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Old 10-26-2003, 08:41 AM   #21
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Why do people think the license is being violated? Here's the text of it -

"You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way."

Aardwolf claims to not make a profit. No choice but to believe them. Ambiguous between net profit and gross profit, but I don't think anyone wants to stretch so much to say this should be gross profit, instead of net.

"You may under no circumstances charge money for distributing any part of dikumud - this includes the usual $5 charge for "sending the disk" or "just for the disk" etc"

Giving an in-game bonus is not distributing part of the dikumud codebase - which is what they have copyrighted.


I don't see how the license can be interpreted to say rewarding donations for a diku-based non-profit mud is a violation. [b]The license prohibits a profit, and charging for distributing dikumud code.[b]
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Why do people think the license is being violated?
The Diku team have stated the intent of the license. Aardwolf violates that intent - the admin even admitted that "this thread was inevitable".

Quote:
Originally Posted by
"You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way."

Aardwolf claims to not make a profit. No choice but to believe them. Ambiguous between net profit and gross profit, but I don't think anyone wants to stretch so much to say this should be gross profit, instead of net.
Why shouldn't they? The license states you cannot make profit "in any possible way", and the Diku team have clarified the meaning. As I said previously, "in any possible way" does not mean "in any way except that which allows me to do exactly what the Diku team have said they don't want".
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:07 AM   #23
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There are two pieces of irony here:

1. This whole thread was started by someone posting a personal communication (with implied copyright) to a public forum

2. We *could* have been making a (net) profit by rewarding donations year round rather than periodically when we need help with bandwidth fees. If we are in full violation of the license and going to become the next "black sheep" of the MUD community anyway, then what the heck.

Am I completely comfortable with it? No - the legal interpretation of the license is a grey area and the intended spirit of the license is less so.

Over the past 7 years Aardwolf has been torn apart and recoded so many times to the point where it is now 95% original - but the base code is still diku so it is still a diku derivative. The next major update of Aardwolf is a rewrite on top of the  skeleton 'SocketMud' handler with pieces of Aardwolf build on to it. In code terms, we will be heavily influenced by the Diku look and feel but will not have a single line of original Diku code. At that time I'll be more than happy to make our CVS logs available publicly (without code) and to make full code available to a qualified third party under non-disclosure. I guess we'll still be in somewhat of a grey area for having a few stock areas when the new version opens, but they'll be gone over time.

In the meantime, at least give us credit for not just rebooting one day, declaring that we're no longer Diku and challenging the world to prove otherwise.

Hephos, I am still interested in learning more about your motives here. Based on your recent posts during the past two weeks regarding charging for 'special client access', etc -- I still have to wonder whether you are trying to defend the diku license or trying to make a case to reward donations yourself. How many posts do you want from people saying "We dont care" before you'll do it yourself "because Aardwolf does?".
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Hephos, I am still interested in learning more about your motives here. Based on your recent posts during the past two weeks regarding charging for 'special client access', etc -- I still have to wonder whether you are trying to defend the diku license or trying to make a case to reward donations yourself. How many posts do you want from people saying "We dont care" before you'll do it yourself "because Aardwolf does?".
Well we have no interest in rewarding donations. We already receive donations without in-game benifits. We did a research on our forums what players would think about it though, and ALL players voted FOR rewards. Also, we are working on our own java game engine (which will be available for licencing) to use commercially and hence we have no interest in the diku licence issues really, we're going commercial in a near future anyways.

I have no personal interest in aardwolf's way of taking donations or any other game for that matter.

However, I don't like that some muds can violate the licence, and get no penalties by the mud community, while others can't. I think if the mud community accepts that the largest games violate it, it shouldn't bother about the smaller ones either.

If noone (mud community or licence holders) cares about games violating the licence and no one take any actions, whats the point in the frikken licence? It just pushes poor smaller games (that are run by people with ethics) down into the dirt, and lets the violators run them over. I'm sure the "spirit" of DIKUMUD was not to cause that.

Maybe it is not a coincidence that the games that violate the licence are the largest ones
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:37 AM   #25
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How exactly does it 'grind smaller muds into the dirt?'.

Aardwolf didn't GET where it is by accepting donations and we didn't "spend all the money we got" on advertizing to take players away from other muds. The banners you see on TMS this month is the first paid advert we have EVER run, in 7 years online. I would love to see the clickthrough rate, but I'm very sure the hits we are getting is because our players are taking the time to vote, not because of the banner.

Aardwolf got to around average 300 online and then needed help to afford the bandwidth. There are countless players that can confirm  that I financed it completely myself for the first 3 years, then imms helped in year 4. The player help came later.

Slam us on the grounds of license if you like, but bringing 'poor smaller muds' into it just sounds like a politician back to trusty old 'its for the children!'. As I said, this will all be moot in a couple of months anyway.
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
The license states you cannot make profit "in any possible way"
They're not making net profit "in any possible way".  If it's gross profit then every Dikumud accepting a donation is conceivably in violation, whether the reward is giving in-game rewards or just keeping the mud up.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:24 AM   #27
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In my years as a small business owner, I've never seen any use of the term "gross profit." There is "gross revenue," and there is "profit." I think these two terms are being confused.

Profit is whatever money you have left over after the expenses are paid. Gross revenue is whatever money comes in before the expenses are paid.

If a game owner accepts donations to pay for the server and other operating expenses - not including salaries since the DIKU license forbids "INCOME" to any individual, then the profit would be whatever is left over after those expenses are paid, if any. If there IS anything left over, then yes, the mud operator is receiving a profit. If there is nothing left over, then he isn't.

I ran my small business profitably for a couple of years. That is to say, after I paid for supplies, raw materials to create my product, advertising, and maintenence costs to keep my website up (including the monthly ISP fee), I had money left over that I was able to keep for myself. That leftover - was profit. It was also income, which I had to file and pay taxes on. If I had given myself a set salary according to reasonable and customary wages in my state, I would have operated at a loss, rather than a gain, and my company would not have been profitable.

However, it also would not have been a non-profit organization, because it was a *commercial* venture, meaning, it was designed to make a profit - whether or not it actually succeeded.

That's where "intent" comes in I think. If you ask for money for the express purpose of paying expenses to keep something running, and don't *charge* for it - then you are not operating commercially. If you have money left over from your request, and sink it back into improvements on your game, rather than buying yourself a beer after the hard work you've done, then you are also not -intending- to profit.

If you find yourself with money left over on a regular basis, and stop accepting donations as a result, then you are also not -intending- to profit. If you instead allow the donations to continue pouring in, that's where "intent" becomes questionable. That's where the vaguery shows up. When you are already paying expenses, and the money keeps coming and you don't say "No, we don't need it anymore, thanks" and return it to the donor.

The one diku-based mud I've actually played that accepts donations, has made it clear that they would not accept them if they found themselves with more than they need to maintain the game's functionality.

I even looked up "profit" on www.dictionary.com and saw a number of different sources and definitions. Not one of them implied that such a thing existed as "gross profit" before expenses.

By definition, profit is what you have AFTER expenses, not before.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:24 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Quote
and the Diku team have clarified the meaning.


Link?
You need to go no further than Crystal's post on page 1 on this thread.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:46 AM   #29
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Completely irrevelant legally for a contract, but where is that gotten from?  Would like to read the entire statement if it's stored somewhere.
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:06 AM   #30
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Angry

Dude. You don't even read the whole thread before replying? What good is your opinion if you don't know the conversation up to now?
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:51 AM   #31
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Ask Kavir, he's who I got it from. I'm sure he knows.
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Old 10-26-2003, 01:37 PM   #32
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Dude. I read it a few days ago but forgot, happens at the end of 13-hour graveyard shifts. Give me a break and respond to the hundred words plus I've put some thought into, not give a mocking reply to a single word("Link?")

Those quotes don't mean anything to me, legally or otherwise...these guys aren't articulate enough in English to be exact w/o an interactive dialogue. That reply didn't even mention "profit", the defining word of the license...Assuming the quotes are really from Hans I'd bet the questions were leading away from "profit" and towards the very ambiguous "commercialization". Can't think of any other reason the license would be explained without mentioning profit, when profit is the crux of the legal license.
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Old 10-26-2003, 03:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Oct. 26 2003,03:42)
Apr 03 2003  Sueing Medievia
May 30 2003 Shadows of Isildur, Ip thieves should be banned
Oct 12 2003  Diku Licence
Oct 22 2003  Pros, Priests and Zealots

4 threads, all initiated by the same person.
You should all go back and read them. They make an interesting pattern.
Article 1: Medievia IS violating the DIKU license. It's not including the proper credits to the DIKU authors.

Article 2: SoL doesn't even have -any- license from the Tolkien people.

Article 3: The DIKU license prohibits profit. It does not prohibit commercialization.

Article 4: There are a number of people on this site who have little interest in reality and more interest in promoting an almost religious-style agenda.

None of these facts are really in question.
--matt
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Old 10-26-2003, 06:07 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Article 3: The DIKU license prohibits profit. It does not prohibit commercialization.

Article 4: There are a number of people on this site who have little interest in reality and more interest in promoting an almost religious-style agenda.

None of these facts are really in question.
I still suggest that people should go back and read those threads again. They make such enlightening reading.

Below are some assorted examples of the_logos wisdom from the Diku thread:

the_logos:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
--
On the other hand, since profit is so ill-defined it is easy to simply not make a profit if you treat your mud as a genuine commercial enterprise.
--
There are a thousand ways to not show a profit for the enterprise while ensuring the individuals who work for the enterprise get money.
--
These are easy, essentially rock-solid ways to avoid violating the license. There's very little room to quibble here too since wiping out profit in this manner is both completely legal and quite common.
--
I'm sure the inevitable argument is going to be that my solutions violate the spirit of the license and in fact that's probably true, though that's purely speculation on my part. I'm not a mindreader. Either way though, it's irrelevant.
---
I don't care about the spirit of the license as it's not relevant, particularly in a discussion of contract and IP law.
--
No one is suggesting that a profit be made from DIKU. That's the entire point of this thread: It's quite possible to take money and simply not show a profit.
and one from the Priests and Zealots thread:

the_logos
Quote:
Originally Posted by
This board (and other text mud boards) just frustrate the #### out of me due to some of the Zealots and Priests that inhabit it. They make it next-to-impossible to have a worthwhile discussion on mud development.
I guess part of the problem might be that some of the "religious-style" people don't quite agree about the definition of what is a "worthwhile discussion on mud development".
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:33 PM   #35
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You guys have nothing better to do but talk about this **** over and over again. Heh.
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:20 PM   #36
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So it's obvious that Aardwolf is violating the intent of the Diku licence as stated by the Diku team. So will they be banned?

I could care less but I just love the inconsistencies here.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:06 AM   #37
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That reply didn't even mention "profit", the defining word of the license...Assuming the quotes are really from Hans I'd bet the questions were leading away from "profit" and towards the very ambiguous "commercialization".
The topic was pretty much identical to the Aardwolf situation. Here's how the conversation went (quoted):

On 29 Aug 2000, I wrote:

A ROM mud by the name of "Dark and Shattered Lands" has started taking donations from the players in exchange for houses/taverns/land ownership within the game. In short:

$10 or more = 2 bedroom house for a character
$20 or more = 4 bedroom house for a character
$30 or more = A dsl-mud.org email alias
$100 or more = All shops but Taverns
$200 or more = A Tavern
$500 or more = Land Ownership to build a Kingdom

The real problem is that the mud owner (Tony Allen) is claiming that you (the Diku team) support this idea. If that's so, it makes it very hard to do anything about Medievia's (or any other muds) donation system - can you please confirm or deny whether he has your support on this issue?


On 29 Aug 2000 Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt replied:

Well, he is clearly using the game for generating profit.

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.


On 30 Aug 2000, Michael Seifert wrote:

I regret to tell you that Richard is right. It is the intention of the license agreement that you should not receive for donations.

On 30 Aug 2000, Scorn (owner of DSL) wrote:

Would it be safe to assume some of the founders of DikuMud disagree on the license? Also, why is the intent of the license different than the license? The license states you can not make profit. It does not state you may not accept donations such as books, hardware or allowing someone else to pay your co-location fees.

I am not arguing, but I am severly confused at this point why I am being told I am violating an agreement that does not state anything against such activity. Also realzie that I will comply with the wishes of the Diku Team whether it is in writing or not. I have already removed the donation page on my web site but I ask for a fair and reasonable answer to my conerns on this matter.


On 1 Sep 2000 Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt replied:

I do not believe that we disagree on the license.

I am sorry, if my answers have been confusing. 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.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:42 AM   #38
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From everything I've read, here and elsewhere, it seems Aardwolf is violating the spirit of the license. The word "donation" shouldn't even be in this thread- they're selling in-game merchandise (points). There is also a precedent for removing MUDs from this site for doing exactly what they are doing.

Whether or not their system would hold up in a court of law, the staff of a privately run website like TMS can exclude them if they wish. In the past, other MUDs have been excluded for selling in-game rewards.

It seems like people are having the wrong debate.
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:50 AM   #39
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I guess that depends on whether or not this is a site for people to vote on 'top muds' and discuss them, or a vehicle for approval of various usage/interpretations of MUD licenses.

The DIKU license has always been a very inflamed discussion area. I have never understood why much fewer people care about the various LPMud and other licenses, but if the administration of this site wants to get into clearing MUD license usage before allowing a site to be listed, they sure have a lot of work ahead. Or, are we only going to look at MUDs once they get near the top of the list? Is our real crime here being popular?

There is one very fundamental flaw to this whole thread anyway that I'm amazed no-one has picked up on yet....

In the meantime, taken directly from http://www.artofbuilding.net/docs/legal.txt:

"Hephos says 'you should let the diku defend their own licence  if they don't bother, whey should anyone"

Quite an interesting statement in light of how this thread started.
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:55 AM   #40
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In the meantime, taken directly from http://www.artofbuilding.net/docs/legal.txt:

"Hephos says 'you should let the diku defend their own licence if they don't bother, whey should anyone"
And my own response, three lines later:

"KaVir says 'Because if people violate licenses, we all lose out'"

(followed by numerous nods of agreement).
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