Re: [RELEASE][GRIPE] Wilderness/ASCII Mapping System

From: Chuck Carson (chuck@EDEN.COM)
Date: 06/18/98

I am just curious, but I see people throw around terms like
'copyright' and 'license' and it is obvious none of you have any idea
what goes into getting these. You do not just say your shit is
copyrighted or has a license, software companies pay _BIG_
money to lawyers to get these drafted and _OFFICIAL_. My
fiancee is a lawyer and specializes in this area and works with
a lot of publishing companies. Yea, it is not cool to use other
peoples stuff without giving them credit, but I seriously doubt
anyone is gonna spend the dinero on getting some little code
snippet licensed (and the fact that it is a snippet and not a
sole and self supporting entity is another matter all together)
Yea, I know copyrights are cheap (especially the 'poor mans')
but about the only mud related thing you could probably copyright
and expect to be able to do any stable defenses of, is a mud name.
Once again with the internic domain system, this again is another
'grey area'. Most of you are probably CS students. so before
you graduate you will probably take some kind of ethics course
(most respected schools require it) and you will see that the
computer field is creating a humongous new area of law, and
one that is very difficult to draft.

And another issue, in lawsuits where copyrights and licenses
were violated _and_ proven (yet another major issue) the only
compensation the author could receive were 100% of all funds
the forging party made and any lost assets caused by the
infringement. For a mud, this allocates to a whopping $0.00.
(And no, time lost to develop does not count)

Once again, judgements rarely go to the plantiff in such cases
do to the  burden of proof . You can only code the same concept
X number of times, and surely two people can come up with identical
solutions to a certain degree (with such a limited media like C).

As to the original topic, if everyone has a problem with posting this
guy's name to their startup screen (laugh), I will upload a simplified
version of my terrain feature, and I could care less about credits. The
real software I develop at work is where my heart is at.

Sorry if I sound bitchy, I do not want to start a flame war or anything, (I
grew past that phase years ago) this area has just been a pet peeve of
mine. (I actually got burnt over this exact issue over some Macintosh
shareware I developed years ago)

And do not take me out of context, I fully recognize the credits of all
involved with Circlemud, and realize that a lot of hard work goes into these
projects with little or no payback. Also, if anyone is interested, In the
I contacted TSR concerning the use of their AD&D gaming stuff in a mud
environment and got some real pleasant info. Mail me directly if you  are
interested in what I found out. (Also please note, that Wizards of the Coast
is now in control of their copyrights, so this info may be obsolete)

Sheesh, I have rambled enough. (Sorry, it is 111 degrees, the AC is not
working well, and I only had about 4 hours of sleep last night)

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