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Diku License Violation
Ssolvarain
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#61 id:53998 Posted Feb 23, 2011, 10:44 pm


sankoachaea said:
No matter how well I argue - the universe always wins. :(


I hear you, man. The irony is at least some sort of consolation, I hope.
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#62 id:54001 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 12:57 am

Quote:
I'd also like to point out that you can argue wording and semantics, but the DIKU team has stated exactly what the license implies.

First of all, is it relevant in this case legal-wise? I mean - does it make any difference what they said AFTER writing that license and distributing DikuMud under it? My question is not rhetorical; I'm not a lawyer, I don't know the answer and I'd really like to know it.

Secondly, keep in mind that the Diku team (Sebastian Hammer, Michael Seifert, Hans Henrik Staerfeldt, Tom Madsen and Katja Nyboe) is not the only group of people releasing their work under the Diku license. In case of Merc and Envy there are more people using the same wording - should we consider their intentions? And again - would their intentions really matter?

Last edited Feb 24, 2011, 12:58 am by Vigud
KaVir
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#63 id:54002 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 1:02 am

sankoachaea said:
Kavir claimed the Diku license states "in any possible way". It in fact states: "'You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way."

It was in response to your post, and I was pointing out the part of the sentence that you had ignored.  As Kaz also pointed out, "The nuances of the English language are such that the sentence can be read in both fashions".

Either way, as I already said, I've heard all the arguments many, many, many times before - there's always some newbie who's not familiar with the history of the subject who thinks they've discovered how to ignore the licence without repercussions, and I've no doubt that before the year is up I'll have had this same conversation many more times.


Ssolvarain said:
And "at a basic level" mmos are muds. They only have a graphical interface.

Actually some offer text-based interfaces as well (just as some MUDs offer graphical interfaces).  Graphics are handled by the client, and most MUDs can be played with a range of clients, so I don't think you can differentiate between them that easily.

Related article by Raph Koster:

Are MUDs and MMORPGs the same thing?

"This always comes up, and I often seem to be on the opposite side of the argument from many players. I’ve usually found that those who have worked on the implementation side of both tend to feel that they are the same thing, but that thsoe who haven’t see them as somehow categorically different.

So here’s my stab at explaining why I think both are really the same thing; in many ways, there are far larger differences between certain kinds of text muds than there are between graphical and text-based games."

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plamzi
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#64 id:54005 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 2:25 am


sankoachaea said:
Kavir claimed the Diku license states "in any possible way". It in fact states: "'You may under no circumstances make profit on *ANY* part of DikuMud in any possible way."


The definition of profit is most commonly "revenue over and above expenses." I think that for some of us, due to wishful thinking, it is the definition of "expenses" that appears fuzzy. I say appears, because both the complete wording of the license as well as the comments from the authors quoted by KaVir are actually unequivocal - we just want to read fuzziness into it.

Simply put, since you've received DikuMUD for free, and are able to compile and run it for free, you have 0 expenses, and any revenue you may get from it would be considered profit. Donations are termed "unearned revenue," and given that the expense of running a vanilla DikuMUD is 0, they are pure profit.

Even if you have set up a donation mechanism which stops accepting donations right at the point where you've recouped current running costs (I have never seen or heard of such a donation mechanism), it would be very difficult to show that your running costs are expenses on DikuMUD -- the code itself costs nothing to compile and run and you made a choice to host it on a commercial server, etc. If you could justify any arbitrary cost of your operation as a DikuMUD expense, then you could theoretically sell items in-game for thousands of dollars as long as you spend all the revenue on advertising. But that's clearly wrong because nothing in the DikuMUD server itself compels you to advertise.

Now, if you're running a game site and selling T-shirts and souvenirs, that's an indirect and apparently acceptable way to monetize. That's because, unless you're running a vanilla codebase and labeling all your t-shirts and coffee mugs "DikuMUD", what you're selling is the concept/name/brand that you have built over and above DikuMUD. This also means that if you're running a game site, the expenses for that site can be recouped via donations as long as it is clear that they are for the site itself--you'd be fine even if you make a profit.

P. S. I'm pretty sure there's a legal term for why it's enough for a license agreement to say "no profit in any way" rather than have to list explicitly all the thousands (millions?) of ways in which one cannot profit. Maybe the term is "negative minimalism" or even "common sense."
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#65 id:54007 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:26 am

KaVir said:

Either way, as I already said, I've heard all the arguments many, many, many times before - there's always some newbie who's not familiar with the history of the subject who thinks they've discovered how to ignore the licence without repercussions, and I've no doubt that before the year is up I'll have had this same conversation many more times.

You're still missing the point. I'm not interested in having the same conversation you've had with newbies.. I corrected someone's definition of 'profit' and your misquote of the Diku license. Both are valid and independent of the issue. ::brickwall::

Though you are at least a little closer to the topic than Plamzi.
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Last edited Feb 24, 2011, 3:27 am by sankoachaea
KaVir
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#66 id:54008 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:48 am

sankoachaea said:
I'm not interested in having the same conversation you've had with newbies.

Nor am I, yet I'm still having it.  Your claims have all been addressed many times before, along with counter-arguments, counter-counter-arguments, etc.  We could turn this into yet another 20+ page flame thread, but we'd reach exactly the same conclusion as with every newbie before you - the intent of the licence is clear, the legality is not.  And even if we went through this, in a few weeks or months another newbie would come along with the same misconceptions, convinced they were right, and we'd be right back where we started (yet again).

Therefore I will simply reiterate the three points I made before:

1) The legal situation is far from clear-cut, and:

2) It seems unlikely it'll ever be tested in court, however:

3) The intent of the Diku team is clear.

You can argue about potential loopholes in the wording, you can claim it's unfair, you can try to justify why the licence shouldn't apply, etc, but at the end of the day it'll make absolutely no difference.  The outcome will be the same.  You reap what you sow.

Don't like the Diku licence?  Use another codebase.
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#67 id:54014 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 6:56 am

re profit et server costs

My take is that one could consider paying the costs of operations alone profiting.    I think 'one possible way' you may profit is getting the benefit of having server space rented without needing to pay for it out of your own pocket.      I recently entered a 20% partnership in a startup.    We're part of an incubator fund that defines profits very liberally.  I.e. pecuniary gain of any sort.  Even the sort that represents assets or services we otherwise would have had to pay for out of our pocket.  Not just after operating costs.  After all, you could define operating costs as your own salary or anything you want.  Not just server costs.  (Or just for the disk. :))  I think from reading the text to the letter it's clear that the authors didn't want you to profit "in any way" from dikumud.  Including ownership of a server, renting a server, costs of distribution or any other perks that come with taxing your playerbase or fellow developers.   

Also, the cost of operation when the license was crafted was very high.  Therefore I think that is something to consider.  It's certain they didn't want you to tax your playerbase even if just to keep the game afloat.    Even if the cost now is a dime a month, I think the license intends for you to self fund.    And it's a lot easier to, now.

Last edited Feb 24, 2011, 7:21 am by Runter
Rarva.Riendf
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#68 id:54016 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 8:57 am

I think 'one possible way' you may profit is getting the benefit of having server space rented without needing to pay for it out of your own pocket.    '
Only if you use the server for anything else than the game. Otherwise I wish to see your definition of 'profit' you could use.

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#69 id:54019 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 9:12 am

And this, folks, is why the discussion just doesn't die. :wink:

Quote:
I'd also like to point out that you can argue wording and semantics, but the DIKU team has stated exactly what the license implies. They own the license, so how about showing some respect? You can ignore the license and be an asshole, great. I can break in your house and steal everything you own. There's nothing stopping me except a window, and I can just disregard that as easily as you do the DIKU team's intent.

Ssol, this is just silly. It is illegal to break into a house. It is not illegal to do something that a license does not or cannot restrict, no matter what the authors might have desired. It might not be nice to do something against their intentions, but what is "nice" and what is "legal" are different.

Besides, the term 'profit' is not the same as the term 'revenue'; it still baffles me why this causes so much confusion.
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#70 id:54022 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 1:48 pm

Yes, Kavir... You are still having the same conversation and I'm not sure why.

I'm not making counter-arguments or looking for loopholes. You just don't seem to be able to let go of that idea (or the idea that I'm a newbie, either to MUDs or the Diku license). As I (you) stated before..

If you post incorrect information, it'll be challenged. Don't tell people the license says one thing if it doesn't or that profit means something other than what it means.
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KaVir
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#71 id:54023 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 2:01 pm

sankoachaea said:
Don't tell people the license says one thing if it doesn't or that profit means something other than what it means.

I suggest you take your own advice.  You're the one trying to tell everyone what the licence does and does not permit.  I'm the one saying it's not clear-cut.
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#72 id:54025 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:14 pm

No, I'm saying the inherit meaning of the word 'profit' is clear cut. (From my original correction of Cratylus's post.) I'm also saying the Diku license does not state "in any possible way." (You being the original person to quote it out of context.)

The license is not clear cut legally. That is obvious. The Diku team (and Hans) have since made their clear intention known. We know that. You can continue arguing that what I've stated has something to do with those things (even though it doesn't) all you like though.
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#73 id:54026 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:19 pm


sankoachaea said:
No, I'm saying the inherit meaning of the word 'profit' is clear cut. (From my original correction of Cratylus's post.)


Perhaps you mean "inherent".

-Crat
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#74 id:54027 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:41 pm

Nevermind, been mentioned already. Sigh, same old discussions.
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Last edited Feb 24, 2011, 3:42 pm by Littlehorn
sankoachaea
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#75 id:54028 Posted Feb 24, 2011, 3:48 pm

Cratylus said:

sankoachaea said:
No, I'm saying the inherit meaning of the word 'profit' is clear cut. (From my original correction of Cratylus's post.)


Perhaps you mean "inherent".

-Crat


I'm going to chalk that up to travel disorientation, as I definitely know the difference. :P
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