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Old 05-20-2003, 02:50 AM   #1
Sarolite
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Unhappy

I have read up what I could find on the topic, and I'd like some clarification on what is "their side of the bargain" as it applies to reasons why builders have just cause to retract licence to their areas. In my case, I have caught the administration taking my name off the credits to my work twice. (Once replacing my name with an implementor's name in the credits field of a nearly complete area, and once taking my name off a big list of useful things that I compiled in my room in the immortal area, leaving it as blank.)

Shortly after I stopped building and imming for this mud due to personal conflicts, I wrote an in-game note (to the implementors and CC to all immortals) explicitly stating that they had right to use my work if, and only if, they did not alter copyright notices or credits, or take my
name off my work in any way. A couple of days later, all 5 of my mortals on the play port had been vaped, and both the IP I use at home and at work had been site banned. They vape me on sight every time I try to log on, and will not discuss the reasons for my site ban with me. I can't even get on long enough to type area and see if my credits are still there.

I believe I have a valid reason to be concerned that they are keeping me away from the mud so that I do not discover that they are not upholding what I have deemed to be "their side of the bargain." I believe that this is enough reason for me to ask them to remove my areas from their mud, regardless of implied or "oral" consent to use the areas that may have been given while I was building them. Am I correct?
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Old 05-20-2003, 11:29 AM   #2
Sainos
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If you're not compensated for your work, and you haven't signed a contract, then your wishes should be honored. However, unless you are willing to use the courts, it doesn't sound as if this game is too concerned with doing the moral thing.

If you keep having trouble getting on, I'd suggest trying to connect via a proxy server, or go over to http://www.mudconnector.com/java/Telnet/ , or any place that offers a web telnet, and connecting from there.
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Old 05-20-2003, 01:48 PM   #3
Keljorian
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Unhappy

The way that I understand the whole area conflict which I have been part of before is this. When you agree to create an area for a mud, mush, muck or any other type of online text rpg's you are agreeing to give them that area. Which means it is thiers by all legal rights and can do with it what they please. It does seem a bit screwed up that they just banned you and won't give you an explination but my suggestion is just to move on and create bigger and better areas somewhere else. Then advertise and try as hard as you can to bring players to your mud. That's my only suggestion, if you keep bothering them then they will just get more upset. If you leave them alone they forget about who's ip addy is who's and eventually clean up the ban list and remove a few. I know or else I would have about 100 people banned on my list instead of about 4.
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Old 05-20-2003, 06:08 PM   #4
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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

The standing of your area depends on how you handled it. For example, many MUDs have a 'builders policy' which grants them an unlimited license to do whatever they want with the area.

The builders policy on my MUD grants me the right to modify, distribute, copy, and use the area in any way I would like. But, I also maintain proper credits.

So, it mainly depends on what you agree to. The implied agreement among most MUDs is that you grant them unlimited license to modify and use the area. Most MUDs do this.

However, I should also mention that a copyright can not change hands without it being via a signed document. This brings into question what would be considered a 'signed document.' The generally accepted manner is a hard copy (a paper printing of the intent, with a hand-written signature). From what I understand, e-mail can also be held as a contract.

But, that's not really the point...

Now, if they went into your area and changed it in any significant way, they may have changed the credits in order to give credit to the last person who worked on the area.

I should also mention I am not defending their actions, simply trying to provide potential reasons. As for their banning of you, I am not going to get into that as that would be taking sides without hearing both sides of the story.

As for the matter of withdrawing the license you granted them (implied, or verbal, whichever it may be). The only way that you can do that, I believe, is if they violate the license in some way. Unless you stipulated that banning you violated the license granted them, or that removing your name violated the license there isn't much that you can do about their actions.

Now, again... I am not a lawyer. I am simply going by information I've picked up over the years. Take it as that.

I suggest visiting somewhere such as www.nolo.com, as you can find a good amount of legal information there.

I hope it helps, and good luck with your struggle. I know how it is to be in your position (I've been there once before, only mine was with code AND areas, not just areas), and it is NOT a fun thing to deal with.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:13 AM   #5
Sarolite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Sainos @ May 20 2003,07:29)
However, unless you are willing to use the courts, it doesn't sound as if this game is too concerned with doing the moral thing.
What would it take to use the courts in a case where I do not know a snail mail address for any of the game implementors?
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:19 AM   #6
Sarolite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Orion Elder @ May 20 2003,14<!--emo&:0)
Now, if they went into your area and changed it in any significant way, they may have changed the credits in order to give credit to the last person who worked on the area.

-snip-

As for the matter of withdrawing the license you granted them (implied, or verbal, whichever it may be). The only way that you can do that, I believe, is if they violate the license in some way. Unless you stipulated that banning you violated the license granted them, or that removing your name violated the license there isn't much that you can do about their actions.
Just for the record, neither of the works they took my name off had any changes to them at all besides my name not being on them.

My exact words to them were to the best of my memory "you have permission to use my work, if my name is not taken off it." I then gave specific examples of taking my name off my building resources, my maps, or my areas. Since then, they have continued to use my work without my name on it, even though they told me they had deleted it.
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Old 06-12-2003, 07:32 AM   #7
Davairus
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I am in a similar predicament to this. This is a MUD on the top 20 of topmudsites, I won't name it any more specifically than that, because I think it might be against a rule. They use our highest level areas in their MUD, completely without permission. They also advertise as fully non-stock. Its nice like that. Of course, they also claim copyright of it.

I don't have the money to go to court over that, as much as I'd like to be able to afford such things. Let alone want to go to court over something MUD related. I was considering release the areas on kyndig, so that it is stock. Although the areas will just be on dozens more MUDs once I've done that.. so I hold back. And yet.. they might do it before I do, someday.

Well the point of the post is.. I think the matter is best settled out of court somehow. I don't know how many people would support this, but .. if there was a webpage which reported stolen themes and areas, just so the word is out there, and the MUDs players can actually find out who stole what from who, that would probably help us moderate ourselves better. Perhaps such a webpage does exist.. dunno. I know I wouldn't want my mud on a page like that. Would there be any legal wrangles surrounding that perhaps?
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Old 06-13-2003, 04:55 AM   #8
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Sarolite, it seems you have the misfortune of having been working for mud-owners totally without ethics and moral. They ripped you off, and to hide what they did, they banned your site. Nobody has the right to remove the credits from a zone, even if they did some modifications to it. The name of the original Builder should always be kept in the credits, possibly together with the name of the person who moderated it, if the changes were significant ones. (If they just  balanced it by changing mob levels and stats, that is not significant enough to motivate a name in the credit).

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about it, except to expose the culprits publicly, for instance by posting the name of the Mud here. That would be my advise to Davarious too. I don't see how that could be against any rule. It would also give the Administrators of that Mud a chance to explain their actions. A Mud that does unethical things like that, shouldn't be in the top 20 list, and other Builders should be warned not to work for it.

You could also ask some independent person to log on to the mud, just to check if the credits are in the area list, and then post the results of the inquiry here.

Finally: the reason WHY a Builder was banned from a Mud does not matter in this case. The Admin will most likely claim that he/she cheated or something similar, just to discredit them. However, even if that would be the case, it doesn't give them the right to use the zone without crediting the original Builder for it.
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Old 06-13-2003, 05:51 AM   #9
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Well, I don't really want to open that can of worms again. It would just cause up a stir for us, no doubt flames from their problem players. Many of their guys play there, and they do not care its been ganked... they just say its been altered into their own image anyway. I prefer the term defaced. I'm not going to name the MUD. However, I will name a few of the areas.

The area that bugs me most being taken is called 'Winter', which is made up of 'Evermore', 'Challenge Arena', 'Faction of Magic' and an entire frozen tundra place. That's a big part of the AR funstick and the guy that made those areas burnt himself out and quit mudding to bring them to you.. I have spoke to him recently, he was shall we say a little angry. And he's a gnome, so when he's angry its really hard to calm him down.
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