Or look behind behind door number 3 and pay for Diku Valhalla. :D
Yeah, what's the deal with that? I ran across it years and years ago and have always wondered what the relationship was to the original DIKU team since the Valhalla engine is maintained by a different set of people (and also whether it actually made any money). The DIL documentation was worth a peek at the time, as an evolutionary step in embedded scripts.
You don't automatically have the right to use something just because you own a copy of it - if you're using licensed software on your home computer, and that licence expires, you're no longer legally permitted to continue using it.
… but this is not due to copyright law.
Copyright law prohibits you from using the work without permission. A valid licence grants you that permission.
You mixed "owning something" with "having a license to use something"; those aren't the same thing. Anyhow, I certainly am not about to get into a huge argument about this, and I don't think it's to anybody's benefit to have Yet Another Endless Discussion on this "stuff" (self-censoring active here).
You mixed "owning something" with "having a license to use something"; those aren't the same thing.
No, I didn't mix them, I explicitly pointed out that they're not the same: "You don't automatically have the right to use something just because you own a copy of it". A licence grants the right to use a copyrighted work, something which isn't conferred simply by owning a copy of the copyrighted work.
Copyright law does NOT restrict use. You can use a book any way you want, so long as you aren't copying it or reciting it publicly ("distributing" it orally). You can watch a movie at any time you want. You can look at a painting any way you want.
The only reason "use" comes in at all with software and copyright law is because running a program copies the software from disk to RAM and that has been ruled as a reproduction covered by copyrights by idiot courts.
The whole reason the case MAI vs Peak ruling is important wasn't because some guy tried to use a copyrighted work and the law says he can't; it wouldn't have been a meaningful ruling at all in that case. That ruling is important because it determined that running the software in question was in fact a copyright violation because booting the computer required reproducing the on-disk software into RAM. The use of the on-disk software was not in question, merely the copying of it, because that's all copyright law restricts.
Copyright doesn't cover use, period, unless you're talking about public displays (because those are considered "copying" the work to the audience). You can otherwise use a work however you want. You just can't copy it in the process of using it unless the copy in question is covered by Fair Use just like how transient copies of movies and audio are always allowed for the sole purpose of playing them (which is what copying software into RAM should be covered by, since software is inherently useless without being able to run it, just like a movie is inherently useless without being able to watch it).
The only reason there's been a stink over movie and audio playback at all lately is because of the DMCA crap, which adds restrictions (not related to copyright) about the legality of attempting to break any form of encryption or security, including the DRM on all DVDs and most video and audio formats.
update: DMCA is clearly related to copyright since it's literally the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. not sure what was going through my head when I typed that, but it clearly wasn't anything logical.
Not explicitly, but the rights granted under copyright law (which I already listed earlier) indirectly prevent you from using a MUD without permission - you can't run it (as you pointed out already), and even if you could, you couldn't perform it publically. But you wouldn't get that far anyway, because you couldn't modify or even compile it, either.
As a final point, I don't think public performance covers the MUD. The public display and public performance sections of the Copyright Act explicitly list which kinds of works they cover, and I don't believe software is on that list. Any narrative or audiovisual content served by the MUD may be covered, but not the software itself or its interfaces. (Unethical companies make use of software patents on UI elements for those purposes.)
Seeing as I haven't chimed in with my two cents yet (despite starting the thread :lol:), if I were to find that any of the immortal staff on the MUD I "co-own", were selling selling ingame items & other stuff to players, they would be fired on the spot. No if's buts or maybes about it. :evil:
If players want to buy gear or what have you from another player, then I personally would have no problem with it; however I might laugh at them. Where I would draw the line though, is selling ones character, I don't much like that at all.
@Grimble: To be honest, I don't much about Diku Valhalla, I've played around with it as much as you have (judging from your post anyway), I suspect that the only ways to find out more would be getting in contact with the people listed on the site, or speaking to someone that runs Valhalla on the commercial license.
As a final point, I don't think public performance covers the MUD. The public display and public performance sections of the Copyright Act explicitly list which kinds of works they cover, and I don't believe software is on that list.
Computer programs are literary works, and are therefore protected by the rights for public display and performance.
07 Apr, 2009, quixadhal wrote in the 34th comment:
David Haley said:
Makes you sort of remember the days of COBOL, where programmers were called Authors.
They're not anymore? (I think it's silly to call programs "literary works" along the lines of novels etc., but it makes perfect sense to speak of "authors".)
No, we're called wage-slaves nowadays. As in, "Hey, I just promised our Tokyo branch that our new product would be ready next week, they're going to be calling YOU to hash out the requirements. You speak Japanease, right? Anyways, it's a done deal so you'll be working 80 hours or however long it takes to get it done. Thanks!"
Law hasn't caught up with technology in many regards, and in other cases, laws made specifically for technology just make very little sense.
No other copyrightable medium works like software, which is required to have multiple copies to use, is intended to be functional instead of expressive, and which at its core is just a compilation of facts and algorithms (which themselves are non-copyrightable and non-patentable). Yet the same laws are expected to apply to both a novel and a piece of code. Likewise, patent laws that work very well for some fields (e.g. medicine) make far less sense for software were the development costs are significantly lower, the time to market is significantly shorter, and the worldwide innovation rates are significantly faster. 20 year parent terms make a lot of sense for a drug that costs 500,000 million to develop and takes 10 years of testing to get approved for the market, but it makes very little sense for a UI element that 50 different geeks sitting in their mom's basements all came up with, the time to market can easily be under 6 months (or a few years at the most), and the entire idea can become obsolete within the next product cycle. Electronics patents fall somewhere in between, given their high development costs but relatively low times to market and fast paces of innovation.
I'm not one of the Free Ideas GPL freaks who thinks that all software should be Free as in Herpes, because that also could cripple the software market. Software as a service only goes so far. I just believe that the rights granted to an author of software need to be revised to better reflect the nature of software, and that software patents, if not eliminated, need to at least be given drastically shorter terms than pharmaceutical or manufacturing patents.
It's funny, because if you don't understand how a car works at a low level, you're considered uneducated. If you understand how a computer works at a low level, you're considered geeky. I mean, they teach the basics of engines and transmissions and so on in grade school, but not once did I take a class in grade school that covered processors or electronic hardware (we did electric circuits, but not electronics). Many otherwise very intelligent people are outright intimidated by or scared by computers, even though – at a basic level – they're very easy to understand. Just like the basics of a car engine or transmission are easy, even if the finer details around the engineering of the specific parts are very complex. One of my friends' fathers works as a level 6 trans engineer at GM and it's amazing how much work he has to put in for even simple little metal parts, because things like putting screw holes too close together can cause the part to break under loads it needs to support; a lot of engineering goes into both the little stuff and the big stuff that's way over my head. Yet I'm still expected to take some basic physics, engine maintenance, and engineering courses even in grade school while the computer courses they recommended (didn't even require) consisted solely of touch typing and using Microsoft Word. :/
I mean, they teach the basics of engines and transmissions and so on in grade school
They only taught this to people who elected to take the courses, it was not required by any stretch here. That said, if you did choose to take it, the course was far FAR better than doing the same for a computer course. My high school had a fully working production level auto shop where if you really wanted to you could bring in your car and fix it up and get as down and dirty with it as you liked. The computer course was a glorified electronic typing class. With some light programming in BASIC tossed in on the side. Never once did we cover the hardware side of things beyond being told it had a CPU, memory, and drives to put your disks in. Cracking open the PC case? That got you detention.