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Old 06-09-2003, 02:17 PM   #181
KaVir
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A straw man doesn't necessarily involve exaggeration or caricature; it's a fairly broad term.
No, it's fairly specific, although you can argue symantics if you wish - but your link provides pretty much the same explanation as mine. Either way, the example you cited for me was not a straw man.

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I will need to look that up: whether Fair Use is technically "no, I'm not infringing because this is acceptable" or "yes, I'm infringing on your rights, but there's no way for you to enforce them against me in this case."
It's neither - it's a "yes, I'm infringing on your copyright, but I think I can get away with it as 'fair use'". Fair use is so vague in definition that you can never automatically assume something is or isn't fair use - it's up to the courts to decide on a case by case basis (although in some cases the chances are so weighed one way or another that you can make a pretty good guess). See here: http://copylaw.com/new_articles/fairuse.html

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I do believe that limited rights to use material can be given without a signed contract, if that's what you mean.
Full rights to use the material can be given without a signed contract. It's only exclusive rights, or an actual transfer of copyright, which requires a signature. Furthermore, it is possible to give limit rights even without any form of contract (aka "an implicit license"). AFAIK such licenses are unlikely to be the case in the situation, however.

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Everything is generally shades of gray, granted, but that doesn't mean that decisions can't be clearcut in the majority of cases.
There are very few clear-cut cases, particularly when you start talking about things like "fair use".

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I don't think anyone has equated Traithe and Vryce.
You may want to re-read the thread then - the_logos has compared Traithe to Vryce right from the beginning, then attacked myself and others for not treating his mud in the same way as Medievia. At one point the_logos even suggested that Traithe was worse than Vryce, although I cannot seem to find the post any more (presumably the offending comment was edited out).

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I don't think the argument that tolerating the use of IP without permission could be generally harmful to the community can be dismissed out of hand.
But it's the author of the work who is tolerating it! If the author of a work tolerates it being used in a certain way, why should we enforce it differently?

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DIKU comes with a license. Every copy of LOTR comes with a license.
I have never seen a the LOTR licence. Are you sure it's not a copyright notice?

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It's perfectly reasonable for someone to ask why the community aggressively defends the DIKU license but not the LOTR license.
And the reason has been given.
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Old 06-09-2003, 02:24 PM   #182
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Xorith wrote:
We're innocent until proven guilty.
No, that is a part of criminal law. Copyright infringement law is primarily a civil law, whereby the jury must believe that there is more than a 50% probability that the defendant was negligent in causing the plaintiff's injury.
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Old 06-09-2003, 04:13 PM   #183
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No, it's fairly specific, although you can argue symantics if you wish - but your link provides pretty much the same explanation as mine. Either way, the example you cited for me was not a straw man.
I'd be interested if you knew the origin of the term. Otherwise, common learned usage doesn't seem to require extension or caricature so I'm inclined to disagree with you.

As far as the case I cited from your messages, well, evidently you believe that message board examples are a valid illustration of your point while I don't.

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It's neither - it's a "yes, I'm infringing on your copyright, but I think I can get away with it as 'fair use'". Fair use is so vague in definition that you can never automatically assume something is or isn't fair use
My question referred to the situation once you know it's fair use. Once a court rules in a particular case, or you're operating under a precedent, are you infringing but immune from prosecution, or are you not infringing because the use is reasonable?

You can state pretty definitely that discussing LOTR in a classroom is probably ok, as is publishing a typical review in a periodical. There ARE areas that are quite firmly inside fair use.

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Full rights to use the material can be given without a signed contract. It's only exclusive rights, or an actual transfer of copyright, which requires a signature.
Sorry, I was referring to my personal credibility thresholds, not the maximimum legal extents of what you can do.

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There are very few clear-cut cases, particularly when you start talking about things like "fair use".
There are actually many clear-cut cases: open up the New York Times review section sometime. Or attend a class on literature. Provided the professors don't go out of their way to test the limits of the law, no sane person would claim that academic study of Catcher in the Rye is not fair use. (just to pick an example of recent literature without complicated ownership transfers going on)

Writing a review of LOTR is fair use. Creating an extended derivative work is not, probably unless parody.

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You may want to re-read the thread then - the_logos has compared Traithe to Vryce right from the beginning
Yes, he used loaded language to illustrate his point (most likely, because that's the way DIKU offenders are characterized). And, the point is a reasonable one as far as his direct point, dissociating for a moment the emotional baggage associated with the terms used. He was apparently throwing your own terms back at you (wide you, not personal you).

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But it's the author of the work who is tolerating it! If the author of a work tolerates it being used in a certain way, why should we enforce it differently?
After 10 years, the Diku/Merc authors have done NOTHING to stop Vryce. Seems like tolerating it to me. I'm not suggesting that the alleged practices should be accepted as reasonable or respectable, of course.

It seems to me (IANAL) that the Diku/Merc positon might be weaker than the Tolkien one as far as toleration: making noise for a decade without doing anything is a much clearer announcement that you know about the infringement but don't intend to do anything than silence is.

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have never seen a the LOTR licence. Are you sure it's not a copyright notice?
Yes, I'm referring to the copyright notice, which clearly lets you know that the IP owner isn't giving out any rights but those normally associated with buying a book.

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It's perfectly reasonable for someone to ask why the community aggressively defends the DIKU license but not the LOTR license.


And the reason has been given.
And why do you expect the persons who continue to ask it to be any less persistent than yourself when you object to something you regard as in unethical or illegal practice?


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Old 06-09-2003, 05:34 PM   #184
 
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Tyche:
For me I guess it's like informing a neighbor that you've witnessed persons breaking into their house and taking their stuff, and that neighbor responds by ignoring your information and/or saying it's not worth their time.

Kavir:
You've no idea how much money was even offered. †Chances are it was such a pitiful amount that a better analogy would be: It's like informing a neighbor that you've witnessed the mafia breaking into their house and taking their stuff, and so you offer them your baseball bat so that they can go and take it back. †The neighbor declines your offer, so you assume they didn't care.
I know it was at least $1000. †And you are ignoring the trivial act of sending a DMCA request. †But no I was going for a different point with that analogy, while yours with the "mafia" goes in the opposite direction, towards characterizing the Diku group as fearful or helpless. †My point is the Diku group is neither helpless nor poor nor fearful, and I've seen no evidence to sustain that rather outdated impression. †I'd characterize them as apathetic about their property currently. †And apparently more tolerant than the Tolkien group that actually does go after commercial violators while ignoring non-commercial violators.

I think it's fair to raise other questions.

Does their (the Diku group) failure or unwillingness to enforce their license hurt the rest of us releasing software under license? †

Does it not establish the precedent or raise the perception that IP violators in the mud community can get away with it, emboldening them to violate our own licenses?

My thoughts are yes it does, as it leaves the same thugs out there "on the street" so to speak. †So screw the Diku group as they obviously neither want nor care for the help offered in defending their IP.
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Old 06-09-2003, 06:16 PM   #185
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Yes, he used loaded language to illustrate his point (most likely, because that's the way DIKU offenders are characterized). And, the point is a reasonable one as far as his direct point, dissociating for a moment the emotional baggage associated with the terms used. He was apparently throwing your own terms back at you (wide you, not personal you).
Okay, now you're confusing me. You asked what the purpose of my posting was, and I explained that it was because I felt Vryce and Traithe were completely different scenarios. You then responded with "I don't think anyone has equated Traithe and Vryce". When I point out that that's exactly what the original poster repeatedly did, you respond "the point is a reasonable one as far as his direct point". Well, no, it isn't - and that's the point I've been arguing for the last 19 pages of posts.

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After 10 years, the Diku/Merc authors have done NOTHING to stop Vryce. Seems like tolerating it to me.
No, it is not, because they have made their position - their wishes - clear on the matter.

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Yes, I'm referring to the copyright notice
Then please refer to it as such. A copyright notice has absolutely nothing to do with copyright licenses.

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Originally Posted by
And why do you expect the persons who continue to ask it to be any less persistent than yourself when you object to something you regard as in unethical or illegal practice?
Because they are trying to force their own interpretation of someone else's legal wishes onto me, and then attacking me for not defending their own interpretation of what is or isn't "reasonable". It also runs very close to the Medievia sock-puppet argument of "lots of people steal mp3s, so should attack them as well, otherwise you're being a hypocrite".

If the_logos, or you, or anyone else wishes to defend other aspects of copyright which you feel are important, then go for it. But I do not consider "fan fiction" - when the author knows about it and hasn't said a word about it - to be something to be worry about; it is not even remotely close to what Vryce has done. So you deal with what bothers you, and I will deal with what bothers me.
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:35 PM   #186
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Okay, now you're confusing me. You asked what the purpose of my posting was, and I explained that it was because I felt Vryce and Traithe were completely different scenarios. You then responded with "I don't think anyone has equated Traithe and Vryce". When I point out that that's exactly what the original poster repeatedly did, you respond "the point is a reasonable one as far as his direct point". Well, no, it isn't - and that's the point I've been arguing for the last 19 pages of posts.
As far as what was said literaly, you are entirely correct about Logos, though it would be a mistake to tar the other people on the same side of the fence (Tyche et al) with the same brush, either explicitly (as you have not done), or implicitly by not addressing their concerns and statements separately (there have been several good restatements by various people). I am quite sure that Logos is aware of the distinctions between IP infringer and "thief", and was having a bit of fun tweaking some tails by applying the same terms that some people misuse to describe Vryce to Traithe.

The actual suggestion for action was fairly neutral in language: you infringe IP, you don't get listed/tolerated.

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Stilton:
After 10 years, the Diku/Merc authors have done NOTHING to stop Vryce. Seems like tolerating it to me.

KaVir:
No, it is not, because they have made their position - their wishes - clear on the matter.
How does your statement apply to mine? They have done nothing substantive about Vryce. It's now ten years later. If what you want is me to amend my phrase to be "have done NOTHING to stop Vryce but complain in public forums", consider it so amended.

Yes, I'm sympathetic to their cause. But 10 years later, it's time to move on.

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Then please refer to it as such. A copyright notice has absolutely nothing to do with copyright licenses.
Ok. It does seem to clarify intent when they go to the trouble to print more than a name and a date ("All Rights Reserved", etc)

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Originally Posted by
Stilton:
And why do you expect the persons who continue to ask it to be any less persistent than yourself when you object to something you regard as in unethical or illegal practice?

KaVir:
Because they are trying to force their own interpretation of someone else's legal wishes onto me, and then attacking me for not defending their own interpretation of what is or isn't "reasonable".
I have stated that I think you're consistent in your choice of causes to actively campaign for. If you feel that someone is demanding that you personally do something, please complain to someone else, because it ain't me.

If, on the other hand, you are coming out and saying that you think Traithe's mud is defensible fanfiction and oppose the activism of others on those grounds, then you've got a slight legal difficulty: you're wrong.

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it is not even remotely close to what Vryce has done. So you deal with what bothers you, and I will deal with what bothers me.
I haven't asked you to deal with anything.

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Old 06-10-2003, 04:43 AM   #187
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The actual suggestion for action was fairly neutral in language: you infringe IP, you don't get listed/tolerated.
Actually I interpretted his posts as more of an attack on myself and the others who defend the mud licenses (not just the Diku ones, but others as well). It seemed to be implying "stop every copyright infringer, or leave them all alone".

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How does your statement apply to mine? They have done nothing substantive about Vryce. It's now ten years later. If what you want is me to amend my phrase to be "have done NOTHING to stop Vryce but complain in public forums", consider it so amended.
My statement applies to the "tolerate" part of your message. Your definition of "reasonable use" has been far stricter than mine up until this point - therefore I find it strange how first Tyche, and now you, appear to be suggesting that the Diku license should no longer be defended; I cannot see how else to interpret "Yes, I'm sympathetic to their cause. But 10 years later, it's time to move on".

Note that I am not really able to do much about those muds which violate my own licenses, either - but I do not "tolerate" them. Indeed I am able to put a significant amount of pressure on them, and repeatedly do exactly that, but that pressure is applied through non-legal (not illegal! means.

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It does seem to clarify intent when they go to the trouble to print more than a name and a date ("All Rights Reserved", etc)
The "All Rights Reserved" used to be required in some countries, but is no longer legally needed in most places. Either way, it's part of the copyright notice, not a license.

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I have stated that I think you're consistent in your choice of causes to actively campaign for. If you feel that someone is demanding that you personally do something, please complain to someone else, because it ain't me.
Fair enough - but that is pretty much exactly what the_logos originally seemed to be doing, and that is why I have gone to such lengths to explain why I feel the Traithe situation is completely different to that of the Vryce situation.

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If, on the other hand, you are coming out and saying that you think Traithe's mud is defensible fanfiction and oppose the activism of others on those grounds, then you've got a slight legal difficulty: you're wrong.
I wouldn't know, as I've no idea how much of the work he is borrowing. As I pointed out before, "fan fiction" is a very dubious area from a legal point of view, and it is perfectly possible to copy some elements without becoming a derivative work - see here:

http://www.chillingeffects.org/fanfic/faq.cgi#QID139

"If a Fan Fiction author uses copyrighted elements in someone else's work in his/her story, then the fan fiction may be a derivative work. There are many elements of a work that an author can borrow. The law, however, does not clearly define whether fictitious characters, worlds, histories and names are copyright protected."

My point is not whether or not Traithe's actions are legal, only that they are far from the clear-cut scenario that has been suggested. His actions fall very much into the "gray area" between quoting posts and pulling a Vryce.
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Old 06-10-2003, 06:26 AM   #188
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Well nontheless i agree that muds that violate copyrights should not be listed on the front pages of the mud community. Both violating mud licenses like medievia and vryce which are in fact still listed on the mudconnector, which is bull****, and muds that use material they have not gotten permission to use like tolkien or star wars games.
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Old 06-10-2003, 08:05 AM   #189
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Hephos wrote:
Well nontheless i agree that muds that violate copyrights should not be listed on the front pages of the mud community. Both violating mud licenses like medievia and vryce which are in fact still listed on the mudconnector, which is bull****, and muds that use material they have not gotten permission to use like tolkien or star wars games.
Yet in your mud listing on kyndig.com:

http://www.kyndig.com/listings/game/144

You state:

"The world is somewhat influenced by Tolkien and other fantasy worlds, with elves and halflings, but most is totally original."

Does that mean you think it's okay to use some - but not too much - of Tolkien's work? Or are you suggesting your own mud be banned as well? Or are you suggesting that muds be banned based on your interpretation of what a "reasonable" amount of usage is?
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:29 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 10 2003,07<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]
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Originally Posted by
Hephos wrote:
Well nontheless i agree that muds that violate copyrights should not be listed on the front pages of the mud community. Both violating mud licenses like medievia and vryce which are in fact still listed on the mudconnector, which is bull****, and muds that use material they have not gotten permission to use like tolkien or star wars games.
Yet in your mud listing on kyndig.com:

http://www.kyndig.com/listings/game/144

You state:

"The world is somewhat influenced by Tolkien and other fantasy worlds, with elves and halflings, but most is totally original."

Does that mean you think it's okay to use some - but not too much - of Tolkien's work? †Or are you suggesting your own mud be banned as well? †Or are you suggesting that muds be banned based on your interpretation of what a "reasonable" amount of usage is?
Kavir, Can you not see the difference between vryce, shadows of isildur and our post at TMC?

Or is is just your continual quest to bad mouth our game without being able to back it up?

I mean that it is OK to build a world SIMILAR to tolkien, without using any copyright material from it. Like for example calling people gandalf, frodo or making a monster called balrog is "stealing" his work, while building a world on low-fantasy and elves and dwarves are not. Creating a world completely based on tolkien or star wars or whatever is clearly unauthorized use of the authors work.

Also there is a big difference in an advertisement made to attract search hits in a search engine and "stealing" copyrighted work. Just because we write that our game is similar to some famous works in an advertisement does not mean we steal their copyrighted material, in any way.

We are not using a "reasonable" amount of tolkiens work, we are using NONE of tolkiens work. It is a big difference. Muds that use ANY of tolkiens work should be banned, muds that do not use it should not be banned. I know you can see the difference, you are just on your everlasting quest to slam our LEGITIMATE game (in contrary to medievia and SoI), which you seem to enjoy even more than actually going after games that have done something wrong.

I guess it is because we are creating a commercial game on the side, and it does not fit your glorious view where every mud admin spends half their life working for free on some ****ty diku derivate. Ohh and of course they should already have a "well-paid" work and the muds should just be a hobby like for yourself as you have said in the past, anything else is just wrong in your opinion, and you have to keep slam them. Well some people are maybe not as well paid as yourself and maybe they can see a future forthemselves with making a game from scratch commercial, ever thought about that?

Every post i make, anywhere, you have to drag up some crap accusations about our game without being able to back it up. Please try to get some facts straight before you open your mouth. Clean it up, there is a cheesy smell coming from it.
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:38 AM   #191
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Does that mean you think it's okay to use some - but not too much - of Tolkien's work? Or are you suggesting your own mud be banned as well? Or are you suggesting that muds be banned based on your interpretation of what a "reasonable" amount of usage is?
If our mud is using copyrighted material, sure it should be banned. However it is not, end of discussion. Can you leave it out now?

Games should not be banned on what I think is reasonable or what YOU think is reasonable, it should be a clear line.

If you violate the mud's license or use copyrighted material without the authors consent, it should be banned off the list.
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Old 06-10-2003, 12:40 PM   #192
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Kavir, Can you not see the difference between vryce, shadows of isildur and our post at TMC?
Of course I can, that's the point I've been making throughout this thread - that there are many shades of gray. Someone once told me that an alcoholic is someone who drinks more than their doctor. It strikes me that some people here are more than happy to apply the same concept to copyright infringement, but it is hardly a fair rule for enforcement.

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I mean that it is OK to build a world SIMILAR to tolkien, without using any copyright material from it.
Right - and for all we know, Traithe may have done just that. It is possible to create fan fiction without using copyrighted work - particularly as the law does not clearly define how copyright extends to many concepts (such as fictitious characters, worlds, histories, etc). It is not as clear-cut as something like modifying mud source code (which would be more comparible to taking a copy of LOTR and rewriting large chunks of the story).

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Like for example calling people gandalf, frodo or making a monster called balrog is "stealing" his work,
Actually that's a trademark issue, which is something completely different.

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while building a world on low-fantasy and elves and dwarves are not. Creating a world completely based on tolkien or star wars or whatever is clearly unauthorized use of the authors work.
However Tyche seems to be of the opinion that it is okay to use one or two areas based on LOTR. Would you agree with him on that, or not? Two of the areas that spring instantly to mind are Moria and the Shire, which come as stock.

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Also there is a big difference in an advertisement made to attract search hits in a search engine and "stealing" copyrighted work. Just because we write that our game is similar to some famous works in an advertisement does not mean we steal their copyrighted material, in any way.
However it could be argued that you are profiting from their work, should you continue to use the same strategy for your commercial mud. Furthermore, I very much doubt that a LOTR mud would "steal" any copyrighted material - at least, I don't recall ever seeing any muds which have copied chunks of text from a book. What you're probably referring to is the creation of unauthorised derivative works, which may or may not occur, depending on what exactly is used from the book.

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We are not using a "reasonable" amount of tolkiens work, we are using NONE of tolkiens work.
You have halflings, which are clearly based on Tolkien's "hobbits". You also have "drow", which are from AD&D. I've no doubt that I could find other references if I looked.

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It is a big difference. Muds that use ANY of tolkiens work should be banned, muds that do not use it should not be banned.
Well that wipes out most muds then - and that assumes you're only talking about Tolkien's work.

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Games should not be banned on what I think is reasonable or what YOU think is reasonable, it should be a clear line.
Right! Exactly! And that is one of the major points I have made right from the beginning - the LOTR scenario is not a clear line.
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:07 PM   #193
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You have halflings, which are clearly based on Tolkien's "hobbits". You also have "drow", which are from AD&D. I've no doubt that I could find other references if I looked.
Hmmm, actually... Isn't most AD&D stuff related to nearly identical to Tolkien's works? Stuff like mages, elves, halflings/hobbits, area names, etcetera? Even if it isn't related to Tolkien's works and just to AD&D, then you've got to remember AD&D is also owned by a company called Wizards of the Coast. For example, all the AD&D manuals are copyrighted to WotC.

Really kinda disturbing; even our fantasy has been copyrighted these days...
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:39 PM   #194
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However Tyche seems to be of the opinion that it is okay to use one or two areas based on LOTR. Would you agree with him on that, or not? Two of the areas that spring instantly to mind are Moria and the Shire, which come as stock.
I would not agree that it is okay to use zones based on any author's work, that has not given permission to use it.

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You have halflings, which are clearly based on Tolkien's "hobbits". You also have "drow", which are from AD&D. I've no doubt that I could find other references if I looked.
Actually we have "halfers" (small in size but other than that not much common with hobbits) and "Drazeki" elves (dark elves) that live in our "blackwoods". Not at all similar to drows.

Well anyways what i mean is that there is a large difference with creating your own theme and "borrowing" ideas from other themes, than to totally rip off some author and create your whole game off their work even naming your game with their trademarks.

It is easy to see which games are using "trademark" or "copyrighted" material without permission, and in my opinion such muds should be banned from the mud community pages as well as any muds violating mud licenses...
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:43 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 10 2003,11:40)

Actually that's a trademark issue, which is something completely different.
And just as big a violation too, I believe.
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However Tyche seems to be of the opinion that it is okay to use one or two areas based on LOTR. †Would you agree with him on that, or not? †Two of the areas that spring instantly to mind are Moria and the Shire, which come as stock.
I certainly wouldn't and were there a court case, neither would the court. Those are blatant infringements.

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Well that wipes out most muds then - and that assumes you're only talking about Tolkien's work.
That's not an argument against banning them. That's just the consequences of following through on a policy of stopping infringement. If most muds infringe on someone else's copyright or trademark, then most muds are being run by IP thieves.

--matt, who frequently wonders if it's a lack of imagination or a lack of ethics that causes so many mud administrators to rip off other people's IP and who continue to do so after they are made aware of the dodginess of the practice.
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Old 06-10-2003, 01:52 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Stilton @ June 09 2003,19:35)
I am quite sure that Logos is aware of the distinctions between IP infringer and "thief", and was having a bit of fun tweaking some tails by applying the same terms that some people misuse to describe Vryce to Traithe.
Actually, I see what Traithe is doing as worse than what Vryce is doing in one way and not as bad in another way. Overall I'm quite happy to label them both thieves.

Vyrce is worse because of his blatant and continuing disregard even though the DIKU authors have supposedly stated they wish him not to continue violating their IP's license. On the other hand, while it's extremely grating to see Medievia getting away with it, it's not hurting the license holders in any way so it's rather debatable how much harm to them he's causing (whether or not he's causing other people not to release codebases is a bit irrelevant to me as the only people who can be harmed in any way I care about by an IP violation is the IP holder.)

Traithe is worse because he CAN cause real harm. Whereas the DIKU people use the DIKU IP for no gain of their own and thus cannot suffer loss, the Tolkien people clearly use their IP for gain and thus can suffer real loss by Traithe's actions. I'm not interested in spurious arguments about how you fan fiction helps the author as that's not your determination to make. If the IP holder wanted help, he'd let you know.

So, I see it in two ways and in the balance I see Traithe's actions as worse than Vryce's, albeit with better intentions, so I'm willing to simply equate the two as thieves.

--matt
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Old 06-10-2003, 02:58 PM   #197
Traithe
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Heh - I've been trying to bite my tongue for the last -140- posts or so, but enough is really enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Logos: I certainly wouldn't and were there a court case, neither would the court. Those are blatant infringements.
Thank you, Your Honor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Logos: I'm not interested in spurious arguments about how you fan fiction helps the author as that's not your determination to make.
Ahem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Logos: If the IP holder wanted help, he'd let you know.
AHEM.

So, really, after 20 pages, what are we left with, in terms of a legal argument against my position?

1. There is no clear legal precedent for this particular case. I was apparently in fact wrong in making my earlier admission that you were "technically" right - though I'm quite sure (if your exceedingly confident tone is any indication - surely you wouldn't make such adamant declarations without qualifications to do so?) that you possess a juris doctorate, Logos, this would be a case for a judge and a group of attorneys well-versed in the relevant law to decide.

2. The IP holder, Tolkien Enterprises, is clearly uninterested in pursuing action - even a written response or acknowledgement - to any fanfiction/derivative work authors/MUD administrators.

3. Such derivative works have existed publicly for 20-30 years.

Ergo: while I won't say the legal argument lacks validity, because it clearly does not, I will state that it is far from the cut-and-dry matter your rather inflammatory remarks portray it as.

Furthermore - as you yourself have stated that you don't burden yourself to follow the law simply because it is the law, I find it fairly ironic that you're on a witch-hunt because someone else may or may not be in violation of a civil statute.

Regarding the ethical arguments against my position: unless I'm mistaken, you're essentially arguing that because my MUD (or the dozens of other Tolkien-based MUDs out there - not even counting the likely hundreds of other derivative work MUDs) has the potential of causing financial damage to Tolkien Enterprises, I am in the wrong.

I believe you yourself stated that we are in no position to judge the financial results of our actions on the assets of an IP holder. I'm certainly not going to make the assertion that my MUD will increase their profits - though I have a strong suspicion there's some validity to that statement - but neither can you make the assertion that it causes them direct financial damage. Since you can't make this statement, most of that copyright infringement law that has been brought up might not even apply - I'm no lawyer, but I believe it refers to ACTUAL damages, not POTENTIAL damages. Argued ethically: if your action has the potential to harm someone, but you have seen no evidence whatsoever that it actually does so and hence continue doing it - are you acting immorally and/or irresponsibly? That seems entirely unreasonable to me.

In closing, as I don't think I'm going to allow myself the indulgence of getting involved in this debate yet again - my MUD will continue to operate up until the day I receive a letter, an email, a telephone call, or a smoke signal from Tolkien Enterprises or another associated group kindly asking me to shut it down. At that point, I will do so, and happily. Until then, however, you may feel free to hurl whatever baseless accusations and nomenclatures at me that you like - you aren't Tolkien Enterprises, nor are you a judge, and even your ethical arguments are entirely unconvincing.

Perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.


-T., who also avoids arguing with religious zealots for precisely this reason.
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Old 06-10-2003, 03:31 PM   #198
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 10 2003,11:40)
However Tyche seems to be of the opinion that it is okay to use one or two areas based on LOTR. †Would you agree with him on that, or not? †Two of the areas that spring instantly to mind are Moria and the Shire, which come as stock.
I claimed no such thing. †I stated specifically that Moria doesn't violate Tolkein's copyright. †

a reference to a non existent balrog, orcs, and the name moria. †Read the area.

As to my BTW on the Shire, that was from memory. †I recalled that it made no references to hobbits at all and characters in the books. †However after DLing it and reading I find it does reference a number of place names, Shire, Bree Bywater road as well as Gamgee. †Quite possibly it could be.

Moria definately not copyright infringement. †Led Zeppilin's two lines in Ramble On make more references to Tolkien than the area Moria does. †

My statements on LOTR areas was definately not GENERIC though.

If as you suggest there is a huge wide grey area in regard to literature (and I contend there isn't), †then there's a hug wide grey area in regard to source code. †You cannot argue the one without weakening and ripping the rug out on your argument on the other.

If you want another example mud that does infringe on copyright other than SoI, then go check out Mirkwood.
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Old 06-10-2003, 08:12 PM   #199
tresspassor
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I don't see a point in removing a mud from top mud sites until the copywrite owner asks for it, or there is fact leading to the point that the copywrite owner has requested the mud to remove their copywrited information.

There are a hundred different versions of MU*s, how many people know the legalities of using LambdaMOO?

And there are a thousand genres out there; do we all know the requirements of White Wolf, or Star Wars, Star Trek, Wheel of Time, Mortal Kombat, Neuromancer, John Brunner, Dragonball, Dragonball Z, Trigun, Mad Max, Robotech, Street Fighter, Palladium, D&D, Predator, AD&D, Tolkien and Aliens?

The point I am making is this:

I don't care to discuss ethics; we may as well discuss abortion or the Iraq War.

If you really want to find a solution, you need to find a goal that can actually be achieved.

So you have two options:

(1) Ensure every mud is within limits
--------------------------------------------------
Step 1:
Go through every mud in TMS and MudConnector and figure out what theme they are using, this would mean you would have to log into the game and document the various possible copywrite infringements.

Step 2:
Write up a formal document to that mud about its usage of copywrite, list the possible sources that they may be infringing like this:

-------------
To whom it may concern,

We have noticed that the following areas of your mud may be conflicting with copywrited materials, please submit to us approval from the following companies:

Bantam Books
ColorDeck, Zeiss Ikon Lowlight Eyes and Count Zero. These items have been found to be from the Neuromancer trilogy

FUNimation
Goku, Gohan, Vegetta, Frieza. These items have been found to be from the DragonBall Z animated series.

Twentieth Century Fox
Ripley, Zenomorph. These items have been found to be from the movies Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection

Please submit these documents to us, in the interim your site will be removed from TopMudSites, if you have any questions please contact us at support@topmudsites.com.

Regards,

Top Mud Sites
-------------

Step 3:
Now, you remove that mud from TMS and wait for the person to submit these documents.


(2) Ensure that all requested muds are removed
--------------------------------------------------
Step 1:
Create a section on TMS that has contact information for copywrite / license owners wanting a mud removed can contact the owner

Step 2:
Once they have contacted TMS with enough information remove the mud and send a notice to that mud that copywrite Owner X has requested their mud be removed

-----------------------

Now seriously, those are your options. I really don't want to get into ethics, I have my ethical views of the matter but that isn't the point right now. The point is not only is it ethical, but what is the best solution to the problem?

If you don't agree then I suggest posting better system on how the owner of TMS can successfully deal with the problem at hand.

*shrug*
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Old 06-11-2003, 01:06 AM   #200
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I do believe I am getting a little dizzy with all this round and round the posting tree. Let me put forward an imaginary series of actions and possible repercussions.

A company produces a product which is closely associated with the theme of good vs evil and the ability of the weak to overcome the strong, two little weevils bringing down a mighty oak tree. Now this company has also identified its customer base, and is aware that the product it produces is viewed by current buyers and potential buyers as a source of good all round family entertainment.

One day a small non profit making company, geared towards the provision of free entertainment for all the family, utilises an aspect of their product in their own creation. This company is relatively obscure, having no wide ranging visibility. The product it is producing does not impact upon the profits of the large organisation and neither does it cast the said product in a bad light. However the small company is in breach of the big companies IP rights. What should they do?

Should they send the small company a cease and desist order?

On the upside this might result in the closure of the small company. However since the companies profits are not being affected and few people know about the infringement it would be something of a mute victory, beyond the stamping of legal authority.

On the downside they may bring attention to the smaller company who may decide to carry on regardless. Being that the small company could cease operating at any time, and at such a time make recompenses to the large company. They might even shout about the situation, it only takes one newspaper article on a slow day to throw a spanner in the works. The visibility might also give some other companies, that could affect profits, the notion to throw their own hats into the illegal product ring (heh no pun intended). †

Taking any overt actions runs the greater risk of shedding poor light on the franchise of the bigger company. How can they sell a product epitomising the struggle of the small people, people only wanting to help others and have a little fun along the way, and then crush them like flees, and for what money? Can we all say Ben and Jerry, the general public have a long track record of rooting for the underdog that is going up against the bullying corporate giant, whether the case is justifiable or not.

The point being made is that the potential for adverse publicity and decreased public image greatly outweighs the benefits of becoming involved with such a minor action, a small amount of either could decrease profits. It is more than likely that the big company will simply to choose to sweep the matter under the carpet than risk the slightest chance of a negative backlash. When you are reaping millions you donít risk rocking the boat over a few pennies, or no money at all.

If there is a problem and nobody really knows about it then is it really a problem? No, at least not until you draw attention to it with blazing legal trumpets. Perhaps this is why Traithe hasnít received a response yet, and perhaps this is why Traithe will never receive a response despite his best efforts. When all is said and done it is a matter for the owners of the LOTR IP, should they wish to train their howitzers on a housefly. After all it hardly impacts upon the majority of us in the same way that tolerating active code theft does.

Then again perhaps we should take the high moral ground and exert pressure on the MUD sites to remove games that are not strictly original. Crack the whip over a trivial issue that isnít really any concern of ours, being that it has no direct or indirect affect on the majority of us. Perhaps we should force the owners to scour the listings in time consuming detective activity. We could even sit back and watch the games in the listings fall by, oh I donít know 90%, watch them struggle to maintain their sites when advertising revenue plummets, rest content upon our bickering principles as visitors to the sites fall because they only list a scattering of games. Could it be that the moral champions have thought this all through and this is their aim, or could it be that they havenít thought it through at all.

Are we to gather that the_logos would stand by his principles and contribute a fixed sum of money to TMS and other sites to ensure their continued running and make up for the shortfall in lost revenue (without asking for advertising space or anything in return). Not that other sites wouldnít pop up over night to satisfy the demand of the vanquished muds. Thereby making the whole process somewhat ridiculous.



-----------------------
Who certainly doesnít suffer from a lack of imagination, studied ethics for four years at university, but canít see the point of making a mountain out of a hobbit hole.
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