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Old 05-03-2006, 08:01 PM   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Murpe @ May 03 2006,20:40)
From a hosting perspective, if someone wrote to the co-location site that said game was doing something illegal (i.e. license violations, etc), I pretty much would think that co-lo site would put a block on the game server access (both physical and net-connection wise) until the problem is resolved rather than face legal or public/community confontation against the co-lo site for supporting such a so-called business entity.
Yeah maybe... if you're talking about amateurish colocation companies looking to go out of business.

Any colo facility that cut off a paying customer for such a flimsy reason would lose their customers fast.

The only way a responsible, professionally run colo facility would do such a thing would be if they received a court order.

Murpe, don't you run a colocation service? Are you telling me you'd shut off a customer simply because you got an email telling you that one of your customers was doing something illegal (like violating a license)? Is that really what you want to be on record saying about your business practices?

I'd RUN, not walk, from a colo service like that. Any disgruntled gamer could take someone's game offline with a single email. That's nuts.

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public/community confontation
Any colo service that cared more about "public/community confontation" than their paying customers doesn't deserve to be in business.
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:22 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ May 03 2006,19:39)
I said when it comes to an issue like the law, a non-professional shouldn't speak with absolute certainty just because they ran a few google searches. That's irresponsible and totally destroys their credibility.
KaVir's involvement with this issue is considerably more involved than "a few Google searches". For one thing, he's reviewed their code personally. For another, he's provided numerous legal citations which support his thesis.

You would make a stronger argument by addressing his points rather than consistently attacking the speaker.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:14 PM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (cron0s @ May 03 2006,11:33)
My point is that individual examples don't really do much to sway the argument either way. The 'Software Design vs. The Law' complexity argument is completely pointless. Who can say? Who really cares? It's just another distraction for KaVir and Threshold to flame each other over...
Yep. All my point ever was is that comparing the two in some ways isn't the obviously idiotic idea that Threshold suggested.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (John @ May 03 2006,18:44)
Again I repeat, no-one but you thinks this a valid point. You can argue it until you're blue, you'll just be ignored for the most part. If you think this is a valid argument towards those who defend the DIKU license, you're completely missing their point.
Well...ok. Any accountant would certainly "buy it" though, so I guess I'll have to be ok with that. Seriously, what do you think the word profit means?

--matt
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:00 PM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Murpe @ May 03 2006,20:40)
From a hosting perspective, if someone wrote to the co-location site that said game was doing something illegal (i.e. license violations, etc), I pretty much would think that co-lo site would put a block on the game server access (both physical and net-connection wise) until the problem is resolved rather than face legal or public/community confontation against the co-lo site for supporting such a so-called business entity.

Just my $0.02 worth.

-- M
Couple things:
1. A third party has no standing to complain and it would be incredibly irresponsible of any service provider to yank service over an uninvolved party's complaint.

2. The DMCA is available and easily used for an aggrieved party. I've shut down a MUD myself, in a foreign country, by using it. The ISP simply required a letter from a lawyer laying out the DMCA violations that the MUD in question was committing (operating without a valid license, since we'd already yanked the license for non-compliance). As far as I know, the DIKU guys haven't even bothered using this cheap, easy method, really making one wonder if they care even a smidgen.

--matt
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:17 PM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ May 03 2006,20:40)
Are you telling me you'd shut off a customer simply because you got an email telling you that one of your customers was doing something illegal (like violating a license)?
Heavens no, but I would make a note of the claim and determine the best route upon which to proceed, including contacting a lawyer. Personally my choice, for a lawyer, in a case like this: Tom Buscaglia (http://gameattorney.com/) -- someone that is knowledgeable in game development,  Intellectual Property (IP) and licensing claims.

In the small town I live in, I have seen it happen to have negative impacts to new and current customer's perspectives (i.e. not supporting them when a claim is sent, requests for turning over possible evidence to higher authorities, etc).

Even though I have a basic indemnification clause as the hosting provider (i.e.Customer agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless MURPE against liabilities arising out of...), I sometimes wonder if its good enough against a said case/claim like this.

In a way, its a Catch-22 -- damned if you do, damned if you don't.

-- M
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:34 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Any accountant would certainly "buy it" though, so I guess I'll have to be ok with that.
I suppose you speak for all accountants now?
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:21 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ May 03 2006,21:22)
KaVir's involvement with this issue is considerably more involved than "a few Google searches".
Not really. All he does is cobble together a bunch of links, cut out snippets that he thinks sound like they apply to the situation (and say what he wants), and then foam at the mouth and shout down anyone who disagrees with him.

Because he lacks even the slightest degree of humility regarding his "legal analysis", and because he refuses to even accept the possibility that he is misinterpreting the law, every single thing he posts on this issue is suspect.

This is not a complicated point. I really shouldn't have to keep repeating and explaining it. People who are completely unqualified and untrained in a very complicated discipline should use great care when postulating about it.

<Moderator edited out stuff>

The credibility of the writer is a perfectly legitimate issue. If the writer lacks credibility, then what the writer writes is automatically questionable.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:45 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (DonathinFrye @ May 04 2006,01:45)
Many "small claims" offenses never go to court because of the amount of money and hassle it would take for a non-corperation(such as the few remaining active DIKU Team members) to try to take on a company who had made money off of them enough to make the court situation sticky, at-the-least.

...

Ultimately, them not wanting to spend the money to defend their license does not mean that they don't care about their work and their license. And even still, the many MUDs who do adhere to the DIKU's teams wishes do apparently care about the license.
I realize you don't like actually reading other people's posts, and instead just skim them, but Matt already gave an example of how simple, easy, and cheap it is to use the DMCA.

If Hans/DIKU cared one bit about Medievia and their actions, they could use the DMCA for basically no money.

I've had to use the DMCA numerous times in the past to shut down various web sites that were distributing copyrighted information of ours. It was quick, painless, and except for a little of my time, free.

So your point that the only thing holding them back is the cost or hassle really doesn't hold water.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:55 AM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Not really. All he does is cobble together a bunch of links, cut out snippets that he thinks sound like they apply to the situation (and say what he wants), and then foam at the mouth and shout down anyone who disagrees with him.
It's called citing my source, and it's a lot more than you've managed. In fact, your sole "contribution" to this thread appears to be nothing more than ad hominem attacks. You don't like what I say, but can't find any holes in my sources, so you instead try to discredit me - even the_logos has ended up pruning some of your attacks against me.

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The fact that he has been on a 10 year, freakish crusade on a completely irrelevant issue further calls not only his credibility, but his sanity into question.
And that is a perfect example of your rabid rantings in practice. Nearly 6 years ago, following yet another Medievia flame war on usenet, someone proposed putting together a website with all the evidence. So I did some investigation, gathered the evidence and presented it, so that people would stop spamming usenet with the same old arguments. Other than making my opinions clear when questions are raised, that's pretty much it.

Now, let's start talking about your 'freakish crusade' against me. What's your motive?
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:36 AM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ May 04 2006,09:55)
It's called citing my source, and it's a lot more than you've managed.
I only need to cite one source to prove my point, and my source is you. You already admitted you have no legal training. Thus, you should immediately stop posting with such absolute certainty about legal matters.

Without a foundation of legal training, you lack the ability to accurately comprehend what you are citing. That's the problem. You don't fully grasp what you are reading, and so you don't know what parts are truly relevant and which parts are most important to the courts. That doesn't mean you can't talk about the issue. But it does mean you need to be a lot less sure of yourself and dismissive of anyone who disagrees with you.

Smart people often pose the greatest risk to themselves when it comes to legal issues. They think "Hey, I'm smart. I can figure this out." and pretty soon after, they're screwed. Do you think you're smart enough to take out your own appendix? No? Well don't think you're smart enough to analyze the law if you aren't trained.

Here is a little hint: you can't walk into a court and use web sites as your basis. You need case law. You need statutes. You need appellate court decisions. You need stuff much headier than the garbage you've been citing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ May 04 2006,09:55)
Now, let's start talking about your 'freakish crusade' against me. What's your motive?
I have two motives:

The first is to get you stop holding yourself out as a legal expert when you have absolutely no training in legal analysis. Bad legal advice is dangerous. Legal advice from clueless, untrained, laypeople is extremely dangerous and irresponsible.

<moderator edited stuff out>

I agreed with you on substance 5+ years ago. Now I just think you've lost it. You need an intervention, and you really just need to stop.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:34 AM   #232
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(I'm noticing that forum bug Shane was talking about earlier. The first post on a new page doesn't seem to show up until someone else posts under it.)
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:16 AM   #233
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<moderator edited out a quote from a previous post in which the quoted material had to be edited out. Just moderating out a response to something that no longer appears in the thread>

You mention earlier that legal decisions are based on case law and statutes, not web sites. KaVir generally links to case law, such as the US definition of a derivative work, etc. Just because the information is displayed on a web site, doesn't somehow invalidate it.

Again, if you think the references are inaccurate, point out the inaccuracy. But insulting other posters repeatedly does nothing to further your point.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #234
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Another question about the license:

Supposing I were to take the non-stock area/mob/object files that were made in a Diku derivitive, and adapt them for a different or 100% original codebase, would my new game still be considered derivitive and fall under the license?

I'm essentially wondering if the creative content is bound to the license because the file formats it is stored in were made for Diku.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:18 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Dovolente @ May 04 2006,13:29)
Another question about the license:

Supposing I were to take the non-stock area/mob/object files that were made in a Diku derivitive, and adapt them for a different or 100% original codebase, would my new game still be considered derivitive and fall under the license?

I'm essentially wondering if the creative content is bound to the license because the file formats it is stored in were made for Diku.
IANAL, but I'm fairly certain you're ok there.

--matt
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Old 05-05-2006, 04:14 AM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Dovolente @ May 04 2006,19:29)
Supposing I were to take the non-stock area/mob/object files that were made in a Diku derivitive, and adapt them for a different or 100% original codebase, would my new game still be considered derivitive and fall under the license?
Area files are almost always copyrighted to their author. As far as I'm aware, including them in your mud would not make it a derivative, but it might classify it as a "compilation" (rather like a book of short stories) - nothing to do with Diku, but still something which included work copyrighted to others. The area files are totally independant from the mud, however, so I don't see any reason why you couldn't simply remove them if you later ran into legal concerns.

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Originally Posted by
I'm essentially wondering if the creative content is bound to the license because the file formats it is stored in were made for Diku.
I'm pretty sure that file formats aren't protected by copyright. The Diku team have also stated the same view in the past, so I think you're fairly safe in that regard.

However you may still run into issues when using other peoples areas without permission. In the case of Diku, I think it's fairly safe to assume that the area authors gave permission for their work to be used with the distribution and its derivatives.

In the case of other muds, I'm not so sure. I could see some builders not being very happy about their work being used in a commercial mud, for example, unless they were getting a cut.

The difficulty is that there's no separate licence for the areas themselves. You could try and track down the authors, but I don't know how successful you'd be.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:46 AM   #237
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Kavir wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
In the case of Diku, I think it's fairly safe to assume that the area authors gave permission for their work to be used with the distribution and its derivatives.
That's an interesting question. Is it safe to assume? Do we, in fact, even have any evidence that the area builders gave copyright permission to the DIKU guys? You once opined that to buy the DIKU license, you'd have to get permission from the area authors, but if that's the case (ie that the DIKU area authors didn't give the DIKU code authors the right to license), then every DIKU using stock areas may be violating the IP rights of the DIKU area authors.

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Old 05-05-2006, 01:16 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ May 05 2006,12:46)
Do we, in fact, even have any evidence that the area builders gave copyright permission to the DIKU guys? You once opined that to buy the DIKU license, you'd have to get permission from the area authors, but if that's the case (ie that the DIKU area authors didn't give the DIKU code authors the right to license), then every DIKU using stock areas may be violating the IP rights of the DIKU area authors.
This was a (small) part of our decision to remove all our stock areas a long time ago. While they have a couple perks (comfortable familiarity to players that have seen them elsewhere, obvious ease of startup, etc.), we kept running into questions like:

1) Can you radically change this area without the author's permission? To cross-reference the Bartle thread, what if you took a stock area and added lots of explicit sexual content for some reason? A given author might not want their name associated with it. Every game that isn't pure stock will make some changes to an area (even if it's just a new flag or setting added as part of a code change), but how much permission do you have to do this? DIKU allows (and encourages) you to change the code, but the DIKU team didn't write all of the enclosed areas to my knowledge, and no contact information is provided with most stock areas.

2) If you do change it, how is authorship handled? Obviously, it's improper to omit the original author because you made some changes to the area. It's equally improper to claim co-authorship if all you've done is to add a few lines here and there. If you start with a 50-room area and expand it to 200 rooms, are you now a co-author?

We settled all of this by stripping out the stock areas, having all our areas written for us, and having all of our authors agree in writing to some standard boilerplate that grants us our needed rights as administrators. But we had the time and human resources to do so. What's the best way for a new MUD to handle this?
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:51 PM   #239
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That's an interesting question. Is it safe to assume? Do we, in fact, even have any evidence that the area builders gave copyright permission to the DIKU guys?
There's no evidence that I'm aware of, but as the areas come with the distribution then IMO it's probably fair enough to assume they can be used with the distribution - at least unless you have reason to believe otherwise.

If you don't assume that, where do you draw the line? Unless you write all the code and areas yourself, there's no way to be truly certain that it doesn't contain anything which infringes someone else's copyright.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
You once opined that to buy the DIKU license, you'd have to get permission from the area authors, but if that's the case (ie that the DIKU area authors didn't give the DIKU code authors the right to license), then every DIKU using stock areas may be violating the IP rights of the DIKU area authors.
It was a representative of the FSF who said that if the Diku team wished to create a new licence (eg GPL), they'd need permission from each contributor. If you purchased the Diku team's copyright and wished to change the licence, it strikes me that the same reasoning would apply.

But in this case we know that the contributors contributed towards Diku with the understanding that their work would be used under the Diku licence (they're basically people who were using the early version/s of Diku, already under the Diku licence, and submitted code to be added to later versions). To the best of my knowledge, the area files were contributed in much the same way.

This is why I believe it's okay to use the areas with Diku distributions - because the evidence would suggest that such was the intent of the authors (although without explicit permission I could certainly see them demanding removal of their work). It's when you want to use the areas outside of Diku distributions that it gets more difficult.

I also agree with Valg's points about modifying the areas, and agree that the best solution is to write your own areas from scratch.
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:07 PM   #240
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Kavir wrote:
Quote:
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There's no evidence that I'm aware of, but as the areas come with the distribution then IMO it's probably fair enough to assume they can be used with the distribution - at least unless you have reason to believe otherwise.
Well, it's fair to say that the DIKU authors (if they gave any thought to it) believed they could distribute the areas, but that's not the same thing as actually legally having the right to distribute those areas. I mean, I look at it much as I do regarding the DIKU license - no harm, no foul - but others don't operate from that point of view.

Quote:
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If you don't assume that, where do you draw the line? Unless you write all the code and areas yourself, there's no way to be truly certain that it doesn't contain anything which infringes someone else's copyright.
From a legal sense, you draw the line at verifying that you have the right to use anything you're using, if you're the type of person who cares (I am, but that's a personal thing.) If I were to download a DIKU and run it, I'd throw out all the content that comes with it for a variety of other reasons (largely a lack of quality), but if I were inclined to keep it, I do wonder where I'd stand on using it. I'm pretty anal about following IP law as best as I know how in my personal life, but a combination of the fact that the content that comes with DIKU is worth so little (unlike music, or movies, or whatever) and that nobody's ever come forward to my knowledge to complain about their areas being distributed with DIKU w/o authorization, means that I don't think I'd end up giving it much more than 5 seconds thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
It was a representative of the FSF who said that if the Diku team wished to create a new licence (eg GPL), they'd need permission from each contributor.
You know, that brings something else up I think: People are all over Medievia about plagiarism, but reading over the DIKU license, it strikes me if other people did in fact contribute to DIKU, the DIKU guys themselves are plagiarizing by claiming the work as theirs and not crediting the creators of it.

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I also agree with Valg's points about modifying the areas, and agree that the best solution is to write your own areas from scratch.
Definitely.

--matt
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