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Old 08-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #1
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DikuMud to OSI OpenSource - a True Possibility

I have been coresponding with Hans, one of the original creators of DIKU, in regards to re-realeasing DIKU as either public domain or true open source. I've included the main portion of the corespondance. I've been attempting to contact Michael, but have as of yet been unsuccessful, but it does seem that the creators of DIKU are open to the idea of DIKU being re-released under an OSI compatible license.

As I understand it, this community has been particularly passionate in enforcing the original DIKU license. Though the original license has never been litigated, it is this community that has been the primary enforcement mechanism. I wanted to perhaps start the discussion again, and perhaps (if someone actually has Michael's contact information) see if after 20 years this piece of legacy software could become truly open-source.

Hi Stefan.

I am not personally contrary to re-releasing the original DikuMud code under some Open Source license. I know that Michael Seifert has brought this up as well.

As far as I am concerned you may treat my personal contributions as Open Source, although this is of little help as it is inseparable from the whole, and I cannot speak for the others.

I don't know if your game has used the original code, or one of its many derivatives as its base. If you have used a derivative, you need permission from the copyright holders of the derivative work as well (I/we cannot retrospectively change their license).

We have released a later work for commercial use (Valhalla Mud), but I signed over the control of this to Michael Seifert long ago, who would have the details on this.

--Hans-Henrik Stærfeldt

On 04/27/2015 07:23 PM, Stefan Ludlow wrote:
Mr Staerfeldt,
My name is Stefan Ludlow, and I'm a senior administrator and programmer
on a Diku derivative known as Shadows of Isildur. We are a moderately
small MUD (20 active players at any one time) that has been running
since the early 2000s. We are licensed by the Tolkien Estate to use the
Tolkien IP and to remain non-for-profit, as the original Diku license
stipulates, however as we continue to move forward we are beginning to
encounter issues with the original Diku license that we are bound by.

There is a large amount of software available for free to projects that
operate under the Open Source Initiative. Atlassian
Jira/Confluence/BitBucket, for example, is popular set of software that
is designed to serve as a project wiki, helpdesk, issue tracker, and
code repository. Unfortunately, since we are bound by the Diku license
as it was written in the 1990s, we cannot make use of this software
unless we purchase it, which is prohibitively expensive for hobbyists
such as ourselves.

Has there been any consideration on the part of yourselves or others on
the original team to update the original license to bring it in line
with modern open-source software licensing standards, and allow current
and future hobbyists with the means of taking advantage of modern
resources available to open source projects? Would you be willing to
speak briefly regarding either allowing projects to eventually graduate
to a different licensing structure, or purchase a commercial open-source
license for our own code variant, which is substantially different from
the Diku original?
Stefan Ludlow
Elder Staff, Shadows of Isildur<>

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Old 08-01-2015, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: DikuMud to OSI OpenSource - a True Possibility

It certainly could, but what do you do about the license of all the derivatives? Is it worth the effort?
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:10 PM   #3
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Re: DikuMud to OSI OpenSource - a True Possibility

OpenRPI is luckily a straight derivative of Diku Gamma, so in that engine's case: absolutely.
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