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Old 06-05-2005, 11:56 AM   #61
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Thank you for telling me about the cookies. Worked well
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:52 PM   #62
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I followed the link to "How Medievia Got Started" and just can't get past a few things:

In the Medievia IV section - you say:

"The first thing Vryce decided to do was wipe the world and rethink it all."

and then in the same paragraph:

"We ended up recoding most of the game yet again"

Which was it then? Did you wipe the world, or merely recode "most" of the game, leaving the rest as it was - which was (by the webwriter's own admission), a Diku/Merc deriv?

Which part of that paragraph is a lie? The first part or the second?

In the next paragraph, there's this:

"Medievia IV again was much more than a re-tool."

So - Medievia IV is "re-tool plus?" That would mean it IS a re-tool, with additional stuff besides just the usual re-tool (whatever a usual re-tool is - I'm not a coder).

I'm looking at this from a layman's point of view here. If I called myself "more than a carpenter" it would mean I -am- a carpenter - but I can do things above and beyond whatever criteria defines "carpenter" in addition to those things.

If I call my job "more than a cashier," then it means I -am- a cashier, but I deliver extra value to either my customer or my boss, *in addition to the usual cashier duties.*

More than a re-tool means the same. It means - you admit to doing a re-tool - you admit to using DIKU as the basis of your code, but you have added things to it to make it more than what it started from.

Guess what - so does EVERYONE who uses Diku as their basis. That's what makes them derivitives rather than just plain stock code. So - by reading your most informative history page, I can only conclude that your administration is well-aware of the fact that they started out as Diku/Merc, continued with Diku/Merc derivitives, and have diluted the original code-base to its current incarnation, which is -still- a derivitive of the original stock, no matter how many fancy doo-dads you add to it.

A purple and pink polka-dotted silk chiffon pleated skirt with a broad green velvet hem - is still a skirt. If you got your pattern from Simplicity, no matter what material you use, and no matter what zippers or buttons you add to make it interesting, it's still a Simplicity pattern skirt.

A text-based interactive roleplaying game with bells and whistles and neato new classes and libs and blah blah blah - is still a mud. And no matter what codebase you use to redesign the original, no matter what doodads you add that didn't come with the original, yours is still a Diku/Merc deriv.
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Old 06-05-2005, 04:02 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ June 05 2005,16:05)
Yep, I can.  The following link is the "How Medievia Got Started" link on our website.  I am not sure when Vryce last updated it, but I think this has been there some time...
You can find more interesting information on 'how it got started' with a google usenet search:

[code] Date ; Tue, 21 Sep 93 02;13;38 EDT
Sender; s...@netaxs.com
Name ; Medievia
Addr ; 129.32.32.98 4000 (bigboy.cis.temple.edu 4000)


Theme ;
Based in a post apocalyptic future, where technology was lost in two
cataclysmic galaxy spanning wars, the mud is a fantasy based mud, with the
intention of introducing technology into the game's theme in the future.
"The Story of Medievia" is available on the mud in the general store for
the full details on the background.


History;
Original concepts by Michael A. Smith, based on Merc 1.0 code, with
modifications by Michael A. Krause and future modifications to be added by
another programmer. A "War Of The Gods" has caused a great deal of
problems with the mud's operation, at this time the administrator is in
the process of trying to help resolve those problems. The Programmer is
being replaced, and many of the gods are being dismissed and new ones
added to replace them.


Other;
See the Medievia Story, Faq, and other texts on the mud itself for
more detailed information.


Medievia was placed online in Feburary of 1993, officially went up
"non-test basis" on April 1st (April Fools Day, we should have anticipate
the problems! ugh! ;)).


Original Implimentors; Highlander (Michael A. Smith / s...@netaxs.com
msm...@bigboy.cis.temple.edu)
Balor (Anthony Rowley / rid...@netaxs.com
rid...@bigboy.cis.temple.edu)
Vryce (Michael A. Krause) [Code work]
address withheld due to his replacement.


Current Implimentors; Highlander (see above)
Balor (see above)
A programmer to be named shortly.


For more information, send me mail.
s...@netaxs.com / msm...@bigboy.cis.temple.edu[/quote]
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Old 06-05-2005, 04:05 PM   #64
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Jesus christ, can't you people stop arguing for one goddamn second? Do you listen to yourselves? No matter how much either side argues, whether it's about how 'Medievia is the spawn of Satan and all its players shall burn in the fiery pits of ####' or how 'IRE is owned by the tobacco industry and is teaching 5-year olds how to smoke and murder each other. Oh, and Matt is the Anti-christ', you're not going anywhere. There's no way you're going to convince the other side that you're right, whether you are or not, so just drop all this bull****.

And yes, there are posts at MUDconnector comparing IRE to the tobacco industry and saying that they purposely 'target' children to get them addicted to their games. Idiots.

Now which one of you is going to accuse me of being Matt/Medievia's (The new Axis of Evil, I guess) lapdog, and point out that I'm obviously being paid by them to help prop up their reputations and keep the fact that they are really netherbeasts forged of nightmares that bathe in the blood of virgins under wraps.

I'm being sarcastic, by the way, but I know half of you are too blind to realize that and the other half are trying to figure out who it is I'm insulting. The answer to that question is ALL OF YOU.

Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2005, 08:56 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traithe @ June 05 2005,08:29)
Ah, okay - I think I see.

In other words, you'd probably haul the thief into court for having the audacity to violate your protected copyright.

Copyright protection, incidentally, provided to all original creative works, whether explicitly copyrighted or not.
I'd imagine they would, because they would be harmed.

If the DIKU guys had actually suffered harm, I'd imagine they'd haul accused (as that's all they are, accused) code thieves into court too.

--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:05 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 05 2005,21:56)
If the DIKU guys had actually suffered harm, I'd imagine they'd haul accused (as that's all they are, accused) code thieves into court too.

--matt
There're no ifs about it, unfortunately.

Copyright protection isn't solely economic in nature - it's about protecting the author's right to the sanctity of his work after allowing the public to benefit intellectually from its release and dissemination.

Simply because it wasn't economically feasible for the DIKU authors to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to come to the States, hire a lawyer, and prosecute Vryce & co. as they rightfully deserve doesn't mean what they did was any less wrong, any more than a pursesnatcher is absolved from moral cuplability because the old lady he targetted is too frail to pursue him.

In fact, if anything, I'd say an added level of moral reprehensibility attaches to people who target those who obviously can't do much to stop them.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:07 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (eiz @ June 04 2005,15:59)
Of course we could have just told everyone else to shut up. Would be a pretty lonely forum then...
Doesn't that basically boil down to, "Agree with our point of view or be labeled offensive and banned?" I mean, I realize that some of the founding users of that forum (not you...I don't know anything about you) do tend to have an "Agree with me or I'll never stop attacking you" kind of view, but shouldn't that be their problem rather than the problem of people presenting alternative viewpoints?

--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:14 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traithe @ June 05 2005,22:05)
There're no ifs about it, unfortunately.

Copyright protection isn't solely economic in nature - it's about protecting the author's right to the sanctity of his work after allowing the public to benefit intellectually from its release and dissemination.

Simply because it wasn't economically feasible for the DIKU authors to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to come to the States, hire a lawyer, and prosecute Vryce & co. as they rightfully deserve doesn't mean what they did was any less wrong, any more than a pursesnatcher is absolved from moral cuplability because the old lady he targetted is too frail to pursue him.

In fact, if anything, I'd say an added level of moral reprehensibility attaches to people who target those who obviously can't do much to stop them.
So what punishments are available to a copyright owner who proves in court that someone is violating his or her copyright? Anything beyond economic? If not, it's pretty tough to claim that copyright law isn't about economic harm I think.

So what harm did they suffer? Quantify it for me?
--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:26 PM   #69
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Well, remember: economic damages are precisely that - economic remedies provided in the face of non-economic harm in an attempt to make the plaintiff whole.

You don't bring a wrongful death suit because the only damage done to you and your family is economic. Yes, that's a part of it - but there's certainly much less tangible damage done, and this is recognized not only by the severity of the economic damages awarded, but also by the possibility of punitive economic damages as well. Since the decedent can't be brought back from the dead, money's the next best thing, basically (and unfortunately).

Continuing with this analysis, the harm inflicted and the economic damages recoverable as a result in court in the case of copyright infringement can be two entirely separate issues as well.

Economics factor into the damages awarded - so things like profit from illegal dissemination can increase the awarded damages, but you don't actually need to make profit from illegally disseminating work in order to be a copyright infringer.

Therefore, there's some other less tangible interest besides economics that's protected by copyright law. This is evinced by things like nominal damages and statutory minimums - even if you don't make any profit at all from the infringement, you can still be found liable.

In my opinion, this "less tangible" interest is a tacit recognition of the moral ownership of an author to her work - it'd be tough to classify it as anything else since, as I noted, it isn't necessarily economic.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:38 PM   #70
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You don't bring a wrongful death suit because the only damage done to you and your family is economic. Yes, that's a part of it - but there's certainly much less tangible damage done, and this is recognized not only by the severity of the economic damages awarded, but also by the possibility of punitive economic damages as well. Since the decedent can't be brought back from the dead, money's the next best thing, basically (and unfortunately).
Yes, that makes sense. In a wrongful death suit, there's a lot of emotional harm done to the family aside from any direct economic consequences.

But what harm was done to the DIKU authors if the allegations against Medievia were proven to be true? I mean, the only offence that seems to hold any water against them is that they don't have the DIKU author credits on the main page. Ok, maybe the DIKU authors suffered minimal emotional ego harm from not having the credits on one of a few hundred DIKU-derived MUDs, but come on. I, for one, am really glad that there IS a barrier to entry in the legal system. I don't want to see people able to sue for truly minor harm and really, I don't care. I know I inflicted WAY more emotional harm on my ex-girlfriend by breaking up with her than Medievia could ever dream of inflicting on the DIKU authors. Yes, I don't know them, but I think it's pretty reasonable to guess that they weren't all broken up about it. I mean, consider how much effort they've expended trying to vilify Medievia and get them banned from sites X, Y, and Z. Oh wait, they haven't.

--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:48 PM   #71
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Well, in this specific case, I will definitely concede that the emotional harm is probably pretty minimal. I know if I were in their place I'd probably be ticked off enough to waste the resources prosecuting these guys, especially after all this time, and their attitude through it all - but, I generally am pretty quick to tell people where to stick it when they try walking all over me, and in a case like this with these economics that isn't necessarily the most reasonable thing to do.

However.

Having said that, I think this would make a pretty decent copyright infringement case, if one combines very clear-cut evidence of infringement (assuming for the sake of argument that this still exists and/or can be found), the absolutely unapologetic posture of the offenders, and the economic windfall they've obtained through their wrongdoing.

I don't have much of a head for numbers, but it's my understanding that Vryce and Soleil raise a family solely based on their income from this game, and that they've been doing so for some time now.

I couldn't tell you exactly how this will factor into the damages equation, but given that their infringement was what enabled them to reap these sorts of profits I imagine they would certainly play a part.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:49 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Gorgulu @ June 05 2005,17:05)
Jesus christ, can't you people stop arguing for one goddamn second?... I'm being sarcastic, by the way, but I know half of you are too blind to realize that and the other half are trying to figure out who it is I'm insulting. The answer to that question is ALL OF YOU.
Why is it that the "Flames are bad" posts are inevitably the angriest ones?
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:50 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 05 2005,22:07)
Doesn't that basically boil down to, "Agree with our point of view or be labeled offensive and banned?" I mean, I realize that some of the founding users of that forum (not you...I don't know anything about you) do tend to have an "Agree with me or I'll never stop attacking you" kind of view, but shouldn't that be their problem rather than the problem of people presenting alternative viewpoints?
I agree with this sentiment in principle. Here's the thing though: we all know that the people involved in this are not really going to just give up and tolerate what they think is a hostile presence. It's been going on for, what, 10 years? And there's no end in sight. So here are the options:

1. Remove the inevitable and constant flames, but allow Soleil to continue posting. Wait for the exodus (see TMS). I don't find this appealing, as I think a lot of the members who have serious Medievia problems are otherwise very high quality contributors.

2. Do nothing and let the flame warriors dominate the place. See RGMD.

3. Ban Soleil. While I don't personally like this option (honestly, you could be a serial killer for all I care and it would make no difference), I don't think the contributions of one person outweigh those of all the others who would end up leaving or spending all their time on flamewars. It sets a bad precedent, though.

This is actually similar to what happened on TMC a few years back with Grem, who was banned for being "disruptive" despite the fact that he would get flamed for posting anything at all. I didn't think that was fair either. That eventually cooled off and he's been contributing on mudlab, with no flames so far. Of course it helps that the whole 'translation of ROM to blitz basic' claim really was false.

I hope that eventually the community will be able to put this to rest, but it's a dim hope. This idea that Medievia is harming the community is just a self fulfilling prophecy, even if there is an underlying truth to it.
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:21 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Traithe @ June 06 2005,08:48)
Well, in this specific case, I will definitely concede that the emotional harm is probably pretty minimal. I know if I were in their place I'd probably be ticked off enough to waste the resources prosecuting these guys, especially after all this time, and their attitude through it all - but, I generally am pretty quick to tell people where to stick it when they try walking all over me, and in a case like this with these economics that isn't necessarily the most reasonable thing to do.

However.

Having said that, I think this would make a pretty decent copyright infringement case, if one combines very clear-cut evidence of infringement (assuming for the sake of argument that this still exists and/or can be found), the absolutely unapologetic posture of the offenders, and the economic windfall they've obtained through their wrongdoing.

I don't have much of a head for numbers, but it's my understanding that Vryce and Soleil raise a family solely based on their income from this game, and that they've been doing so for some time now.

I couldn't tell you exactly how this will factor into the damages equation, but given that their infringement was what enabled them to reap these sorts of profits I imagine they would certainly play a part.
I completely agree with you in that a case would be decent. However, I think the point that some would be arguing is 'would it be worth it?'

I think that is what Matt's being saying all along. Not that people should break copyright, not that people should steal code, but that the damage done and potential damages from anything like a lawsuit wouldn't be worth the time involved. *shrug*
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:24 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by
1. Remove the inevitable and constant flames, but allow Soleil to continue posting. Wait for the exodus (see TMS). I don't find this appealing, as I think a lot of the members who have serious Medievia problems are otherwise very high quality contributors.
3 people left TMS that I'm aware of: Molly, Rhuarc, and Tyche. Don't you think that if they were actually so high quality they'd be able to treat a disagreement like what it is and stop the attacking, since it does absolutely nothing but cause problems?


Quote:
Originally Posted by
3. Ban Soleil. While I don't personally like this option (honestly, you could be a serial killer for all I care and it would make no difference), I don't think the contributions of one person outweigh those of all the others who would end up leaving or spending all their time on flamewars. It sets a bad precedent, though.
Nod, I understand, from a management perspective, why you'd ban Soleil. It's the route of least resistance. I still don't think I'd be able to stomach allowing an angry mob to run people off what's supposed to be a forum for open discussion on MUDs. I'd tell the mob to go raise their pitchforks elsewhere as here isn't appropriate. And you're right, it sets a bad precedent. I don't plan on joining the forum for other reasons right now(ask me why privately if you care), but that's a pretty slippery slope you're on there. What if I came? Nobody has any grounds to accuse me or IRE of -anything- illegal but that mob doesn't like me either. Would you ban me if they started flaming me for expressing an opposite point of view? Where do you draw the line?

Anyway, they're your forums and it's your decision. I actually think it's an interesting conundrum and though I'd make a different decision, I can understand why you made the one you did. I just don't know how you intend to draw the line in terms of permitting dissent or controversy. It'll come up again once you establish a precedent for banning anyone some of your forum users are willing to spend enough time flaming.

--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:31 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Hardestadt @ June 05 2005,23:21)
]
I think that is what Matt's being saying all along. Not that people should break copyright, not that people should steal code, but that the damage done and potential damages from anything like a lawsuit wouldn't be worth the time involved. *shrug*
Well, no, that's not really what I'm saying. I am definitely against any sort of copyright violation, whether you euphemistically call it "fan fiction" or stealing. I am flat-out against it unless the IP owner has either specifically given you permission to use it or is on public record as saying he/she doesn't mind it being used in ways X, Y, and Z.

My argument is that if there was copyright infringement, the damage done to the IP holders is so incredibly minor that it is nothing short of a joke that certain unconnected people have spent -10 years- on a crusade over it. Further, I think this is made crystal clear when you look at the fact that the IP owners don't even bother to take part in this crusade, much less take legal action. Not taking legal action is understandable, but if they actually felt seriously wronged, one might expect some modicum of effort to be expended by them in their 'cause.'

--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:33 PM   #77
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Isn't that more or less what I said?
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:44 PM   #78
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Well, in this specific case, I will definitely concede that the emotional harm is probably pretty minimal.
Ok, so then you can either look at it from a moral point of view if your moral worldview even recognizes the existence of intellectual property (there's certainly nothing about intellectual property that renders it as an inviolate concept morally) or a legal point of view.

If minimal harm is suffered, what's the moral justification for all the outrage?

If it's a legal thing, where's the outrage against the numerous MUDs violating things like the Lucas license? Morally you can make the argument that they are fan fiction and thus ok (even if, in the case of Lucas, his license specifically prohibits running computer services using his IP) but legally one cannot.

I mean, it seems like either you accept that minimal harm is being done in BOTH the cases of Medievia and Shadows of Isildur pre-arrangement-with-Tolkien-Enterprises (and the many other MUDs in similar situations) and thus morally it's pretty much a non-issue or you take a legal tact and decide they're both guilty of violating IP law.

Also, you wrote that it might make a good case, but just because something will make a good case doesn't mean it's warranted either (The legal advice I've gotten has indicated it wouldn't make a good case at all, but 2 lawyers never agree on anything. It's a moot point either way apparently.) I know you're studying to be a lawyer, but I'd personally be a lot happier if there WEREN'T so many lawyers encouraging people to sue each other just because it's possible to do so.
--matt
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:57 PM   #79
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ June 05 2005,23:24)
3 people left TMS that I'm aware of: Molly, Rhuarc, and Tyche.
Several more have been driven away, only not so publicly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ foo)
Don't you think that if they were actually so high quality they'd be able to treat a disagreement like what it is and stop the attacking, since it does absolutely nothing but cause problems?
I don't think you can draw much of a conclusion about the amount of signal a poster can generate from this issue. We are dealing with an exceptional case, and thus general conclusions do not apply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ foo)
What if I came? Nobody has any grounds to accuse me or IRE of -anything- illegal but that mob doesn't like me either. Would you ban me if they started flaming me for expressing an opposite point of view? Where do you draw the line?
Some of the folks may indeed have a distaste for you, but that's for entirely different reasons than were used to justify the ban on Medievia. As has been explained before, we simply couldn't ask the angry mob (as you put it; I wouldn't call them disorderly at all) to forgive and forget when they believe the actions causing harm are ongoing and that those causing the harm are completely unapologetic.

As Tyche put it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ foo)
I have no problem with people with tainted backgrounds, however when you are still driving the stolen mud and waving out the window, well that's a foreground problem.
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:07 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Yui Unifex @ June 05 2005,23:57)
As has been explained before, we simply couldn't ask the angry mob (as you put it; I wouldn't call them disorderly at all) to forgive and forget when they believe the actions causing harm are ongoing and that those causing the harm are completely unapologetic.
But then what you're saying is that all that's important is that a group of people is angry about something and that rather than expecting them to deal with dissenting opinions maturely, it's better to just chuck out the dissenter? If a group of people believed that all LPMUDs are somehow causing harm, you'd be willing to ban LPMUD operators based on the same logic?

I mean, what your actions effectively do is either officially sanction mob rule or officially condemn Medievia. That's fine if that's your forums' stance, of course, as it's your forum, but it also kind of casts some doubt on the "open discussion" claim. Again, I'm not attacking your decision. I have no stake in it and it doesn't affect me either way.

Also, you know, they don't have to forgive and forget. Nobody is asking them to. The thing is, just because you find something distasteful doesn't mean you have to constantly disrupt forums attacking people over it. I think it's not at all unreasonable to expect that people simply hold their tongues. Sun and Microsoft had disputes over FAR more serious issues than this, and yet you'd never see Sun's CEO Scott McNealy bursting out during a press conference calling Bill Gates the devil or making silly analogies between Microsoft's activities and paedophilia. Heck, Microsoft and Sun even worked together on certain things during their otherwise heated dispute? Why? Because they realize that life doesn't revolve around a single issue, and that disagreement doesn't have to mean constant, relentless vilification. And no matter how much they disliked each other, you'd never have seen them reverting to their childhood years with insults like "Microthievia" or "Sungay" or whatever. I mean, I'm not going to name names, but I believe that one of the most frequent flamers as regards Medievia has done a lot of harm to the MUD community over the years. Does that mean I should initiate flames against this person constantly because of my belief? I tend to think it's my problem to deal with, not his/hers.

--matt
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