Re: [Legal -again-] Contributions 97 06:17:47 pm

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 08/17/97

On Sun, 17 Aug 1997, Daniel Koepke wrote:

> On Sat, 16 Aug 1997, Andrew Helm wrote:
> -+You're assuming everything written in the license is legally valid.
> -+Although a copyright holder may be able to set down whatever terms he
> -+wants, if they aren't valid then they don't mean anything (which was my
> -+point). I know for a fact that just because something is written down
> -+in a license/contract doesn't make it so! (eg- If you use this product,
> -+you must be my slave for 5 years. If you use this product, you must dye
> -+your hair green. If you accept treatment from me, you're no longer allowed
> -+to sue me for malpractice). Whether the no donations part of the CircleMUD
> -+license is valid is something I can't (nor did I try to) say for sure. I
> -+would suggest asking a lawyer or some other equally informed person.
> But he's not saying something as ludicrous as "you must be my slave for 5
> years," [...]

*sigh*, please read before you respond. I've been saying all along that in
the eye's of the law a license that restricts people from donating money of
thier own free will may be just as unreasonable as those examples I gave.
Like I said, I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that parts of licenses/contracts
can be considered invalid. I have heard doubt about the no donations part of
the CircleMUD license brought up by someone who had a law background. I would
suggest you check with a lawyer to be sure. Now, how many times do I have to
repeat this before it sinks in?

> [...] and actually, if someone agrees with the license...It can be just as
> legally binding as a contract saying that someone is, "your slave for 5
> years."

It's well known that you cannot sign away your basic rights. If you do not
believe me talk with someone who is a lawyer or law student, etc. If a
doctor made me sign a contract saying I would not sue him for malpractice
and then proceeded to commit malpractice, I could still sue him despite
the contract.

> Their signature is use of the product after being aware of the
> stipulations of the license.  Hence, while it's unlikely that anyone would
> become Jeremy's slave for 5 years to use CircleMUD (sorry, Jeremy :), if
> we wanted to put that in the license, he *could*, and if you agreed with
> the license.

And what if I agreed with the license? You seem to have stopped mid
sentence there, Daniel. The truth of the matter is, even if I did agree
to a license which said I would be Jeremy's slave for the next 5 years,
it still wouldn't be legally valid. The CircleMUD license might not have
the power to restrict other people from sending in money of their own
free will. I do not know for sure, as I said before the only opinion
I can give on this issue is that you really ought to see a lawyer about
it because it's questionable.

> -+        You must not use CircleMUD to make money or be compensated
> -+    in any way.
> Monetary gain.  Not donations.

Can you not read or did you just decide to ignore the last half of
that sentence? What do you think "or be compensated in any way" means?

> -+        You must not solicit or accept money or other donations in
> -+   exchange for running CircleMUD.  You must not accept money or other
> -+   donations from your players for purposes such as hardware upgrades
> -+   for running CircleMUD.
> You must not solicit or accent money *or other donations*, which qualifies
> again under Monetary Gain (which includes donations).  Which, had you read
> my prior message, you would know I *said*.

I did read you previous message, and I was trying to respond to it.
Since you snipped the part of your message I was responding to, I'll
requote it here:

         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.
                      [--Daniel Koepke, Aug 16 1997]

Unfortunately, I'm begining to see the futility of trying to get a point
across to you. What do you think the words "You must not solicit or
accept money or other donations in exchange for running CircleMUD." means?
What do you think the words "You must not accept money or other donations
from your players for purposes such as hardware upgrades for running
CircleMUD" means? It is specifically against donations among other things.
I wish you would read the license.

> -+As I said, it's pretty clear. Especially the "CircleMUD must not be in
> -+any way be used to facilitate your acceptance of fees, *donations* [my
> -+emphasis], or other compensation" part. :)
> EXACTLY, as I said, it forbids MONETARY GAIN, which includes "donations".
> It does not say, "You cannot accept donations from anyone as long as you
> use CircleMUD," as you misconstruing it.  It says, "You cannot make money
> from CircleMUD."  Whether the money comes in the form of donation or not
> is irrelevant, however, because that's the primary abuse against DIKUMUD
> (aside from credits), that specific situation was covered.

Your logic is severly flawed.

A) You've invented some fanciful term called "Monetary Gain."
B) You proceeded to show that all restrictions against donations fall under
   restrictions against "Monetary Gain."
C) Then, you reason that since the license *only* prevents "Monetary Gain,"
   donations are okay.

Honestly, I'm quite speechless. I've never seen someone perform such a
trick before. The license quite clearly, in more than one part, forbids
donations. It forbids donations for hardware. It forbids donations to
keep the mud running. It forbids donations for monetary gain. In fact,
I'm not sure how the license could be more clearly against donations.
Why can't you accept this?

     | Ensure that you have read the CircleMUD Mailing List FAQ:  |
     | |

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : 12/08/00 PST