Re: [Legal -again-] Contributions Aug 18, 97 01:53:42 am

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
Date: 08/18/97

Mon, 18 Aug 1997, Daniel Koepke wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Aug 1997, Andrew Helm wrote:
> -+Yes, actually in so many words it does say that. :)
> -+At least, it says that your CircleMUD cannot in any way facilitate donations.
> -+
> -+Umm, how is this different from what I've been saying all along?
> Okay, last time I'm going to say this.  I realize I've been thoroughly
> unclear with the idea, but let me try to get this across.

Unclear is a mild way of putting it. You've just wasted a bunch of my time.

> You have been saying that the license forbids someone from sending a
> donation.

I've also been saying that the license prevent's the owner from accepting
donations as well as saying the license prevent's people from making
donations. It was incorrect of me to use the word "sending." I only used
it because it was a paraphrase of the quote from the law student who
raised doubts about the validity of the no donation part of the CircleMUD
license. He used the word "sending" in one of his points and it apparently
stuck in my mind. I told you it wasn't my opinion that the no donations
part of the CircleMUD license isn't legally valid. It was merely an
opinion I heard. My opinion is that you need to check with a lawyer to
be sure about it.

>  That is not the case.  The license forbids you from *accepting*
> a donation.  When I said this, and you understood what I saying, you
> said that there is no difference between what you were saying and what I
> was saying.  This is, again, not the case.  There is a distinct difference
> between someone not being able to *send* donations, and someone not being
> able to *accept* donations.

So, umm. Let's see if I've got this straight. Your whole problem and the reason
for all these e-mails is because I made the mistake of saying the license
prevents people from "sending" donations instead of saying the license prevents
people from "making" donations? Okay, let me correct that mistake once and
for all: "The license prevents people from making donations of thier own
free will." Better? Was it worth all these e-mails?

> Someone may send you a donation, but you can't accept it.  You must send
> it back otherwise you are in violation of the license.


> Your suggestion
> that the license forbids people from sending donations is ludicrous. That
> would only work if the license bound those people, which is not the case.

You're right about the "sending" part, but the case is, in fact, one of the
license trying to bound other people. Making donations is considered an act
of free speech and is protected by the First Amendment. Also, the prohibition
of the CircleMUD admin from accepting donations could be considered by the
court as unreasonable restrictive and contrary to public policy. Consequently,
the prohibition on making donations (or do you require me to say, "prevents
the owner from accepting donations and therefore prevents any donations from
being made"? I never can tell how pedantic you'll be...) might violate a
person's rights, and you really ought to check with a lawyer to be sure. Can
I be any more clear? If you have another pedantic problem with my wording,
please spit it out in one sentence instead of over a number of e-mails.

> The license only applies to the people who have "agreed" to it by using
> CircleMUD.  Therefore, CircleMUD does not take away anyone's free rights
> to donate, it prohibits you from accepting donations.  Any indication that
> not being able to accept your player's donations, and not allowing players
> to donate is ridiculous.

Umm, yes it does take away people's abilitiy to donate. As I said before,
prohibiting the admin from accepting donations might be considered
unreasonable restrictive and contrary to public policy.

It might also be considered a breach of the CircleMUD player's First Amendment
rights, since donations are considered a form of free speech. I mentioned how
weird the donation law can be. Honestly, I don't know what you want from me
since all I'm trying to say, and I'll I've ever been trying to say is the
simple fact that the no donations part of the license is questionable and
you really ought to see a lawyer about it if you want to know for sure.
Understand yet?

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