Re: Liscensing and Copyrights <>

From: Jeremy Elson (jelson@CIRCLEMUD.ORG)
Date: 09/24/97

Daniel Koepke writes:
>On Wed, 24 Sep 1997, Fili wrote:
>-+Also, if I wanted to get a copyright on say... certain modifications to
>-+circle that I made. Lets say for example that I made a piece of code which
>-+allows mobiles to become major AI factors. If all the code for this was in a
>-+seperate file, couldnt I regester the copyright for this file/section of cod
>-+without violating the Circle/DikuMUD liscense or the copyright already place
>-+on CircleMUD?
>Of course you can copyright your own things.  CircleMUD can't forbid
>you to do that.  But note that you are using *parts* of Circle for
>that code (e.g., the macros, the structures, etc.).  That still doesn't
>mean you can't copyright that code--actually, anything you write in
>(at least) the United States is implicitly copyrighted [just harder to
>prove in court if you don't get it registered]--just that it is still
>using part of CircleMUD (and hence, DIKUMUD) and the license still
>applies to that code.

I've been thinking about this issue since I saw the original mail, and
my inclination (believe it or not) is to say that a completely
independent module that includes no CircleMUD code may be exempt from
following the license.  I have a feeling that bringing a piece of code
under the license just because it uses Circle's structures may be too
strict of an interpretation.  (And as for the macros -- well, I
suppose someone could just write their own macros to do the same
thing as Circle's macros, but what would be the point?)

An analogy might be: are file format under the license?  If someone
writes an offline creator program that produces output in the
Diku/Circle format, I think that the program itself is still not under
the Diku/Circle license and could be sold (providing, of course, that
it doesn't contain Circle code for things like database parsing).  I
think writing a plugin module for use with Circle that just uses
Circle's structures is close to the same thing.

I'd be interested in hearing arguments on this point, but my first
inclination would be that an independent plugin module for Circle
might indeed be saleable.

What do you think, sirs?

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