The License (was Re: Should I write an editor?)

From: Jeremy Elson (
Date: 03/20/96

>   I have been tossing around the idea of writing a graphical off-line 
> editor for CircleMUD, initially for Macintosh, to be ported to Win/32 
> when stable.  What I had in mind was a binary-identical file format 
> between platforms for my own proprietary "area" files.  These would be 
> used during development, to be exported to ASCII "Circle" file batches 
> when complete.  I expect a 4-6 month development cycle including a couple 
> months of testing and revisions (for the initial Mac version).
>   I envision a VERY professional application with optional preferences 
> for varying degrees of error checking (eg. "enforce euclidean") and 
> formats (eg. "disallow extended mobs"), with possibly a test walk-through 
> window with a navigation-only version of Circle itself.  This promises to 
> be a HUGE undertaking as I'm not accostomed to whipping out these kinds 
> of things on a daily basis.  The determining factor is:  Is it a 
> violation of the CircleMUD or DIKU licence to ask payment for the 
> development environment?  I'm not asking if you personally would pay for 
> it.  It's my job to make it worth the price.  I want to know if it is 
> LEGAL.  Jeremy?

As long as you don't use any code from Circle (i.e. the code that parses
the area formats, etc.), I don't think it would be a problem to charge for
your environment.  The formats of the area files are not proprietary.

I'd encourage you to distribute your editor for free for no reason other
than that it will increase the amount of intrinsic coolness in the Universe.
I understand it's a lot of effort, but both Diku and Circle were (and Circle
continues to be) a lot of effort too, but both were given away free.

Also, a few weeks ago some people were asking about another license question
(I don't remember what it was), and someone brought up the question, "Do the
original Diku creators really care about the license any more?"  The answer
is definitely yes: in a post I made once, a poorly worded sentence vaguely
implied that I might not be distributing the Diku license along with
CircleMUD.  I immediately got a piece of friendly email from Sebastian
Hammer asking me if that was the case.  (I told him no :-)).  So, yes,
people do care about the license.


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