Re: [Legal -again-] Contributions

From: Daniel Koepke (dkoepke@CALIFORNIA.COM)
Date: 08/16/97

On Sat, 16 Aug 1997, Andrew Helm wrote:

-+However, whether it's legally valid is another matter. I've once
-+heard someone say that it's beyond the license's powers to prevent
-+a person from sending money by his/her own free will (ie- donations).
-+The law is always a tricky thing. Laws in the US are weird, for instance,
-+churches can offer "free" donuts after mass and have a donation can
-+sitting right next to them or offer "free" items over the phone while
-+requesting a donation at the same time.

Rumors are rumors are rumors.  And, just as other rumors, that one is
false.  A copyright holder can specify the exact terms of use of his
product, including what an owner may or may not do with the product (eg.,
make monetary gains).  Note that the prohibition is not necessarily
against "donations", but against monetary gain (which covers donations).
This is just as legal as saying that you cannot take code from me and
sell it.

The only legal problem that could possibly stand is the argument against
"shrinkwrap" licenses in foriegn countries (from my understanding, a
license that is not viewable prior to obtaining the product is considered
void).  Whether this problem actually stands for *free* things remains
to be seen.  Besides that, anyone decent would abide by the license.

As perhaps suggested, there are ways to legally circumvent the license.
Opening a server for outside access for money is legal (because you are
providing an ISP service instead of CircleMUD service).  While I don't
necessarily agree with circumventing the license, it's better than
breaking it.

Daniel Koepke -:- -:-  [Shadowlord/Nether]

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