Re: Ownership?

From: Tim Hughes (
Date: 10/22/96

> submissions policy for the mud I had begun a few months earlier.  In 
> short the submissions policy states that any work put into the mud, 
> including the mud is owned by myself.  Now that might seem a little 
> harsh, but there is more.  It also states that for any reason you may 
> request a copy of your work, and if the work is significant, you will be 
> displayed in the credits file.  You can also request your work be 
> removed from the mud.  I dont claim to have created everything 
> we are using, nor do I claim to have created the entire mud.  "Ownership" 
> is simply a technicality.  The mud is made up of all the countless hours 
> that everyone has put into it.  It belongs to the players, and the 
> administration who run it ...  You get the idea.

I think this is the spirit in which muds were intended to be used.  Not 
bickering about who owns the entire code, but giving people credit for 
the work that they have done.  This translates to areas and the actual 
code.  By giving the people who created the mud and areas credit and by 
heeding requests from them not to use certain code or areas is part of 
"owning" a mud.  NO DIKU based derivative out there would not be around 
without the original DIKU code.  People can own parts of a code.  
However, a mud "owner" who says he owns the entire code has not read the 
Liscense agreements that came with whichever mud he/she is running.  
Ownership of a mud is a very ambiguous idea.  It is much easier to define 
the IMP's  and realize that even the "owner" of a mud may not do much 
more than grant that mud a site to run the mud from.  In my mind, it is 
the IMP's that have the true power, not the "owner", for these are the 
people who spend countless hours fine-tuning, debugging, and running the 
mud.  It is only that most of the "owners" are IMP's as well.  In this 
respect, the issues and rights associated with both can become extremely 
tangled and confused.

Tim Hughes

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