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Old 06-04-2003, 06:27 PM   #101
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Just in case you feel that you haven't read enough about this topic already, I did some research and here's just the tip of the iceberg I found in the Usenet archives (featuring special guest appearance by KaVir here and there! ):

1994: MUDs and intellectual property: http://groups.google.com/groups?....um%3D13

1995: MUDs and intellectual property: http://groups.google.com/groups?....um%3D19

1995: TSR and intellectual property: http://groups.google.com/groups?....um%3D21

1996: Mercedes Lackey FAQ: http://groups.google.com/groups?....rnum=20

1999: Derivative MUDs: http://groups.google.com/groups?....um%3D34

2000: MUDs and intellectual property: http://groups.google.com/groups?....um%3D12
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Old 06-04-2003, 07:18 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Yui Unifex @ June 04 2003,18:21)
But that's another thread and besides the point. You failed to respond to my points that we can have a good idea about what benefits and harms some IP. Or do you want to let stand your blanket-incorrect assertion that no matter what, we do not know the relative benefit and harm a certain action has upon some IP?
That's correct. The world is too complicated a place and our information is way too incomplete (nearly completely incomplete *g*) to make an informed judgement on the value an action or series of actions has on the overall value of a particular IP.

---matt
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:57 PM   #103
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This is a deviation of topic, but the_logos seems to have contradicted himself. He claimed he wouldn't associate with IP thieves, yet here he is on a public fora doing exactly that, with someone he claims is an IP thief, and his site is still listed here.

If he were sticking to his previous statement, I believe he would already have pulled his site, and would not resubmit it until after he'd accomplished his objective.

So, for those who are indeed wondering if he'd pull his site from here, I believe based on the evidence at hand that answer would be no.

Edit:
Cleaned up a bit, as it could have come off insulting and that isn't what I intended.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:43 PM   #104
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oh! methinks i hit a nerve.

then again, it is not unexpected - considering other examples of points discarded not by facing them but by declaration.

here, however, it is very revelant. because there is a touch of hypocrisy when one holds such a draconian position and yet has a suspect moniker themselves. one might begin to think it's only important when it has to do with somebody else.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:54 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Orion Elder @ June 04 2003,20:57)
This is a deviation of topic, but the_logos seems to have contradicted himself. He claimed he wouldn't associate with IP thieves, yet here he is on a public fora doing exactly that, with someone he claims is an IP thief, and his site is still listed here.

If he were sticking to his previous statement, I believe he would already have pulled his site, and would not resubmit it until after he'd accomplished his objective.
Pendantic arguments don't deserve a decent response. Do you seriously think I meant I wouldn't stand in a crowd or live in a city or be in a community with IP thieves?

--matt
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Old 06-04-2003, 11:10 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by (Mikkel @ June 04 2003,22:43)
oh! methinks i hit a nerve.

then again, it is not unexpected - considering other examples of points discarded not by facing them but by declaration.

here, however, it is very revelant. because there is a touch of hypocrisy when one holds such a draconian position and yet has a suspect moniker themselves. one might begin to think it's only important when it has to do with somebody else.
I was going to post quite a sarcastic reply to you but then it occured to me that you may legitimately not know what you're talking about or may legitimately be confused about IP law.

The word 'Logos' is a noun stemming from neo-Platonic and classical Greek philosophy meaning the cosmic reason giving order, purpose, and intelligibility to the world. The reason I use it here, incidentally, is because in Achaea my character's name is Sarapis, usually suffixed and used as: Sarapis, the Logos.

This word is now a common noun in the English language. It is not a word like Expedia, which is made up and thus trademarked. You cannot copyright a word, or even two words. You can, however, trademark that word or two words providing you made it up or providing you're trademarking it in relation to a particular type of product. For instance, Oracle owns the word Oracle as applied to software. However, a car parts chain could also name itself Oracle. The test of trademark violation is, if I recall, generally abbreviated as whether the existing trademark holder's property would be confused with the newer one's. So, if I started a company called Oracle that made operating systems instead of database and enterprise software and called it Oracle, I'd be in trouble, since a customer is clearly going to be confused about which is the 'real' Oracle.

In a forum such as this, -any- common word can be used without either copyright infringement (since a word cannot be copyrighted to my knowledge, unless perhaps it's a made-up word) or trademark infringement, because these forums and any company named The Logos or Logos is not involved in the "market" of these forums no reasonable person is going to be confused by my using those words here.

If I wanted to call myself Expedia here, I could probably be stopped legally (though I can't imagine Microsoft would care unless I was representing myself as a Microsoft employee or spokesperson). If I wanted to call myself Apple, there's nothing Apple Computer could do about it.

Is that clear?

--matt
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Old 06-05-2003, 02:18 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Mikkel @ June 04 2003,22:43)
here, however, it is very revelant. because there is a touch of hypocrisy when one holds such a draconian position and yet has a suspect moniker themselves. one might begin to think it's only important when it has to do with somebody else.
I'm not really getting involved in this thread, but seriously, take a philosophy course or something.
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Old 06-05-2003, 02:33 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Pendantic arguments don't deserve a decent response. Do you seriously think I meant I wouldn't stand in a crowd or live in a city or be in a community with IP thieves?
There is quite a difference between 'being around' and 'associating with.' To be around means to be in the vicinity of. To associate with means to willingly socialize with or participate in.

You said you wouldn't associate with 'IP thieves,' as you view it. You are indeed doing exactly that by listing your site here. You have made an effort to put your site here, you are continuing to make an effort by sending people here to vote for your site.

That leads me to believe that your statement was a way to demonstrate your perceived moral superiority over the rest of us poor schmoes. Your lack of follow-through, adds to this assumption. Now, in my opinion, you need to either follow through with your previous statement or admit that it was just a statement made with no real point.
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Old 06-05-2003, 04:23 AM   #109
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Re: Orion's recent post:

the_logos is acting in accordance with what he posted. He does not wish to be associated with someone he considers an IP thief, and is lobbying to have the alleged IP thieves removed from this site.

He believes that he is in the right, and why should he suffer (in terms of publicity for his MUD) because of the actions of someone else who he believes to be breaking the law?
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:13 AM   #110
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Simply put? He has made a public statement of distaste for the actions of someone else. He has made no effort, or at least no mention of it, of going to to Synozeer about this. Since he has mentioned the other things he was planning to do, I can only assume that this was indeed an attempt at touting his perceived moral superiority.

The first post in this thread was directed at a specific MUD, in a public forum, about legalities. The subject makes it clear his focus. He claims it's IP theft, however the entire focus of his argument has been the Shadows of Isildur. He implies that he wants them removed from this site, but the subject makes no effort to draw Synozeer in.

I find it likely that if someone here told Synozeer, he would not know of this threads existence. Though, I could be wrong.

So, why should he suffer because he's doing what's right, as far as he is concerned? Simple. If he REALLY believes in what he's spouting, he should be willing to go the distance. That includes removing his site from TMS, and the link to TMS from his page.

Also, since someone mentioned the whole Christian thing, from 1 Peter 2:18-20, NIV:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.
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Old 06-05-2003, 07:42 AM   #111
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I'll pipe in with just a little comment that KaVir and everyone else can peruse...and the caveat is that I only skimmed the thread after the first page because I just saw it for the first time today and it's already 11 pages long

In quote of Treithe's post, where he includes the licensing info from the Tolkein Estate...it says people are "requested" to "submit" a proposal.

Nowhere in what I read did it mention that people are "required" to "obtain" permission.

Being somewhat of a nitpicker, I suggest that he did *exactly* what was asked of him, and further that it wasn't even required in the first place. If semantics are important in such issues (and from reading other threads about other licensing issues it seems that semantics -are- important), then I don't see what the problem is.

You are requested to submit a proposal. Treithe submitted a proposal. He did as requested, end of story.
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Old 06-05-2003, 07:53 AM   #112
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I stand corrected. Having said that, nothing on that page seems to even hint that the situation with all the thiefy muds would fall under implied licenses.
My original intent wasn't to suggest that Traithe had an implied license, but rather to dispute your claim that it is illegal to use copyrighted work without express permission.

Having said that, however, I could see Traithe putting forward a reasonable argument based upon the last sentence of the first paragraph, which states "Generally, the custom and practice of the community are used to determine the scope of the implied license", and then making reference to the following three points:

1) There are dozens of Tolkien muds, some of which are over a decade old (not to mention other Tolkien-based computer games - such as Mines of Moria, which actually predates the first MUD.  In fact, it predates me...)

2) The Tolkien copyright holders have never taken any legal action against any muds based upon their work, nor even complained about them.

3) The copyright holders HAVE taken legal action against many other people who have infringed on their rights.

You are using an "implied license" to read the TMS forums (as your browser needs to download the posts).  This is considered acceptable, as you are following the custom and practice of the community in doing so.  In my opinion, Traithe has sufficient precedent to put forward an argument based on that same assumption, at least until such point as the copyright holders clarify their position.

It's also worth noting that:

1) The Tolkien copyright holders request that permission be asked before using their work, and:

2) Traithe has contacted the copyright holders, ergo:

3) The copyright holders are aware that Traithe is using their work.

Now were they to contact Traithe and tell him to shut his mud down, that would be a different matter.  Were there any precedent for them shutting down other muds, that would be a different matter.  Were the copyright holders were to say they didn't people running muds based on their work, I could see your point.  But they haven't done any of that.

Whenever I see people suggesting turning their Diku-derived muds into "custom" muds, I inform them of the situation - that they will always be a Diku derivative unless they start over from scratch.  Whenever I see people suggesting basing their work on Feist (or any other author who has made it clear they don't want people using their work), I inform them of the situation - that the authors will shut them down.

But I do not make assumptions.  If I see someone using a snippet or codebase that I am not familiar with, I do not simply call them a "thief" - I try find out the wishes of the copyright holder, and then act accordingly, and if I can't find the copyright holder or any statements by them, I do not say anything.

Equally, if I see someone basing their mud on an existing set of novels, I would respond in the same way (although in that case I would contact the authors privately rather than post on mud forums, because as I've said before, it is not a mud issue).

I would suggest you do the same.  Your original post on TMC attacked WoT muds, until it was pointed out to you that they had an express license from Robert Jordan.  You've now moved on to Tolkien muds, but once again you do not know the wishes of the copyright holder - you are making assumptions based on pure speculation, and damaging the reputation of a number of muds in the process.  As this is the legal forum, I think I should also point out that such statements, when untrue, are referred to as "libel", and could open you up to legal action yourself.

And in reference to the Medievia section on my website, that was put together purely because by 2000 I was sick and tired of having to repeat the same massive flamewar every six months, and so I collected together all the evidence I could find and stuck it onto my site.  It worked - there have been no real flamewars since, just the occasional spark, since the only real excuse the pro-Medievia people are able to use any more is "who cares?".

Quote:
Originally Posted by
And Tolkien did not borrow elves from anyone who had claim to elvish IP.
Tolkien drew inspiration from various sources, including the work of Lord Dunsany, who's best-known novel was "The King of Elfland's Daughter" (first published 1924).
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Old 06-05-2003, 10:02 AM   #113
 
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I don't post here often because of usability.   That offtopicness aside, I could hardly avoid the spirited discussion without a few comments.

Matt, err the_logos is dead on correct on this issue, both in a general legal sense and moreso IN PRINCIPLE.  

1) There is no difference in principle between charging money for unauthorized use IP and not charging money for unauthorized use of IP.  Unauthorized use of IP is the principle here.  There are really few differences legally either.  

2) There is nothing in the law nor is there any ethical basis in going ahead and using IP because the author failed to respond to a request.  In this particular case there is an explicit license at the beginning of every Tolkein book prohibiting such use.  It's not even required because that IS the implicit license according to copyright law.

Finally... while I don't agree with Matt's charge of hypocrisy, that being it makes one a hypocrite if one fails to accuse.  Rather I think it hypocrisy is a much stronger accusation to make against someone who accuses while violating IP themselves.  A suttle but important difference.  Not complaining or caring is something else.  However I do find that defending it or excusing it rather than silence or ignorance to be particularly disturbing, perilously close to hypocrisy.  

Muds are made up of both literary works and source code.  I don't think anyone would deny that a muds value is not solely predicated upon either but they are more or less equally important.  Both are afforded the same protections under the law, although literary works enjoy some stronger protections in regard to character and setting use.  

I believe the IP rights of builders deserve the same attention in the mud community that the IP rights of programmers.  And there is and has been some selective attention spans in this area.  Coopting Tolkien's IP for unauthorized use is no less offensive than coopting areas from C.A.W. for unauthorized use.   Coopting Diku IP for unauthorized use is no less offensive than coopting GTK or Apache IP for unauthorized use.

Bottom line is I think the mud community (crap I swore I'd never use that phrase seriously) DOES undercut the general principles or ethics involved with ostracising offenders like Mikey Krause, by excusing other violations.  The defense is an US versus THEM mentality.  It is saying in essence...

It is OK to steal from those not involved in the mud community, but not OK to steal from those involved in the mud community.

That's all,

J. Lambert

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Old 06-05-2003, 11:33 AM   #114
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Since the word hypocrisy was brought up...

I find it slightley strange that someone, who has been using such tacky - (not to say ethically and morally questionable) - methods for promoting his own mud as the_logos is known to have done, now poses on this board as some paragon of virtue. At least to me, a past like that seriously damages the credibility of this person, especially concerning those subjects. It also makes me wonder about his motives for this 'crusade'.
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Old 06-05-2003, 11:38 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
I believe the IP rights of builders deserve the same attention in the mud community that the IP rights of programmers.
And so do I. But tell me - as someone who has (I believe) worked with Diku muds in the past - before you opened your first Diku derived mud did you:

1) Immediately delete all of the stock areas which came with the distribution,

2) Track down the author of each and every stock area and ask express permission to use their work, or:

3) Simply assume that you were permitted to use the areas which came with the distribution, unless you heard differently.
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:12 PM   #116
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ June 05 2003,11:33)
Since the word hypocrisy was brought up...
In all fairness I brought it up here.  It was used over on the TMC forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ June 05 2003,11:33)
I find it slightley strange that someone, who has been using such tacky - (not to say ethically and morally questionable) - methods for promoting his own mud as the_logos is known to have done, now poses on this board as some paragon of virtue. At least to me, a past like that seriously damages the credibility of this person, especially concerning those subjects. It also makes me wonder about his motives for this 'crusade'.
Your use is far more offensive however.  At least to me. :-P It's in the sense that jaywalkers shouldn't comment about murder.   Achaea does not violate IP, therefore the_logos is just as qualified or credible to speak on this topic as I am or KaVir.  Vryce would be a hypocrite to be defending the sanctity of authors IP rights.   That's the gist of my definition.  No reason to expand on what amounts to be a gnit I picked with the_logos[/quote]
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:27 PM   #117
 
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 05 2003,11:38)
And so do I.  But tell me - as someone who has (I believe) worked with Diku muds in the past - before you opened your first Diku derived mud did you:

1) Immediately delete all of the stock areas which came with the distribution,
The first mud I publicly opened was a ROM in '95 (EaMud) and yes I did, but not at all for that reason.  The server was an extension of an ongoing RPG campaign, not a mud game, so it made no sense.

I've worked on several Diku based games since then, not as the owner.  And yes I kept them honest IP wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 05 2003,11:38)
2) Track down the author of each and every stock area and ask express permission to use their work, or:

3) Simply assume that you were permitted to use the areas which came with the distribution, unless you heard differently.
No need to.  My interpretation of the Diku license, Merc and related was and is that all of the works distributed were under that license unless stated otherwise.   If those works were not then the Diku, Merc, and Rom people have possibily violated the authors' IP by distributing them.

If Tolkein had placed source code in Appendix G of The Return of the King, I would certainly be quite correct in assuming the license on the cover page applied unless he stated otherwise. Authors of programming books usually do provide a different license regarding the source.
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:37 PM   #118
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Orion: go look up the word "associate."  It's a much stronger word than you seem to think, implying a more direct and deliberate tie between entities.  Claiming that using the same website as someone else, for advertising or discussing community issues, constitutes "associating" would be a REAL stretch, particularly when he's decrying a problem.

It would be similar to complaining if you ever saw Matt at a gaming convention Traithe was attenting.

Unifex: Your comment that you're discussing ethics and not legal issues clears up most of our differences.  Ethically, I think I'm still a bit towards the logos, Tyche, and the other strict constructionists from you.

KaVir:
you say that it's worth noting that the copyright holders know what's going on and haven't done anything.

Vryce could say (and has said) the same about DIKU violations- the authors are OBVIOUSLY aware of him, and haven't done anything for 10 years (words are cheap; they haven't actually DONE anything, even a DMCA notice once that option became available).  By the arguments you're using here, that makes Medievia ok, right?

Also, all of the examples I'm aware of of granting implied licenses involve positive action on the part of the IP owner, which is considerably different from the present case.

To answer the point about the message boards, a poster (who holds copyright on his message) REQUESTS (a positive action) that their post be distributed by posting it in a public place.  So far as I know, Tolkien never posted the text of LOTR or other works to USENET

Implied licenses exist mainly to take care of cases where any reasonable observer would say "Well, duh! Of course the IP owner gave them a license." even if there's no signed piece of paper saying so.

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Old 06-05-2003, 01:02 PM   #119
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A few things:
1) I absolutely respect and applaud Matt's willingness to take a stand on this issue, even if I don't care for the fact that he picked on a *specific MUD* for the purpose of opening this crusade. Singling out Shadows of Isildur was, in my opinion, a tactical mistake that got quite a few of us distracted from the important and valid points Matt was trying to make. The problem with isolating SoI and Traithe is that Matt is effectively attacking Traithe for *trying* to do right by the Tolkien estate, which is far more than many other Tolkien MUD operators have probably ever done.
2) If someone planned to start their own OtherSpace MU*, I'd certainly want the courtesy of a request of permission. But unless the developer sought to profit from the MUD, I think I'd stop short of calling him/her a thief. And if I learned they were using the OtherSpace theme in a way I deemed inappropriate, I would expect them to respect my request to quit using the theme. If they didn't, then, certainly, I'd have some serious issues with them and might even call them a thief.
3) Traithe doesn't deserve to be compared to Vryce, which is the other tactical error Matt made, in my opinion. The Tolkien estate hasn't been trying in vain to get Traithe to shut down his MUD. Traithe hasn't been claiming Tolkien intellectual property as his own creation. Traithe hasn't been thumbing his nose at the Tolkien estate or anyone who dares to criticize him - he's even gone so far as to say, publicly, that if the Tolkien estate takes issue with the existence of his MUD, he would take it offline. Show me anywhere that Vryce ever said anything like that. Buried under the personal attacks against Traithe, however, are some valid arguments worth considering.
4) In many ways, I agree with the basic principles Matt has been putting forth. If an author has made it clear they don't want their work used in MUDs, those wishes should be respected unless you secure specific permission. But if a new MUD developer finds loads of unlicensed Tolkien or Wheel of Time games at The MUD Connector or Top MUD Sites, who can really blame him for thinking he can make his own free game in middle earth? Most people who set up MUDs aren't much more than kids and they certainly don't know a great deal about copyright law. Some development documents, such as Javelin's PennMUSH Guide for Gods, actually encourage developing games with established themes because they come with a built-in audience. But the guide also offers this bit of wisdom:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Of those MUSHs that are themed, virtually all are based off of a series of books or a movie or set of movies. In all cases you should secure permission for doing this - while it hasn't happened yet that I know of, it is entirely possible to be sued for copy(right) infringement if you put up a MUSH based on an author's work without their publisher's permission; it's simply not worth the risk, and, moreover, is rude and inconsiderate to the author as well.
That said: If I find two dozen Tolkien MUDs on the Internet, and the Tolkien estate hasn't moved to shut any of them down, it strikes me as relatively reasonable for a MUD-maker to assume he can do his own without fear of repercussions. The same with Star Wars, Star Trek, Wheel of Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Files. I'm not saying it's legally right if challenged in court, but I am saying it's not morally reprehensible if the MUD community in general seems to have tolerated these "violations" for more than 20 years. I'm saying don't call someone a thief if they aren't really stealing and aren't acting in bad faith. If Traithe uses text from Tolkien's books in room descriptions and news files without permission, that's theft - and certainly the sort of thing that would and should draw the ire of Tolkien's estate. But the mere existence of Shadows of Isildur isn't a blight on the MUD landscape, in my opinion, unless the Tolkien estate announces that it wants SoI and every other Tolkien-inspired free-to-the-public game yanked off the Internet. If that happens, and Traithe and all the other Tolkien MUD operators keep their games going in defiance of the wishes of the IP holders, then I'll stand on the wall next to Matt and call them all thieves. Until then, unless Traithe and the rest claim to have created Gandalf or misuse direct text from the books without permission, I'll accept their games as homages and celebrations of the material.
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Old 06-05-2003, 01:47 PM   #120
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Tyche wrote:
My interpretation of the Diku license, Merc and related was and is that all of the works distributed were under that license unless stated otherwise.
The Diku license allows you to use the Diku team's copyrighted work, the Merc license allows you to use the Merc team's copyrighted work, and so on - but the copyrights for most of the stock areas belong to other people.

However, as those areas come with the Diku/Merc/etc distributions, don't have any licenses of their own, and are used by a lot of other muds, it is - IMO - reasonable to assume that the builders don't mind people using their areas within the codebases they were distributed with, unless they say otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Stilton wrote:
KaVir:
you say that it's worth noting that the copyright holders know what's going on and haven't done anything.
If you're going to respond to one of my points, please respond to the entire point. If you had done so, the rest of your "argument" would not apply.

What I said, was that it's worth noting that they know what is going on, yet haven't done nor even complained about muds - we do not know what their opinion about muds is, only that they very definitely have the capability to stamp on infrigements when they want to (because they've done it in the past), yet have left muds (and various other works of fan fiction) completely alone. If you are concerned that such muds may go against the wishes of the Tolkien copyright holders, then email them - I can assure you that they will be able to do far more than any of us can.

The Diku team (and Merc team for the matter), on the other hand, are in the opposite situation. They have made very clear their displeasure about license violations - and Medievia in particular - on many occasions, yet have never legally stomped on anyone. They simply do not have the resources to do so, and therefore it is up the rest of the mud community to encourage people to follow the wishes of the various mud authors.

My personal opinion is that, as was suggested by someone else earlier in the thread, the Tolkien copyright holders enjoy the free publicity that muds give them, but don't want to give the official "okay" in case they later decide they'd like to tear the muds down. If this were not the case, it would be a very simple matter for them to just respond to an email, or make some public statement - but they have not, despite the fact that Tolkien-based games have been around for almost 30 years (unless there is something earlier than Mines of Moria?). If I am correct, then you'd actually be going against their real wishes by trying to shut down muds based on their work.

In the case of authors who have stated they don't their work used for muds, I could agree with the idea of treating them the same way as other license violators. But trying to second-guess what the copyright holder "really wants" is an exercise in futility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Implied licenses exist mainly to take care of cases where any reasonable observer would say "Well, duh! Of course the IP owner gave them a license." even if there's no signed piece of paper saying so.
No, implied licenses exist to take care of cases where the conduct of the parties indicate that some rights are to be extended from the copyright holder to one or more individuals, but the parties themselves did not bother to create a license.

You can have an express license without paper, and you certainly don't need a signature for one.
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