be so great.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:02 PM   #13
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More likely bias against commercial guys who prey on the work of others.
Exactly how is he preying on anyone? He's offering more than most muds offer.

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Now it seems this is extended to being second rate serfs for commercial muds too. I bet people who start commercial Muds don't expect their coders to work for 2 cents an hour and give up all right to their work on top of that. Or?
We've had many volunteer coders over time. Our CTO and three of our producers all started as volunteers (ie being paid LESS than Hephos is offering) and now all have attractive full-time jobs. Three of the above people now own significant portions of the games as well. Two other volunteers-turned producers are developing our fourth game, Lusternia, and are doing so for a year, for free. We own all their work. If they quit, they get nothing. On the other hand, once the game opens next summer, they get employment, a big percentage of the profits, and ownership.

So are they dumb for having done free work for us (all of which we own) for years in some cases? Did we prey on them? They sure don't think so.

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Old 08-27-2003, 05:30 PM   #14
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More likely bias against commercial guys who prey on the work of others. Builders usually gets a lousy deal in all muds. this is just taking the lousy deal a bit further.
Have you ever offered a builder more than $20 to build an area for your MUD? If not, you have no right to suggest that Hephos is preying on his builders. Making a lousy deal worse by adding payment to it? I really don't know where to start addressing this, it literally makes no sense at all to me.

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Ideally a mud is a teamwork, where code and zones are valued equally high. In reality Coders usually get all the best positions, and Builders - even good, productive, experienced Builders - are looked upon as second rate imms.
Thats just plain economic reality. The more specialized a skill someone has, the more they will be paid for it. Coding is infinitely more complex than building. Besides, all of these arguments assume the poor builders are being coerced into something, although thats clearly illogical.

Still waiting to be convinced that this is born of something other than knee-jerk bias.

- Ryan
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by (malaclypse @ Aug. 27 2003,13:30)
Coding is infinitely more complex than building.
You're going to get flamed for that I do believe.

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Old 08-27-2003, 11:00 PM   #16
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I can understand at least one of Kavir's points just fine, the point of trying to keep others from being ripped off. That is understandable and good in these days, especially with a lot of people that don't pay much attention to disclaimers (look at the amount of Spyware on others computers).

I believe you are right though, Malaclypse, in that Molly's comments were based off of a knee-jerk bias, or maybe even a personal bias against  this company.

If I were to use builders in my mud, then I would probably require that they not use the area elsewhere or sign the rights of the area over to me (I value originality). So, of course, this company wishing such bothers me not at all.

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Builders usually gets a lousy deal in all MUDS. this is just taking the lousy deal a bit further.
Bah.

Yes, bah. That's not really all I have to say. Using that logic, I would have to say that most administrators get a lousy deal too: Whining players, whining and non-working staff, headaches, bills and usually nothing but satisfaction in return. Hmmm..

But if it were thought of that way, i'm sure there would not be many MUDS out there. What is being offered here, IMO, isn't very bad. If I had the time to sit around writing areas then I'm sure i'd probably do it.

In the job world there are quite a few jobs in existence who use  this approach, or a modified form of this approach, to conduct business. Anyways, thanks for pointing it out to those that may have missed it Kavir and thank you Hephos for enriching poor, can't-buy-pizza builders.

[Edit made to correct typing errors due to lack of sleep, Grammar errors left intact for authenticity ]*2
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Old 08-28-2003, 05:45 AM   #17
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Well, 20 might be "lousy" payment to you guys that got your jobs (kavir mainly, since he been bragging about his salary in the past).
I have never bragged about my salary. In fact I've specifically said in the past that I don't earn as much as I could, because I prefer the working conditions where I am (I work to live, not live to work). However you're right about one point - I consider 1-2 cents per hour to be a "lousy" payment.

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We haven't ripped off anyone so far, and are not planning to, so you can mind your own business kavir and go pester someone else, please.
No, as I keep telling you every time you try this, I will not simply ignore your posts. I consider your "offer" extremely dubious, and feel obliged to warn any prospective builders. If they still want to build for you, that's their choice, but at least they'll have some warning in advance.

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malaclypse wrote:
I'm confused why there is so much fuss about this offer. $20 per area may not be much compared to someones professional salary, but it is significant when compared to the big fat nothing that you would get for building on most MUDs. I've never played one of your MUDs, Kavir, so I'm not sure if you've ever paid your builders. Have you?
You're completely and utterly missing the point. Most muds grant builders a position on the mud, and in return the builder allows them to use their area for non-commercial purposes. Hephos isn't asking for permission to use the area though - he's buying the copyright (meaning complete ownership of all rights) to the area for what basically amounts to 1-2 cents per hour of work (and retains the right to change that at will), within a commercial mud (so assuming $10 monthly payments, he'd get the money back from a single player in 2 months). Furthermore, his agreement is phrased in such a way that he could also claim ownership over all past and future areas submitted his mud, or using his building tools, without having to pay a single cent more.

And if, like most of these ventures, his mud falls over, your hundreds of hours of creative work have just been flushed into oblivion. You cannot take them elsewhere, or even use them as examples of your work, because you no longer own them.

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Regarding assigning the copyright... well duuuh! Why would this guy pay someone to make an area for his MUD without getting the copyright to it? Doing so would allow anyone who ever built for him to yank their work away at any time.
No, it wouldn't. I've explained several times to Hephos how he could go about ensuring that they couldn't. I've even explained to him how he could go about ensuring that they didn't use their work on other muds, which is what he claimed was the reason why he wanted the transfer of copyright. But each time he's instead opted to take the entire ownership of the work away from the original author.

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And if you don't want your future work being assigned over, don't submit it to Sharune MUD. If you don't submit your work, you retain your copyright.
Actually that's not true. According to the agreement, once you've signed it you automatically give up your copyright simply by creating work with his building tool.

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Where is all this hostility coming from? Bias against the commercial guys?
No, bias against exploitation of builders. Don't you think they at least deserve to be warned what they are letting themselves into? There are more than enough mud coders who have stopped contributing after being repeatedly burnt, the last thing we need is for builders to start getting treated the same way.
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Aug. 28 2003,04:45)
Hephos isn't asking for permission to use the area though - he's buying the copyright (meaning complete ownership of all rights) to the area for what basically amounts to 1-2 cents per hour of work (and retains the right to change that at will), within a commercial mud (so assuming $10 monthly payments, he'd get the money back from a single player in 2 months).
Wow, yeah, cause you'd get so much by being able to submit it to different muds!

What do you think the builders he's trying to attract do with their areas, man? It's not like they're going to Bioware and saying, "Hey look, I wrote this area for a text mud. Hire me!" It's not as if the builder is going to go sell that area to another mud. What does said hypothetical builder lose that actually matters? Nothing that I can see, but he gains $20. Better deal than most muds.

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Old 08-28-2003, 07:04 AM   #19
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Quoting kavir
>Actually that's not true.  According to the agreement, once
>you've signed it you automatically give up your copyright
>simply by creating work with his building tool.

Actually, the copyright line of the agreement is changed. The submitee only give up copyrights of things submitted that has any connection to the game.

It does not affect anything you have built, and not submitted.

So someone can perfectly fine create whatever they want with our tools without giving up any copyrights. It is when they actually submit the work to us and let us use it, that the agreement comes in.

(Not that i see how anyone would want to build an area with our building tool, and NOT submit it to us... its not like it can be used in any other game.)
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:05 AM   #20
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the_logos wrote:
What do you think the builders he's trying to attract do with their areas, man?
You appear to have missed the part where I said "And if, like most of these ventures, his mud falls over, your hundreds of hours of creative work have just been flushed into oblivion. You cannot take them elsewhere, or even use them as examples of your work, because you no longer own them."

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Actually, the copyright line of the agreement is changed. The submitee only give up copyrights of things submitted that has any connection to the game.
Well that's an improvement at least.

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So someone can perfectly fine create whatever they want with our tools without giving up any copyrights. It is when they actually submit the work to us and let us use it, that the agreement comes in.
Although they still lose the copyright, even if you decide not to approve (or, therefore, pay them for) the area.

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Not that i see how anyone would want to build an area with our building tool, and NOT submit it to us... its not like it can be used in any other game
Of course it can. The layout of an area isn't the creative part, nor is it particularly difficult to change. If they create an area and discover that there is no demand or requirement for it, why would they want to just throw away that work?
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