Legalese

So there's apparently some controversy brewing over Kayle and I exercising our legal rights under copyright law to have the SmaugFUSS distribution removed from MudBytes. Tangentially this seems to extend to AFKMud as well and supposedly some horrid dangerous precedent is now being set by this. If this bores you to tears or makes you want to pull your hair out, don't feel bad. For some odd reason there was even mention of QSFP but I fail to see why as it's not even related.

First off, let me get this out of the way now: I am not a lawyer and my analysis does not constitute legal advice. This is merely one author's opinion on the matter based on my own research into copyright law. If you have an IP related issue regarding licensing and copyright, consult an IP attorney and don't blame me or the MUD community for passing off conjecture as real advice.

So to get things rolling, we need something to analyze.

The DIKU License:
/***************************************************************************
 *  Copyright (C) 1990, 1991                                               *
 *  All Rights Reserved                                                    *
 ***************************************************************************/

                             DikuMud License

                      Program & Concept created by


Sebastian Hammer
Prss. Maries Alle 15, 1
1908 Frb. C.
DENMARK
(email quinn@freja.diku.dk)

Michael Seifert
Nr. Soeg. 37C, 1, doer 3
1370 Copenhagen K.
DENMARK
(email seifert@freja.diku.dk)

Hans Henrik St{rfeldt
Langs} 19
3500 V{rl|se
DENMARK
(email bombman@freja.diku.dk)

Tom Madsen
R|de Mellemvej 94B, 64
2300 Copenhagen S.
DENMARK
(email noop@freja.diku.dk)

Katja Nyboe
Kildeg}rdsvej 2
2900 Hellerup
31 62 82 84
DENMARK
(email katz@freja.diku.dk)


This document contains the rules by which you can use, alter or publish
parts of DikuMud. DikuMud has been created by the above five listed persons
in their spare time, at DIKU (Computer Science Instutute at Copenhagen
University). You are legally bound to follow the rules described in this
document.

Rules:

   !! DikuMud is NOT Public Domain, shareware, careware or the like !!

   You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in
   any possible way. You may under no circumstances charge money for
   distributing any part of dikumud - this includes the usual $5 charge
   for "sending the disk" or "just for the disk" etc.
   By breaking these rules you violate the agreement between us and the
   University, and hence will be sued.

   You may not remove any copyright notices from any of the documents or
   sources given to you.

   This license must *always* be included "as is" if you copy or give
   away any part of DikuMud (which is to be done as described in this
   document).

   If you publish *any* part of dikumud, we as creators must appear in the
   article, and the article must be clearly copyrighted subject to this
   license. Before publishing you must first send us a message, by
   snail-mail or e-mail, and inform us what, where and when you are
   publishing (remember to include your address, name etc.)

   If you wish to setup a version of DikuMud on any computer system, you
   must send us a message , by snail-mail or e-mail, and inform us where
   and when you are running the game. (remember to include 
   your address, name etc.)


   Any running version of DikuMud must include our names in the login
   sequence. Furthermore the "credits" command shall always cointain
   our name, addresses, and a notice which states we have created DikuMud.

   You are allowed to alter DikuMud, source and documentation as long as
   you do not violate any of the above stated rules.


Regards,



The DikuMud Group


Note:

We hope you will enjoy DikuMud, and encourage you to send us any reports
on bugs (when you find 'it'). Remember that we are all using our spare
time to write and improve DikuMud, bugs, etc. - and changes will take their
time. We have so far put extremely many programming hours into this project.
If you make any major improvements on DikuMud we would be happy to
hear from you. As you will naturally honor the above rules, you will receive
new updates and improvements made to the game.


The MERC License:
Merc Release 2.1
Sunday 01 August 1993

Furey	mec@shell.portal.com
Hatchet	hatchet@uclink.berkeley.edu
Kahn	michael@uclink.berkeley.edu



=== Copyright and License Terms

Diku Mud is copyright (C) 1990, 1991 by Sebastian Hammer, Michael Seifert,
Hans Henrik St{rfeldt, Tom Madsen, and Katja Nyboe.  Their license agreement
is in the file 'license.doc'.

Merc Diku Mud is a derivative of the original Diku Mud and is subject to their
copyright and license agreement.  Merc Diku Mud contains substantial
enhancements to Diku Mud.  These enhancements are copyright 1992, 1993 by
Michael Chastain, Michael Quan, and Mitchell Tse.

In order to use Merc you must follow the Diku license and our license.  The
exact terms of the Diku license are in the file 'license.doc'.  A summary of
these terms is:

	-- No resale or operation for profit.
	-- Original author's names must appear in login sequence.
	-- The 'credits' command must report original authors.
	-- You must notify the Diku creators that you are operating a Diku mud.

Our license terms are:

	-- Copyrights must remain in original source.
	-- 'Help merc' must report our help text, as shipped.

Notice that our license terms don't include keeping our names in the login
sequence.  If you want to keep a line in there referring to Merc, or referring
to us by name (Furey, Hatchet, and Kahn), we'd appreciate that, but we don't
require it.  But you must keep the original Diku authors in the login sequence.

If you do not follow these license terms, we will ask you to comply.  If that
doesn't work, then we will talk to your system administrators (not about your
running a mud, but on the grounds that you're using our copyrighted software
without permission).

These are very generous terms for any software.  If you don't want to accept
them, feel free to run some other software, or write your own.


The SMAUG License:
 ****************************************************************************
 * [S]imulated [M]edieval [A]dventure multi[U]ser [G]ame      |   \\._.//   *
 * -----------------------------------------------------------|   (0...0)   *
 * SMAUG 1.4 (C) 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 by Derek Snider |    ).:.(    *
 * -----------------------------------------------------------|    {o o}    *
 * SMAUG code team: Thoric, Altrag, Blodkai, Narn, Haus,      |   / ' ' \   *
 * Scryn, Rennard, Swordbearer, Gorog, Grishnakh, Nivek,      |~'~.VxvxV.~'~*
 * Tricops and Fireblade                                      |             *
 * ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *

=== Copyright and License Terms

Diku Mud is copyright (C) 1990, 1991 by Sebastian Hammer, Michael Seifert,
Hans Henrik St{rfeldt, Tom Madsen, and Katja Nyboe.  Their license agreement
is in the file 'license.diku'.

Merc Diku Mud is a derivative of the original Diku Mud.  Merc Diku Mud contains
substantial enhancements to Diku Mud.  These enhancements are copyright 1992,
1993 by Michael Chastain, Michael Quan, and Mitchell Tse.  Their license
agreement is in the file 'license.merc'.

SMAUG is a derivative of the version 2.1 distribution of Merc Diku Mud.
SMAUG contains substantial enhancements to Merc Diku Mud, including some
features of the original Diku Mud that were removed by the Merc team.

In order to use SMAUG you must follow the Diku license and our license.  The
exact terms of the Diku license are in the file 'license.diku'.  A summary of
these terms is:

        -- No resale or operation for profit.
        -- Original author's names must appear in login sequence.
        -- The 'credits' command must report original authors.
        -- You must notify the Diku creators that you are operating a Diku mud.

Our license terms are:

        -- Copyrights must remain in original source.
        -- 'Help smaug' must report our help text, as shipped.
        -- A mention that this is a SMAUG based MUD must appear in the
           login sequence.
        -- You must not block access to your SMAUG mud from the SMAUG
           development site (game.org).
        -- You must not operate your mud with any contraband area files
           and must remove any areas in question immediately upon request.
        -- You are requested to notify us that you are operating a SMAUG mud,
           to include the address of the mud, and whether or not you want us
           to put a link to your mud on our SMAUG mudlist webpage.

SMAUG makes no effort to retain compatibility with any original Diku code,
Merc code, any patches, upgrades or code snippets designed for any Diku
derivative other than one designed for SMAUG.  (See 'smaug.txt').


The question at hand is distribution rights. Do Kayle and I have the right to revoke distribution rights? According to copyright law, only we as copyright holders ever had those rights to begin with. Throic and his team in turn hold those rights to Smaug, the Merc guys hold those for Merc, and the Diku team hold those rights for the Diku codebase. Without a license of any sort, there are no rights beyond those given by law to the authors.

You require a license in order to grant rights to others. Restricting rights is legally redundant as nobody has them to begin with, so right off the bat, any clauses which restrict are out. The DIKU license, which is the root of the tree, only has this to say:

This license must *always* be included "as is" if you copy or give
away any part of DikuMud (which is to be done as described in this
document).


If you give away a copy, their license must be included. This is the only clause which specifically mentions distribution rights of any sort that aren't a restriction. This is pretty shaky ground to stand on since it only implies that you have the right. An explicit clause stating you have distribution rights is almost certainly necessary. Given the language barrier issues we can't even be entirely sure what this clause is saying. The license is also likely written with Danish law in mind rather than US law, so there's no way to know without consulting an attorney what rights this license is giving you under US law. Remember, copyright has international treaties covering it, but that isn't necessarily true of licensing which many people regard as part of civil contract law.

The rest of the things mentioned in the DIKU license are irrelevant since they deal with use, modification, and publication in "articles" which I'm assuming means newspapers, magazines, and the like. So let's move on to Merc.

-- Copyrights must remain in original source.
-- 'Help merc' must report our help text, as shipped.


Those two additional clauses meant to cover rights granted under the Merc license do not pertain to distribution. So there's really nothing to see here. Pay attention ROM users, as so far you're not any better off than Smaug users. I digress.

From the Smaug license:
-- Copyrights must remain in original source.
-- 'Help smaug' must report our help text, as shipped.
-- A mention that this is a SMAUG based MUD must appear in the
login sequence.
-- You must not block access to your SMAUG mud from the SMAUG
development site (game.org).
-- You must not operate your mud with any contraband area files
and must remove any areas in question immediately upon request.
-- You are requested to notify us that you are operating a SMAUG mud,
to include the address of the mud, and whether or not you want us
to put a link to your mud on our SMAUG mudlist webpage.


Again, none of Smaug's additional terms pertain to distribution. So again there's nothing really to see here. For the curious, the AFKMud license is also guilty of mentioning restrictions on what you can't do and mentions nothing about your distribution rights. Unless you take that "do whatever the hell you want with it" clause literally.

So where does that leave us? Playing dangerous legal games with nothing but conjecture as an anchor, that's where. The entire DIKU branch distribution chain is hinging on an iffy clause that doesn't come right out and explicitly grant you anything, and under the law, you explicitly have nothing. So we come right back to the rights given to copyright holders under the law, one of which is the right of distribution.

Kayle and I have chosen to remove the SmaugFUSS and AFKMud codebases from MudBytes as per our rights under the law. The site rules governing uploading only grant them a non-exclusive right to distribute anything that is submitted there. They do not grant that right in an irrevocable fashion. I should know, I wrote the rules there. So if they don't like it, then they need to change the wording of the rules to include "irrevocable". Chances are that wouldn't hold up though even if it was there as an irrevocable license can only be enforced either via a signature on a signed document or a legally recognized e-signature on an electronic document. MudBytes collects neither.

Bottom line: The DIKU license does not bar us from exercising our copyright rights.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Feb 22, 2010 5:03 pm by Samson in: | 133 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
While I don't quite understand, and am not entirely sure that I want to know, what prompted this urge to have SmaugFUSS and AFKMUD removed from MudBytes, based upon what you've presented I also don't see what the issue is.

As you've said:
  • It appears that the Diku team originally implied the right to distribute their software and the Merc guys left that aspect as it was while Thoric also didn't offer additional information either way on the matter.

  • Therefore, anyone who submits a modified version (derivative) of anything directly descendant from those three holds the copyright on their own modifications and can thus have full say over distribution rights form that point forward.

  • But I'm no lawyer and my legal interpretation of this sort of thing is worth the electronic pixels you've expended in reading it as far as any court in any land is likely to be concerned.


  • I'm not clear on what sort of "horrid dangerous precedent" could be involved as I can't imagine that it's even the first time someone's pulled a distribution from a site.

    I certainly can't imagine what any of it even might have to do with QSFP unless Davion and Kiasyn are afraid that your next step will be to revoke their right to use QSFP as the basis for MudBytes itself.

           
    In a nutshell, when they booted me from the administration, I issued what may as well have been a cease & desist notice to remove all of my submissions from the site as I did not want my projects associated with a site run the way they run it. I mistakenly took Davion at his word when he said he had complied and never bothered to follow up. Kayle and I were talking about the last round of ridiculous drama that erupted there and he told me he had SmaugFUSS taken down - which came as a surprise to me since I'd already asked for that to be done.

    Tyche apparently decided to make a big blow up over the whole thing today or just recently or something. I got an email from a concerned party about the copyright status on SmaugFUSS which prompted me to check the MB site and found a silly flamewar going over what Tyche and KaVir both think they know about what rights were granted in the license. Since the relevant ones are all now posted to read, you can see they're both playing a dangerous legal game.

    The DIKU team may have intended for distribution to be normal. Their license does not explicitly grant this right though.

    You are correct on the next two though as neither the Merc team nor the Smaug team ever granted distribution rights for their additional material. Yeah, that's a huge oops if you ask me, but it's never been brought up before. Things like this only seem to come up when someone exercises their rights under the law and nobody wants that to be possible.

    I don't know what horrid dangerous precedent they're after either, but they keep mentioning one.

    QSFP has nothing to do with this because it's licensed under the GPL and I couldn't revoke their right to use it even if I wanted to.

           
    Well now I understand why this is being brought up now instead of months ago at least.

    Wasn't Tyche throwing a snit, not to put too nice a spin on things, about you making changes to the Smaug distributions (for the betterment of them by making them able to be compiled under a current version of GCC) hosted there a major factor in the meltdown of MudMagic too? (KaVir likes to play mud-related copyright attorney on TMC from time to time, so no real surprise to see he's involved in this one too. Nice enough guy with a fantastic claim to fame within the mud community, but we've all got our faults and that happens to be one of his. Granted, he comes across as being extremely well versed and full of excellent wisdom, but I don't believe him to be a seasoned lawyer in the field of copyright law anymore than most of us.)

    No, but it does at least sort of imply the intent since you certainly wouldn't be concerned about keeping the license in the package when making a copy or giving a copy away if you can't distribute a copy of the package to begin with.

    It probably was a big oops, in every sense, but it's done and well beyond them at this point since it was taken for granted over the last dozen years or so. Amazing, isn't it?

    I have to admit to a sense of morbid curiosity in anticipating what horrid dangerous precedent will be announced as having come from this.

    Then I can't imagine why they'd even have brought it up because that's the only logical reason I could think of, but I do know they often enjoy taking things way beyond anything a reasonable person could construe as logic. *shrug*

           
    Tyche never complained about that, and trust me if he had I'd have dinged him for it because he translated Merc into C++ under the Murk++ name.

    The license implies a lot of things. All of them weakly and without enough strength to base years of work on safely. If they chose to, they could crack the whip and shut down the entire codebase development community in a heartbeat. Nothing you could do about it.

    I am waiting patiently for signs of this terrible precedent. Unless the terrible precedent is that one can in fact assert their legal rights in the MUD community. Now wouldn't that be a shock? Regardless, Merc and Smaug do not grant any rights of distribution to the derivative works at all so the entire Merc branch is built on a legal house of cards. Including Rom btw, which seems to somehow never get discussed in these little snits.

    The only reason Tyche brought up QSFP that I can tell was simply to take a swipe in my direction. Perhaps he wasn't aware it's GPL, but he clearly didn't even do an ounce of research into it before commenting. Which leads one to think he hasn't done that for the DIKU license issue either.

    Another thing about the GPL is that it's usually only applicable to binary distributions and makes people who use code licensed with it distribute the source code. It may be he tacked that on because he realizes the GPL may not have any real weight with what is already a pure source code distribution.

           
    I haven't really been paying much attention to MB recently, does this have anything to do with Tyche and his distribution of RSmaug (Smaug in Ruby)? Which was odd in itself as I never associated Tyche with Smaug whatsoever.

           
    First I've heard of any RSmaug thing and it never got mentioned so I don't know.

           
    Anonymous [Anon] said:
    Comment #7 Feb 23, 2010 1:03 am
    Kavir said:

    No, you've got your panties in a bunch because we've explained why potential mud owners should be warned about using your codebase - namely, the fact that you've demonstrated a willingness to legally revoke licences based purely on personal grudges.

    Is it really so difficult to understand why such uncertainty should be a concern to new mud owners, when they're drawing up a list of the pros and cons of different codebases and trying to decide which to use?


    Buncha filth. Translation: You forfeit all rights to your code just cuz you put it on the internet. So neener neener to you. Try that with the music you steal Kavir and stop acting like a dick cuz someone finally stood against the community raping developers' rights!

           
    Hmm, I don't know that it's worth dredging up the old Kyndig stuff, but I was thinking a big part of the issue had started with Tyche complaining about your handling of the Smaug related repository within MudMagic's overall repository, even it later turned out to be a misunderstanding or some such.

    Yes, that's true enough, but the generally held belief at this point would be that it was implied by that statement if nowhere else.

    Who knows, again it wouldn't be the first time the in-crowd at MB got their dander up over something sort of "out there". *shrug*
    It is odd that ROM gets so little attention regarding its license, but it's used by a pretty different crowd anyway so maybe it's just a reflection of that difference.

    I see.

    I suppose that's also equally plausible.

    Hanaisse said:

    I haven't really been paying much attention to MB recently, does this have anything to do with Tyche and his distribution of RSmaug (Smaug in Ruby)? Which was odd in itself as I never associated Tyche with Smaug whatsoever.

    I've not followed anything at MB directly in quite awhile now, so I certainly can't say.
    That is odd, I believe that I recall Tyche maintaining his own mud repository of sorts, so I could see an interest in smaug on general principle, but I thought he had a codebase (or multiple codebases?) that he created and maintains of his own that's very unlike smaug already.

    Anonymous said:

    Kavir said:

    No, you've got your panties in a bunch because we've explained why potential mud owners should be warned about using your codebase - namely, the fact that you've demonstrated a willingness to legally revoke licences based purely on personal grudges.

    Is it really so difficult to understand why such uncertainty should be a concern to new mud owners, when they're drawing up a list of the pros and cons of different codebases and trying to decide which to use?

    Buncha filth. Translation: You forfeit all rights to your code just cuz you put it on the internet. So neener neener to you. Try that with the music you steal Kavir and stop acting like a dick cuz someone finally stood against the community raping developers' rights!

    Unless this quote was taken entirely out of context and you didn't bother to share the context that makes it mean what you're saying it translates to, I don't see that in what you've quoted at all. In theory, he's raising a valid and reasonable concern, once a codebase developer demonstrates willingness to revoke a license based on a personal issue it does raise a very valid questionableness to future and current other users of that codebase as to whether they could potentially find themselves also having the license revoked from them as well. In this case, however, I have trouble imagining that it wasn't clearly pointed out that this situation only effects MB and only because of the extensive troubles between the involved parties. On the other hand, while I agree that Samson (and, by extension, Kayle) should absolutely have the right to have the SmaugFUSS and AFKMUD codebases removed from MB's repository without difficulty, I do also have to question the wisdom of doing so. I believe I can easily enough understand their motivations and rationale, but I also think that Samson had previously gone to some notable lengths to personally ensure that the repository at MB would be one of the single easiest to use to find as much as possible and thus it might be better for the community as a whole to allow those codebases to remain there. The actions and attitudes of the site were more than a little concerning, so it's a tough call.

           
    Anonymous [Anon] said:
    Comment #9 Feb 23, 2010 4:44 am
    Kavir said:

    This thread started when Tyche commented "Your biggest problem is using a mud where there's a history of revoking the license". You didn't like Tyche's comment, but he was dead right, and I would give the same warning if someone else were to ask about using your codebase.


    Then you'd be a fucking dickhead for doing that. You also prove that you think developers have no actual right to control distribution of their work. So all those godwars games get to fuck you in the ass and you can't say shit or else you're a fucking hypocrite. The mud community. Just another piratebay!

           
    *Purposely ignoring Anon's unnecessary drivel* Seriously, where's those Imperial Guards? Or are we keeping Anon around for the humor?

    So, I actually took the time this morning to read through the thread on MB regarding this and this is all I have to say about it: Tyche needs to look up the words "use" and "distribute" as he seems to be up in arms that they mean the same thing. How he decided to 'warn' users that their license can be revoked on a whim because you asked MB to stop distributing the codebase is beyond me.

    Yes you do have every right to ask them to stop distributing the codebase. Kayle handled the situation very well, (although he really needs to reign himself in and not keep getting emotionally defensive).

    You do know that SmaugFUSS 1.7 and 1.8 are still up there, right? As well as SWR1.2 FUSS. I think I saw in one of Kayle's posts you guys wanted all of FUSS gone.

           
    Hanaisse,

    You hit the nail on the head. If you really look at the licensing carefully, you'll see that it's obviously an "agreement" between the MUD operator and the copyright holder. At no time does a file host enter into that agreement, so at no time can a file host claim rights granted under it. Therefore they have no right to distribute anyone's work in the absence of permission, which we have revoked already. MudBytes is not a party to the license.

    If they want to keep playing these games then I guess that means they want to make a legal issue of it. If they won't respect a C&D then perhaps their provider will pay attention to a DMCA takedown notice. We asked that ALL material from the FUSS project be removed and if any of it is still there they are in violation of our copyright. Plain and simple.

    As far as Anon, if you want to see what Kavir said, it's here:' http://www.mudbytes.net/index.php?a=topic&t=2561&p=42404#p42404'

    Apparently you guys are my monkeys or something now. The problem with his argument is that he wants all of the rights and protections of the GPL without the actual legal GPL being attached. To bully developers by insisting that they have no right to remove something from distribution is ludicrous. Yes, that is the argument he's thinly trying to make by saying he's going to go around warning users not to use the base because we exercised our legal rights under the law. That's intimidation.

           
    Edited by Samson on Feb 23, 2010 1:00 pm
    I suppose that I can reign myself in too and also ignore Anonymous on this one since we now have a much more reliable source for information about the situation as it is existing on MB.

    So the whole uproar at MB this time is basically that Tyche decided to have a snit because he's equating a revocation of the license to distribute with the potential for a revocation of the license to use? I can see the potential perception of "if they'd revoke one permission for personal reasons, what's to stop them from revoking another permission for personal reasons later", but I think everyone involved (and quite a few who are not at all even remotely involved as well) surely must know by now what this is really primarily about and that it is a very isolated case which has nothing to do with license to use.

    I'm glad to hear that Kayle conducted himself well, that goes a long way toward future potential users of the codebase getting the right impression despite what amounts to negative publicity. Unfortunately, the emotional defensiveness is a problem for him that he's needed to work on for quite awhile, but, fortunately, I believe he's already well aware of it and I'm lead to believe that he's actually made good strides toward self-improvement in that area.

    Hmm, I'd had the impression from the below quote (taken from the first two sentences of this very blog's original post) that they were only talking about SmaugFUSS and AFKMUD, but I did expect that to mean all versions of each rather than just the latest version:
    Samson said:

    ...exercising our legal rights under copyright law to have the SmaugFUSS distribution removed from MudBytes. Tangentially this seems to extend to AFKMud as well...

    Frankly, I would expect that if they'd only asked for the most recent version of the distributions to be removed there'd be no basis, even in the panic hungry minds of certain MB regulars, for any of this hoopla at all as they could claim there was a problem with the distribution files that had been uploaded or some such and that they were expecting to rectify the situation at their convenience - end of all possible arguments. ;)

           
    Yes, my original demand back in October was for the removal of all of my material as well as all material from the FUSS project. As has been pointed out, they ignored that demand. Kayle's demand was met with similar ignorance as some of the material remains and I'm gathering the links now to include with the letter if something isn't done about this.

    The entire argument about informing people of the precedent is just them grabbing on to an opportunity to bash me some more. I'm hardly surprised by that. There's no actual valid legal argument to be had in any of it. Copyright grants us distribution rights. Not them. It's so cut and dry there shouldn't be an argument at all.

           
    If you all remember correctly, I revoked license on MB a few years back due to post modifying my packages. This was not something explicit in the license to say you could not do, but something that I felt strong enough about to put and end to. The precedent has been set that they will comply with the wishes of the copyright holder and remove packages when license to distribute has been revoked.

    Just another day at MB, bunch of whiners with no lives have to concoct some huge debate just to give themselves a reason to exist. In all, this is all rather pathetic.

    The_Fury

           
    Samson, looks like we were posting roughly at the same time again.

    That makes perfect sense actually. The file host isn't subject to the license because they're not using the software just hosting it for the person who uploaded it. To say otherwise would be easily akin to purchasing a hot new software game and then trying to hold the trucking company that delivered it to the store responsible for it containing a bad installation CD... ???

    I hope they're not trying to turn this into some sort of international legal issue, that could get very expensive and full of hassles for everyone involved. Even having to send a DMCA to the ISP would be a black mark against them that would be hard to recover from, especially regarding files their hosting in a repository that was supposed to be the final solution for mud repositories... :(

    hmm.. interesting, so it seems that KaVir is reading your blog now, though insulting your blog's visitors/members seems highly uncalled for as well.

    I'm nobody's monkey thankyouverymuch! Especially since you're not even paying me a ration of bananas. ;)
    Legally, I believe that would qualify as intimidation of potential users and harassment toward you and Kayle, in the current stage it's blackmail/extortion along the lines of "if you don't change your stated intentions I'll make it much more difficult to conduct your business by warning all your potential new product users away" and possibly defamation (libel?) toward the rest of us who participate in your blog site. At the very least, it's rather unnecessarily rude and very unprofessional. If we wanted to sue him over it though, honestly it'd be a very weak case since he didn't specifically provide a victim though. Which is not say that it's not defamation but rather that we'd have a hard time taking him to court over it. (See Dancing with Lawyers for clarification on that point.)

           
    @The_Fury: Yes, I remember that. It's also worth noting again that your request falls into the same category as ours. Distribution from a website that isn't a party to the underlying codebase's license. I think this is a critical point that everyone seems to be missing in their zeal to tear Kayle and I down over it. If they are not a party to the license, then they have absolutely no rights extended to them by copyright law at all, aside from the agreement made in the user sign-up process, which only grants them a non-exclusive distribution right. That right can be legally revoked at any time and has no impact on the validity of the Diku license classes at all.

    @Conner: There's no international incident to be had here. Kayle and I are US citizens. MudBytes is hosted on a US server, California to be specific. The entire affair falls squarely under US copyright law. So KaVir's interpretations of it hold no weight. He's German.

           
    Edited by Samson on Feb 23, 2010 1:32 pm
    Ok, this posting over each other has the potential to get confusing, so I'm going back to specific quoting...

    Samson said:

    Yes, my original demand back in October was for the removal of all of my material as well as all material from the FUSS project. As has been pointed out, they ignored that demand. Kayle's demand was met with similar ignorance as some of the material remains and I'm gathering the links now to include with the letter if something isn't done about this.

    I suppose if that's the next step that they're demonstrating a need for, well.. one does what one must.

    Samson said:

    The entire argument about informing people of the precedent is just them grabbing on to an opportunity to bash me some more. I'm hardly surprised by that. There's no actual valid legal argument to be had in any of it. Copyright grants us distribution rights. Not them. It's so cut and dry there shouldn't be an argument at all.

    How sad for them then if they really felt the need to turn something very straightforward into a debacle solely for the drama value. Especially if it really is all about another chance to drag you back to their stage just to bash you.

    The_Fury said:

    If you all remember correctly, I revoked license on MB a few years back due to post modifying my packages. This was not something explicit in the license to say you could not do, but something that I felt strong enough about to put and end to. The precedent has been set that they will comply with the wishes of the copyright holder and remove packages when license to distribute has been revoked.

    Ah, but if you recall, that was when Samson was still a member of the administration..

    The_Fury said:

    Just another day at MB, bunch of whiners with no lives have to concoct some huge debate just to give themselves a reason to exist. In all, this is all rather pathetic.

    Alas, it seems that I'm forced to concur, at least about the fact that this is proving entirely pathetic.

    Edited because I typo'd a bbcode bracket. *sigh*

           
    Edited by Conner on Feb 23, 2010 1:36 pm
    Samson said:

    @The_Fury: Yes, I remember that. It's also worth noting again that your request falls into the same category as ours. Distribution from a website that isn't a party to the underlying codebase's license. I think this is a critical point that everyone seems to be missing in their zeal to tear Kayle and I down over it. If they are not a party to the license, then they have absolutely no rights extended to them by copyright law at all, aside from the agreement made in the user sign-up process, which only grants them a non-exclusive distribution right. That right can be legally revoked at any time and has no impact on the validity of the Diku license classes at all.

    Again though, the administrator responsible for insuring that MudBytes complied with that request is no longer with MudBytes and that is undoubtedly a major contributing factor in the fact that this has even become an issue to begin with. :(

    Samson said:

    @Conner: There's no international incident to be had here. Kayle and I are US citizens. MudBytes is hosted on a US server, California to be specific. The entire affair falls squarely under US copyright law. So KaVir's interpretations of it hold no weight. He's German.

    Hmm, so the New Zealander and the Canadian are trying to run a site from servers in the U.S. and getting legal advice from a German about US copyright law regarding the handling of a request from a pair of Americans... sounds like the premise of a parody movie. :D

           
    the administrator responsible for insuring that MudBytes complied with that request is no longer with MudBytes


    Funny how that works, isn't it? I may not be a lawyer or even a legal expert, but I've done enough research of my own into copyright law to know they're on dangerous legal ground and that all of the arguments currently being made are based in fantasy land.

    What's more, they've directed Linode (their provider) to ignore emails from me because of one erroneous spam report I sent them. When you're getting email from a server with a mudbytes.net address, it's generally safe to assume it's coming from the real one. In this case it wasn't, I apologized to Linode for wasting their time, and refiled the complaint with VPSLand instead. Yes, the former provider for the site is so incompetent that they left the account up and running and able to process scripts which were emailing logwatch reports to me. Why should I have assumed this to be the case though? It wouldn't have had to go to their ISP if they'd bothered to actually look into the problem to begin with.

    Why do I mention this? It shows a pattern of willful ignorance to legitimate requests to cease unwanted activity. It also demonstrates that they are willing to resort to libel to protect themselves.

    sounds like the premise of a parody movie


    It would be funny as hell if the whole thing weren't so sad and pathetic. I guess that probably explains why they're in such an uproar to suppress the issue and paint Kayle and I as the demons. A New Zealander and a Canadian running a website based in the USA, receiving copyright advice from a German on a license written by 5 Danish citizens based on an agreement they held with their former university and rooted in Danish civil law. With advice from a Dutch citizen claiming there is no case thrown in. Comical to say the least, especially when they all claim to know for a fact that their particular interpretation is the right one.

           
    Edited by Samson on Feb 23, 2010 6:45 pm
    Samson said:

    Funny how that works, isn't it?

    I certainly see irony in it. :D

    Samson said:

    What's more, they've directed Linode (their provider) to ignore emails from me because of one erroneous spam report I sent them. When you're getting email from a server with a mudbytes.net address, it's generally safe to assume it's coming from the real one. In this case it wasn't, I apologized to Linode for wasting their time, and refiled the complaint with VPSLand instead. Yes, the former provider for the site is so incompetent that they left the account up and running and able to process scripts which were emailing logwatch reports to me. Why should I have assumed this to be the case though? It wouldn't have had to go to their ISP if they'd bothered to actually look into the problem to begin with.

    They told Linode to ignore emails from you because of that? That's utterly incredulous.. even more so that Linode would have chosen to comply with such a request as that would be potentially endangering Linode's operations...

    Samson said:

    It shows a pattern of willful ignorance to legitimate requests to cease unwanted activity. It also demonstrates that they are willing to resort to libel to protect themselves.

    Unfortunately, that was established with the whole situation regarding Cratylus to begin with and confirmed by their decision to remove you as one of the administrators.

    Samson said:

    It would be funny as hell if the whole thing weren't so sad and pathetic. [...] Comical to say the least, especially when they all claim to know for a fact that their particular interpretation is the right one.

    Indeed, it sounds like an entire comedy of errors just waiting to happen it's just too bad they choose you as their first major evidence of the potential. Bet if you took that premise to Hollywood someone could make a halfway decent comedy out of it.. Hollywood could use the new ideas anyway, maybe you should. I hear they pay really well there for new material. *chuckle*

           
    Keirath said:

    I think instead of arguing legalese - the discussion should be more about what can we do to rebuild this community? What can we do to get SmaugFUSS and the FUSS bases to be hosted here again?


    Koron said:

    Simple answer: Put a link to the SmaugFUSS download page in the MB repository instead of hosting the file directly.


    Keirath said:

    How can we put aside our differences and decide that the community is more important than our thoughts?


    Koron said:

    I guess I can't answer that one so simply. People'll either figure it out or they won't. In the meantime, I guess it doesn't look so hot, eh?


    I don't know who Keirath is, but the solution Koron responds to him/her with would be acceptable to me. A link from the repository to the project site would solve the entire issue.

           
    BTW, Kavir referenced another post, here:' http://www.mudbytes.net/index.php?a=topic&t=639&p=8125#p8125'

    He used it to attempt to show my hypocrisy or something. I think he needs to go back and read it again, because I never concluded that the license was irrevocable. I said a reasonable argument could be made along those lines, but it's nowhere near certain. You only arrive at this type of certainty with a court case. Also, one might note, he flippantly dismisses the verified legal interpretation that Groklaw got from an attorney on the subject.

    Diku is not the GPL, and is in fact not legally compatible with it. The Diku license does not become GPL-like in principle just because one German developer wishes for it to be so.

    There are a lot of reasons why people dislike the Diku license. Vague wording and conflicting intentions would probably invalidate the entire thing if it were to reach a courtroom. Guess what happens if there's no license to grant you anything?

           
    Edited by Samson on Feb 23, 2010 3:15 pm
    Hmm, so the New Zealander and the Canadian are trying to run a site from servers in the U.S. and getting legal advice from a German about US copyright law regarding the handling of a request from a pair of Americans... sounds like the premise of a parody movie. :D



    HEHE this made me laugh pretty damn hard.


    Keirath said:

    I think instead of arguing legalese - the discussion should be more about what can we do to rebuild this community? What can we do to get SmaugFUSS and the FUSS bases to be hosted here again?


    I do not think there is anything that anyone can do to ""REBUILD" the community. The MB community is cannibalistic by nature, its entire purpose is to eat its own and anyone else who gets in the way of the 3 or 4 personalities who think it is their god given right to destroy others.

    Muds will not improve until you get rid of those asshats who are the root cause of all this shit, when the HAS BEENS finally give up and get lives, then you may have a chance to form a community that serves a purpose worthy of note.

    Take a look at the top 20 to 40 muds on TMC, you know, the ones with atleast 40+ players, and tell me, how many of the game admins of the CREAM of the mud crop participate at MC or TMC, very few of them, and the reason is simple, MB and TMC are populated with wanna be's, trolls and has beens and it is a waste of time going there for anything.

    David Halley, techniaclly a great programmer, but will never complete anything of note because he wastes all his time telling everyone how great he is on MB rather than coding something for others to enjoy. He has a game that no one plays, and no one plays it because he is too busy postulating on MB to care about running it.

    Cratylus, could not code his way out of a wet paper bag, obvious bugs in his code are never fixed because he does not have the ability to do so even when its pointed out to him, so insecure in his own code base that he runs 20 to 30 copies of it across a number of servers (For Testing) just to inflate the number of DS based muds in IMC and I3 to make DS and himself look more popular than he is. Watch out during Ramadam, all that dick washing and not eating really gets this poor muslim boys troll up.

    Oh i could go on and on here and list off many others, but i wont, the point is, that if your serious about making a mud, MB, TMC, I3 and IMC are not the places to associate. Seeking the aproval of a bunch of trolls, yesterdays heros and wanna be's is only going to destroy and passion you have for your game. Cause lets face it, not one of them at MB can make a game, complete it and get people playing it, stay and love it, so why the fuck would anyone want to take advice from them.

           
    Samson said:

    It's so cut and dry there shouldn't be an argument at all.

    One hundred percent agree.

    Samson said:

    Apparently you guys are my monkeys or something now.

    Sweet!

    Conner said:

    Indeed, it sounds like an entire comedy of errors just waiting to happen

    It already has happened and is going over like a bad boxoffice bomb.

    Samson said:

    I don't know who Keirath is..

    Me neither, but a level-headed unbiased third party is always nice to have. He makes some nice (and wise) comments. Maybe it's your adoring fan Anon *shrug*

    Just read two additional pages to that thread made throughout the day and it just gets funnier and funnier. Now people are getting paranoid. You know, it just makes me wonder if the people that cause all this drama ever look back one day and say to themselves "What was I thinking?"

    On a good note, looks like the repository is all cleaned up now.

           
    The_Fury said:

    that he runs 20 to 30 copies of it across a number of servers (For Testing) just to inflate the number of DS based muds in IMC and I3 to make DS and himself look more popular than he is


    I wish I'd thought of that. Just imagine how insanely popular AFKMud would be today if I'd filled the IMC and I3 servers with 50 fake copies. Oh wait, no, I'd have been banned for doing that.

    Take a look at the top 20 to 40 muds on TMC, you know, the ones with atleast 40+ players, and tell me, how many of the game admins of the CREAM of the mud crop participate at MC or TMC, very few of them, and the reason is simple, MB and TMC are populated with wanna be's, trolls and has beens and it is a waste of time going there for anything.


    Can't argue the logic there. You'll probably also find that the top 100 at TMS don't participate at MB or TMC or on either of the intermud networks.

    Hanaisse said:

    On a good note, looks like the repository is all cleaned up now.


    Yes, because I took things to the next level and sent them a cease & desist notice. Perhaps this whole blow up could have been avoided by doing it via email to begin with. Then again, had they complied with my original demand, we wouldn't be here today. I think it's also beneficial to the community as a whole to bring the weakness of the Diku license into the light. I strongly suspect the hostile reaction to this is because many of those opposed to what happened here have been awakened to the reality that the entire branch is resting on a house of cards. They don't want to face that reality.

           
    Edited by Samson on Feb 23, 2010 3:46 pm
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