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Old 06-06-2003, 07:30 AM   #161
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Did i misunderstand the reason for there non-commercial clause in the license?
You would have to ask them that, however the impression I always got was that it was some arrangement while they were students (perhaps something to do with not using educational resources for commercial purposes?) - certainly their University never seems to have claimed the copyright to DikuMUD, and as the copyright holders they are perfectly entitled to do whatever they wish with their own IP.  Furthermore, I am not even certain whether Diku II is actually based on the original Diku code, or just inspired by it.
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Old 06-06-2003, 08:09 AM   #162
 
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Originally Posted by (Hephos @ June 06 2003,05:23)
Well if so, how come there's a commercial diku engine out there there for sale?
I don't recall ever reading that the authors surrendered their copyrights to the work in question.  I assume like most authors they retain full rights to create derivatives under any terms they desire.
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:05 AM   #163
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Has this really gone on for 17 pages? ####.

I apologize for extending it any further, but some thoughts keep pushing onward.

1) Copyright and all these issues of "fair use" we've been discussing apply, as best I can tell, to *specific works*. For example, I can't copy Carl Hiaasen's "Tourist Season" and sell it as my own. I can't publish the text in full on my website. We've been fond of making comparisons to Napster, where the problem is the trafficking of *complete* songs, and Vryce, where the problem is taking someone else's *complete* codebase and calling it his own. I can't take complete text from "The Hobbit" to use in my Tolkien MUSH. But copyright *doesn't* (as far as I've been able to discern) apply to ideas, concepts, place names or even necessarily *characters*. Characters and titles may certainly be trademarked - but that's a whole different ball of wax with a different set of rules and regulations. That's why Led Zeppelin can get away with using Mordor and Gollum in "Ramble On." And that's why a MUD codebase can be called Smaug. It's why a MUD can contain an area called the Shire. And it's why a MUD can call itself Shadows of Isildur. So long as Traithe is writing his own descriptions and *not* using the direct text by the author, he should be able to do so without being called a thief. He could not, from what I can tell, invite everyone to Shadow of Isildur to read chapter after chapter of Tolkien's books as they're posted.

A significant part of the problem of this entire argument is the assertion that opening a free MUD inspired by the collected works of an author is "publication of a derivative work." It *is* important and it *does* matter that there are no specific cases on point in regards to MUDs and copyright law, because we cannot state with any true authority on the pro or con side. MUDs *are* special - as with so many other quandaries created by the rise of the Internet, it's a lot more complicated than simply pointing to pre-Internet case law and saying "See!? It's illegal!"

As I've pointed out, as KaVir has pointed out, we've seen these sorts of games on the Internet for a long time. They've been written about in publications from Wired to Rolling Stone. They've been the topics of college research papers. They've been hashed out on Usenet for about a decade. They're listed at theonering.net - a site that Tolkien's staunchest intellectual property defenders probably visit occasionally. No one has seen fit to come crashing down on them, so far. (And Vivendi's hold on those MMORPG gaming rights aren't absolute, so I'm not sure it specifies that they control the ability to create non-graphical, not-so-profitable, not-so-massive RPGs inspired by Tolkien - nor are those rights even likely to last much longer, if I recall correctly, as Vivendi has been floundering financially and Universal has been eager to sell it off.)

The Internet is still a fairly new frontier and it's far too soon to start speaking in absolutes about this sort of thing. Nevertheless, I agree that we must honor the wishes of *any* author or IP holder who makes it known that they don't want these sorts of homages paid to them. Mercedes Lackey explains in her Q&A with fans that her concern isn't so much about true fans ripping her off as she is about someone suing her for stealing their ideas (true or not) or for using her realm to engage in virtual sex with minors. It's fairly hysterical sort of hand-wringing, but it *is* her property and if she doesn't want people using it for MUDs - and says so - then I can't imagine going against those wishes.

2) The whole big-number value Matt has put on the alleged violation by Traithe and other Tolkien MUD operators seems like hyperbole to me. If I base a MUD off the setting of The Lord of the Rings, the value of the book I'm basing it on isn't the net worth of the Tolkien estate or Harper Collins books. If I write an entire MUD that's just room after room described with the text from pages in "The Hobbit," what I'm ripping off is a book that runs about $5 retail in some stores. If I steal your car after writing that note to you, asking for but not receiving permission, then what I'm "stealing" is worth the current blue book value of the car - it's not the net worth of Ford Motor Company. In this case, by the way, Traithe hasn't stolen your car. It's still yours to drive. He's just made one himself using similar interior, because he really likes your sense of taste and style.
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Old 06-06-2003, 12:19 PM   #164
 
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Here's some good reading on the subject.

<a href="http://www.whoosh.org/issue62/ecks2.html" target="_blank">FAN FICTION, NOVELS, COPYRIGHT, AND ETHICS
</a>
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Old 06-06-2003, 01:05 PM   #165
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Well, see, Matt keeps throwing out that whole Elves as sex fiend thing. Hrm, what an idea... Elves as sex fiends. Hobbits could be paedo's, since children are about the right size after all... Throw in a few psychotic dwarves, and a guy named Aracorn, and he's got protection of fair use as a parody.

Not a great joke, but I wanted to point out that part of what Matt keeps railing about, if done in a way that could reasonably be assumed as parody, could actually lead to a claim of protection under fair use.

But, there is still the subject that Traithe has, in my opinion at least, a reasonably strong case for an implied license. Many of you are ignoring the fact that Tolkien is not lacking in funds to take legal action against most any copyright infringement on their property. You're also ignoring the fact that there have been numerous MUDs over the past 30 years, I believe the tally is up to, that have used themes based on their property. For whatever reason, they have chosen not to pursue legal action against these parties.

And, for those who've been pressing this subject, making a choice is a positive action. It may lead to inaction, but the choice itself is a positive action.

Now, no matter what the reason they have chosen not to persue legal action on our venue, the fact is they have made their choice. Whatever their reasoning may be, you have decided for them to take action. Who, may I ask, gave you that right? Many of you have claimed you have no right to decide for them whether you can use their property. Well, who ordained you with the task of stopping others? They have lawyers who handle this in a manner they deem suitable. I'm sure, though, that they appreciate your deputizing yourself to lead a crusade on their behalf.

The DikuMUD team knows that other people are defending the DikuMUD license, and they know that many in our community dislike people violating a license many of us adhere to. Does Tolkien know you're out here railing against fans of his work, pestering them, and possibly turning those of us who have not read it away, because we fear we might use something in it that piqued our interest?

You also talk about monetary harm based on our actions, what about your own? How many potential fans have you turned away? How much have they potentially lost, because a few rabid fanatics have deemed it their right to ensure no one else use that property. Just a thought.

Some of you like to keep mentioning the issue of DikuMUD. DikuMUD's authors have made it clear they don't like what is being done by Vryce, and other people violating their license. Why they chose not to take action when the option was offered, I don't know. BUT, they have made a statement of their position, and that is enough for me. Tolkien has made no statement what-so-ever, they have IGNORED the issue entirely when it comes to MUDs. You are crusading on behalf of someone who seems to have no position, who is well-capable of handling it themselves, and who has not granted you any reason nor right to do so. We, as a community, have defended DikuMUD for the specific reason as it affects many of us directly.

I code and build on a DikuMUD derivative, and have done so for quite a while. It affects me when someone decides to violate a license that I adhere to out of respect. Tolkien's people have taken no stance at all, aside from making a choice to let the Tolkien-inspired MUDs exist. As such, I don't see where any of you have, or for that matter even think you have, a right to rail against that.

Do I support IP theft? No, but I make a distinction. When the author says they don't care, that's fine. If I AM one of those authors, since KaVir mentioned the IMC2 subject, I have a right to make a statement on that. Being as none of you are credited with any author's writes on Tolkien's work... well, I'll just let you think on that.

Some have said they wouldn't want to waste the money, and as some of you have been so fond of mentioning... it costs nothing to file a DMCA notification. They could have those MUDs shut down by simply mailing the MUD hosts, who I am fairly certain would drop those MUDs in a heartbeat.

But, I'm sure some of you will continue to rail against this, for whatever reasons you may have, and you're welcome to it. But, please, do not imply I, or any one else who defends this, is condoning IP theft. Theft requires that something is taken against the wishes of another, and while we don't know the express wishes of Tolkien, we do know what we can observe and that is that for over 30 years they've turned a blind eye to MUDs.

In any case, good day and best wishes.
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Old 06-06-2003, 01:27 PM   #166
 
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Originally Posted by (Brody @ June 06 2003,11<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]1) Copyright and all these issues of "fair use"
"Fair use" does apply to Led Zeppelin's two lines referring to Gollum and Mordor in the song Ramble on,  "fair use" does apply to naming a codebase "Smaug", and yes "fair use" does apply to the trivial half dozen lines of use in the Moria area.

However "fair use" does NOT apply to fan fiction or writing stories using the characters and settings in an author's works.  Consider Margeret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" and the coveted rights to produce its sequel awarded to one author by the estate.  Nor does the internet change the notion of "fair use" in respect to author's copyrights, specifically literary works.  You yourself undercut that argument when you suggest by implication that people can't and aren't distributing LOTR or the Hobbit wholesale on the internet.  The same is true for derivative works.

Shadow's of Isildor as far as I can tell is certainly fan fiction, derivative and not "fair use".  So is your Star Wars game as far as I can tell as everything I've read makes extensive use of characters and settings from the works.  I'm not suggesting rape-and-paste nor am I suggesting it's unoriginal.   I am suggesting it is as derivative as me writing a new Harry Potter novel or me writing a new OtherSpace novel.  

I am going to make some assumptions here so bear with me.  I don't have a dog in this hunt.  I am going to assume you don't have license from Lucas either.  If you do then no matter.

First the bad news, both your game and SoI are in fact copyright infringements of Lotr and SW.  Derivative works aka fan fiction.

Second the good news, both the Tolkein estate and Lucas Films tolerate non-commercial fan fiction.  

If they tolerate it, it's fine with me. :-)
So that's my final answer.
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Old 06-06-2003, 02:29 PM   #167
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No, I haven't got a license from Lucasfilms. (Stop! Thief! ) Nor have I once tried to say that every single Tolkien, Star Wars, Star Trek or other established-theme game *isn't* copyright infringement. That makes us infringers, not necessarily *thieves*, particularly if the IP holder is tolerant of such things.

And that's the biggest point of all: It's up to the IP holder to enforce their rights and demand a stop to such infringements. If you write an OtherSpace novel, it's up to me to put a halt to it - not Matt, although it's comforting to know there's someone with enough time and energy to devote to fighting such battles for me .

The site Tyche points to is quite a good one on this topic, as it pretty much sums up everything we've all been saying: Derivative works *are* infringements, but many IP owners tolerate it - and those that don't have their reasons, and their wishes should be honored. If George Lucas announced this afternoon that all non-licensed Star Wars MUDs needed to come offline, I'd shut mine down without a peep because, yes, ultimately it is a Lucasfilm property.

Until then, I'll continue celebrating Star Wars. Meanwhile, all those Tolkien games will keep celebrating Lord of the Rings. And maybe we can all find something *new* to chew on.
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:42 PM   #168
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This thread has been interesting, and one of the more interesting things is, that after how many? - 16? – pages, there still isn’t any consensus about what is and isn’t ‘legal’. Different persons have their own layman’s interpretations of the law. Even different lawyers have different interpretations; that’s what they make their living from. It seems nowadays you can even get away with murder one, if you have the money to pay for a skilled enough lawyer.

Which brings me to my reason for jumping in at this late stage. It seems, given the fact that none of us are trained lawyers, the discussion has more or less turned into a circle, where the same arguments are hashed over and over again.

Personally I believe, that in cases like this it’s better to use the viewpoints of ethics and moral, rather than the Law. You generally don’t need a legal training to tell right from wrong - in fact most of us actually have a sort of built-in sense for this. There may be some people who actually CHOOSE to act unethically, for profit, power or other selfish reasons. But deep in their hearts even those people usually can tell ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ . Still, some cases may be tricky borderline, but is this case really one of those?

Just ask yourselves:
From an ethical point of view; Did Vryce do anything wrong when he ripped off the Diku code and claimed it to be his own invention?
I think most of us would answer YES to that question.

From an ethical point of view; did Thraithe do anything wrong when he opened Shadows of Isildur?
I don’t know about the rest of you guys, my own opinion is clear: No he didn’t

Which brings me to my last question:
From an ethical point of view; Was it right to single Thraithe out from all the other mudowners running Tolkien based muds, compare him to Vryce and publicly call him a thief in the same sentence?
I’ll leave that one to your judgement.
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Old 06-06-2003, 11:23 PM   #169
 
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Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ June 06 2003,21:42)
From an ethical point of view; Did Vryce do anything wrong when he ripped off the Diku code and claimed it to be his own invention?
yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ June 06 2003,21:42)
From an ethical point of view; did Thraithe do anything wrong when he opened Shadows of Isildur?
yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ June 06 2003,21:42)
From an ethical point of view; Was it right to single Thraithe out from all the other mudowners running Tolkien based muds, compare him to Vryce and publicly call him a thief in the same sentence?
yes.
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Old 06-08-2003, 10:41 AM   #170
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Molly:
Consensus has nothing to do with it.  The legal realities are pretty clear, and have been since the first page or so.  Ethics and morality are not equivalent to the law, but they're not entirely disjoint from it either.

Orion:
EDIT: This was actually a response to Point 1 of Brody's post above, not Orion's. /EDIT
Do you really think that copyright doesn't apply if you only lift parts of a work? Say, Kirk and Spock from Star Trek to use in your own novel?  News flash for you, but Tyche has already taken care of it.

KaVir:
From your last post, your position becomes clearer.  You aren't particularly interested in seeing copyright crusaders who aren't acting after specific statements by the authors that they disapprove of a particular use.  That's fine.  But you're letting your desire not to be shown up on the legal points you attempted to make in the beginning of this thread take you in directions you really don't want to be going.  Failure to issue cease/desist orders implying consent, for instance.

An example: Your continued bit about the discussion board.  It's quite clear for a number of reasons that the participants in a discussion board are in a considerably different position than what we're discussing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
And is my "posting" any less positive than the publication of a novel?
Another straw man.  There's a PRAGMATIC realisation that if you publish something, someone somewhere is probably going to infringe (copy your CD, use your novel if it's good, etc.)  This has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

What's important is whether or not the use of the material is a REASONABLE thing for the user to be doing.  By posting to a discussion board, most people would expect that the author is encouraging quoting and critique.  This is in addition to the fair use provisions Brody and others have mentioned.  By publishing a novel, the author is NOT inviting the general public to use his IP to do whatever they want.  

Should the DIKU users have anticipated that someone, somewhere would violate their license?  Of course.  Does that mean that such violation would be reasonable and legitimate use of the IP?  Of course not.

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Originally Posted by
In other words, you would assume permission based on the INACTION of the author to place an appropriate disclaimer.  How is that different from what Traithe has done?
Straw man.  It's the action of posting to a discussion board that made me draw my conclusion, not the inaction you describe.  An ADDITIONAL action may help to clarify the posters intent, but claiming that this consitutes basing a decision on inaction is simply a cheap debating tactic.  I suspect that you understand this.  To borrow from Adams:  A big yellow bulldozer proceeding towards my house might make me lie down in the mud in front of it, but that doesn't mean that when I go to work in the morning without lying down in my garden I'm only doing it because of the inaction of a demolition company.

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But I'm going to stick my neck out here, and say that I suspect that they're probably aware of the muds.
And because they didn't sue, that makes the use of their IP ok in your eyes. (I understand what you're THINKING now, which relates to someone else crusading for the IP owner's rights. But that's not what you're SAYING)

Hmm, haven't you been arguing for years that failure to enforce copyright protection doesn't mean that you lose the rights, or are giving permission for use?

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Originally Posted by
Is it?  Or is it because of the "custom and practice" of discussion forums and the conduct between the posters that we are able to assume an implied license to repost each other's work?
BOTH of us are party to the custom and practice.  I suspect that you understand that publishing a novel is a quite different relationship between author and reader.

Do I have less sympathy for a victim who has the ability to defend themselves but doesn't (Tolkien Enterprises) than for someone who doesn't have a team of lawyers on retainer (a couple of college students releasing code)?  Yes.  Does that make fan-fiction a legal use of the material? No.

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Old 06-08-2003, 01:03 PM   #171
 
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Originally Posted by (Stilton @ June 08 2003,10:41)
Do I have less sympathy for a victim who has the ability to defend themselves but doesn't (Tolkien Enterprises) than for someone who doesn't have a team of lawyers on retainer (a couple of college students releasing code)?  Yes.  Does that make fan-fiction a legal use of the material? No.
Perhaps it's time we stop referring to them (the Diku group) as dirt poor helpless college students and instead assume they are in all likelyhood successful college graduates making a decent living.

The Tolkein estate apparently doesn't go after IP violators when it's not in their financial interest to do so.  That is perceived to be toleration by many, perhaps rightly so.  It's apparently not in their financial interest to do so.  The Tolkein estate has a much bigger problem as they'd have to start hundreds maybe thousands of such suits.  The Diku Group has a extraordinarily small number of copyright infringers.  I think my sympathies have shifted especially in regard to recent events; offers made to fund such a suit (not the first time BTW).

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.

So in regards to the Diku IP...

I believe it's reasonable to assume they tolerate it (despite claims to the contrary).
So I'm OK with it since the Diku people are OK with it.

Now before you flame me.  Don't think I endorse or encourage IP theft, nor that I wouldn't go after you if it was my stuff.  

The point is that I personally no longer care about people infringing on the Diku property.  I'll still continue to be a "Good Samaratin" though and drop you a line concerning your own property if God forfend you are stolen from but that'll be the end of it.
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:15 PM   #172
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Do you really think that copyright doesn't apply if you only lift parts of a work?
No, but I would be interested in where you got the notion that such a question should be asked.

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Originally Posted by
Say, Kirk and Spock from Star Trek to use in your own novel? News flash for you, but Tyche has already taken care of it.
That's great for Tyche, but why should I give one iota of care to it?

The only thing I can think of that makes you think that I hold such a position is my statement about Aracorn, and all that. Which, I made NO statement about the percentage used, only the manner in which it is used, which would be covered under fair use as parody.

Now, you can continue your argument as you like, I've made my position quite clear. Really would like to know where the amount used got brought up in relation to me, though, when I never even made an argument about that.

Oh well.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:03 PM   #173
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Orion:
my apologies, you are totally correct about my reply not being properly directed. It was text from point 1 of Brody's post of June 06 2003,11:05 that I was incorrectly attributing to you and responding to. I'd had to do some copy/paste to keep everything available and screwed it up.

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Quote:
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Perhaps it's time we stop referring to them (the Diku group) as dirt poor helpless college students and instead assume they are in all likelyhood successful college graduates making a decent living.
That's probably true now. I'm not sure if it was when the first few blatant infringers began. At this point, yes, I agree with you, it's pretty much water under the bridge unless they want to do something. I don't condone the behavior, but it's been what, a decade?

There are more important things to be doing. Like coding. The best way to attack Medievia would be to release a codebase that obsoletes them.


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Old 06-08-2003, 05:26 PM   #174
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Stilton, throughout your post you incorrectly accuse me of using "straw man" arguments. I have not. Please learn what they are before you attempt to accuse me of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
From your last post, your position becomes clearer. You aren't particularly interested in seeing copyright crusaders who aren't acting after specific statements by the authors that they disapprove of a particular use. That's fine. But you're letting your desire not to be shown up on the legal points you attempted to make in the beginning of this thread take you in directions you really don't want to be going. Failure to issue cease/desist orders implying consent, for instance.
Now that is a perfect example of a "straw man". I pointed out that they are aware of the dozens muds which have been based upon their setting over the last 12 years or so, but have obviously chosen to turn a blind eye to it, while at the same time legally stamping on various other infringers - demonstrating that they are perfectly capable of dealing quickly with those who they feel are infringing on their work. Yet they have not said so much as a single word about the muds.

That is not even close to claiming "Failure to issue cease/desist orders implying consent".

If you cannot counter my points, please ignore them - do not claim I said something else and then attack that. Not only is it very poor form, but it also makes it very difficult to take this discussion anywhere, as I am forced to keep repeating what I actually said.

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Originally Posted by
What's important is whether or not the use of the material is a REASONABLE thing for the user to be doing.
Which is the very point I've been trying to convince you of. Does this mean you've now changed from your earlier position of "I have been defending the proposition that you shouldn't assume consent from an IP holder until you actually see it"?

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Originally Posted by
By posting to a discussion board, most people would expect that the author is encouraging quoting and critique.
Right - most people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
This is in addition to the fair use provisions Brody and others have mentioned.
Which - as I pointed out - is a defence against copyright infringement. In other words, it's a way of saying "Yes, I violated someone's copyright, but I have a good defence if he ever decides to take me to court".

Quote:
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By publishing a novel, the author is NOT inviting the general public to use his IP to do whatever they want.
But neither is the author doing that by posting to a discussion board. You make it sound so "black and white" - but it's not. I assume that is why you have still refused to answer my point about the stock areas - if it's not easy to answer, best to pretend you didn't read it, eh?

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Originally Posted by
And because they didn't sue, that makes the use of their IP ok in your eyes.
No. Because they've not even so much as said they care, even when they've been explicitly emailed about it, it makes minor use of their IP - while still a copyright infringement - something on a completely different scale to ripping the credits out of a Diku derivative, claiming it as your own work, and making money off it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Hmm, haven't you been arguing for years that failure to enforce copyright protection doesn't mean that you lose the rights, or are giving permission for use?
Yes, and I still do. That has nothing to do with what I've said in this thread.
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Old 06-08-2003, 05:36 PM   #175
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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.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
So in regards to the Diku IP...

I believe it's reasonable to assume they tolerate it (despite claims to the contrary).
So I'm OK with it since the Diku people are OK with it.
The Diku team are not okay with it, and have said so publically. If the author says they don't want their work used in a certain way, then fair enough. The issues I have are with people like The_logos attacking muds without even knowing what the authors wishes are - as I pointed out earlier, he initially started flaming WoT muds, until those one of those muds pointed out scanned letter from Robert Jordan which granted permission.
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Old 06-08-2003, 10:55 PM   #176
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Stilton, throughout your post you incorrectly accuse me of using "straw man" arguments.  I have not.  Please learn what they are before you attempt to accuse me of them.
A good example of a straw man argument would be attempting to use posting to a message board as an example in a discussion involving an entirely different situation.  Then tearing down a claim about author consent by using that situation to attack statements made about an entirely different situation.  Sound familiar?

There have been quite a few more; that's just an obvious example.  I'm not erecting a straw man myself here; I'm just answering your charge that I don't know what they are ;)

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Originally Posted by
What's important is whether or not the use of the material is a REASONABLE thing for the user to be doing.

Which is the very point I've been trying to convince you of.  Does this mean you've now changed from your earlier position of "I have been defending the proposition that you shouldn't assume consent from an IP holder until you actually see it"?
Seeing a post on a message board is effectively seeing consent to respond and use text from it for that purpose from the person who posted it, barring later charges that the post was stolen material inappropriately posted. No, I don't require a notarized statement that the post is really from you ino order to believe it (if the stakes were higher, the proof would have to be higher).

As I've already admitted, that statement was perhaps broader than it should have been (granted, the admission wasn't particularly magnanimous since I was feeling like the victim of a straw-man at the time).  It was said with application to situations in which the various parties involved haven't been in a clear relationship regarding the use of the writing by others (posting to a message board screams "read me. critique me. reply to me".  I was talking about something like a published book. Granted, it screams "review me", but it doesn't scream "create extended derivative works based on me.)  In the same vein, I wouldn't attempt to turn our discussion into "KaVir vs Stilton: The Musical" without permission ;)

So, "Which is the very point I've been trying to convince you of. "  Presumably then (since the point you're trying to convince me of involves, per your direct statement above, the reasonable use of material in a given situation), you believe that Traithe's use of the material is acceptable to a reasonable person?  Because I've been quite clear that I don't think it is, I can't imagine anything else you'd be trying to convince me of with regards to it.

Or do you in fact agree with me in the case we're discussing, and just take exception to the some of the phrasing I've used like the one above about failure to issue cease/desist orders and consent?

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Originally Posted by
Hmm, haven't you been arguing for years that failure to enforce copyright protection doesn't mean that you lose the rights, or are giving permission for use?


Yes, and I still do.  That has nothing to do with what I've said in this thread.
Then I'm confused.  I thought that one of the buttresses of your position was the fact that Tolkien Enterprises hasn't taken any legal action, or even made public statements about approving or disapproving.

At this point, I'm not even sure if we have any factual disagreements.  I'm not inclined to continue the sparring if it's entirely personal.  We are simply not managing to communicate effectively, and I think the facts are clear enough at this point.

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Old 06-09-2003, 10:18 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by
A good example of a straw man argument would be attempting to use posting to a message board as an example in a discussion involving an entirely different situation.
No, it wouldn't. A straw man (aka "Fallacy Of Extension") is when you attack an exaggerated or caricatured version of your opponent's position. As it was, I gave counterpoint examples which dealt with similar situations - I did not claim you made those examples yourself.

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Originally Posted by
Seeing a post on a message board is effectively seeing consent to respond and use text from it for that purpose from the person who posted it, barring later charges that the post was stolen material inappropriately posted. No, I don't require a notarized statement that the post is really from you ino order to believe it (if the stakes were higher, the proof would have to be higher).
Exactly. And that is reasonable enough - but it also goes to show that even you believe, under some situations, that it is reasonable to assume you can use it. The difference here is where the line is drawn. The above is still a copyright infringement, but it's one which few people claim is unacceptable.

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Originally Posted by
So, "Which is the very point I've been trying to convince you of. " Presumably then (since the point you're trying to convince me of involves, per your direct statement above, the reasonable use of material in a given situation), you believe that Traithe's use of the material is acceptable to a reasonable person?
The point I've been trying to make is that there is no "black and white", only shades of gray, and that many people would also consider the usage in Traithe's example to be reasonable. Like copying postings, it is still copyright infringement - but it is nowhere near in the same league as Vryce, which was what the original poster seemed to be claiming. Remember, the original claim of this thread was the it was inconsistent to ignore muds like Traithe's while banning Medievia - and that is the claim I have been disputing.

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Originally Posted by
I thought that one of the buttresses of your position was the fact that Tolkien Enterprises hasn't taken any legal action, or even made public statements about approving or disapproving.
It's a combination of many things, but my arguments have always revolved around the wishes of the copyright holder. That is why I took the side I did during the IMC2 debates. In this case it is clear that the Tolkien copyright holders know that their work is being used for muds, but have obviously chosen to turn a blind eye to it. Since fan fiction has both positive and negative aspects for copyright holders, some authors actively encourage it while others strongly discourage it. A few, like Tolkien, appear to tolerate it, but I don't think it's up to us to try and second-guess what it is they really want until such time as they make their wishes clear - because by banning muds, you may well be going against their wishes.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:09 AM   #178
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KaVir writes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
A good example of a straw man argument would be attempting to use posting to a message board as an example in a discussion involving an entirely different situation.


No, it wouldn't. A straw man (aka "Fallacy Of Extension") is when you attack an exaggerated or caricatured version of your opponent's position.
A straw man doesn't necessarily involve exaggeration or caricature; it's a fairly broad term. It's when you when you pick an argument to defeat other than the one that your opponent actually made. This may involve distorting your opponents argument as you describe, or it may be substituting another that sounds close enough but is sufficiently different as to lead to a different conclusion.

www.intrepidsoftware.com/fallacy/straw.htm
or
http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism....html#strawman

for instance. I have seen a few definitions similar to yours, but believe them to be a mistake of incorporating the Slippery Slope and/or reductio ad absurdem, the key of both of those being extension/caricature. The Straw Man's key element is misdirection or bait and switch, ie "This is what you said, but I'll respond to that instead."

Quote:
Originally Posted by
it also goes to show that even you believe, under some situations, that it is reasonable to assume you can use it. The difference here is where the line is drawn. The above is still a copyright infringement, but it's one which few people claim is unacceptable.
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."

I do believe that limited rights to use material can be given without a signed contract, if that's what you mean. Everything is generally shades of gray, granted, but that doesn't mean that decisions can't be clearcut in the majority of cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
many people would also consider the usage in Traithe's example to be reasonable. Like copying postings, it is still copyright infringement - but it is nowhere near in the same league as Vryce, which was what the original poster seemed to be claiming.
I don't think anyone has equated Traithe and Vryce. Many of the posters have gone out of their way to contrast the two. They WERE lumped into the same broad category of copyright infringers, with associated loaded words ("thief", etc.) But the people leaning towards the pro-fanfiction side of the fence haven't simply asked for the loaded words to be dropped; the main discussion has revolved around the acts themselves.

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Originally Posted by
I don't think it's up to us to try and second-guess what it is they really want until such time as they make their wishes clear
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. DIKU comes with a license. Every copy of LOTR comes with a license. It's perfectly reasonable for someone to ask why the community aggressively defends the DIKU license but not the LOTR license.

I don't necessarily think that you personally are being inconsistent in the cases you pick to crusade on: you consistently pick cases where the IP owner's stated wishes are being violated, even if those wishes were ineffectively codified into the written license (the famous "profit" clause applied to "just for expenses" donations, the quite legal compensation of coders to work on DIKU, etc.)

Now, if you were to come out and say (as I thought you had in your initial summary of Traithe's arguments) that violating the written license was actually acceptable for LOTR but not DIKU, then that would be inconsistent (unless you simply apply the "author's level of public displeasure" criterion totally across the board, in which case I would think that you're wrong but not inconsistent).

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Old 06-09-2003, 11:13 AM   #179
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First off, I find it amusing that the owner of a MUD who grants benefits to those who has deeper pockets actually has the gall to post here.

Secondly, those of you who are posting negatively about the admin of SoI, I offer this: You're either not from the USA (and in this case, you're excused) or you forget something that the USA holds dear (in this case, you disgust me). We're innocent until proven guilty. The owner of SoI made the attempt to comply with the 'owner' of the IP you're claiming was stolen. He's stated he's going to make more of an attempt, so why are you whining here?

In conclusion, none of you have the right to attack him for this. It was not your property that was 'stolen'. Nothing has been 'stolen' yet, according to the facts. It amazes me at what lengths one would go to get their ego inflated and their pleasure felt.

What a community.

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Old 06-09-2003, 12:03 PM   #180
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Xorith:
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Originally Posted by
First off, I find it amusing that the owner of a MUD who grants benefits to those who has deeper pockets actually has the gall to post here.
*cough*TROLL*cough*

So far as I know, said individual has not been accused of doing anything unethical, unless you consider running a successful business unethical.

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Originally Posted by
or you forget something that the USA holds dear (in this case, you disgust me). We're innocent until proven guilty.
Not in civil cases, which this quite probably would be.  And what more proof of "guilt" could you possibly want than the offender openly advertising what he's doing? Note that I'm using guilt in the sense of "is he doing it", not "is it wrong", which is what the thread is about. Hence the quotes.

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-- X
What does that variable store? Your trolling stat?

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