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Old 05-03-2006, 01:49 PM   #1
Valg
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(Moved here from the Tavern as it was deemed worthy of careful excision, presumably for not dealing with the DIKU license itself.  Or something.)

Outside of the DIKU license issue, Medievia remains a derivative of DIKU (definition under US law here), yet does not credit the authors anywhere inside their game or in their copyrights.  One of their own staff (who resigned after becoming aware of the plagiarism) outlines this in more detail.

Has anyone found evidence to dispute any of the following?
1) Medievia IV was a derivative of Merc 1.0 (itself a derivative of DIKU), as shown by code audit.  Previous to this evidence surfacing, the ownership of Medievia claimed the code was entirely original.
2) Medievia V is a derivative of Medievia IV, per their own documentation, and therefore a DIKU derivative.  (No "clean-room" implementation from scratch has been claimed by any party.)
3) Therefore, subject to both the license and copyright law, Medievia must display the authorship of the code which their game is based on.
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Old 05-03-2006, 02:50 PM   #2
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Yea we get our own thread now!  Woop for Medievia being on the front page again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Medievia must display the authorship of the code which their game is based on.
Only according to a license that is full of holes, that could never stand up in court and that none of the original authors care about anymore.  

Fighting this fight for years on end when the people who wrote the code and license don't care about it anymore is useless.  I understand your reasoning and all as I've been hearing it for years.  It just really makes no sense to me why the handful of you continue this crusade year after year, to no avail.  You say its for the general good of the 'mud community', but come on, who is being 'bettered' by years of saying the same things over and over?  Who is being pursuaded by constant bickering on this discussion forum that the majority of MUD players don't even read?  Is it just for your own personal satisfaction?  What is to gain from this?  Really, what is your agenda besides rehashing the same old crap every 6 months or so?  

A few years ago Matt tried to gather a bunch of people together to take action against us.  What came of that?  Nothing.  What will ever come of this?  Probably nothing.  Until the day that the DIKU team decides to take action against us, nothing is going to happen.

Do you like me telling you that Medievia does NOT suffer from this crap?  Do you like me telling you that I am the ONLY person working on and probably playing Medievia at the moment who even cares about this?  I mean it just seems so masochistic to me that you would put yourselves through this again and again.  It always gets to this point.  We discuss, bicker, etc about the issue but the bottom line is that it changes NOTHING.  We still have thousands of players and people who volunteer their time and talent to give back to Medievia.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ May 03 2006,15:50)
Only according to a license that is full of holes, that could never stand up in court and that none of the original authors care about anymore.
Actually, no. Plagiarism is independent of any license. I can't distribute copies of War and Peace and claim I wrote it, and it's not because Tolstoy attached a license. One can plagiarize even if no money is involved, or if the material has no explicit usage instructions.

This is a much easier fix for Medievia, by the way. Unlike rewriting the code from scratch, crediting the DIKU authors for the work they did would take minutes of your time.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ May 03 2006,15:50)
Only according to a license that is full of holes, that could never stand up in court and that none of the original authors care about anymore.  



Until the day that the DIKU team decides to take action against us, nothing is going to happen.
Ironically, as we speak, on Judge Judy there is a case where a woman is being sued by her cousin. She borrowed money to leave her husband who beats her. She went back to him. He claims he doesn't beat her. She doesn't press charges. Jusge Judy still thinks he's a wife beater, even though he's never been formally tried.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:57 PM   #5
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I've always suggested someone try to take this argument on Judge Judy. It'd be hilarious. :-p
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Only according to a license that is full of holes, that could never stand up in court and that none of the original authors care about anymore.
This is the bit that always gets Kavir rolling. The license is not full of holes. There is an off chance that Medievia might get by even if the Diku guys ever sued, and I think an even greater chance that Medievia would get by with minimal damage due to the incredible amount of work done there while Diku sat on their hands, but there is nothing about the license that makes it "full of holes". They have a copyright granting them exclusive rights for 70 years after they are dead and gone. There's few things more ironclad than that.

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Originally Posted by
Do you like me telling you that Medievia does NOT suffer from this crap?
Quote:
Originally Posted by
You say its for the general good of the 'mud community', but come on, who is being 'bettered' by years of saying the same things over and over?
The percieved lack of respect for copyright amongst mudders has in the past apparently dampened coders enthusiasm for writing in this field. It is documented that at least one of the Diku team feels that way. I find some of Dworkin's commentary on why he eventually stopped offering DGD cheap also possiibly related to this general unprofessional attitude among mudders.

The hobby suffers inasmuch as we continue to look like a horde of voracious intellectual property scavengers with no regard for intellectual property rights.

You may think you do not suffer, but I think you are mistaken. I respect all the extra work that has gone into Medievia, and I am not Kavir, but the bottom line is that Medievia could clear this up perhaps more easily than anyone else simply by taking the necessary steps to clean up its code and demonstrating that publicly.

It's funny to me that Matt led an attempt to get you folks to clean up and now is seen as some sort of defender of yours.



Neither here nor there I spose.
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I can't distribute copies of War and Peace and claim I wrote it, and it's not because Tolstoy attached a license.
Yes, but what if Tolstoy was being accused of not crediting Dr. Seuss and that people were claiming he was a derivative of The Cat and the Hat? I know that sounds absurd but at this point what about this argument isn't absurd? We could go around and around in circles for 10 more years about this, but to what end? Again I ask, what is your agenda?
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:38 PM   #8
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QUOTE: Soleil on the other thread: April 28 2006,19:36
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Medievia's stance on the subject: The History of Medievia. (http://www.medievia.com/start.html) I just want to state that Vryce wrote that page, not me. Any problems with it should go straight to him

As that link states, we do not deny our DIKU origin. Our claim is that our code is rewritten. Kavir reviewed our Medievia IV code in 1996 and made comparisons to DIKU and found DIKU code. However, since that time, 10 years ago now, we have totally rewritten our code. KaVir will respond to this thread soon with a lot of links I'm sure. He will also go on about 'once a derivative, always a derivative'.
I went and re-read that link, provided by Soleil.

No wonder that she is so eager to point ot that Vryce wrote that document, not she. In fact, if I really wanted to discredit Vryce, I wouldn't bother writing something up myself. I'd just direct people to that page, because that just about says it all. Apart from the lies and shameless bragging, he also manages to insult the Diku team. Nice way to recognise your origin.

Shane: May 03 2006,17.08
Quote:
Originally Posted by
It's funny to me that Matt led an attempt to get you folks to clean up and now is seen as some sort of defender of yours.
I find that 'funny' too.
The way I remember things, Matt was asking people to send him money, so he could consult some lawyer with the intent of sueing Medievia. When there was no rush from the crowd to cough up any cash, (somebody even stated that they didn't trust him with it), he suddenly changed his stance completely. Shortly after, he was actively urging all other DIKU based muds to go ahead and break the license too, on the basis that it was 'full of holes'.

What his motives were for both actions one can only speculate in.
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ May 03 2006,17:18)
Yes, but what if Tolstoy was being accused of not crediting Dr. Seuss and that people were claiming he was a derivative of The Cat and the Hat?  I know that sounds absurd but at this point what about this argument isn't absurd?  We could go around and around in circles for 10 more years about this, but to what end?  Again I ask, what is your agenda?
(Please address the argument, not the speaker.)

As Anitra cites in the previous post, you yourself have admitted a DIKU origin on this forum, and in your own documentation. Ex-Medievia staff have verified the DIKU origin of the code as well. This isn't Tolstoy/Seuss, and it's irresponsible to construct such a straw man argument.

The chain linking DIKU to Medievia V is laid out plainly in my first post. Either you can refute one of those steps with evidence, or you can admit to plagiarism. In the latter case, the responsible next step would be to restore the credits of the rightful authors.
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
This isn't Tolstoy/Seuss, and it's irresponsible to construct such a straw man argument.
You call it irresponsible, I call it absurd, as I did in the original post. Just like this argument.

Again I ask, why should we, a moderatly successful game company, bow down to the demands of a few people on these forums? Just to please you? For the good of the 'community'? Demand away my friend. Have fun. Nothing is going to change.

Besides, you'd have to talk to Vryce about changing anything. That's not my department and he and I have better things to do with our time together than discuss this issue. Whenever I bring it up he just laughs and asks me why I waste my time around here in the first place.
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:13 PM   #11
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While I agree, they plagiarized and violated the spirit of the license(if not the letter, which a lawyer would have to look at to decide)... it is getting tiring.

This argument comes up a lot, with the exact same points. It is then defended by the same people, using the exact same points... someone bring something new to the table... or drop it for now.

I'm not defending what they did, are doing, I'm just saying this is an old argument where no one wins...
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Soleil @ May 03 2006,15:50)
Fighting this fight for years on end when the people who wrote the code and license don't care about it anymore is useless. I understand your reasoning and all as I've been hearing it for years. It just really makes no sense to me why the handful of you continue this crusade year after year, to no avail. You say its for the general good of the 'mud community', but come on, who is being 'bettered' by years of saying the same things over and over? Who is being pursuaded by constant bickering on this discussion forum that the majority of MUD players don't even read? Is it just for your own personal satisfaction? What is to gain from this? Really, what is your agenda besides rehashing the same old crap every 6 months or so?

A few years ago Matt tried to gather a bunch of people together to take action against us. What came of that? Nothing. What will ever come of this? Probably nothing. Until the day that the DIKU team decides to take action against us, nothing is going to happen.
This, to me, seems to be exemplary of the lastingness of the issue: not that by virtually all admission you are a DIKU derivative and that you have openly sought to discredit/ignore the DIKU license, but that you're so disgustingly smug and wholly unapolagetic about it. My late mother had a word for wome...I mean sentiments like yours: trash.

But such is the nature of a niche commercial industry that does not seem to have a strong ethical or academic basis. On one hand we have an open-source, 'home amateur' oriented demographic which generally probably doesn't play commercial MUDs to begin with, and therefore can't exert enough financial pressure to 'persuade' license compliance. On the other hand we have commercial MUDs and MUD listings whom, if any have spoken against you at all, are not cohesive enough to self-police the general ethicality of commercial MUD industry.

Newsflash: just because no one can 'do anything' about this particular scenario does not magically make what you have done proper or ethical, nor does it exclude you from moral scrutiny. Ever. While it is highly arguable that by this point in time if Medievia were to make any kind of reparation that it would clearly not be altruistic or apolagetic in nature, the fact of the matter remains that you have had a decade to properly and resolutely address the issue, yet have not.

You seem to express disbelief at the conviction of those who are not morally bankrupt or morally apathetic like yourself. It's called righteousness. Look into it sometime.

"Who is being pursuaded by constant bickering on this discussion forum that the majority of MUD players don't even read?"

Count me in.

On the issue of plagiarism and MUDs in general, perhaps it IS time for the MUD industry to step up with more stringent 'peer-review' (not player review) filtering. Granted this is difficult when potentially offensive MUDs like Medievia are helping pay the overhead costs of mud listings with their advertisements, but a step up is still a step in the right direction.

The same cannot be said about overhead payment for other commercial MUDs, however. Really, guys. Converting a Medievia player entirely to your own MUD is negative revenue flow for Medievia and positive revenue flow for you. This seems to me to be the most practical (read: financial) solution for MUDs like Medievia, however viable it may or may not be.
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Old 05-03-2006, 05:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ May 03 2006,14:49)
.... Outside of the DIKU license issue, Medievia remains a derivative of DIKU (definition under US law here), yet does not credit the authors anywhere inside their game or in their copyrights. .....
I have a few general questions, and while they may apply to Medievia, my interest in the answers are much broader than that.

Is the game's web site part of the game's environment?

What defines giving appropriate credit in the context of the game? Is there an expected syntax for this? Does the credit have to be overflowing with praise to qualify?

If I started a mud using one code base, and then wrote a new code base because I didn't like the old one and moved the game to the new code base, would there be an expectation to credit the original code base in my current code?

Would credit embedded in the source code for ideas that were obtained from external sources be suficient, un-needed or in addition to credit in game documentation.

Would interface ideas picked up from games that we have been exposed to (but never coded on) be considered a creditable external source?

Assuming that there are no license issues between the holder of the original base code and the developers of the current code base, would credit for the original code base even be required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ May 03 2006,14:49)
.... (No "clean-room" implementation from scratch has been claimed by any party.)....
Is every mud/game developer required to somehow document their efforts to create a non-derivative code base. Are we all expected to release our source code for audit?

Please keep in mind that these issues do not just involve Medievia. If you could take Medievia completely out of the picture and apply it to something you developed, what would be fair and appropriate?

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Old 05-03-2006, 06:19 PM   #14
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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.

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Old 05-03-2006, 06:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Is the game's web site part of the game's environment?
Do you mean "does the website itself come under the licence of the codebase being used"? Not usually, no, although I can think of situations where parts of it might.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
What defines giving appropriate credit in the context of the game? Is there an expected syntax for this?
Yes, it's defined in the licence(s).

There's also the copyright notices in the source code itself, which you cannot remove.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If I started a mud using one code base, and then wrote a new code base because I didn't like the old one and moved the game to the new code base, would there be an expectation to credit the original code base in my current code?
If you're moving parts of the old codebase to the new, then yes. If you're just reapplying your own game concepts to a new code base, then no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Would credit embedded in the source code for ideas that were obtained from external sources be suficient, un-needed or in addition to credit in game documentation.
Copyright doesn't protect ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Is every mud/game developer required to somehow document their efforts to create a non-derivative code base. Are we all expected to release our source code for audit?
No, certainly not - but some cases are rather suspicious (eg one day the mud increments its version number and claims to be rewritten entirely from scratch, without any noticable differences from a player perspective).
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Old 05-03-2006, 06:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
What defines giving appropriate credit in the context of the game? Is there an expected syntax for this? Does the credit have to be overflowing with praise to qualify?
Yes, it specifically says you must give credit on the log in screen, and help a HELP CREDITS file listing their names.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If I started a mud using one code base, and then wrote a new code base because I didn't like the old one and moved the game to the new code base, would there be an expectation to credit the original code base in my current code?
Did you write a new codebase, or modify the current one? If you started from nothing, and made a codebase then you are fine. If you, as Med has, started with Diku and over the years modified it... you are still a derivative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Would credit embedded in the source code for ideas that were obtained from external sources be suficient, un-needed or in addition to credit in game documentation.
Depends on the situation, with Diku the license tells you what you need to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Assuming that there are no license issues between the holder of the original base code and the developers of the current code base, would credit for the original code base even be required?
Is this a new code base, or did you modify theirs? If it is a modification, it works the same as a book does... you give credit where credit is due.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ May 03 2006,14:49)
.... (No "clean-room" implementation from scratch has been claimed by any party.)....
Is every mud/game developer required to somehow document their efforts to create a non-derivative code base. Are we all expected to release our source code for audit?
What is there to document? DELETE, open notepad, start typing and you're not a derivative.

Take Persistent Realms for example, I used to work for IRE before I took my current position. I would never violate my agreements(NDA) with IRE and copy their code. As I've told Matt, if at any time he wishes to view my code to verify this statement is true, all he needs to do is ask. Is that unfair? Nope, it's called being honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Please keep in mind that these issues do not just involve Medievia. If you could take Medievia completely out of the picture and apply it to something you developed, what would be fair and appropriate?
As I said above, sure would be. I have no problem allowing someone, who has a valid reason, to view my code. The only people that would have a valid reason, in my case, would be Matt or Chris(CTO of IRE), and both are welcome to view it at any time. If you're honest, and have nothing to hide, why would you be afraid to prove your honesty?
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Old 05-03-2006, 06:28 PM   #17
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Ninja'd by KaVir, bah.
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Old 05-03-2006, 07:18 PM   #18
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After seeing the response to my earlier post, I thought I would clarify one thing. I was asking in the context where a license agreement did not define what credit was. The DIKU license seems pretty clear about what it considers valid credit. and I'm not questioning that.

In the case of Medievia, they claim the license no longer applies. Others claim that they should still credit the DIKU team regardless of the state of the license. My question was, barring any license requirement what is fair credit to give to a source environment. If credit was placed on the website, but not in the game, would it be sufficient or must it also exist in the game in some form?

The other issue was that if I claim to have created a NEW code base, but I once worked on another code base, and someone then claims to all they can that I stole code from the original code, should I be in anyway obligated to present my code for audit? What steps could a developer take to protect themselves from abuse later?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If you're honest, and have nothing to hide, why would you be afraid to prove your honesty?
Why should I have to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
What is there to document? DELETE, open notepad, start typing and you're not a derivative.
That by itself does not create a clean room environment. If someone has the old set of source up in one window and a blank text editor open in the other and simply reads the original source and re-types it into the editor window with new formatting, structure and variables, but keeps the same algorithms aren't they still a derivative? I don't think simply saying a developer started with an empty file would be very convincing. What would be convincing?

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Old 05-03-2006, 07:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Valg @ May 03 2006,14:49)
(Moved here from the Tavern as it was deemed worthy of careful excision, presumably for not dealing with the DIKU license itself. Or something.)
What a crock. A post that you wrote on May 03 2006,11:56 in the real DIKU License thread got moderated slightly, and then lo' and behold, you start a new thread (about the same issue) a few hours later (May 03 2006,14:49) in a forum moderated by KaVir.

The very fact that this forum is moderated by KaVir makes it the complete WRONG place to discuss anything related to Medievia. He has shown himself to be totally irrational when it comes to the issue. His 10 year foaming at the mouth crusade proves that. Most reasonable people, even those who agreed with him 10 years ago (including myself, and apparently the DIKU creators as well), have moved on with their lives.

That is the only reason you created this thread in this forum which is discussing the exact same issues as The DIKU License.

I honestly wonder if TMS has EVER had a more biased and horribly corrupt moderator.
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:13 PM   #20
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I honestly wonder if TMS has EVER had a more biased and horribly corrupt moderator.
Yes, actually, and I think everyone here besides you can think of his name.

I think I'm gonna take Shane's advice and just ignore you - you're so the "hot-headed MUD admin" stereotype that I know better than to expect any good ON-TOPIC conversation involving you.
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